“Weird Al” recalls Warner Bros. declining Harry Potter parody request

“When I’m doing a franchise, it’s usually better to just do it and ask for forgiveness than permission,” Yankovic said, recalling the disappointment before teaming up with Daniel Radcliffe for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. had teamed up.

Add “Weird Al” Yankovic to the growing list of artists being hired by Warner Bros.

No, the parody musician didn’t have a streaming project involved with the Discovery merger; his biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story debuted on TIFF in September and is distributed by The Roku Channel. Rather, in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter promoting Eric Appel’s new film, Yankovic lamented one of the many plots that a major film studio has denied him parody rights. The culprit? Harry Potter.

“Whenever it was, like a decade or two ago, I’d approach the film company just for a general blessing like, ‘Hey, I’d like to do a Harry Potter parody,'” Yankovic recalled. “And I think they said no, or they never answered or whatever… But sometimes when you’re dealing with franchises and you ask permission, you know there’s so many people who can say no, and they usually do.”

It’s an ironic anecdote on (at least) two fronts. First, Harry Potter and his soundtrack have been parodied endlessly: he’s appeared in everything from the YouTube sensation Potter Puppet Pals to Darren Criss and AJ Holmes’ stage production A Very Potter Musical. Potter parody is a saturated market today and, assuming Yankovic’s timeline is correct, wasn’t much less crowded back then.

Second, Daniel Radcliffe – Harry Potter even – would play a heightened version of Yankovic in Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. The pair struck up a friendship during production, with Yankovic helping Radcliffe extensively with the preparations.

“Honestly, the thing we worked on the most together was the accordion,” Radcliffe told IndieWire at TIFF. “He gave me accordion lessons, which I can take to my grave at this moment. I don’t need anything else.”

“[Yankovic] is so authentically himself, and that’s what led to this wonderful film and incredible career,” Radcliffe continued. “This isn’t a film that we expect you to sit down and take a moral from. But if there’s something to it, it’s about leaning into your own weirdness, and that’s a way of finding your own happiness.”

Yankovic reiterated that message in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “When I’m doing a franchise, it’s usually better to just do it and ask for forgiveness than permission,” he continued, before joking, “We like to think that [‘Weird: The Al Yankovic Story’] is the final film in the Harry Potter series.”

“Maybe this movie is exactly that,” Radcliffe also told the Hollywood Reporter. “It was his way of doing a Harry Potter parody.”

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https://www.indiewire.com/2022/11/weird-al-dnied-harry-potter-parody-warner-bros-1234785516/ “Weird Al” recalls Warner Bros. declining Harry Potter parody request

Lindsay Lowe

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