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1. Wizarding World Employee Luis Vielma Honored with Custom POP! Vinyl Figure

A fellow Potter fan recently created a custom POP! Vinyl Figure in honor of Luis Vielma, a victim of the Pulse nightclub shooting and former employee at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando. The figurine is shown below, courtesy of Mugglenet.

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The fan behind this creation–Brandon Anderson of Colorado Springs, Colorado–took advantage of Funko Pop’s custom vinyl figure creation feature on its website, which allows individuals to purchase blank figurines and customize however they wish.

 

In addition to this touching tribute, Potter fans raised their wands outside the Wizarding World attraction where Vielma worked, and J.K. Rowling personally sent a handwritten note and floral wreath to Vielma’s funeral.

 

 

Our thoughts continue to be with the friends and family of Luis and others affected by this tragedy. Read more about the POP! figure at Huffington Post.

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2. Daniel Radcliffe Shares His Donald Trump Story & Talks about His New Play “Privacy”

Daniel Radcliffe shared his story of meeting Donald Trump on the Late Night With Seth Meyers before talking about his new off-Broadway play Privacy. 

Radcliffe tells that he met Trump while visiting New York City for the first time as an 11-year-old for an appearance on the Today Show. According to Radcliffe he was marched over to meet Trump and when the presumptive Republican presidential nominee asked how he was doing, Radcliffe told him that he was nervous about what to talk about in the show. Radcliffe states that Trump’s response was the following:

“You just tell them that you met Mr Trump!”

Radcliffe also talks about his new off-Broadway show Privacy, which is co-created and written by James Graham and Josie Rourke. According to Broadwayworld.com “Privacy is a timely exploration of the digital age that will feature a cast of seven, including Radcliffe as “The Writer.”” In addition to Radcliffe the cast includes De’Adre Aziza, Raffi Barsoumian, Michael Countryman, Rachel Dratch and Reg Rogers.

Broadwayworld.com writes:

“Inspired by the revelations of Edward Snowden, Privacy explores our complicated relationship with technology and data through the funny and heart-breaking travails of a lonely guy (Daniel Radcliffe), who arrives in the city to figure out how to like, tag, and share his life without giving it all away. The play uncovers what our technological choices reveal about who we are, what we want and who’s keeping track of it all. This provocative theatrical event will ask audiences to charge their phones, leave them ON during the performance and to embark on a fascinating dive online and into a new reality where we’re all connected…for better or worse.”

Privacy will begin previews for a limited engagement on July 5th in the Newman Theater. The official press opening of the play will be on Monday, July 18.

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3. Emma Watson Stars in a New Clip from “The Colony”

Yahoo Movies UK has released an exclusive clip from Emma Watson’s upcoming thriller The Colony (also known as Colonia). The Colony, which will be in cinemas and on demand on 1st of July is directed by Florian Gallenberger. The film is based on the true story of the Colonia Dignidad, which was a sect and an agricultural commune (often described as a cult) of German immigrants in the south of Chile. According to Yahoo Movies UK The Colony was filmed with input from survivors of the German sect.

In The Colony Emma Watson plays “Lena, a woman who infiltrates a cult in 1970s Chile in a bid to rescue her boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Brühl) from the clutches of cult leader Paul Schäfer (Michael Nyqvist).”

The clip released by Yahoo Movies UK features Michael Nyqvist as the cult leader Paul Schäfer talking to Watson’s Lena about her decision to come to the Colony. The short clip does not reveal much, but manages to provide a very intense snapshot of the upcoming film.

The clip can be accessed from here.

And here is the official UK trailer for The Colony:

 

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4. Fantastic Beasts Release New Poster and VidCon Teaser!

Fantastic Beasts will be in attendance at VidCon this year – one of the biggest fan conventions based around the power of online video, originally conceived by YouTube’s Vlogbrothers, Hank and John Green.

In the run up to the convention, the film’s Facebook page released a brand new poster, featuring Newt Scamander, and a message teasing at something FANTASTIC set to occur at VidCon:

“A new piece of art to celebrate a new era of the Wizarding World! And stay tuned because something FANTASTIC at ?#?vidcon2016? is being announced soon… ?#?FantasticBeasts?

This new poster is absolutely beautiful – we can’t wait to see what they’ll be up to at VidCon! Watch the official trailer here!

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5. Noma Dumezweni on Racism and Playing Hermione

Since the announcement of the casting choices for the trio in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, there has been much discussion surrounding the casting of Noma Dumezweni as Hermione. Many fans have welcomed Dumezweni with open arms, but some have been very vocal in their disappointment with the choice to cast a woman of color in a role depicted in the films as white.

 

Said Dumezweni of some of the things people have been posting about her on Twitter:

“My name is being tagged into stuff that’s not nice, that’s not nice.”

 

She adds:

“It’s ignorance. It drives me crazy. It’s a limitation. Because this is absolutely a different form.”

 

Michael Gambon and other Potter alumni have voiced their support for Dumezweni, as has J.K. Rowling herself, who reminded readers on Twitter that Hermione’s race had never been defined in the books.

 

 

Read more at DigitalSpy.

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6. Palace Theatre to Get the Full Hogwarts Makeover!

Palace Theatre may already look dressed to the nines in Cursed Child decor, but, after reservations on the part of Westminster Council, plans have been approved for the Cursed Child Theatre to hang Hogwarts’ house banners out front.

