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1. Pottermore at the MinaLima Exhibit

As we reported previously, MinaLima has a special exhibition currently in London. The Pottermore Correspondent took a trip to the exhibition (and hinted that a Harry Potter actor or two may show up to see the exhibition themselves sometime). The PMC was also able to conduct an exclusive interview with Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.

Pottermore uploaded high resolution scans of some of the artwork that will be displayed at the exhibition. Of the PMC’s chat with Mina and Lima, Pottermore reports:


Edwardo tells me there are nearly 90 prints in this exhibition. ‘We are doing it chronologically, by book. So we start with the letter and the ticket…’

‘It gets very busy by the sixth book. It’s just all over the place,’ says Mira.

‘And we have a selection of authentic props, too,’ Eduardo adds.

‘It was so nice of them to let us do that,’ says Mira, meaning the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, who has lent them some of the props they designed for the films, to show at the exhibition. They’ll be carefully placed on display in cabinets throughout the gallery space.


Pottermore got the two talking about collaboration and what it was like working together on such big projects. The pair have been working in tandem for so long, they think of themselves as one unit.


One of the charming things about Mira and Eduardo is how they finish each other’s sentences. They never properly interrupt one another though; it’s more that they’re on the same train of thought. That’s how they work together, too, they tell me. It’s so collaborative they can never really tell who did what and when.

Eduardo says, ‘We are basically two bodies and one brain.’

‘Er, gross,’ says Mira.

‘No, well we can’t really say now that one person designed one thing and one did the other, can we?’

‘That’s true,’ Mira adds. We might say ‘oh, can you do this bit for me?’ or I might draw on something he’s started. But yes, you’re right. That’s how we are.’


To see photos of parts of the exhibit, Pottermore has uploaded a small collections of photos onto their Twitter. The exhibition opened today, November 30, and will remain open until December 19th. MinaLima’s last exhibition saw over 10,000 visitors, including special guests. The exhibition resides at The Coningsby Gallery, London, and is free admission. Please see the Gallery website for times and other important information.

Leaky will be present at the MinaLima exhibit and Dinner in the Great Hall later this week. Please stay tuned for articles of these fan attractions first hand!

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2. Happy Birthday, Bill Weasley!

Today marks William Arthur “Bill” Weasley’s 45th birthday. Bill is the eldest of Molly and Arthur Weasley’s children, husband to Fleur Delacour, and father to Victoire, Dominique, and Louis Weasley.

Described by Harry as “cool,” Bill is a known for being brave and having a penchant for adventure. After graduating from Hogwarts, Bill went to Egypt to work as a curse-breaker for Gringotts; however, after a few years, he returned to England to join the Order of the Phoenix since the threat of Lord Voldemort’s return was imminent. It was during his time with the Order that he met his future wife, Fleur.

During the battle of the Astronomy Tower, Bill was gravely injured by werewolf Fenrir Greyback whilst trying to fend off the attacking Death Eaters. While he was spared Greyback’s fate, he did acquire distinctive scars on his face from Greyback’s claws, and he developed wolf-like tendencies, such as a liking for rare meat.

A year after they met, Bill and Fleur married, but some very unwelcome wedding crashers came in the form of Death Eaters after the fall of the Ministry of Magic. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Shell Cottage, which served as a safe haven for Harry, Ron, Hermione, Luna, Dobby, Mr. Ollivander, and Griphook after their great escape from Malfoy Manor.

Bill fought in the Battle of Hogwarts with the rest of his family, and survived. He went on to have three children with Fleur.

May he have a peaceful birthday with his family, and perhaps some rare steaks.


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3. Happy Birthday, Alfonso Cuarón!

Please join us in wishing Alfonso Cuarón, director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a very Happy Birthday!

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4. J.K. Rowling Featured in the Guardian Weekend Conversation Special

The Guardian announced today, through Twitter, that J.K. Rowling would be one of the many names taking part in their “Conversations Special” of their weekend edition. The tweet released a promotional picture featuring J.K. Rowling and Lauren Laverne.


The Weekend edition of the Guardian is out tomorrow!

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5. The Great Snape Debate

Ever since J.K. Rowling became more active on Twitter than posting twice a year, it has become almost impossible to report her Twitter activity as news–she’s on so often it’s difficult to keep up. It has also become a commonality in our lives: we sit, settle down with a mug of steaming hot tea, coffee, or coco, and spend too much time scrolling through J.K. Rowling’s Twitter feed, being thoroughly entertained by lively discussions.

