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LA Splash, a cosmetic company in Los Angeles, has created a line of Harry Potter inspired liquid lipsticks. The vibrant colors of the lipsticks are named after many of our favorite characters in Harry Potter, as well as shades for Nagini and “Spellbound.”
The collection is composed of the most wild colors, as well as some classic deep reds and nudes. Since introducing the collection through their Instagram, LA Splash has been filling up their Gringotts vaults. Huffington Post reported:
The collection includes deep reds and nudes, but in true Potter fashion, also boasts some wild colors, like a sky blue and lavender (appropriately named, well, Lavender).
As with anything the HP series touches, the lipsticks have turned to gold, selling out on the brand’s website and prompting it to “frantically increase capacity.”
And at $14 each, they won’t break the Gringotts Wizarding Bank, either.
From the LA Splash Instagram and website, here is a look at this magical makeup.
These lipsticks are selling out rather quickly, but LA Splash is doing their best to meet the high demand. Bellatrix seems to be a particularly colorful shade, and is currently sold out. We have no doubt more Bellatrix will be available soon. If you wish to purchase these lipsticks you can find them on the LA Splash website, here.
To see more photos of real models wearing the lipsticks, please visit the LA Splash Instagram page.
Model sporting the “Alastor” lipstick shade.
A new trailer for the movie, Risen, starring Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been released. Tom Felton retweeted the news from MovieFone, with a picture of Tom Felton’s character, Lucius, grappling over a sword with Cliff Cutris’s character, Yeshua.
Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) was quick to tweet about the new Risen trailer, saying that he was “Psyched for this, pal!” The two are currently tweeting back and forth about their weekend plans–throwing in Harry Potter references, of course, because the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is still very real.
J.K. Rowling has just joined the conversation–expressing the same pleasure at seeing our Harry Potter boys banter between their respective houses.
Risen is a biblical story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The story is told from the views of non-believers, attempting to find the body of Christ after it has risen, leading the worlds largest and most important man-hunt. IMDB shares Sony Pictures description of the movie:
“Follows the epic Biblical story of the Resurrection, as told through the eyes of a non-believer. Clavius, a powerful Roman Military Tribune, and his aide Lucius, are tasked with solving the mystery of what happened to Jesus in the weeks following the crucifixion, in order to disprove the rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.”
In preparation for the exciting LeakyCon 2016, LeakyCon is updating their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. These sites are currently veiled under an air of mystery, as they are being rebuilt from the ground up. With constructing a new theme, LeakyCon promises new and exciting details about the relaunch of LeakyCon in Los Angeles in 2016.
Next Tuesday, September 1, is the “start of term” and the day LeakyCon will unveil it’s new sites. Are you ready to go to Hogwarts?
Please watch the LeakyCon website, Twitter, Facebook page, and Tumblr for more exciting news coming soon! Sign up for newsletter updates on LeakyCon.com.
The controversy over the whiteness of the Harry Potter series, especially in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. Hypable recently posted an opinionated editorial on Fantastic Beast diversity–giving their reasoning for why the new movies series did not have to be all white. They addressed the historical accuracy of the films and why the subject of diversity matters within the Harry Potter franchise and the movie industry as a whole. The article can be read in full here.
Hypable isn’t the first news source to release a viral post about this topic. YouTuber Dylan Marron released a video completion of all lines spoken by actors of diverse nationalities. Of the thousands of minutes within the series, this video totals about six minutes for non-white actors.
It is true that the entire cast, that we know of, in Fantastic Beasts so far, is white. As we can see from IMDB’s listings.
Even the new addition to the cast announced last week, Jane Perry (World War Z, The Three Musketeers), does not add any diversity to the cast.
J.K. Rowling addressed this issues, as it’s ever-growing presence on the internet came to her attention. She reminded us that the question at hand is an important one, but to remember that we do not have a lot of information on the Fantastic Beast films, and we are not to make judgements until the films are released and we have viewed them.
“I sincerely hope you aren’t being sent rude tweets! You raised an important point, I just can’t address fully without giving away rather a lot.”