 

The Stage reports that Westminster Council were concerned about house banners compromising the appearance of the area:

“As previously reported by The Stage, the venue submitted an application to Westminster City Council earlier this year to hang four banners on the outside of the theatre in the house colours of Hogwarts, the school attended by boy wizard Harry Potter. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is currently in previews at the Palace Theatre.

The plans have been approved, despite reservations from the council.

In a report, the council said the banners would be “a discordant and highly visible feature on an otherwise uncluttered facade”.

It added: “It is considered these large-scale advertisement banners would have a detrimental impact on visual amenity, dominating the site and the street scene, and causing harm to the Grade II-listed building and to the other heritage assets”.

But it continued that the “director considers the proposals are in line with the policies and therefore consent should be granted”.”

Read the full report here.

Take a look at the house banners in Cursed Child here, and look forward to seeing them outside the theatre very soon!

 

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7. Michael Gambon Responds To Those Upset About A Black Hermione

Throughout the books, Hermione was described to have big, bushy hair, large front teeth, and brown eyes. Those seem to be the only specific descriptions of her physical looks that we see. Her skin color was never specified. So, for those who read the books, she appeared differently in every mind.

For 10 years, Hermione was portrayed by Emma Watson. But now a new era of the Harry Potter world has arisen. With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes new actors playing characters we know and love. Unfortunately, some people are a little upset that they don’t all look the same.

Last year, the casting of Noma Dumezweni as our beloved Hermione Granger was announced. Most fans accepted the actresses skin colour, knowing full well that the characters skin was never specified. But there was that small group that fought back against the idea of a black Hermione.

image

Wednesday night, at the Oxford Union, Michael Gambon had some words for the critics of the decision to cast a black actress. Responding to a student who was curious to hear his opinion, he stated:

“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, does it? It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a black actress or a white actress. You’d forget it in five minutes, wouldn’t you? When the tabs go up on a play, and the person who’s in it starts talking, you soon forget about it. It doesn’t matter what colour they are, for God’s sake.”

He reacted very similarly to the notion that Idris Elba might take over the role of 007 once  Daniel Craig’s tenure has ended. “He’d be brilliant, wouldn’t he?” Gambon said of Elba. “If he goes and plays James Bond, he plays James Bond. That’s it, boom, stop.”

“It’s nonsense, isn’t it?” Expressed Gambon. “It’s so annoying. It’s a load of b****cks.”

Gambon also spoke about his role as Dumbledore – though he said he took on the position purely for the money, he’s always seemed to seemed to have a soft spot for the character:

“They rang me up and I jumped at it, I didn’t have to think at all,” he said of the first day on set as Dumbledore. “I turned up at the studio and did it – that’s all. 

“In my first entrance as Dumbledore I had to walk up some stairs and I ran up them. The director said you can’t run up them, and I said I want to run up them. And that was that.”

He also spoke about J.K. Rowling telling him that Dumbledore was in fact a gay character, and sang her praises:

“I think they made it up as they went along,” he chuckled. “She [J.K. Rowling] told me one day that Dumbledore was gay. She’d just decided that day. We’d been on for about three years!

“I started doing this on the set,” he grinned, playing with his hair and fluttering his eyelashes. “The director came running over to me and asked me what I was doing.

“I said that the women who wrote this play told me I was gay. He didn’t believe me, but she was there, and he went and asked her about it.

I didn’t play ‘gay’, I just played who I am.” 

“I think she’s brilliant … the stuff she writes is really clever.”

Read more on Michael Gambon at the Oxford Union here.

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8. Michael Gambon Responds To Those Upset About A Black Hermione

Throughout the books, Hermione was described to have big, bushy hair, large front teeth, and brown eyes. Those seem to be the only specific descriptions of her physical looks that we see. Her skin color was never specified. So, for those who read the books, she appeared differently in every mind.

For 10 years, Hermione was portrayed by Emma Watson. But now a new era of the Harry Potter world has arisen. With Harry Potter and the Cursed Child comes new actors playing characters we know and love. Unfortunately, some people are a little upset that they don’t all look the same.

Last year, the casting of Noma Dumezweni as our beloved Hermione Granger was announced. Most fans accepted the actresses skin colour, knowing full well that the characters skin was never specified. But there was that small group that fought back against the idea of a black Hermione.

image

Wednesday night, at the Oxford Union, Michael Gambon had some words for the critics of the decision to cast a black actress. Responding to a student who was curious to hear his opinion, he stated:

“It doesn’t matter what colour you are, does it? It doesn’t make a difference if you’re a black actress or a white actress. You’d forget it in five minutes, wouldn’t you? When the tabs go up on a play, and the person who’s in it starts talking, you soon forget about it. It doesn’t matter what colour they are, for God’s sake.”

He reacted very similarly to the notion that Idris Elba might take over the role of 007 once  Daniel Craig’s tenure has ended. “He’d be brilliant, wouldn’t he?” Gambon said of Elba. “If he goes and plays James Bond, he plays James Bond. That’s it, boom, stop.”

“It’s nonsense, isn’t it?” Expressed Gambon. “It’s so annoying. It’s a load of b****cks.”

