A new Harry Potter fan film, all about Voldemort, has premiered on YouTube this week and magicked up over 7 million views within a matter of days.
Voldemort – Origins of the Heir is about the early life of Voldemort, the powerful dark Wizard.
The film, which is written and directed by Gianmaria Pezzato, delves into the backstory of Tom Riddle. Co-created with exec-producer Stefano Prestia, it is rooted in the concept that Harry Potter and Tom Riddle are opposite sides of the same coin. The film boasts scenes that are already known by the readers of the Harry Potter saga but have never been on cinema screens, including the homicide of Hepzibah Smith, as well as introducing new characters, such as the heirs of other Hogwarts houses.
It follows the heir of Gryffindor, Grisha McLaggen (Maddalena Orcali), who suspects foul play when Hepzibah Smith is found dead in her house. The case goes cold, but her investigations lead her to Tom Riddle, and a fight to stop the emergence of the Dark Lord.
The film joins a long string of fan-made projects over the years, but marks a rare achievement, as the project overcame not only budget challenges but also an even bigger hurdle: permission from Warner Bros..
The movie began as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter, before Warner Bros. intervened and suspended the fundraising – rather than shut it down altogether, though, Warner Bros. agreed with Tryangle that the film could continue, as long as it was released in a non-profit way.
The film follows a similar situation with a fan-made Star Trek movie, Axanar, which saw CBS and Paramount Pictures launch a legal challenge over the use of costumes, languages and images. That dispute led to new guidelines for Star Trek fan projects, including a 15-minute restriction in length (30-minutes if digital), a prohibition on any Star Trek TV or movie clips, official costumes and the name Star Trek. It also cannot be made for profit.
And so Voldemort: Origins of the Heir has now premiered on YouTube for free, giving the world 50 new minutes of Harry Potter wizardry to (unofficially) enjoy.
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