J.K. Rowling has been a producer for many of the Harry Potter films, and is the screenwriter for Fantastic Beasts. We have no doubt that her input and opinions are valuable and highly influential within the film industry. As Jo is known for her compassionate manner, and standing up for civil/human rights, we have no doubt that she will continue to implement the same moral principals, which she abides by personally, within her franchise.
In true pink and kitten covered fashion, it is our duty today to wish Dolores Umbridge a happy birthday. Her party is probably designed and organized by herself, for she will have order. Though none of us are particularly keen on Dolores, especially after J.K. Rowling told us more of her on Pottermore, we wouldn’t like to be impolite. We respectfully wish Dolores Umbridge a happy birthday. Unless you want to become an “Undesirable” we suggest you wish her a happy day too!
Rupert Grint’s new movie, Moonwalkers, is set to release in Japan on November 14. (The film made it’s USA debut at the South by Southwest Film Festival, and was shown at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea.) Just in time for Rupert Grint’s birthday, Japan released a new trailer of the film.
The trailer is mostly in English, with Japanese voice over and subtitles. It can be viewed below. The movie is rated R, and the trailer is not suitable for young audiences.
Thank you to The Ice Cream Man for the heads up!
Today is the birthday of one of our favorite gingers, Rupert Grint. Born on August 24, 1988, Grint turns 27 today.
Earlier this year, Rupert Grint felt it was time to trade in the old ice cream truck for something faster, so here’s a video about the 1980s Ferrari Testarossa in tribute.
Please join us in wishing Rupert Grint a happy birthday– and enjoy the new ride!
Yesterday (21st August) marked what would have been Robert Knox (Marcus Belby)’s birthday. The eighteen year old actor was tragically killed on 24th May 2008, reportedly trying to protect his brother from a violent incident involving a stabbing.
According to a statement by his parents in The Telegraph Rob was:
“kind and thoughtful and would always help out others – he would always spend his last penny on other people instead of himself. The life and soul of the party, he was very outgoing, loved sports, and would always strike up a conversation with people. He was respectful to others and adored by all his family and friends. He was an asset to the family.”
His role as Marcus Belby in Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince kickstarted his acting career, and Knox was also due to appear in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.
Following his death, a concert for Rob was held at St. John the Evangelist Church on 2nd May 2009, The Bexley Film Festival also changed their name to The Rob Knox Film Festival to pay tribute to him.
At the premiere of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the cast and crew wore white wristbands as tribute (below), and various cast members attended his funeral.
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe wearing white ribbons at ‘Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince’ premiere in 2009
Mugglenet has also recently reported on a church bench dedicated to the memory of Robert Knox, fundraised by a group of teens from the National Citizen Service. The article included a quote from Sally Knox, Rob’s mother:
“They were just so moved by Rob’s story, and it made them really think about the choices they make…I was nearly crying when they told me. It’s just amazing because when Rob first died we did some enquiries, but this is the first time I have been able to secure something like that in Rob’s memory… It’s a lovely place to sit and remember him.”
Sally and Collin Knox – Rob’s parents – also set up The Rob Knox Foundation , dedicated to not only remembering their son, but also preventing street violence and knife crime through educational talks. The Foundation’s website states that talks are given in schools, groups and institutions across the U.K. to raise awareness of street violence:
“The talks are based on Robs story and what happened to him with dicussions around what choices young people can make to keep safe and what they can do to to stop this happening in the future.”
Join us as we raise our wands to Rob’s memory, and visit The Rob Knox Foundation’s website here to see how you can help to prevent tragedies like this from happening in the future!
Today marks the 39th birthday of previous Gryffindor Head Boy, Percy Weasley.
After the Second Wizarding War, Percy became Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, married a woman named Audrey and had two daughters – Molly and Lucy.
Percy was spotted at the final of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup by Rita Skeeter, who noticed (via a Daily Prophet article on Pottermore) that he had “aged considerably since the Battle of Hogwarts” and was “greying and balding“.
Please join us in wishing Percy a very happy birthday!