Gambon also spoke about his role as Dumbledore – though he said he took on the position purely for the money, he’s always seemed to seemed to have a soft spot for the character:

“They rang me up and I jumped at it, I didn’t have to think at all,” he said of the first day on set as Dumbledore. “I turned up at the studio and did it – that’s all. 

“In my first entrance as Dumbledore I had to walk up some stairs and I ran up them. The director said you can’t run up them, and I said I want to run up them. And that was that.”

He also spoke about J.K. Rowling telling him that Dumbledore was in fact a gay character, and sang her praises:

“I think they made it up as they went along,” he chuckled. “She [J.K. Rowling] told me one day that Dumbledore was gay. She’d just decided that day. We’d been on for about three years!

“I started doing this on the set,” he grinned, playing with his hair and fluttering his eyelashes. “The director came running over to me and asked me what I was doing.

“I said that the women who wrote this play told me I was gay. He didn’t believe me, but she was there, and he went and asked her about it.

I didn’t play ‘gay’, I just played who I am.” 

“I think she’s brilliant … the stuff she writes is really clever.”

Read more on Michael Gambon at the Oxford Union here.

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9. Daniel Radcliffe Talks About Playing Dead in “Swiss Army Man”

Daniel Radcliffe gives tips on playing dead in an interview with the New York Times. In Swiss Army Man Radcliffe plays Manny, a dead man who washes ashore on a deserted island inhabited by Hank (Paul Dano). Though Manny is very much dead, Hank uses his body in many different ways to make his life on the island a bit easier.

Radcliffe says:

“You just sort of have to use your imagination when you’re playing something that doesn’t exist… But that’s a good thing. As long as you’re giving the directors what they want, there’s no really wrong answer.”

Radcliffe’s tips for playing a dead guy include “Find your voice”, “Keep your face really still” and “Embrace your postlife superpowers”. He also points out that it was important to know when to use stunt corpses while talking about a scene where a raccoon attacks Manny and starts scratching the eyes of the corpse.

Swiss Army Man is written and directed by Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert. It premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and is set for limited US release on June 24, 2016 by A24.

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10. David Heyman To Produce An Adaptation of ‘The Secret Garden’

David Heyman, the producer of all eight Harry Potter films, is set to produce an adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s beloved story The Secret Garden. According to Deadline, Heyman is teaming up with StudioCanal on the production, while the screenplay will be penned by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne.

The Secret Garden tells the story of Mary Lennox, an orphaned 10-year-old sent to live with her uncle after her parents die in India. When Mary begins to explore the grounds of her new home estate she befriends a robin and hears of a hidden garden. With the help of her new friend she discovers a secret garden filled with magic.

Deadline writes:

“This family-friendly fantastical fare is right in the wheelhouse of Heyman, already one of the world’s most successful film producers, having steered the global phenomenon of the Harry Potter series, successfully launched another family franchise in Paddington with StudioCanal and, of course, the multiple-Oscar-winning Gravity.”

Heyman is also the producer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which is currently in post production and will be released on November 16th by Warner Bros. Thorne is currently working on an adaption of Philip Pullman’s fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials. 

thesecretgarden

The Secret Garden was first published in its entirety in 1911 (it started in serial format in 1910). It has been adapted to film a number of times; the first filmed version was released as early as 1919 by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation, an American motion picture production/distribution company. Unfortunately the 1919 adaptation is reportedly lost. In 1949 MGM released an adaption of the novel with Margaret O’Brien as Mary. In 1993 an adaptation directed by Agnieszka Holland was released by American Zoetrope. In addition to feature film adaptations, the novel has been adapted for example to television and for stage.

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11. The Harry Potter Fandom Pays Tribute to Those Lost In Orlando Shooting

Monday night, two beautiful tributes were payed to those we lost in the tragedy that happened at a gay nightclub early sunday morning. One, on Shaftsberry Avenue in London, the other, thousands of miles away, at a theme park in Orlando.

Jo tweeted this photo of the screens outside the Cursed Child theater on Shaftsbury Avenue in London. I am thankful that this fandom is led by such a wonderful women like Jo. The powerful image of the gay flag being flown outside of the theater will surely inspire many to stand up and fight for what we have lost.

That same night, fans gathered and raised their wands outside the Wizarding World in Orlando, Florida, to pay tribute to our fellow wizard, Luis Vielma, who we lost in the shooting (see previous article here). A video was posted soon after the tribute took place, showing people mourning together, hugging each other, and helping each other through this terrible time. When there is no one else to turn to, be thankful we will always have our fellow Harry Potter fans to lean on.

 

See more about the London tribute here, and more about the Orlando tribute here.

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12. LeakyCon: “Magical things are Happening…”

LeakyCon recently posted an exciting – yet mysteriously vague – letter to Minerva McGonagall to their Facebook page. The letter came from Ana Rodriguez – Director of Magical Gatherings and Celebrations at the US Department of International Magical Cooperation all the way in New York City:

The letter hints at an exciting event being planned, and LeakyCon posted this letter with the caption “Magical things are happening…”:

“I personally reviewed your recent proposal and am happy to inform you on behalf of MACUSA and the Quahog Administration, that we are excited to work with Hogwarts and the British Ministry of Magic to make this exciting and historic event a reality.

I have already alerted my counterpart at the California DOIMC office as well as our embedded contact within the Consulate General in Los Angeles to begin coordinating the logistics. Representatives from Ilvermorny are also excited to help in whatever way possible.

