I think everyone beyond adolescence is well aware that you can’t believe anything you see or hear on April Fools Day. Most stories that come out are half-assed and pretty obviously fake.
Those can get annoying in their abundance, especially when you’re a journalist and occasionally can’t tell if you should report something or not. But they’re not the reason April 1 sucks; in fact, it’s just the opposite.
The real reason April Fools Day is a kick in the pants is because every year there is a very small number of well-done fake trailers. They are planned months in advance, executed well and at least semi-believable.
This year’s version comes courtesy of website IGN, which ran an “official trailer” for The Aurors, a TV show based on the Harry Potter series of books. The trailer is below in its entirety:
There are several reasons this is clearly fake. For one, it’s April 1 and IGN is notorious for having a yearly April Fools prank. Second, something of this magnitude would have been leaked months ago. And third, all of the actors are American. J.K. Rowling would never allow that.
But despite all that, the trailer still showcases an excellent idea for a Harry Potter spin-off and one that actually could work if done properly.
The aurors in the Harry Potter universe essentially are the police officers of the wizarding world who hunt down and either capture or eliminate threats in the form of dark wizards. They were only briefly featured in the books, but a show based on them could combine the mystical elements of Harry Potter with a gritty police drama.
The idea of taking something mystical and making it more realistic in a real-world setting is not brand new. In fact, there is a precedent for success in such projects. Christopher Nolan’s more realistic take on the Batman franchise has resulted in possibly the best superhero movies to date.
And last year, a live action Mortal Kombat trailer done as an independent project – watchable below (viewer discretion advised) – has since resulted in the creator being paid to make an online web series following the characters.
Because the idea for The Aurors is so solid, I’m now upset the trailer is fake. Had this video never been made, I could have chugged along in blissful ignorance, but now I genuinely wish this were a real series. There’s no way someone could get the HP license to make a TV show out of it, but still.
The whole thing is a big tease. I’ve been shown something I didn’t know I wanted, discovered I wanted it and then was told I couldn’t have it. That sucks. Plus, the fact that someone came up with an idea like The Aurors as a prank, while someone else actually put The Cape on TV is mind boggling.