Either way, its a great opportunity for Universal.
I have no doubts that Ms. Rowling has standards. Standards that shape her representatives have demands. But while Ms. Rowling may not have wanted Harry chugging a Coke in a TV commercial, sitting six inches from my keyboard is an 8 oz. bottle of Coke bearing a logo promoting the release of the movie 'Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.' Why on earth would association with soda be less tacky than presence in a theme park?
Further anecdotal evidence has been shown in the production of the films. While she was heavily involved with the first flick, it's known that she made only one trip to the set of the second.
Make no mistake, I have read all the books (big fan) and respect Ms. Rowling as an artist. But I have to approach ANY "inside info" related to this licensing negotiation, with a degree of skepticism.
Universal must be rubbing their hands together with all this free publicity, just in time for its 2008 advertising campaign, which has the subtle introduction of Harry Potter.
If Disney wants to build a land with magical creatures and castles, wouldn't they prefer to use Narnia, now that it has been a success? Why build theme park attractions that will help sell books and DVDs that you don't profit from, when instead you could focus on your own product, which you are planning to turn into a whole series of movies.
Not that there seem to be any plans out there to build Narnia in one of the parks. But both Narnia and Harry Potter are in the same fantasy genre, and Universal's alignment with Harry Potter wasn't finalized until after Narnia was a success. So it just makes me wonder.