J.K. Rowling has also been known to release a lot of Harry Potter “extras”–little tidbits and details from her imagination–and answer many fans’ Harry Potter questions. This morning, the same thing happened, but things got a little more interesting.

As fans, we have engaged in The Great Snape Debate for years and years. Snape is as grey as grey can be when it comes to good vs. evil, white vs. black. It can’t be denied the Snape was a hero, but it also cannot be denied that Snape was a bully. Does he qualify as an anti-hero?

This morning, J.K. Rowling jumped in on the debate–on accident, by simply answering one fan’s question that many of us have asked before–and her time line exploded. It is time to bring it about again, The Great Snape Debate. Check out what happened, and feel free to add your feelings and opinions to the debate in the comments below.

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We didn’t start the fire, but we are sure going to fan the flames a little and add to the discussion. I happen to be a very loyal Hufflepuff with an “I Love Snape” bumper sticker on the back of my car. However, I know that many of my fellow Leaky staffers who feel very differently about the subject matter. What do you think?

UPDATE: She’s just come back to Twitter to add more to the on-going debate….

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Yes, let’s!

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6. HBO to Possibly take on “Comoran Strike” series in US

HBO has teamed up with BBC to bring the US adaptions of J.K. Rowling’s work before, with The Casual Vacancy mini series. The private cable network is once again looking at bringing a J.K. Rowling adaption to the United States: The Cormoran Strike Series . According to TV Wise, who received the story exclusively, HBO is looking to become co-producers of the series.

TV Wise posted the article on their Twitter feed:


The article reports:

The drama series, which is eyed for a 2016 premiere, is based on the first two Cormoran Strike novels, The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm. It was originally commissioned back in April 2014 and then Director of Television Danny Cohen was widely credited with securing the series for the BBC, even as major Hollywood Studios and rival UK broadcasters were chasing, thanks to his close relationship with Rowling and her long-time agent Neil Blair. A formal episode order has not yet been set, with the BBC stating that it would be finalised once the scripts are completed.

The Cormoran Strike Mysteries is described as being “steeped in the atmosphere of contemporary London” and follows war veteran turned private detective Cormoran Strike who investigates shocking crimes together with his female assistant Robin, whose forensic mind and fierce determination he cannot ignore. The murders take them from the hushed streets of Mayfair to the literary haunts of Fitzrovia, exposing the seedy reality lurking beneath seemingly innocent societies. With each crime, they discover a little more about each other and both learn that appearances can be deceptive.

Assuming the deal closes and HBO does in fact board as a co-producer (sources close to the project tell me that they will), this would mark the second such BBC drama from Rowling that the network has co-produced. Last year, just as pre-production was getting into full swing, HBO signed on to co-produce the three-part adaptation of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Representatives of HBO did not immediately respond to TVWise’s request for comment.


As Leaky reported previously, The Cormoran Strike series is shaping up to be very similar to The Casual Vacancy mini series adaptation. Working with BBC 1, J.K. Rowling will be the executive producer, Sarah Phelps (writer of The Casual Vacancy) will be writing the adaption of The Cuckoo’s Calling, and Ben Richards is set to adapt The Silkworm.


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7. Happy Birthday, Shirley Henderson!

Please join us in wishing Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle) a very Happy Birthday!

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8. Daniel Radcliffe talks “magic” in ‘Now You See Me: The Second Act’

Daniel Radcliffe will be joining the cast of the Now You See Me prequel, the first of which was a smash hit film in 2013.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Radcliffe spoke about being in a movie that  involves “magic” again.

Now You See Me: The Second Act will be released June 10th 2016. Watch the teaser trailer here.

Radcliffe spoke about his past and current roles, ‘proving himself’ as an actor, his attachment to independent films and his personal life. The excerpts on Now You See Me: The Second Act are below:

What are the things that hook you in when you are looking for a movie now?