Universal Orlando Resort’s beloved fan event, A Celebration of Harry Potter, will return from January 29th-31st 2016. Vacation packages are now on sale at the theme park’s official website, and this is the site’s official description of the event:
Be a part of A Celebration of Harry Potter™ at Universal Orlando® Resort. Take part in all-new experiences as well as returning fan favorites such as film talent Q&A sessions, special panels and demonstrations, A Celebration of Harry Potter™ Expo, and more.
Explore The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ – Hogsmeade™ at Universal’s Islands of Adventure®and Diagon Alley™ at Universal Studios®. Dine at the Leaky Cauldron™ and the Three Broomsticks™, see a wand choose a wizard at Ollivanders™, then ride Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey™ and other thrilling attractions. With your park-to-park admission, you can even ride between both lands of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ on the Hogwarts™ Express°.
A Celebration of Harry Potter™ is an unforgettable event where the magic of Harry Potter™ continues, and it’s only at Universal Orlando Resort.
The premium vacation packages sold out quickly, but not to fear: you can still experience the magic as several types of vacation packages are still available. They went on sale August 19th, though, and it is recommended that you buy soon if you wish to attend. Click here to view the packages on offer.
The film talent for the 2016 event has not yet been announced, but here are some of the stars who have attended the event in past years: Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), James and Oliver Phelps (the Weasley twins), and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley). (via Orlando Informer, a great tool for planning a trip to Universal Orlando Resort. I’ve used it myself.)
If you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to attend, there’s a short video about A Celebration of Harry Potter 2015 on the aforementioned event page.
Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s official website for all things Harry Potter books, made a startling announcement on Facebook. The final House Cup for Pottermore members will be awarded on September 9.
This is the latest in a series of changes to the Pottermore website that began in April 2015, with the closure of Pottermore Insider and the end of chat, status updates, and drawings. While some of these changes were made for child safety reasons, the end of the House Cup is completely unexpected.
Many fans of Pottermore are understandably upset and venting their frustration in Facebook comments. They are concerned that the end of the House Cup will mean the end of the friendly competition and house rivalry in Pottermore. They don’t understand why Pottermore is encouraging anyone to compete for the final House Cup, when it isn’t going to continue. Others think Pottermore has done nothing but improve, and there is something good coming soon. (Is there finally going to be a Pottermore app?)
So, we will keep watching the Pottermore Facebook page, and we will wait for September 9.
Danny and the Human Zoo, a new BBC drama that stars Evanna Lynch, has released it’s first trailer. Evanna plays the love interest of the protagonist, an actor/comedian growing up in 1970’s Dudley, England. The Independent reports:
Written by Lenny Henry, it’s a fictionalized account of the actor and comedian’s life growing up in Dudley in England in the 1970s.
Newcomer Kascion Franklin plays Danny while Lenny Henry plays his dad Samson, and Lynch is his love interest in the drama.
The official synopsis reads, “Danny’s world is a series of complex minefields which he has to negotiate: his home life – which his ebullient mother rules with an iron fist in an iron glove; his love life – where the Irish girl he’s in lust with won’t give him the time of day until he wins his first competition; and finally the ups and downs of his emerging career.”
Twentieth Century Fox has released the trailer of James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in Victor Frankenstein. With a personal introduction by McAvoy and Radcliffe, the YouTube trailer shows high drama and intense special effects. Igor (Radcliffe) seems to have sincere doubts about the duo’s monstrous experimentation, but Frankenstein (McAvoy) has no qualms. When the monster finally lives, it is frightening.
Victor Frankenstein is set for a November 25 release. Read more at Fox Movies, here.
Today, Monday, August 17, filming production begins at Warner Bros. Studios in London for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Yesterday Dan Fogler shared his excitement for beginning this “adventure” on his Instagram. This morning Pottermore officially tweeted that Fantastic Beasts production was to begin today, and shared an article from Businesswire.
As we know, J.K. Rowling is making her screen writing debut, and David Yates is continuing his legacy of directing Harry Potter-based films. Businesswire reviews the cast we know so far, and most of the crew. There are many very talented people working behind the scenes, as well as in front of the camera, with J.K. Rowling and David Yates. The article states:
Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated feature “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Filming started today, August 17, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” feature films.
Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars as Newt Scamander…
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Inherent Vice”) as Tina; Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob; Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck”) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”) as Mary Lou; Jenn Murray (“Brooklyn”) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”) as Graves.
The film is being produced by David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster “Harry Potter” features; J.K. Rowling; Steve Kloves; and Lionel Wigram.
Collaborating with Yates behind the scenes are: Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (“A River Runs Through It,” the “Sherlock Holmes” movies), three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (“The English Patient,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Gandhi,” the “Harry Potter” films), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (“Gladiator,” the “Harry Potter” films), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”), and Yates’ longtime editor Mark Day (the last four “Harry Potter” films).
The first installment of at least three Fantastic Beast films is set to be released November 18, 2016. Perhaps Warner Bros. will make their own official announcement today and reveal more of the cast and a description of their roles.
Today, Evanna Lynch celebrates her 24th birthday! In the last year, Evanna has stepped far beyond her role as Luna Lovegood, though she will always be the face we imagine when we read of Luna’s character. In addition to moving on to new Post-Potter projects and independent films, Evanna has also taken time to reach out and stand up for causes she cares about. She is generous, sweet and kind, and also hilarious (follow her on Twitter)–having given us a few of our favorite J.K. Rowling tweets. J.K. Rowling beat us to the punch today in wishing Evanna a very happy birthday.
Please join us, as we join Jo, in wishing Evanna a very happy birthday!
This week, Max Weitzenhoffer, co-owner of the Palace Theatre in London, gave a low-key interview to Oklahoma television’s Parties Extra! Weitzenhoffer talked about his theater’s latest project, the much-anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play.
In the course of the interview, Weitzenhoffer revealed that tickets to the play will go on sale in October. (A website has already been established through Pottermore for anyone interested in getting added to an advanced-sales notification list.) In addition, Weitzenhoffer acknowledged that of the 1400 seats available in the theater for each performance, 100 tickets will go to children who could not otherwise afford to see the play, at the specific request of the ever-generous J.K. Rowling.
Weitzenhoffer also said that the play has not yet been cast, but the set design “should be great,” as installation will take twice as long as it does for a major musical. “There’s gonna be serious special effects that go with that,” noted Weitzenhoffer.
The play will open in London next summer, and Weitzenhoffer said that Harry Potter collectibles and memorabilia will be available in the concession stands through Warner Bros. Finally, he noted that “opening night will probably be pretty grand… pretty spectacular. I’m really looking forward to it.”
To be added to the advanced sales notification list and for the latest information on the play, see here.
Following the Scotland Vs. Ireland rugby game today, J.K. Rowling decided to treat supporters of Scotland’s team by releasing new information about two Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them characters via Twitter:
Rowling confirmed Porpentina and Queenie’s distant relation to Anthony Goldstein, who was a student in Harry’s year at Hogwarts, a Ravenclaw prefect in his fifth year, and a member of Dumbledore’s Army. Goldstein was also revealed to be a Jewish wizard back in December in another tweet by Rowling:
Keep an eye on Jo’s Twitter here, and take a look at our Top 25 J.K. Rowling tweets here.
Today marks the 80th birthday of Jim Dale – narrator of the U.S. Harry Potter audiobooks, video games and interactive ‘extras’ in the DVDs.
Dale also appears in the Carry On films, Pete’s Dragon and has won various awards, including a Tony Award (for Barnum on Broadway), two Grammy Awards for narrating (in 2008 and 2001) and ten Audie Awards. He was honoured with an MBE in 2003 for promoting English literature for children.
Join us here at The Leaky Cauldron in wishing Jim a very happy 80th birthday!
On July 18th, RadioTimes reported that an estimated 14,000 girls aged between eight and 12 stayed in line for hours to audition for the role of Modesty. One of our own Leaky editors was there to report on the event. Now Warner Bros. has revealed to BBC Newsround the results of the Open Casting for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which took place on July 18th.
The name of the 10-year-old actress who has been cast to play a character named Modesty is Faith Wood-Balgrove. WB has described Modesty as “a haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness. She has an ability to see deep into people and understand them.”
