The book edition of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” comes out on midnight, July 31st.
It’s the book edition of the play with the same name — written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany — which picks up the “Harry Potter” saga 19 years after the ending of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
But it’s not quite finished yet.
This edition, called “The Special Rehearsal Edition,” will be be published until early 2017. Then it will be replaced in stores by a “Definitive Edition.”
The Definitive Edition, according to Pottermore, will contain “the perfected, definitive script with final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and beyond. This edition will also include extra content, such as writing from the play’s creative team.”
Since early June, the play has been in previews on London’s West End. The cast is performing the rehearsal edition of the script, but changes are being made based on audience feedback. Meanwhile, the rehearsal edition is already boxed up and sitting in bookstores, waiting for their official release.
Scholastic, the company that published all of Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books, is publishing the script versions of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” They only got the rehearsal version of the play themselves around the same time that previews started, so the book’s production process has been accelerated. And even though the play is being staged in two parts, Scholastic is publishing it in one volume.
Ellie Berger, who oversees the division of Scholastic that publishes the book, says all of the play’s changes will be reflected in the definitive edition, but she says she doesn’t expect it to have annotations comparing the minute differences — that will be up to the fans to spot.
“When you read the script, you’re revisiting and learning about new characters who are familiar in many ways,” Berger said. “It’s incredibly thrilling to see how she’s taken the story further.”
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