Daniel Radcliffe: In this one, there was definitely a challenge of creating a character that everyone has an impression of and thinks that they know, but trying to do something that is your own with it, and fits in this world that we’re creating. Somebody asked me the other day, “What’s more important to you: plot or character?” And I’d never really thought about it before, but it became apparent to me very quickly that plot is more important than character. I’d rather be a semi-interesting character in a fantastic story than [have] an incredible, showy part in a film that no one cares about, in a story that’s irrelevant. Ideally, I’d like both, obviously.

Now You See Me 2, what was attractive about that was the cast. The first movie’s really fun. It’s great. But, like, the thing that made me want to do it was the fact that I would get scenes with Mark Ruffalo and Michael Caine and Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg.

Will you be doing any magic in that movie?

DR: I don’t want say too much of what I’m doing, but I feel anyone who knows me generally will have known that I’m not going straight back into, like, a full-on magical role. I did get to learn a couple of cool card tricks, just from hanging around on set. But I don’t really have a reason to apply them in the movie.

When you were approached about that film, did a part of you think, Well, it’s about magic…?

DR: It didn’t. Like, it f***ing should. But it didn’t until later, and I was like, oh, it’s magic. Everyone’s going to ask about that. Oh well.

It’s funny. I don’t have as much of a sense of that as everyone else does. When I did Kill Your Darlings, the first scene in that film was me sweeping the floor, and I never fucking thought anything of that until somebody in an interview was like, “So, first scene, you’ve got glasses on and you have a broomstick.” I went, “Ugh.”

And then in Horns, you know, my character wore Gryffindor colors. I was like, I should have thought of that said, “Don’t do that!” But I don’t think about things like that. In a way, I’m glad I don’t think in those terms, because then I probably would have gone, “Oh no, I can’t do Now You See Me.” And I had a fantastic time on that movie.

Read the rest of the interview here!

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9. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ now filming at Cardington Sheds

Warner Brothers vans showed up at the former RAF station used to build airships in Bedfordshire, UK last month to shoot Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The spaces are huge, and have been renovated, named ‘Cardington Studios’ and used to film the new Star Wars film (The Force Awakens) and Christopher Nolan’s Inception and The Dark Knight series.

Cardington is ever changing and shed 2 has been leased out to a film company and is enjoying a second life as a “sound stage”.

This former Airship Hangar is one of the largest indoor spaces in Europe, with no obstructing beams, ideal for large scale set builds and event rehearsals. The main areas are supported by vast production offices and workshop spaces providing an exceptional and flexible infrastructure for your next production.

Photos from the location show not only the Warner Bros. vans, but also portray the huge scale of the sheds:









Leaky is certainly excited to see what they’ve been filming in there! The first instalment of Fantastic Beasts is set for release on November 18th 2016 – we can hardly wait!


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10. Jenn Murray interview on ‘An Irishman Abroad’

Fantastic Beasts actress Jenn Murray recently appeared on the podcast An Irishman Abroad, answering questions about her character and the movie:

“Jenn discusses how she landed the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them role, how the job of an actor is much more than just auditioning and acting, how she handled the challenge of playing the lead role in Dorothy Mills a film in which her character had seven personalities and the performance that earned her an IFTA nomination. We also hear about the Jim Sheridan film which sparked her passion for acting.

Jenn speaks about the trials and tribulations of drama school, how she strengthened her character, learned to cope with rejection and chose to abandon social networks while also explaining her theory that we can use desire to override fear.’

Murray – like Redmayne – also mentioned the pressure of featuring in Fantastic Beasts as a result of it not being a series of books with characters and events that the actors can get to know beforehand:

With Harry Potter, they had the novel to refer to, the people knew what was going to come up, people imagined them when they read them, but this is an original screenplay.’

Jenn discussed the intimidation and excitement of working with hugely successful actors and actresses on a large set at Leavesden Studios (“We did a read-through with all the actors in Leavesden Studios, and there were hard copies of the script, everyone was at a square table, and that was the first time I held it in my hand”) and confirmed that production will end in January.

“We walked onto a big set, and Eddie Redmayne was there, and I’ve watched his work for years, I remember him from Tess of the d’Urbervilles, and when you look at someone’s face, you want to hear their story, and he had that.

[On Samantha Morton]: I had admired her for so many years because of her choices, she was a real actress – she took risks, she was very courageous.”

Brooklyn – in cinemas now – features Jenn alongside Julie Walters (Mrs Weasley), Jim Broadbent (Professor Slughorn) and Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley).

