London mayor Boris Johnson has launched a scathing attack on the bosses behind the Harry Potter movie franchise over the decision to open a wizarding theme park in Florida - branding them "utterly mad" for not building the attraction in Britain.
The politician is unhappy with film giant Warner Brothers for allowing a dedicated Harry Potter theme park to be created in America, when the books and movies are all set in the U.K.
Officials from Johnson's team insist they contacted movie executives 18 months ago to suggest building the park in London, but "the state of Florida beat us to it with an offer were unable to match".
The Florida park is set to open later this month (Jun10) and Johnson is hoping movie executives will decide to launch a similar venture in the U.K. because it would be "utterly mad" to leave it to the Americans "to make money from a great British invention".
In his column for Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper, he writes, "The fact is that Harry Potter is not American. He is British. Where is Diagon Alley, where they buy wands and stuff? It is in London, and if you want to get into the Ministry of Magic you disappear down a London telephone box. The train for Hogwarts goes from King's Cross, not Grand Central Station, and what is Harry Potter all about? It is about the ritual and intrigue and dorm-feast excitement of a British boarding school of a kind that you just don't find in America."
And Johnson is urging British Harry Potter fans to write to movie bosses and creator J.K. Rowling to petition them for a London theme park.
He adds, "I appeal to the children of this country and to their Potter-fiend parents to write to Warner Bros. and Universal, and perhaps, even, to the great J.K. herself. Bring Harry home to Britain - and if you want a site with less rainfall than Rome, with excellent public transport, and strong connections to Harry Potter, I have just the place."