Earlier this year, excitement rolled over the states as J.K. Rowling teased the possibility of a American Hogwarts in the forthcoming theatrical spinoff titled "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." But there has already been a U.S.-centric Potter story. Sort of.
A now forgotten 1986 movie called "Troll" depicted a character named Harry Potter moving to San Francisco with his family, where he met a witch and attempted to learn magic spells to combat the aggressive behavior of a sibling. It would be a decade before Rowling got her first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Philosopher's Stone in the U.K.) published.
Writer and producer Ed Naha is perhaps most known for his involvement with the "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" series along with "Troll," which centers around a Potter family with both the aforementioned Harry Potter and his father of the same name.
The younger of the two has loose parallels to Rowling's character, which has led cult fans of the '86 movie to speculate that the British author got inspiration from a movie even Naha admits received "underwhelming reviews."
"There are some folks who insist that J.K. Rowling was 'inspired' to write the Harry Potter books after repeated viewings of 'Troll,'" Naha told The Huffington Post, while also saying, "I think the only thing similar, aside from their names, is that they were both kids who spoke English. Also, they both walk upright."
Naha doesn't believe Rowling took the character from him, and even if she did, he wouldn't care. Naha joked, "If Rowling did recall the name with affection and decided to use it, so what? In both novels and scripts, I’ve used names culled from comic books and movies I was fond of, as are most of my pseudonyms."
Rumors of a reboot for "Troll" keep surfacing like "the zit that always winds up in the middle of your forehead before a big date, in a spot that you can’t squeeze without making you look like the Elephant Man, but you squeeze it anyway and then try to tell your date that your black and blue bulbousness is the result of your brain having a sudden growth spurt," as Naha explained to HuffPost. "The way these announcements are nearly always worded, or commented upon, is a double-dog dare to either Rowling or Warner Brothers to legally blanch at the [would-be reboot] producers using the name 'Harry Potter,'" continued Naha.
Although he wants no part in such a reboot project, Naha is happy that his movie continues to troll new audiences, saying he's "honored that it’s become a staple of both family viewing and college drinking games."
If you can't wait for Rowling's version of the American Hogwarts in "Fantastic Beasts," coming in 2016, you should consider finding a stream of "Troll" online. Just type "Internet troll" in your preferred browser.
Or, to be more authentic to how most people joined the "Troll" cult fandom, this particular Harry Potter story is magic on VHS.
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