Murray will be portraying the character ‘Chastity’ in Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them – the first instalment of which is released November 18th 2016.

Listen to the whole podcast here!

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11. Signed Copy of J.K. Rowling’s New Crime Novel up for Auction

A signed copy of J.K. Rowling’s new crime novel, Career of Evil, was put up for auction. J.K. Rowling would probably approve of this donation from one of the lucky owners of a signed book, as the book was auctioned for a good cause, for local charity, Brighouse and Surrounding Homeless.

There are only 200 signed copies of the Robert Galbraith book, making the demand for this item at the silent auction very high. The book had a reserve of £1,000. Big House Echo recorded a statement about the charity being supported:


Alison Mitchell, chief Executive of BASH, said: “We provide an outreach service that connects those in need with the charities and services they may not have otherwise known about whilst offering food, clothing and friendly faces.

Thanks to donations we can provide food, drink and clothing. More importantly we can provide a listening ear.

The results from Friday’s auction have not been released. However, we hope that Career of Evil was able to at least break its reserve, and provide a lot of monetary donation for BASH.

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12. Stephen Fry to be Awarded Rose d’Or Award for Lifetime Achievement

Stephen Fry (the narrator of the British Harry Potter audio books) will be honored with the Rose d’Or Award for Lifetime Achievement during the Rose d’Or Award Ceremony, December 9.

The award is given to those who have made significant contributions to entertainment and broadcasting. The Rose d’Or website explains their clear choice of Stephen Fry as the 2015 recipient. Fry also expressed his gratitude of being honored with such an award. The Rose d’Or website stated:


“Fry won a Rose d’Or Award in 2006 for “Best Game Show Host” in the BBC series QI.  

“Jean Philip De Tender, director of media at the European Broadcasting Union which operates Eurovision, praised Fry’s sustained and successful contribution to the broadcasting industry.  “Stephen Fry represents all that is best about entertainment broadcasting in the UK, throughout Europe and across the globe.  Not only has he entertained generations and made us laugh, he has also, through his documentary work, shone light on challenging issues such as mental health. It’s only fitting that the industry will show its appreciation for him in London on December 9th with an award that represents the gold standard.” 

“The host of this year’s Rose d’Or, the BBC’s Paddy O’Connell, noted Fry’s generosity in helping other industry artists. “It’s a pretty unusual talent on top of his other unusual talents, because he is altruistic”, said O’Connell. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned, the television business does have a habit of eating people up and spitting them out. And Stephen Fry has tried to remember to be good to people and also that the industry is made up of many, many thousands of people who don’t get the credit. For me, I’m pleased that someone who has tried to put in the occasional word for the work of others is being honoured in London.”

“Fry is delighted by the honour. “It does mean a lot,” he said in an interview last week. “Since I can remember watching television, the Golden Rose of Montreux, and occasionally Lucerne, really meant something, and it’s always gone out of its way to recognise this particular kind of television, so if they’ve honoured me, then I feel exactly that – honoured”, Fry said.” 
The Rose d’Or press release goes on to detail Stephen Fry’s many achievements. Please read more in the original article, here.

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13. Pottermore’s Visit to the Liverpool “Fantastic Beasts” Set

The Pottermore Correspondent has released new insider information into the Fantastic Beast filming that took place in Liverpool. Having traveled with the cast and crew of the films, the PMC was privy to all the details–more than the public photos snuck from behind the barricades of blocked streets.

The PMC recognized that moving the set out of Leavesden to Liverpool was too big of a production to try and keep secret. So they knew we were peeking through and snapping pictures from beyond the boundaries set up, and the PMC was free to acknowledge it. The PMC also said that he/she would not be telling us too many juicy secrets–because that would spoil the fun like telling a kid their mother is the Tooth Fairy.

“What they wanted to do instead of release details about Fantastic Beasts, is “paint [us] a word picture of what it’s like on set:”


“It’s night time on a Wednesday. I’m standing outside in the cold dark with my life (three snack size Milky Ways, one crumbly biscuit, a cup of mint tea, two pens, a tiny notebook, a back-up scarf and a portable charger) in my pockets. We all rub our hands together and watch as Jon Voight gets out of a stately black car and walks up the stairs of St. George’s Hall. He does it again and again, up snow-drizzled stairs, to get the shot perfect.”

