BOSTON (Reuters) - Harry Potter, the boy wizard hero of a series of best-selling books and hit movies, will return to British and U.S. bookstores this summer with the release of the script for an upcoming London stage play that chronicles Potter's adult life.
"Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" depicts the hero as an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic and father of three children who is grappling "with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs," the Scholastic Corp publisher said on Wednesday.
The play is partly written by J.K. Rowling, author of the Potter books, and will have its debut in London on July 30. It will be presented in two parts, designed to be viewed over two nights or in two performances on the same day.
The book will be released on July 31 in the United States and Canada, Scholastic said. Little, Brown will be publishing the script simultaneously in the United Kingdom.
Billed as a "special rehearsal edition," the first printing of the script may vary from what is seen on stage in London, Scholastic said, noting that a second edition will be published with the final script.
The seven Harry Potter books concluded with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in 2007 as Potter finally defeated his nemesis, the evil wizard Lord Voldemort. Eight feature films were produced, with the final book presented in two movies.
More than 450 million copies of the Harry Potter books have been sold worldwide in 79 languages and the movies have grossed more than $7 billion worldwide. Rowling's wizarding world also inspired an area the Universal Orlando theme park.
(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)