We are thrilled to have a hand in making this celebration a truly international affair”

The exciting integration of new knowledge of North American magical institutions – thanks to Fantastic Beasts – and the incorporation of our beloved Professor McGonagall (maybe hinting at Cursed Child links?). Who knows! We’re glad to hear that Harry’s legacy is still going strong in the wizarding world!

LeakyCon is also now looking for programming proposals for presentations on magical subjects:

“We are looking for a select number of knowledgeable witches and wizards to present on their favorite magical topics at LeakyCon 2016. If you have a burning desire to share your ideas and research on the Harry Potter universe, this is the place to tell us about it so we can help you make it happen!”

What do you think it all means? Find out more and buy tickets at the LeakyCon website, here!

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13. Rowling Annotates The Cursed Child

Pottermore has posted a quick video of annotations that J.K. Rowling made on the cast photo of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Pottermore further speculates what the annotations could mean. Some of the comments are directly related to the casting of Cursed Child.

“Loving Draco and Scorpius– They actually look related!”

Rowling is impressed at how much Anthony Boyle (Scorpius) and Alex Price (Draco) look like father and son. Rowling also adds some peace of mind for those that had their doubts about Ron and Hermione’s relationship.

“Still Going Strong”

She places these words directly above Ron and Hermione, connecting them. She also points out that Harry looks ‘burdened’. Even after all of these years Harry can’t seem to find peace?

“Harry looking suitably burdened”

Finally, one of the most ominous annotations from Rowling is about what isn’t pictured in this photo.

“The absences say as much as the presences”

In true J.K. Rowling fashion when she gives her fans a little hint she also creates hundreds of new questions. Who or what is missing from the photo? The epilogue of Deathly Hallows mentioned more children than are featured in this cast photo, could there be something to this statement?  I guess we will all soon find out what Rowling means. Some will find out via the stage show while others eagerly anticipate the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child‘s script. To read all of Rowling’s comments visit Pottermore.

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14. Lives Lost in Orlando Mass Shooting

Tragedy strikes the nation as the news of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub hits our hearts. 50 lives were lost and even more people were injured that night. People everywhere are mourning the deaths of these wonderful people.

Among the victims identified, we have lost one of our own. Luis Vielma, who was only 22 when he died, had worked the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal.

“Luis was by far the best person I knew,” Luis’ friend, Will Randle, told the Miami Herald. “He inherently made us all better people by simply existing around us. Part of him will always live on in every good decision I make.”

Jo mourned him, as well as the many other victims, on twitter.

Our thoughts are with the Orlando victims as Pride month pushes through this terrible adversity.

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15. “I didn’t want to let fans down”: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on Creating ‘Cursed Child’

Recently, BBC News interviewed Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show-makers J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne on the making of the play.

Interviewer Will Gompertz starts by asking about the process of three people co-writing one play.  After many discussions between the three creators, the story of Cursed Child was fleshed out and ready for writing. John Tiffany explains:

‘We didn’t start writing the play – or Jack didn’t – until we’d agreed on what that story was.’

Jack Thorne then started on writing the script that is soon to be published in (script)book form.

‘Jack produced an amazing script’ Jo Rowling says in reply to his ‘very self-depricating’ remarks about attempting to write a script.

Rowling then comments on her concerns prior to the play being released to the public:

‘I don’t think I realised how anxious I was … I mean, this is putting me back ten years. Potter attracted a lot of madness, and a lot of hype, and going back to that place, I realised on Wednesday night how anxious that had made me, because I knew how much expectation there would be, and I didn’t want to let fans down.’

Gompertz then asks if there’s a sense that Jo doesn’t ‘own’ Potter anymore. After so many fan creations, so much theorising about her stories and characters, this is a good question to ask. The level of expectation put on J.K. Rowling to deliver the stories that we want as fans could make it seem like the stories are almost ‘owned’ by the fanbase, but Rowling thinks otherwise:

‘I wouldn’t go that far, Will’ Rowling shoots back, whilst Tiffany and Thorne chuckle knowingly.

‘Because, you know, that would be – and I’m deadly serious – that would be to disavow what that world was to me.

Seventeen years that world was mine, and for seven of those years it was entirely mine – not a living soul knew anything about it. I can’t just uproot that from all those personal experiences that inform those stories and say, “I’m throwing that away now”, and that’s how that would feel.’

Jack Thorne chips in, saying:

‘As a fan, you want it to be her world, not our world … it’s her world that we’ve been allowed to play in.’

Will Gompertz then remarks to Director John Tiffany that ‘Jack and Jo had it easy’ in comparison, as Tiffany’s job is to ‘make their imagination a reality on stage’. Tiffany responds:

‘It’s not all bells and whistles, it’s not all glitter guns and cannons. Actually, a lot of it is very very simple magic and illusion, and stage craft … there’s not really a huge amount that could go wrong’

After provoking what was almost a whimper of fear from Jo Rowling in that last comment, Tiffany explains his rather laid-back attitude:

‘We’ve done it very very carefully, so it’s not kind of a wing and a prayer.’

Gompertz asks Rowling whether she could imagine ever creating another world which had as profound an impact as the Potter world:

‘No’ She replies, ‘and nor would I want to. I feel as though I did that, and I love it. It takes up so much mental space, it takes up a lot of space in the world now. I think I would be on a fool’s errand to try and do that again’.