“Inside, Ezra Miller prepares for his scene by beat-boxing in the green room. He walks by and introduces himself, tells me he’s a Harry Potter fan. He seems to be the kind of actor who can play around and make people laugh right until they hear the word ‘Action!’ and then deliver their dialogue seamlessly. It’s quite something to watch.

“The next day, filming moves to the Cunard Building by the river.

“Inside, Liverpool City Council staff try to get on with their day jobs knowing that Eddie Redmayne is filming downstairs. They tiptoe by, whispering, and I catch a few phrases: ‘The one who got the Oscar for that Stephen Hawking film… Yes, the young one with the freckles… Something about Harry Potter, I think… He’s just gorgeous… Oh, definitely wizards…’

“Eddie, meanwhile, is quiet. He paces slightly between takes, smiles at everyone softly, sits in his black canvas chair and ducks upstairs to the green room for some solace now and then. He slips his jacket on moments before running in front of the camera, and slips it off again gently when he comes out. He and Katherine whisper to each other, maybe it’s their lines, maybe they’re telling secrets, who knows?”


For more details about the PMC’s visit to the Liverpool set, please visit Pottermore.



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14. Tom Felton’s “Risen” Moving Release Dates

Tom Felton’s new movieRisen, has changed release dates. Originally scheduled for January 22, 2016 release, MGM and Paramount have decided to move around a couple of release dates to attract larger target audiences.

As Tom Felton’s new film is religion-based, MGM and Paramount have decided to move it to a February release date to attract pre-Easter audience rush. The infamous The Passion of Christ and the recent Son of God, both were successful February releases. The Global Dispatch reports:


“MGM and Paramount Pictures have moved the release of Ben-Hur by nearly six months — from Feb. 26 to Aug. 12. This opened up the date for Risen, another faith-based project, to move up and upon in theaters.

Joseph Fiennes stars as the Roman soldier Clavius searching for Christ’s missing body and “reintroduces us to Jesus’s crucifixion, resurrection—and to the Great Commission—not through a disciple or follower’s POV but through the experience of a hardened and skeptical Roman tribune,” according to Sony.

Harry Potter star Tom Felton and Fear the Walking Dead star Cliff Curtis co-star – full synopsis below.

RISEN is an epic biblical story of the weeks immediately following Jesus’ death on the cross, as seen through the eyes of the unbelieving Clavius (Fiennes), a high-ranking Roman military tribune. Clavius and his aide Lucius (Felton) are instructed by Pontius Pilate to ensure that Jesus’ radical followers don’t steal His body and claim resurrection. When the body goes missing within days, Clavius’ mission is to find the body, dispel rumors of a risen Messiah and prevent an uprising in Jerusalem.”


Risen will hit theaters February 19, 2016.


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15. “Fantastic Beasts” to be most like “Goblet of Fire”

Entertainment Weekly seems to have all the secrets to tell about Harry Potter-spin-off series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and is releasing them one by one.

With this weeks 10th Anniversary for Goblet of Fire, EW decided to release another tidbit from their exclusive inside knowledge of the secretive Fantastic Beasts films. David Heyman told EW that the new Harry Potter spin off series is most comparable to Goblet of Fire. EW reports:


[Fantastic Beasts has] got the charm of the fourth,” Heyman told EW exclusively. “It’s like the fourth. Mike talked about the fourth as being like an Indian musical — and it’s not that, but it’s got the humor of of that film. It has the romantic comedy, that fish-out-of-water humor, that very human, natural character comedy. And now David is always looking for truthful, human moments, it’s never just a gag, he’s grounding [the storytelling moments] in a reality. [Beasts] is very funny, it’s got a big heart, and there’s darkness too.” 

For more on Beasts, see our exclusive photo gallery and learn the six surprising things we learned on the set


Now that we think about it, between the darkness of the Tournament, Voldemort’s return, Ron and Harry’s feuding through most of the film, and lots of death…there were some funny moments in Goblet of Fire, with a little hint of romance.

Needless to say, Heyman’s description of the films make us even more excited to see the masterpieces that will be created with this series. And the best part? Unlike Goblet of Fire, there is no book these films are adapted from so there is no room for royally botching an adaption. There is even less room for imperfection with J.K. Rowling at the screen writing helm. With a fantastic script, and a great beastly cast, these films are sure to be enchanting!

