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26. Matt Lewis Returns to London Stage!

Harry Potter’s beloved Matthew Lewis (the heroic Neville Longbottom) is returning to the stage in a London West End production of Owen McCafferty’s Unfaithful. The play is described as a dark comedy about relationships on the edge. Working with Sean Campion (Stones in His Pockets), Niamh Cusack (The Winter’s Tale) and Ruta Gedmintas (Backbeat), Matt Lewis released promotional photos and posters on his twitter this week:

 

What’s On Stage reported on the casting, saying:

“Matthew Lewis, best known for playing Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter film franchise, will star in the London premiere of Unfaithful, a new play by Owen McCafferty (Shoot The Crow).

“Directed by Adam Penford (A Small Family Business), the play is a dark comedy about relationships on the brink. It was first performed at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh, in 2014.

“Lewis’ theatre credits include Verdict and Our Boys at the Duchess Theatre.

“Unfaithful runs at Found111 from 31 August to 8 October,with previews from 25 August.”

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27. Fantastic Beasts Sequel to Take Series in A Different Direction

We still have several months of waiting until the Fantastic Beasts comes to theaters but J.K. Rowling and David Yates have already started talking about the sequel. Jo has already finished the script for the second Fantastic Beasts movie and passed it on to Yates to read. In this Entertainment Weekly article, Yates talks about how different the sequel will be to the first Fantastic Beasts movie.

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“We’ve seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction – as you should, you don’t want to repeat yourself,” says Yates, who also helmed the final four Potter films. “The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It’s a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her.”

Although Yates shared this much with us, when asked if the sequel would also be set in America, he was not yet ready to disclose this information. Can we assume that this means we will see Newt Scamander travel back to his home in London, or perhaps somewhere new?

I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

See more on the subject here. And be sure to catch Fantastic Beasts in theaters November 18!

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28. A Cursed Child Movie? Probably Not.

There has been quite a lot of speculation in regards to J.K. Rowling’s new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child becoming a film. This new flurry of rumors is because Warner Brothers has recently filed for a copyright regarding the play. However, according to The Telegraph the copyright is for much more than a film.

The request lists a range of goods and services including “motion picture films featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and/or animation, and motion picture films for broadcast on television featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure and/or animation”.

While it would be exciting to see this play on the big screen, Rowling has stated publicly that Cursed Child will remain a play and Fantastic Beasts will be three movies.

 

To read what else the WB’s copyright encompasses read more at The Telegraph. Remember though while The Cursed Child may not be coming to the cinema the book release is quickly approaching.

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29. Bloomsbury Announces Theme for HP Book Night 2017

The ever-growing and popular Harry Potter Book Night, a night celebrating the publication of the Harry Potter books, is coming back in 2017! Bloomsbury recently announced the theme for the 2017 Harry Potter Book Night, taking place Thursday 2nd February.

Many of our favorite characters are Hogwarts professors. Many of the Harry Potter series most complex characters are Hogwarts professors. Many of the most influential people in our lives are professors, teachers, and mentors that helped us grow into the people we are today. Honoring the importance of these figures, Bloomsbury announced The Professors of Hogwarts as the theme for Harry Potter Book Night 2017.

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Bloomsbury stated in a press release:

 

“They say that the influence of a good teacher can never be erased so who better to celebrate on Harry Potter Book Night than those who taught Harry Potter and his friends many magical skills.

“Whether it was the suave charm of Gilderoy Lockhart or the dark complexity of Severus Snape, many of the professors of Hogwarts had a huge impact on Harry Potter’s adventures.

“So, make a date in your diary as Harry Potter Book Night returns for a third year on Thursday 2nd February 2017.

“Since the first Harry Potter Book Night in 2015 there have been over 24,000 events organised and 2017 is set to be even bigger. With an updated event kit themed around the Professors of Hogwarts and lots more exciting elements yet to be announced, once again fans of all ages will have the chance to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s wonderful novels – and pass the magic on to young readers who haven’t yet discovered these unforgettable books.”

