The trouble with fan films is one of straight up copyright infringement. You’re dealing with someone else’s intellectual property and if you make coin off that, expect the lawyers to come calling.
What has become an issue of late is that fan films are upping their production values with the help of crowdfunding to the point of looking relatively comparable to the original product – and that gets studios nervous.
However, one recent work, a Harry Potter fan film exploring the younger days of the future immortality-seeking villain Voldemort back when he was Tom Riddle, has managed to avoid the problem.
Titled “Voldemort: Origins of the Heir,” the fan film follows new original female character Grisha McLaggen, the heir of Gryffindor, on a quest to stop Tom Marvolo Riddle’s rise to power. The trailer released recently has already drawn praise for the quality of its production values.
Creators Gianmaria Pezzato and Stefano Prestia have also revealed to Polygon that they’ve struck a deal with Warner Bros. Pictures allowing them to continue the project:
“We had a private and confidential discussion with Warner Bros who contacted us during the period of the crowdfunding campaign. The only thing we can say is that they let us proceed with the film, in a non-profit way, obviously.”
Pezzato and Prestia plan to have the film available to stream by the end of the year.