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16. Harry Potter Audiobooks Now Available on Audible!

Thanks to a deal with Pottermore, the Harry Potter Audiobooks will be available on UK, US, Australian and German Audible websites, produced by Pottermore and read by Jim Dale (North American), Felix von Manteuffel (German) and Stephen Fry UK and the rest of the world).

The first three audiobooks in the Harry Potter series cost £17.99 each and the last four cost £32.99 each, and sold on The Pottermore Shop.

According to The Bookseller, Chief content officer of Audible (Andy Gaies) said:

“We are thrilled to offer our customers the opportunity to enjoy the Harry Potter audio catalogue seamlessly through the Audible service. J K Rowling’s celebrated series is firmly entrenched in the literary pantheon, but when the first Harry Potter novel was released in 1997, smartphones were yet to become the ubiquitous listening devices they are today. Now fans of this bellwether series have an effortless and affordable way to enjoy them in audio.”

“The breathtaking performances of Stephen Fry, Jim Dale and Felix von Manteuffel transform Harry Potter’s adventures into immersive and truly transporting new experiences—even for those who have already read the novels. We look forward to bringing more listeners to this richly imagined universe.”

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17. Harry Melling to Appear in Broadway Transfer Play ‘Hand to God’

Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley), is set to appear as lead in Broadway’s Hand to God on its West End transfer in 2016.

According to What’s On Stage:

‘Billed as a “hilarious and heartbreaking new comedy”, Robert Askins’ play centres around shy teenager Jason as his sock puppet Tyrone comes to life and takes on a shocking, foul-mouthed personality.’

Melling will star as Jason and his possessed puppet Tyrone (above portrayed by Steven Boyer), along with a cast that includes Olivier Award winner Janie Dee, Jemima Rooper (One Man, Two Guvnors on Broadway), Neil Pearson and Kevin Mains.

The play will open at the Vaudeville Theatre in London on February 5th 2016, and tickets can be purchased here!



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18. Helen McCrory and John Hurt up for BBC Audio Drama Awards

Two Harry Potter actors have been nominated for BBC Audio Drama Awards. Helen McCrory (Narissa Malfoy) and John Hurt (Ollivander), have both received acting nods.

McCrory has been nominated for best actress in an audio drama, for her role in The Pumpkin Eater. The radio drama was produced in 15-minute episodes, which can be listened to on the BBC Radio 4 website. BBC Radio 4 describes the show, saying:

Helen McCrory and Paul Ready star in Penelope Mortimer’s stark portrait of marriage and motherhood from 1962, dramatised by Georgia Fitch.

Mrs Armitage is encouraged by her successful screenwriter husband, Jake, to talk to a psychiatrist about her apparent compulsion to keep having children.


Hurt has received a nomination for best actor in an audio drama, for his role in Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell. BBC Radio 4 describes this much longer radio segment, saying:


Starring John Hurt. A dying Soho, seen through the eyes of the notorious columnist of The Spectator – plain-speaking drinker, gambler, wit and raconteur. With frequent, very strong language.

Keith Waterhouse’s biographical play of Jeffrey Bernard is a recreation of a time in London when poets, painters, artists and writers (Dylan Thomas, Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, and Elizabeth Smart) lived alongside the local Low Life of No Knickers Joyce and Sid the Swimmer, inhabiting the clubs and pubs of Dean Street. Jeffrey knew and wrote about all of them.

The play is set very early in the morning at the Coach and Horses pub in Soho, where Jeffrey spent most of his days, when not ‘at the Races’. The Coach and Horses was his ‘office’. Jeffrey has passed out in the Gents, missed closing time and wakes up to find himself alone in the pub with the door locked. He spends the night re-visiting incidents in Soho past and present, his childhood, gambling, women, racing and drink – fuelled by vodka.

Both of these shows sound amazing and deserve a listen when you get the chance! Judging and the Awards ceremony is to take place January 31, at Broadcasting House in London.

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19. J.K. Rowling Named Scotland’s Most Influential Author on Twitter

Unsurprisingly, J.K. Rowling is being recognized as Scotland’s top writer on Twitter, according to Edinburgh Evening News.

