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Michael Jackson Allegedly Wanted To Make A Harry Potter Musical

There is, gee whiz, just so much about this story that has aged as awkwardly as a child star from a '90s sitcom. Maybe it's best to begin at the beginning.

In June of 1997, one Joanne Kranberry Rowling published "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone," the story of a little boy who, through perseverance and guile, only lived in a closet for three months out of the year. The book became a smash hit, and from a business perspective, there was blood in the water. Everybody wanted a piece of the action — toy companies, movie studios, presumably closet manufacturers.

And while the story of what was is now in the pop culture canon (everyone has seen the Harry Potter movies, right?), the story of what could have been is still being uncovered. What products were too weird to manufacture in a world where a candy company produced dirt-flavored jelly beans for the benefit of upper-middle-class children? What was so bizarre that it got a hard pass from the franchise that approved that Hagrid character model from the PS1 games?

The answer: A "Harry Potter" musical, written by Michael Jackson.

Harry Potter and the Minefield of Bad Ideas

To answer your first question, "Yes, apparently. Really."

There isn't a lot of information on the project, which, seeing it written out like that, is probably for the best. What we do know is what J. K. Rowling told Oprah Winfrey one time during an interview. Pointing out that the world had Potter fever and that there weren't many corners of merchandising left to Pot, Winfrey astutely noted that "anything you can imagine in the world, it's been Potterized."

"I can only say to you, it could be so much worse," the author responded. "Michael Jackson wanted to do the musical ... I've said 'no' to a lot of things." It's amazing to think that, in a universe not so different from our own, the King of Pop nearly produced a stage play about a singing, dancing boy who lived. Maybe it happened in the same timeline where Jackson starred in "Labyrinth." 

But all of that is burying the lede. Even more amazing? After completing the interview, Rowling stopped talking, wandered into a nearby forest, and lived peacefully amongst nature's beauty for the rest of her long, happy, silent, entirely unopinionated life. It's said that if you hike through the woods near Edinburgh, you can still hear her not saying anything to this day. 

Anyway, a Jackson-Potter musical couldn't have been worse than "Secrets of Dumbledore."