Be sure to watch the full interview at the BBC here. This interview followed  The Guardian’s interview with the trio prior to Cursed Child‘s opening this week (here), and the New York Times’ coverage of a roundtable discussion with the cast and crew of Cursed Child here.

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16. Natalia Tena Animated Film, “Fishwitch” Screening at Edinburgh International Film Festival

Natalia Tena (who played the ever-fabulous Hufflepuff and Auror, Tonks, in the Harry Potter films) stars in an animated short film called Fishwitch, previously titled Once Upon an Iceberg. As Leaky reported previously (read here), the short description of the animated short calls the film “an ugly fairy tale with a lot of heart.” The animated short is currently in production, running at about 8 minutes total.

The plot outline reads:

“When Tootega the Sea Witch catches Derek the Singing Merman in her net, she assumes she can use her powers to get rid of him, just like everyone else. Except Derek is not like everyone else, and Tootega soon finds her heart melting under Derek’s influence – quite literally.”

Natalia Tena will be playing the protagonist, Tootega the Sea Witch. Sam Apley, Tena’s partner from her musical band, Molotov Jukebox, will be taking the role of Derek the Singing Merman.

The short film will be screened at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, in competition with other short films that will be shown. There are tickets still available to see Natalia Tena as Tootega, more information can be found on the film’s Facebook page, here. The new trailer for the short film can be seen below!

FISHWITCH Trailer from adrienne dowling on Vimeo.

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17. Now You See Me 2 With Daniel Radcliffe – Now In Theaters!

With the first screenings beginning last night, Now You See Me 2 is now in theaters!

Daniel Radcliffe’s face graces our the big screen as he appears in the movie as Walter Mabry, a spoiled billionaire who kidnaps the Horseman (Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco, and Lizzy Caplan) and tricks then into committing a heist. The Horseman, however, have other plans. They come up with an elaborate stunt to expose Walter Mabry and clear their names.

Coming from a lifetime in the Harry Potter world, you’d think Daniel Radcliffe would know quite a bit about magic. Well, he reveals, in this USA Today article, that he isn’t as good as Harry was with magic tricks.

“The one thing I can kind of do is the bit I screw up in the first scene,” says Radcliffe, 26, flicking an imaginary card from one hand to the other. “I can actually do that, but then the one time I missed, I was like, ‘Ah, that’s definitely going to be the (take) they use.’ Failure is always funnier than success, particularly when it comes to this character.”

Daniel tells that to prepare to play a smart yet bratty young billionaire, he looked to his private school classmates as inspiration. He clarifies that, while a lot of good, perfectly nice people come out of private schools, occasionally there will be those who have a false sense of entitlement which causes them to be quite arrogant. “I saw him as a product of that environment,” says Daniel.

Walter (Daniel Radcliffe, center), has dastardly plans

Playing Walter Mabry in this illusion themed sequel to the 2013 surprise hit gave Daniel Radcliffe a chance to not on play the villain for the first time but also to work with a line-up of A-list actors. Being able to work with Michael Caine was particularly gratifying for Daniel. “A long-held personal goal of mine,” Daniel says of Caine, who plays Walter’s father in the film. “Growing up in England, you hear Michael talked about so much, with such reverence. Knowing that I’d have significant scenes with him was amazing.”

See more about the film here. Be sure to catch the film in theaters everywhere and see the trailer below!

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18. Harry, Ron and Draco Together in New ‘Cursed Child’ Photo

Yesterday, the official Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Twitter account tweeted this photo of Ron (Paul Thornley), Draco (Alex Price), and Harry (Jamie Parker) in anticipation of the first public preview of Part 2 of the play.

 

 

The unlikely trio stands together in full wizarding attire, and while we aren’t sure what brings them together or the cause for their serious expressions in this photo, it only makes us more excited to see the play and script book!

Catch another (spoiler-free) glimpse of the play in our report on an earlier photo shared of Rose Granger-Weasley onstage.

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19. More Information on Ordering Copies of ‘Cursed Child’ Internationally

Many readers of The Leaky Cauldron have been asking whether or not print copies of  the Cursed Child scriptbook will be available in languages other than English, and available in bookstores outside of the U.K, U.S and Canada.

Unfortunately, neither of these will be the case, meaning that fans from countries outside the U.S and U.K will have to buy copies from Little, Brown in the U.K and Scholastic in the U.S / Canada and pay shipping. However, Pottermore confirmed that international readers will be able to buy a copy digitally from midnight, June 30th following preview performances of the play:

“The Special Rehearsal Edition script will be available to buy around the world, digitally by Pottermore and in print in collaboration with Little, Brown in the UK and Scholastic in the US and Canada.”

Pottermore also gave more information on the process behind turning the Special Rehearsal Edition of the script into a Definitive Edition (which is set for release in 2017):

“The Special Rehearsal Edition of the script will be available for a limited time, and gives readers the earliest opportunity to read the eighth story – just after the play has opened at London’s Palace Theatre. In this edition, readers will have access to the script used by the cast and creative team during rehearsals and previews.

During the preview period, in front of a live audience, the script will be fine-tuned by the creative team. It’s a chance to make tweaks outside the rehearsal room and based on the reactions of a real audience.