 

Fans are invited to visit the Harry Potter Book Night website to register, and download event kits to begin planning their Harry Potter book night celebrations. Fans can share their ideas, plans, and suggestions for Harry Potter Book Night parties on social media, using #HarryPotterBookNight.

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30. Paul Thornley Talks ‘Cursed Child': New Characters, Keeping the Secrets, and Being Married to Hermione

More than simply being one of Harry Potter’s best friends, Ron Weasley is an iconic character in his own right. In a recent interview with the Pottermore correspondent, Paul Thornley–Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–took the time to share a little about what it’s like.

 “It’s massive. It’s the biggest thing I’ve ever been involved in, probably for all of us. I don’t know if I was aware of the enormity of the world of Harry Potter.”

He also talks about Ron’s relationship with Hermione nineteen years later, and how their differences play a part in their marriage’s success:

 “Their marriage is pretty strong. I think she despairs of his rather scattergun approach to life, and he doesn’t really worry about anything. It’s a good balance between the two of them, between someone who’s slightly more focused and someone who’s more relaxed.”

Being that the Cursed Child story centers around Albus Potter, Rose Granger-Weasley, and their generation, it’s a given that there are a few new faces to see. Of the newcomers, Paul says:

 “The old guard still knock about. But it’s a beautiful mixture of following your old mates but then also falling in love with a few new characters.”

Even as a cast member, Paul still strives to keep the secrets to keep the magic alive for first-time viewers of the play–to his children’s dismay!

 “I’ve read [the Harry Potter books] with both my children. I’ve got an older one who’s read all of them and an eight-year-old who’s beginning to get into it. It’s so exciting for both me and the children, but I don’t want to tell them anything about [the play] because I want them to experience it when they see the show. I keep being peppered with questions when I come home from work!”

Hear more from Paul in the video below:

The more we hear about the story, cast, and production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the more excited we get to experience this chapter of the story ourselves! Read the full article on Pottermore.

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31. Carmen Ejogo’s Magical Reasons for Making Her ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Character Left-Handed

According to Pottermore, Carmen Ejogo’s interest in history led to her insisting that her character, Seraphina Picquery, was left-handed. Of course, Carmen herself is left-handed, but that doesn’t stop her having a creative, thoughtful reason for adding to her character’s personality:

‘It’s been a lot of fun to come up with a look and a personality that has that element of other-worldliness, I’ve never had to do that before’

‘The costume for Seraphina has been this wonderful evolution in the hands of costume designer Colleen Atwood. She was great because she let me contribute. All of my rings, for example. I said to her that maybe [Seraphina] should have all these rings on her fingers.’ 

The associations of left-handedness with dark magic, the devil, curses and – of course – historic witch trials has significant ties to the legacy of the Salem Witch trials in Fantastic Beasts, and Carmen knows this well:

‘I’m left-handed actually, naturally, but I know that that’s a very magical trait. I’d be thought of as a witch years ago. So I wanted to really emphasize my left hand and I thought we could put rings on it. Colleen was really into that idea’

Pottermore also connects this to a shoot in Liverpool, as well as reminding us that Joan of Arc was burn at the stake for heresy in 1431, which is connected to depictions of her as left-handed:

“When the Fantastic Beasts cast and crew went on location in Liverpool, they filmed a scene where angry protestors chanted ‘We want second Salem! We want second Salem!’. These ‘Second Salemers’, as they are known, want to banish witches all over again and are led by Samantha Morton’s character, Mary-Lou.

Keep that insight up your left sleeve, by the way; it’ll help you understand the importance of secrecy to the North American wizarding world at this time.”

Carmen Ejogo has managed to connect to her character personally, as well as transforming Seraphina into a  character who is thoroughly connected to North American wizarding history,  even down to the rings on her fingers!

