New ‘Harry Potter’ Book Hoax: Fake Book 8 Press Release Prompts Rumors Of Another Installment In The Boy Wizard Series

New "Harry Potter" Book?
British author J.K. Rowling, creator of the "Harry Potter" book series, is shown here at the launch of new online website Pottermore, in London, in 2011. Reuters

A fake press release initially posted on April Fools' Day is again making the rounds on social media -- and that had “Harry Potter” fans excitedly awaiting the release of an eighth book in the boy-wizard series.

The hoax apparently started after someone posted an article on Story Carnivores, claiming that J.K. Rowling was preparing to release another “Harry Potter” novel. Readers failed to note the date of the new press release and presumed it to be true -- and then started spreading it around Facebook and Twitter, Entertainmentwise reported on Tuesday. 

The original “press release” claimed Rowling decided to write a new installment for the young-adult, best-selling series about a wizard named Harry Potter who journeys to learn magic at the wizarding school of Hogwarts. The false report claimed that Rowling was taking this step due to mixed reviews she received following the release of her most-recent novel “The Casual Vacancy” in 2012.

“She was discouraged particularly by the disappointment of the younger readers, who picked up 'The Casual Vacancy' expecting another 'Harry Potter' book. She wanted to go back and write a book that will be a treat to her fans all around the world,” the false press release said. “Yahoo News and the New York Times today confirmed that J.K. Rowling is writing the eighth Harry Potter novel, and is already 75% done with the manuscript. Details on the storyline are hush hush, but Rowling is said to be revealing more about the upcoming HP novel later this very week in a press conference in Scotland.”

The hoax also claimed that a potential ninth “Harry Potter” film may result following the release of the book, saying: “While none of the series’ actors have officially signed on, one of the stars has already voiced his excitement about returning to play the title role."

When asked about her plans for the series, Rowling has stated on her official website: “I have always refused to say ‘never’ to this question, because I think it would be foolish to rule out something I might want to do in a few years’ time,” she said, adding, “I have no immediate plans to write another Harry Potter novel and I do think that I have rounded off Harry’s story in the seven published books."

Rowling confirmed in September that she will pen the script for the upcoming Warner Bros. film -- “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” -- based on her 2001 novel of the same name.  The film will take place in the wizarding world of “Harry Potter,” but it will feature a new character named Newt Scamander. 

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