A later, Definitive Edition of the script is set for release in early 2017. This final and complete edition will replace the Special Rehearsal Edition in bookshops, both in print and digitally.

The Definitive Edition will contain the perfected, definitive script with final stage directions and annotations, as seen on opening night and beyond. This edition will also include extra content, such as writing from the play’s creative team.”

Hopefully this news isn’t too disappointing for readers outside of the U.K, U.S and Canada – we’re hoping print editions of the scriptbook will open up to international markets in 2017 along with the Definitive Edition script. Finger’s crossed!

Read more at Pottermore here.

 

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20. Dan Radcliffe Talks about the Strange Roles He has Played

In a recent interview with GQ earlier this week, Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter) talked about his journey from playing our favorite boy wizard, to playing the role of a farting corpse in his new film, Swiss Army Man. Radcliffe has played a diverse set of roles, and Now You See Me Two has him playing a muggle who is bad at magic tricks (rather than a boy wizard who is better than average at magic, but no Hermione).

Radcliffe is a busy man and already back to filming another movie. GQ reports:

 

GQ: Why are you in Colombia right now?
Radcliffe: I’m filming uh, a film, which is based on a true story about a guy who got lost in the Amazon. It’s sort of like The Revenant, but humid.

As a famous person, you’re choosing lots of parts these days that involve solitude and getting away from civilization.
The group of people I’m out with is [f-ing] awesome, so I’m having a really good time. This is an incredibly fun job, and it’s very rare as an actor that you feel like you’re earning your money, where you actually go home feeling physically like you’ve worked a really good day. We were filming by a river last week, and the river rose ten meters overnight, so three of our sets got washed away. It’s not normal making a movie like we are, out in a [f-ing] jungle.

Do you have lots of bugs and [stuff] eating you out there?
There are bugs eating us, yes. But we were making this film about this guy who went into the jungle and struggled desperately to survive for three weeks. I’m not in any way a method actor, but if I’m playing a guy who’s starving and I’m going home at night and tucking into a [f-ing] pizza, I’m making it much harder for myself to do my job.

But you’re at a place where you don’t really have to take on rough s–t like making movies in jungles if you don’t want to. So why do it?
I get a lot of credit that I don’t deserve—people notice that I pick very different things more than they do with other actors, because I played one part for so long. Paul Dano (Radcliffe’s co-star in Swiss Army Man)…his career is [f-ing] amazingly varied, and everybody I know wants the same thing, which is they want as diverse a career as possible.

Like, it’s my total ambition at some point in my life to be in some massive [****y] big disaster movie. But I’m in an amazing position, which is that I have a certain amount of financial security and that allows me to do things that make me happy, and things that will fulfill me and challenge me, with people I’ll have a good time with. You hear horror stories about actors all the time, and I’ve worked with so few of them compared to the amount of stories I’ve heard. I’ve been incredibly lucky, and I do believe life is too short to work with arseholes.

I just saw Now You See Me 2 (in theaters June 10), and in it you’re a rich young tech guru who’s a spoiled dick. I think you do derive extra joy in playing a d**K on screen specifically because you aren’t one.
Totally. You’re absolutely right. Ricky Gervais talked to me about doingExtras for the first time. I was like, yes, please—finally, a chance to show that I have a [f-ing] sense of humor about all this. Because you are confronted very regularly with the expectation that A) you’re gonna be a d**k, B) you’re gonna fail, and C) “Do you really deserve this?”

How’s fame been treating you? Has your fame settled down sincePotter?
I think so. It took me a few years to work out my priorities. Now I pick things that I think will make me the most happy, and not try to think, “What’s gonna be the most successful thing I can do?” You can be despondent about the fact that you’re never gonna be in something that big again, but that’s [f-ing] idiotic. I’ve been in the most successful thing I ever will be in, and to me it’s a huge relief. Because you just go, “Okay, that’s literally never gonna happen again.”

Would you do a Star Wars movie if you were asked?
I’d love to. I would jump at the chance. I have absolutely no tolerance for people who are not [f-ing] delighted to be on set every day, because you should be.

What made you want to play a farting corpse [in Swiss Army Man]?
The farting didn’t even enter my head as being a weird thing. I was really quite taken aback when we sound mastered it and it caused such a weird reaction in some people. [Many people at Sundance walked out of the initial screening, possibly because one of the opening scenes involves Paul Dano riding Radcliffe’s dead body like a jet ski, only powered by farts.] I can understand it being not for everyone, but controversial? It’s not like we’re making a massive racist remark. It was very strange to me but also kind of entertaining.

Were you upset by the negative reaction?
I remember there was one tweet—I’m not on Twitter. I don’t get involved. But I did get sucked in over that period, and there was one tweet that did get under my skin, because it was a guy that was all p–sed off. He hashtagged one of his tweets #makebettermovies, which I was just like, f-ing—it’s from a man who’s never made a movie! The s—ttiest film you’ve ever seen has had such f-ing hard work put into it! You can’t say s**t like that.

For Swiss Army Man, did they also make you fart and groan on cue? Or did they add all the farts in post-production?
I definitely can’t fart on cue. That is beyond me. They were all done later. The directors basically announced if anyone wanted to just go over to the sound recordist, Steve, and fart, he would record it and they would try and put it in the movie.