Faith Wood-Balgrove is set to join the star-studded cast of Fantastic Beasts later this month. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to release in November 2016.
Filming is to begin later this month. Please join us here at Leaky & warmly welcome Faith to the expanding Harry Potter family!
With filming set to begin within a month or so for Fantastic Beasts, sets are starting to pop up around Leavesden Studios in London. Large out door sets. As the storyline is based in New York but filming is set to take place in London, can only reasonably guess that these sets are for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films.
Hypable first reported pictures of the set taken from a twitter account of a fan. The fan uses the Twitter handle TheGraninger, and was recently near Leavesden studios (stalking or taking a tour) and captioned the pictures “[these] pics can give us more clues on what’s happening on the set of #fantasticbeasts stay tuned for more! Follow [me]”.
The sets are presumably for shooting large exterior scenes — perhaps any scene set outdoors on busy New York streets. Remember, Fantastic Beasts is set in the Big Apple, and with shooting set to take place in England, it was inevitable that these types of sets would be built.
Expect more photos to surface — perhaps pictures that are more interesting — in the weeks ahead as principal photography gets underway.
Leavesden Studios is where all eight Harry Potter movies were filmed, so it’s bittersweet thatFantastic Beasts will also shoot there. Like this new spinoff series, the Harry Potter films would frequently construct sets outdoors (like Privet Drive).
Comingsoon.net reports that Irish actress Jenn Murray has joined the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and is set to take a key role within the production. According to the information of Comingsoon.net Ezra Miller, who will play Scamander’s rival, is set to share some scenes with Murray’s yet unnamed character.
Alongside Jenn Murray, the film will star Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller and Dan Fogler. Earlier this week we reported that actor Colin Farrell will also be joining the cast as Graves, a wizard that Scamander meets in New York and that the Warner Bros. open audition cast a ten year-old British new-comer Faith Wood-Balgrove to the role of Modesty.
Fantastic Beasts, the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, is directed by David Yates and produced by David Heyman, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. The film is set to premiere on November 18, 2016 in 3D and IMAX.
Vogue has released a new video, featuring Emma Watson. The video accompany’s the recent interview Vogue conducted with Emma, as their cover girl for the UK September issue. In the video, Emma talks about her HeForShe initiative and asks members of the fashion industry questions about gender equality within their field of work.
Recently, J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to give us the news that there will not be a Harry Potter TV show, nor will there be a ‘Potter-on-Ice’. But rather than crushing our dreams (well, it did a little, if we’re honest), the hilarious ‘image of Ice Voldemort performing the triple salchow’ perfectly depicts Jo’s mastery of Twitter.
She sure knows how to use those 140 characters; thankfully, her early Twitter days of saying ‘you won’t be hearing from me very often’ didn’t last long. Her social media presence has become prevalent and powerful. She tweets for any occasion and cause, but most importantly, just to connect with her fans. As she answers fans’ questions, or stands up for what she believes in, Jo’s humour never fails to draw media and fans’ attention, love, and favouritism.
Without further ado, here are 25 of our favourite (and most hilarious) J.K. Rowling twitter moments – enjoy!
1) Her continued rage at desktop printers:
2) The time we had no idea what was going on:
Maybe a reference to Stephen Hawking’s ‘Zayn Malik in a parallel universe’ theory, but either way, it’s brilliant.
3) When #AddGoatRuinAQuote was used and responded to perfectly:
Ah, of course, the wise words of Aberforth Dumbledore, the goat charmer.
4) When she ‘Can’t decide whether touched or scared’ by our loyalty:
5) Behold, the flugly owl:
The perfect gift for a Hogwarts first year. If it can actually carry letters and fly.
6) The time Jo cleared up that issue with the names of Harry Potter’s kids:
7) Proof that Jo is, indeed, hardcore:
8) We thought she’d never answer this question…
…And she didn’t, until very recently:
9) And this question, well:
10) In a parallel universe, Harry Potter doesn’t exist. Not because Jo is Zayn Malik, but because she’s an otter-weigher:
11) We can all agree on this one:
12) Jo may not kill off as many characters as George R.R Martin, but she still feels bad about the ones she does kill:
13) The only way to celebrate Ireland’s victory:
14) Followed by the only way for such a brilliant author to slam the haters:
15) This is possibly our favourite burn of all time:
Especially seeing as Jo seems to be one of the biggest Serena Williams fans out there:
16) Then there was that time that the world nearly broke her:
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is set to come out next year, and is most definitely not a prequel. You can find more information on the play’s website, and read more from playwright Jack Thorne here.