Though Rowling is originally from England, she resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. She regularly enchants her 5.8 million Twitter followers with witty, pensive, funny, and opinionated tweets.  Her Twitter content ranks her above Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, who came in second place, as well as popular Scottish writers Irvine Welsh and Ian Rankin.

Rowling is known for her prolific and sometimes provocative tweets, and does not shy away from discussing politics and questioning Twitter users who spread abuse. Of course, she also tweets about Harry Potter from time to time:


The title of top tweeter was determined by research conducted for the Scottish Book Trust, ahead of Book Week Scotland, an annual host of events held across the country from the 22-29 of November. Criteria for choosing the winner of the title included how much a writer engages with his or her audience, as well as how often they post to Twitter.

Danny Scott, the book trust’s social media manager, said: “The authors at the top of this list all interact with their audience and aren’t afraid to offer an opinion, or, indeed, be themselves.

“In many ways, the research proves authors are becoming as much of a commodity as their novels.”

Trust chief executive Marc Lambert added: “The list is a mixture of artists, children’s authors, crime writers and journalists, reflecting the dynamism and diversity of the Scottish literary scene. They are all harnessing the power of social media to stimulate discussion and debate books.

“This is exactly in keeping with what Book Week Scotland is all about – reaching out to a wider audience and encouraging people to discover and enjoy the benefits of reading and writing.”

You can read the full article here.

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20. Strike Files Episode 3

It’s here so take a listen! The newest episode of our Cormoran Strike podcast, “The Strike Files,” is available on iTunes or here on the show’s website; it covers the second twenty (plus a little extra because we can’t stop ourselves, or, maybe, one of us can’t) chapters of Career of Evil, the latest book in the Strike series. Enjoy!

Subscribe on iTunes here!

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21. IQA Announces the Host City of the 2016 Quidditch World Cup

A lot of changes have been made to the IQA in the last few years. Those changes even saw the absence of a Quidditch World Cup as countries began to refuse to travel to America every year. Instead, we have seen the birth of the IQA Quidditch Summer Games, which became the Global Games, and with each country (even contents) hosting their own championships.

Finally, after the IQA disbanded into National Association and then reformed, the Quidditch World Cup is back! The IQA has officially announced that the next Quidditch World Cup will be held in Frankfurt, Germany!

In their press release, the IQA said:


The 2016 World Cup will be held 23-24 July 2016 at the beautiful Rebstocklage sports facility in Frankfurt, Germany. The best players worldwide will compete for national teams at the International Quidditch Association’s premiere event for international glory and the title of world champion. Frankfurt’s bid, sponsored by Deutscher Quidditchbund and the city of Frankfurt, was unanimously selected by the IQA Events Committee and Executive Team for its excellent facilities and amenities, its ease of access and central location for many quidditch-playing nations, and its clear preparation and readiness for the undertaking.

The sports complex offers ample outdoor space for competition-ready grass pitches, indoor changing areas and on-site restrooms, and well-appointed space for a players’ village and warm-up area. It is easily accessible by public transit, and is situated near likely event hotels.

DQB has expressed significant enthusiasm for hosting the event. Lisa Struck, Chair of the Frankfurt2016 Organizing Committee, said, “We are excited about this opportunity to welcome the world to the heart of German quidditch, and look forward to working together with the IQA to ensure a memorable tournament experience for both players and spectators.”

“We are all extremely glad to be working with such a passionate hosts, and to use this opportunity to bring our sport to new eyes in Central Europe,” said IQA Executive Director Harrison Homel, “We believe that Frankfurt, a major travel hub, will prove to be an ideal gateway to the players and fans of the quidditch world next July as we crown our newest World Champion!


Now that the venue has been chosen, the IQA is in search for many volunteers willing to help host this event! Please check out their volunteer page for more information, and emails can be directed at info@iqaquidditch.org.

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22. “Career of Evil” in Final Round of Goodreads Choice Awards

Robert Galbraith’s latest novel. Career of Evil, has made it to the final round of Goodreads 2015 Choice Awards. It is up for an award in the “Best Mystery and Thriller” category.

However, it has not won yet. In this final round Robert and Jo need your vote! Up against titles such as Stephen King’s Finders Keepers, and this years hit, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Career of Evil will need your votes.

You can vote here, on Goodreads. Voting is open from now until November 23rd–vote now!