How fitting, seeing as she is President of MACUSA, and an all round amazing witch, as shown by J.K. Rowling’s writings on Ilvermorny:

“Should more than one carving signify its wish to include the student in its house, the choice rests with the student. Very rarely – perhaps once a decade – a student is offered a place in all four houses. Seraphina Picquery, President of MACUSA 1920 – 1928, was the only witch of her generation so honoured, and she chose Horned Serpent.”

We look forward to seeing more of Seraphina’s carefully crafted character in the near future, head to Pottermore to read the full article here!

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32. Ralph Fiennes Had to Be Persuaded to Play Voldemort!

After Dan Radcliffe admitted to actually being intimidated by Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort, Ralph told Metro that he almost didn’t take the role that he played so convincingly!

Digital Spy reports:

“I took ages to be persuaded to do Harry Potter and I have no regrets at all. I didn’t know the books. I had seen the first Harry Potter film and I didn’t feel that sort of material was something that appealed to me.”

“But then my sister rang me up and said, ‘They’ve asked you to play Voldemort. Do you not realise how big this is? 

“She has children who were reading Harry Potter, so suddenly I became aware.”

Fiennes has recently portrayed M in the iconic James Bond film series, and after Voldemort he says he’s done playing bad guys:

“I just didn’t want to play malign spirits. I’d had enough”

We all owe a huge thanks to Ralph’s sister, it seems! Read the full report here.

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33. PotterCast #258 – PukWhatgie?

Get excited Leaky followers–everyone’s favorite Harry Potter podcast is back with another new episode! The Harry Potter world is very much a live, with new content being added faster than fans can react and become excited. With all this hot news, PotterCast is back, and attempting to tackle the Potter Universe with lively discussion–may take a few bit-by-bit segments.

As listeners may recall from the last PotterCast episode, John Noe (in true character) had a good laugh at the seeming ridiculousness of the leaked Ilvermorny house names. As fans have learned since the release of the Ilvermorny foundation story, Thunderbird, Pukwudgie, Horned Serpent, and Wampus are indeed the names of the four houses of Ilvermorny. Everyone on PotterCast appreciates the irony, though all admit the names are still quite funny.

This week, the PotterCast podcasters were joined by Zack Luye, who runs the Game of Thrones news fansite Winter is Coming and hosts a Game of Thrones podcast for his site (similar to The Leaky Cauldron and PotterCast). Zack cohosted and helped edit this weeks PotterCast–thanks Zack!

In this week’s episode, the PotterCast crew sorted Zack and John Noe into their Ilvermonry houses (Melissa guessed Zack’s house before he finished J.K. Rowling’s quiz, and John Noe’s teasing of a certain house came back to bite him when he was sorted into it!), discussed the names and lore behind the new American wizarding houses–particularly Pukwudgie–and the color pallettes for each house.
With so much cannon behind Hogwarts and it’s four houses, the PotterCast crew discusses what is next for the Ilvermorny story, and hypothesizes what is to come. Even though J.K. Rowing claimed there was “no equivalence” between the Hogwarts and Ilvermorny houses, the group discusses the obvious parallels between the two sets of houses.

The podcast wraps up with an interesting look at Bre’s Hogwarts/Ilvermorny poll that breaks down data about the Ilvermorny houses, North American schools, and….

GeekyCon! There is only a few weeks until GeekyCon kicks off in Orlando at the end of this month! The next PotterCast will be hosted live from GeekyCon, and by then all fans will have their hands on the eighth story! Learn more about GeekyCon here.

DOWNLOAD THE NEWEST EPISODE OF POTTERCAST ON ITUNES :)

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34. “Spread the Light” Fundraiser for J.K. Rowling’s Birthday

It is that time of year again! J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthday is just around the corner and more than 20 Harry Potter fansites are coming together in support of a cause to honor our beloved philanthropic author and her boy wizard that changed lives.