Could you see yourself not acting at some point? Taking a permanent break?
Not really. I don’t think I could ever enjoy that if I wasn’t in some way going back to contributing to a film in some way.
My daughter wanted me to ask you why you wanted to be an actor.
Because it was so much better than being at school!
For much more on this extensive interview, behind the scenes details of Swiss Army Man, and why Dan avoids social media, read GQ’s original article here.

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21. New House Banners of “Cursed Child”

As Leaky stated on all of its social media, we will be honoring J.K. Rowling and the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s wishes to “Keep the Secrets.” We will not be reporting on any content of Cursed Child, but we will share any small details that Pottermore–J.K. Rowling’s website–deems acceptable to share. No spoilers.

Just as the curtains were rising for the first preview of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child earlier this week, Pottermore shared a photo of Rose Weasley standing in the middle of the Great Hall, during what appeared to be a sorting ceremony. Read more of Leaky’s report on that here.

In that photo, the world was presented with a new set of House banners! Pottermore tweeted today, revealing a clearer picture of these banners as concept art.

 

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Every house banner incorporates its mascot into the initial of its house, rather than using what became known as “Harry Potter font.” As expressed before, multiple times, the play is a continuation of the books, not the movies (movie canon differs from book canon). Because of this, it is not surprising the banners differ from the movies, but could potentially fulfill the description of house banners in the books.

 

However, the banners do not seem to support official house colors; unless, differing from both book and movie canon, the house colors are now different. Because book canon and movie canon differ, many fans know that Ravenclaw’s house colors are different in the films than in the books. Ravenclaw’s colors are blue and bronze by book canon, and blue and silver by movie canon. In the movies, the shades of the other house colors don’t stay true to for either. If these new banners are representing house colors, Gryffindor and Slytherin’s colors are the only set of colors that have remained mostly true to both book and movie canon.

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22. Writers, Cast, and Crew Discuss ‘Cursed Child’ Journey to the Stage

Last week, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany–both co-writers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child alongside J.K. Rowling–sat down with producers, actors, and other major forces in the play’s production for a roundtable discussion. The participants talked about the story’s conception, the decision to tell the story in play format, and–naturally–the difficulty of avoiding spoilers.

 

Colin Callender, one of the Cursed Child producers, says of the play’s journey:

“None of us, all quite experienced in the theater world, have ever experienced anything of this magnitude and intensity before.”

 

On playing such a beloved character, actress Noma Dumezweni (Hermione) says:

“The weight of expectation is huge. But for me that pressure has been outweighed by getting text messages from mums I know saying how huge it is for their mixed-race daughters that I am playing Hermione. Ultimately it’s a theater piece, I’m a theater actor and doing a job as best I can.”

 

Public previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child began yesterday, June 7, at the Palace Theatre in London. The play officially opens on June 30.

 

Read the full interview at NY Times.

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23. Magic Is Real

Magic is very real, and never let anyone tell you any different. Sometimes the work of wizards can be seen by the muggle world, in those rare instances we are left just wondering if there aren’t some outside forces helping us muggles out. 18 months ago a mysterious plaque appeared outside of Bristol’s children hospital. The plaque reads

“Dedicated To The Children Of Bristol The 1998 World Cup Posts Enchanted By Adou Sosseh (which of course we all knew was the captain of Senegal’s Quidditch team that of course lost the 1998 World Cup to Malawi).

The hospital was completely unaware that someone had placed the plaque there, so the quest began to find out who had done it. After a little research the BBC has uncovered who was behind the plaque. They dug up a tweet by a 27-year-old Bristol graduate by the name of Cormac Seachoy, who lost his battle with cancer last year.

The goal posts were actually apart of an art sculpture called The Lollypop Be-Bop, which is actually an interactive art installation that is remote controlled by the children to change its colored lights on command, sort of like magic. The magic that Cormac used was not produced by a wand or a potion, but with the thing that Dumbledore always preached to us it was love. Cormac had so much love in him that he could rival our beloved Harry Potter. Cormac Seachoy was not looking for sympathy or fame for this, beside his tweet he did not publicly talk about it, he just

“He just wanted to do something that would make people smile on their way in and out of the hospital.”

If that’s not magic, I’m not really sure what magic is. Magic also happened when his GoFundMe raised the money for this plaque. He needed the help of others to get this bit of magic done think of his GoFundMe as Hermione there with the perfect solution to his problem. If that is true, then his friend James Carberry is his Ron. When James got there to assist his good friend Cormac they had brought all the supplies…. Or so they thought. They did bring the industrial strength adhesive but, not a means to open it. This is where Ron, I mean James, had to go to a nearby pub and barrow a pair of scissors

“I’ll never forget the look on the barman’s face as I asked him for the scissors, but he reluctantly agreed and we were able to put the plaque up.”

This form of magic is so powerful it reached the curator of magic J.K. Rowling to which she tweeted.

Again magic is real. It is all around us and it is of course happening in our own hearts. Dumbledore would be proud that love is still undeniably the most powerful force in magic.

seacoy

Check out the original arttlce from The BBC here.

And the Hospital would also like all future magical residence to please let the “Muggles” at the hospital say thank you first.

