HBO Max Sets ‘Practical Magic’ Prequel From ‘Jessica Jones’ Writer

     August 19, 2019


HBO Max has ordered three new pilots as part of its push to line up original programming ahead of its 2020 launch date. Among the new pilots ordered is one from Jessica Jones scribe Melissa Rosenberg, which adapts author Alice Hoffman‘s novel, The Rules of Magica prequel to Practical Magic. Oh, does that latter title ring a bell? That may be thanks to the fact Practical Magic was adapted into a 1998 movie starring Nicole KidmanSandra BullockStockard ChanningDianne Wiest, and Aidan Quinn.

The Rules of Magic is getting a whole new life for the up-and-coming streaming service. It’s doubtful any of the original cast will return for The Rules of Magic but who cares? Surely HBO Max will whip up an interesting group of actors in their casting cauldron when the time is right. According to DeadlineThe Rules of Magic has received a 10-episode order, with each episode running one hour. While the series will likely begin with the events of the prequel novel, Deadline’s report implies the plot of Practical Magic will be woven into the series, too.


Image via Warner Bros.

Many of us are familiar with Practical Magic thanks to its movie adaptation, but what about the story for The Rules of Magic, which is likely unknown to us? Thankfully, Deadline’s report notes the story is “an epic generational family drama set in 1960s New York City” that focuses on the Owens siblings: Franny, Jet, and Vincent (Franny and Jet were played by Channing and Wiest, respectively, in Practical Magic). The siblings “wrestle with ‘abnormalities’ that have kept them isolated.” As the story progresses,

“Tumultuous times unearth the extraordinary discovery that they are, in fact, descendants of a bloodline of witches. In their aspirational journey towards self-discovery and self-acceptance, they’ll contend with grief, war, bigotry and dark magic, not to mention a centuries-old curse designed to keep them away from love. The two sisters, Franny and Jet, will become the revered, and sometimes feared, aunts in Practical Magic, while their beloved brother Vincent will leave an unexpected legacy.”

The Rules of Magic pilot was just one of three pilots ordered by the streaming service. Additional pilots are Generation and Red Bird LaneGeneration sees Lena Dunham signing on as an executive producer on a Euphoria-meets-Skins-like series about a group of suburban teens exploring their sexuality in a deeply conservative community. Red Bird Lane follows eight strangers who arrive at an isolated house for different reasons and quickly discover something terrifying waiting for them.

HBO Max’s latest additions to its original programming slate will no doubt entice a large swath of prospective subscribers. The service is set to launch in 2020.