17) Perfect use of sarcasm:
We also think that #fideliuscharm has got to be one of the best hashtags around.
18) The time Matthew Lewis (aka, Neville Longbottom) appeared on the cover of Attitude magazine, and was too hot for Jo to handle:
19) Sometimes Tumblr knows her answers:
20) But, let’s face it: at the end of the day, Jo Rowling knows all:
21) … Even if she can’t play tennis:
22) This one got us wondering just how many of these budgies she sees:
Almost as cute as these Potter-themed dogs:
23) NOBODY TWEETS IN CAPITAL LETTERS AND GETS AWAY WITH IT.
24) We’ve decided that pseudonyms work best when J.K. Rowling uses them:
And we definitely have to agree with Chris Rankin (aka Percy Weasley) on this one!
Insulting your literal other half isn’t fair, Jo!
This recent one gave us a laugh – we can only imagine the struggle of faux-quarrels with your writing partner:
25) And finally, the reason we’re all here after all.
Not only has J.K. Rowling (and Robert Galbraith, of course!) given us books and films we know and love, but her sense of humour is absolutely spot on. Harry had to get his sass from somewhere!
Make sure you give her Twitter page a visit, if you haven’t already!
Today the Harry Potter world celebrates Ginny (Weasley) Potter’s birthday. Ginny has come along way since her first year at Hogwarts, when she accidentally fell into the hands of Voldemort. She is brave, strong, witty, and an excellent Quidditch Player. One could not imagine a better match for her than Harry.
As an extremely gifted witch, Ginny balances her family life with her husband and three wonderful children with being an excellent professional Quidditch player, and subsequently well-read news reporter. Her loyalty and love is to be admired, and feared by Rita Skeeter. From being a member of the Slug Club, to helping lead Dumbledore’s Army, to facing the Carrows and putting up a fight in the Battle of Hogwarts, we have witnessed many amazing Ginny Moments. Pottermore shared their favorite Ginny quote. What is your favorite Ginny moment or quote?
Please join us in wishing one of our favorite Harry Potter news reporters a very Happy Birthday!
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The BBC’s radio programme Witness have released an episode interviewing Barry Cunningham, the man who decided to take on the Harry Potter book series, on the creation of a phenomenon that would spread the globe.
BBC News said:
‘The Harry Potter series has sold 450 million copies worldwide to date. But before the first book was published, numerous publishers had turned the first book down.
‘I was gripped by Harry’s situation … The thing that I really liked about the story was the friendship … It was the friendship between the children that really moved me’.
His daughter, Alice, read Rowling’s manuscript the night he had received it, and it was her response that solidified the deal:
‘She couldn’t stop reading’
A deal with Rowling’s agent was then made at a ‘relatively low price’, ending ‘the most significant purchase made in publishing in the last fifty years’. Cunningham laughs, saying
‘I laugh about it now, but, you know, I never would have guessed’.
Jo apparently took some convincing before she believed she was being called by a publisher, and was ‘lost for words’ when the realisation finally hit, after so many rejections. Cunningham says he wasn’t aware of this ‘journey’ she’d been on to finally be published. We’re so glad she never gave up!
J.K. Rowling’s stories have reached millions, whether by page or screen, and we definitely recommend giving this a listen! Cunningham goes on to talk about Rowling’s past, her ‘revolutionary’ proposal of turning Harry Potter into a multi-part series, and the overwhelmingly positive response to the books a year after being published. The episode features readings from Stephen Fry, Rowling herself, and snippets from book releases and fan events. Cunningham said:
‘It was at this point that we realised something was changing in the world of children’s books’.
The age of the Potterheads had arrived.
You can listen to the episode here, and read more here.