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23. Universal Releases video of “Wizarding World” SoCal

Universal Studios theme parks has released it’s first video featuring the “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” in Southern California. The new theme park opens next spring, and will include much of the beloved shops that are in the theme parks in Florida, plus more!

Until spring roles around (we must get through winter first), fans have been given a little teaser trailer (and the interactive website). It can be seen below!

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24. David Heyman’s New “Heyday” Television Venture

Harry Potter producer David Heyman is teaming up with NBCUniversal International Studios to create a Television company that will be dedicated to bringing viewers “premium long-form scripted content.” Heyman is most well known for being a very successful movie producer. Outside of producing a limited TV series called The Worricker Trilogy, this is Heyman’s first major involvement with television.

This does not mean Heyman is done with films. Not in the slightest. With now less than a year to go for the release of the first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, Heyman has just added a lot more work to his load. But he will enjoy it!

Deadline was first to report this story, exclusively, and said:


The new company, which will be a stand-alone from Heyman’s film banner Heyday Films, will have office in London and Los Angeles. Heyman is currently staffing up the operations. The deal, which will give Heyman access to NBCUni’s global distribution platform, is designed to provide flexibility for the feted producer. Although its slate is still in the formative stages, Heyday Television will have two blind series commitments from NBC. The new company will also have the freedom to sell its shows to other networks, as well as cable and premium channels like HBO and the likes of Netflix and Amazon.

“The great appeal of this deal for us is working with David Heyman,” NBCUni Intl Studios president Michael Edelstein told Deadline. “He’s as talented a producer as there is, with a broad range of tastes and material defined by high quality. We look forward to helping David bring his passion and creativity to global television audiences for years to come.”

“It’s a very exciting time for TV. I got into films because of European films in the ’60s and American films in the ’70s,” Heyman tells Deadline. “Increasingly, that is no longer the domain of film. Those films are being made in television and that really excites me. To make intelligent, mainstream entertainment and to do it in the UK and the U.S., that really is the primary driver for me. I love TV.”

“To tell a story over an extended period of time, even with Potter it was over 18 hours, gives me great pleasure,” said Heyman. “If you look at my tastes in film, they are all fairly different but what I am drawn to is characters, for all their magic and fantasy. It’s really about people with whom the audience can engage. All the special effects do not have currency without people and characters with whom you can engage. I hope to bring that to television.”


To read more of this amazing new project–we are excited to see what is coming!–read the original article here.

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25. Kenneth Branagh to Receive Dilys Powell Award

Kenneth Branagh has been chosen to receive one of the most prestigious awards for excellence in film, the Dilys Powell Award. This award is bequeathed by The London Film Critics’ Circle, largely known as one of the most established critics’ body in the United Kingdom.

Known for his acting and directing that well exceed his role as Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter films, Branagh has been chosen to receive the award for his excellence in both roles in front of and behind the camera. Though, a precious award from the London Critics was awarded to him in 2002, for his supporting in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Variety reported on the story, saying:


“As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell,” Branagh said in a statement, referring to the late Sunday Times critic for whom the award is named. “She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honour to me personally and very meaningful. My sincere thanks to the Critics’ Circle.”

The award acknowledges the Belfast-born Branagh’s 34-year career before and behind the camera, which began humbly as an uncredited bit player in 1981’s Oscar-winning “Chariots of Fire.” Eight years later, he made his directorial debut with a startling interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Henry V” — earning Oscar nominations as actor and helmer. He has since earned three more nods in a range of disciplines, while career highlights have included “Dead Again,” “Hamlet,” “Othello” and Woody Allen’s “Celebrity.”

In 2011, his witty performance as Laurence Olivier — the man to whom Branagh has routinely been compared throughout his career — in “My Week With Marilyn” earned him his third competitive award from the London critics. Previous wins came for his supporting turn in 2002’s “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and his production of 1993’s “Much Ado About Nothing.”


Branagh joins many other prestigious actors in the league who have also accepted this award. Among those big names is another Harry Potter actor, Gary Oldman (Sirius Black). Branagh will be accepting the award at the 36th London Film Critics’ Circle Awards ceremony in London, on January 17, 2016. At the awards ceremony, much like the Oscars, the Circle will be revealing its selection of 2015’s outstanding achievements in film; the nominations for the award ceremony will be revealed on December 15.

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