With the recent news that HBO Max is developing a new series in the Harry Potter universe, fans may be excited to imagine what it would look like if the show followed the story of Harry’s parents and the original Order of the Phoenix–– here are some actors who could make up the cast. Founded in the 1970s by Albus Dumbledore, the first Order of the Phoenix strove to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Many of the organization’s members were Hogwarts students and recent graduates, willing to risk their lives and resist dark forces to protect freedom and equality in Wizarding society.
Because many characters in the original Order lost their lives during the First Wizarding War, fans have never gotten to know these characters in their youth or, in some cases, at all. A Harry Potter spinoff series would be an exciting way to explore their stories. While the original books and films explore some details of James and Lily’s lives (along with their classmates), a television series would provide the opportunity to really expand on these characters and their histories. The series could begin the story as early as the students’ first year at Hogwarts, or primarily explore the events directly leading up to the First Wizarding War during their final years of school.
While there is no current news as to what stories the series will explore, fans have long been intrigued by the idea of learning more about James and Lily Potter, as well as their Hogwarts classmates like Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Severus Snape. Many fans refer to these Hogwarts years as "the Marauders Era," named after the Marauder's Map which James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter created during this time. With a new series and a fresh start, HBO Max has the opportunity to introduce some more diversity into the world of Harry Potter. Many different actors have been suggested to play these beloved characters; here is a hypothetical cast that could do the characters justice.
James and Lily Potter
James Potter would undeniably be a central part of a Marauders Era Harry Potter story, and Suraj Sharma is an excellent choice to portray both his bravery and his confidence. In his breakout role in Life of Pi, Suraj delivers an incredibly emotional performance, a necessary part of playing a character like James. In more recent roles, like Rakesh in God Friended Me, Sharma plays a highly skilled computer hacker, and can bring some of his character’s confidence to the table.
While Sophie Turner may be a popular choice to play Lily Potter because of her signature red hair, there are many other things that make her a fantastic candidate for the part. Turner can easily portray Lily’s kind and outspoken nature, channeling characters like Jean Grey and even Sansa Stark. While she does, of course, share Lily’s red hair – the two have another thing in common: young motherhood. Both women had their first child in their early twenties, and Turner can certainly bring her own personal experience to this character, which would undoubtedly lend itself to an incredible performance.
Sirius and Regulus Black
Best known for their work on Netflix’s The Society, Alex Fitzalan (pictured above, left) and Toby Wallace (right) would make a terrific Sirius and Regulus Black. The two actors have fantastic chemistry, which is essential in portraying the strained relationship between the two brothers. Wallace and Fitzalan’s The Society characters, Campbell and Harry, have a surprisingly antagonistic friendship, and Wallace’s ability to play manipulative characters will allow him to tap into Regulus’s desire to join Voldemort's cause. Fitzalan, having played the hard-partying Harry Bingham, can easily portray Sirius’s rebellious side, while also tapping into the pain his character experienced while battling addiction and loss. It would also be fun for fans to see Wallace in a possible redemption arc, contrasting his character Campbell’s unflinching villainy.
Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, Rubeus Hagrid, and Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin is often seen as one of the more bookish of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, but Jordan Fisher could excellently portray his mischievous side as well. Fisher is known for his roles in rom-coms like To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You, where he has played charming love interests with a lot of depth. John Ambrose’s sense of humor will be useful to Fisher in playing a young Remus Lupin, who, while generally more well-behaved than James and Sirius, is still something of a troublemaker.
Best known for his role as Chief Jim Hopper in Stranger Things, David Harbour shares some of Hagrid’s famously imposing stature, and could easily portray his lovable if sometimes whacky personality. Harbour is a talented actor and certainly has what it takes to portray Hagrid with both authority and heart. Charles Melton, having played Reggie Mantle in the CW’s Riverdale, could easily give voice to Alastor Moody’s paranoid nature; something Reggie shares while co-running a speakeasy with his girlfriend. Fans might also enjoy seeing Melton in a more conventionally “good” role, since Reggie certainly has some moral grayness to him.