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24. Harry Potter, Voldemort, and Newt Scamander Join Lego Dimensions

Harry Potter is no stranger to the Lego treatment. The Harry Potter Series was transformed a few years ago into a Lego world in  two separate video games. Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Lego Harry Potter: Years: 5-7 were popular games where you could play as a variety of the HP Series characters as well as exploring the world of Harry Potter in a new and exciting way.

Now Harry, Voldemort, and even Newt Scamander are heading to the Lego Dimensions game. Pottermore has reported that

16 new worlds are coming, including a new Harry Potter expansion pack on 27 September, to be closely followed by Fantastic Beasts.

Lego Dimensions is an expandable game series in which a variety of characters from different universes interact with one another. This means Batman and Harry Potter can team up and take on the Wicked Witch of the West.

LD_Mashup_Magical_Circle

In time for the E3 Expo, Lego has released a trailer for the newly expanded Lego Dimensions world. Harry Potter is heavily featured and there is a sneak peek of Newt Scamander in his new Lego form.

With a quick glimpse of Newt ready to fight it will be exciting to see him come to life in this new Lego adventure. For the full details check out Pottermore.

Newt

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25. James and Oliver Phelps at Dallas Comic Con

This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Dallas Comic Con. James and Oliver Phelps, or sometimes more well known as Fred and George Weasley, have attended Dallas Cons quite frequently in the past few years. Two years ago, I was actually fortunate enough to meet them. This year, however, I only got to see them from afar as they took the stage for a Q&A session. Along with their Q&A session, they had a couple photo ops and were out on the floor for autographs in their down time.

james and oliver

 

When I met James and Oliver, they were both very kind and inviting. I got a photo op and an autograph with them both. As the line in front of me progressed and I finally made it into the photo op room, I was struck by how happy they both looked. It was one of the very first times I got to meet people at Comic Con, back when I was still treating them like gods instead of humans and acted like the human disaster I am when I met them. Despite my awkwardness, they greeted me with grins and didn’t force me to be too sociable as they placed their arms around me and we took the photo. The autograph was much the same except I had a little more time to greet them and ask them how they liked Texas.

Here’s the aforementioned photo from two years ago:

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This Con’s Q&A was particularly entertaining. The Phelps Twins are always entertaining. I was quite impressed by the fact that they chose to stand the entire time, I definitely do not have the energy to stand for 40 minutes while being interrogated by fans of varying degrees of craziness. No offense, I do believe I have quite a high degree of craziness myself.

They ran onstage after the interviewer announced them, greeting the cheering crowd, but then ran off again with a quick “hang on.” They came back a few seconds later, James wearing a Texas Rangers baseball cap and Oliver in a ridiculous cowboy hat. The crowd loved it.

As I mentioned before, James and Oliver are very polite people. Right off the bat, they thanked everyone for being so kind to them and pointed out how glad they were that no one had collapsed at their signing table yet.

Just to clarify for the crowd, the interviewer tried to name which twin was which, but he ended up getting them wrong the first time! To be honest, the only way I could tell is I knew that James was standing on the left and Oliver on the right…

Now, since it was a forty-minute long panel, I’m not going to write about the entire thing. I will, however, put the video that a friend of mine took at the end!

To start, I’d like to kill a rumor that circulates through the fandom quite a bit. “I heard that y’all would sometimes switch roles, sometimes, on set. I was wondering, what is the longest stretch of time that y’all went without getting caught.” This question has come up at both of their panels that I’ve been too. Sorry to burst your bubble, but they never switched roles. They knew that, if they had done, it would have taken a lot of time and money to refilm those scenes and they didn’t want to be a nuisance to the other people working on the film. They did admit to doing it during rehearsal though.

Fan questions at Q&A panels aren’t always the most entertaining. They can be very repetitive and, sometimes, a bit stupid. But occasionally you get that fan who has thought long and hard about their question before asking it, making sure it was unique and interesting.

If you could do anything besides acting in the film industry, what would it be?” This is a question I had never heard before! And since I am a film student I was very curious to hear their answers. There are hundreds of people with hundreds of different jobs that work on a single movie. Cameramen, video editors, sound editors, directors and assistant directors, producers, etc. You have an encyclopedia of options for working in the film industry. James said that he’d want to be “Grip”, or a person who mounts and moves the camera on a track. Oliver, on the other hand, seemed quite content with acting, but did say he was interested in the makeup department.

What one scene from the books do you wish they would have put in the movies?” As fans, we all have several different scenes from the books that we were quite upset weren’t put in the movies. Not only scenes, but characters as well. The actors had to put up with the differences without complaint but they must have had opinions too, right? Well, James and Oliver both agreed that they wanted the swamp scene from the fourth book to appear in the movie, but they knew there was a chance it wouldn’t show up.

What was your favorite book and movie?” I always feel that a persons favorite Harry Potter installment can tell you a lot about their personality. That and I am a very nosy person and just like to know these things about people. James knew immediately that his favorite book was the Prisoner of Azkaban. He informed the crowd that it was the book he was reading when they were cast as the twins. He seemed to add as an after thought that his favorite film was the Goblet of Fire and Oliver picked it up there saying that was his favorite book. James and Oliver like to tease each other quite a bit, which is evident when Oliver informs the crowd that his favorite film is The Deathly Hallows Part 2.

I guess I should stop boring you with my perspective on their panel. But watch the video of the full thing below! You don’t want to miss any of their bickering or stories of pranks they pulled on and off set!

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