Peter Pettigrew and Severus Snape
Recent star Lucas Hedges has not typically played villains, but his experience portraying outcasts would allow him to give voice to Peter Pettigrew’s insecurities and internal struggle. Although he ultimately makes poor choices and joins the evil wizard Voldemort, Peter was once a close friend to the Marauders. Hedges, who was nominated at a young age for an Academy Award, certainly has the acting skills to portray the nuance of this troubled character who falls from grace when he betrays James and Lily Potter.
Severus Snape is yet another important role in a potential Harry Potter prequel series, and Richard Harmon has demonstrated his strong ability to play a morally ambiguous character in the CW’s The 100. Harmon played John Murphy, an initially antagonistic character who later becomes much more nuanced and capable of good. Harmon can draw on John Murphy’s cruel nature when portraying Snape’s decision to become a Death Eater, but can also draw on plot points like Murphy’s romantic relationship with Emori when it comes to Lily Potter, for instance.
Albus and Aberforth Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore is a particularly difficult role to cast, but Sean Bean could rise to the challenge. Having played several leading men like Boromir in Lord of the Rings and Ned Stark in Game of Thrones, Bean would be able to bring the necessary authority to Dumbledore’s character, while still maintaining a fatherly kindness as he does with Ned Stark. Conversely, Peter Capaldi could draw on his turn as the slightly curmudgeonly Twelfth Doctor to reflect Aberforth’s complicated feelings toward Albus. The two have a somewhat difficult relationship, as Aberforth blames Albus for the tragic injury of their younger sister Ariana.
Alice and Frank Longbottom
Though the Longbottoms spend most of her time in the Harry Potter series severely traumatized as a result of the torture they endured at the hands of Death Eaters, the characters are, in their youth, extremely talented Aurors. Actors Devery Jacobs and Alberto Rosende would make an excellent pair, introducing what could be a very fun dynamic. As Lilith Bathory in Netflix’s The Order, Devery Jacobs plays a confident werewolf and magic user. Jacobs could draw on her character’s confidence and skill to play Alice, whose personality Harry Potter fans have never gotten to experience. To contrast Jacobs’ fire, Alberto Rosende could draw on his role as the sweet and quirky Simon Lewis in Shadowhunters. Rosende also plays competent firefighter Blake Gallo in Chicago Fire, so he could easily portray Frank’s prowess as an Auror.
The First Order of the Phoenix
There are a great many more members of Dumbledore’s original Order of the Phoenix and no shortage of talented young actors to play them. Yara Shahidi’s ambition and kind heart on black-ish and grown-ish make her a fantastic candidate to play Dorcas Meadowes. Cameron Monaghan has the talent (and the ginger hair) to portray both Gideon and Fabian Prewett, Molly Weasley’s brothers whom many fans believe to be identical twins. Booboo Stewart would make a charming Dedalus Diggle, bringing both the sweetness and the fight fans remember him for from his role in the Twilight franchise. Luke Newton, who plays Colin in Bridgerton could bring his character’s youthful energy to Sturgis Podmore. Ross Butler could portray Edgar Bones who shares his 13 Reasons Why character’s sense of loyalty.
Mundungus Fletcher could be portrayed by Charlie Heaton, whose Stranger Things character is often misunderstood. Fletcher’s complicated history is something Heaton could play well while still highlighting his loyalty to Dumbledore and desire to fight the Death Eaters. Zoey Deutch could portray the family-oriented Marlene McKinnon while Barbie Ferreira could play the elegant Emmeline Vance. Jason Genao, a fan favorite from On My Block, could portray Benjy Fenwick. Additionally, All American’s Daniel Ezra would make a fantastic Caradoc Dearborn, bringing his character Spencer’s tenacity to the First Wizarding War in Harry Potter.