This year, Spread the Light is hosting a fundraiser–with a chance to win many magical prizes–to support J.K. Rowling’s charitable University of Edinburgh research facility (which focuses on wide range of neurological conditions, especially neurodegenerative diseases), The Anne Rowling Clinic.

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Spread the Light details their mission on their website, saying:

 

“Spread The Light is organized and run by more than 20 “Harry Potter” fan sites and youtubers from around the world (for the full list, see below). The goal of this fundraiser is to help raise funds and awareness to the important work the Anne Rowling Clinic does. Founded in J.K. Rowling’s late mothers’ name, it provides out care for patients with multiple sclerosis and other Neurodegenerative diseases as well as cutting edge research and clinical trials. Despite MS, they treat conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s among other life-threatening conditions which currently have no cure. With your donation, that could change!

“We are running a huge prize draw as part of the fundraiser with grand prizes that includes countless autographs from the “Harry Potter” cast/crew, a personalized thank you letter from “Fantastic Beasts” star Alison Sudol, signed books plus so much more! (For a full list, click here.)

 

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The Guardian wrote an article featuring Spread the Light and their efforts, saying:

 

In addition to discovering the pleasure of reading, Potterheads have also learned the importance of love, friendship, tolerance and so many other values in their magical journey through the wizarding world. Now, as grown-ups, the children who waited for their Hogwarts letters during all those years are able to put it all into practice, lightning up the lives of those in need as JK Rowling once did for them.

Created by the American Michaella Katz (from Always J.K. Rowling) and Brazilian Pedro Martins (from Potterish), the fundraiser Spread the Light was warmly embraced by more than 20 Potter fansites and Youtubers and supported by writers, publishers and bookshops from all over the world. The idea is simple: it invites fans to be a Patronus as JK Rowling was to them.

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“We’ve built a loyal group of followers throughout our years working with the Harry Potter fandom, so we wanted to transform this influence into something substantial that thanked Rowling and resignified our purpose as fans. We looked for institutions the author approves and departed from that to start spreading our light”, explains the 23-year-old Brazilian Igor Moretto (from Animagos), who works especially with the design part of the project.

The cool thing is that fans can double win Spreading the Light. Besides helping turn the world into a better place, when they make their donations through our Just Giving page, they automatically enter into a prize draw. Some of our incredible supporters donate perks for us to encourage fans taking part. This time, we have a number of prizes. Some of the Deathly Hallows Grand Prizes are: the complete Harry Potter Blu-ray collection donated and signed by David Yates, who directed the last four Potter movies and the upcoming Fantastic Beasts; a Harry Potter group photo signed by six cast members: Alan Rickman, Evanna Lynch, Daniel Radcliffe, David Yates, Matthew Lewis; and also signed books by Gayle Forman and Paula Pimenta, plus much more!

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Read more from the Guardian here, and visit Spread the Light to make a donation and enter to win prizes!

 

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35. Emma Watson Unveils “Beauty and the Beast” Poster!

Earlier this week, Emma Watson had the privilege of revealing the first movie poster for her much-anticipated film, Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.

The poster features the film’s iconic red rose in it’s frosted protective glass. The beautiful flower is alive and healthy, without a single petal dropped. The surrounding castle is dark, cold, and gloomy.

 

She revealed the teaser on her Facebook page, posting:

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, also starring Dan Stevens (the Beast) Ian McKellen (Cogsworth), Harry Potter’s Emma Thompson (Mrs. Potts), Josh Gad (Le Fou), Ewan McGregor (Lumiere), Kevin Kline (Maurice), Stanley Tucci (Cadenza) andLuke Evans (Gaston), is set to premiere March 17, 2017.

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36. Take a Closer Look at the Set of Cursed Child!

Pottermore are going behind the scenes of Harry Potter in the Cursed Child in the coming weeks, to learn more about how the unique set design of the play was constructed.

Tony Award-winning set designer Christine Jones (Close to You, Spring Awakening and Let the Right One In)  introduces the Pottermore series by talking about bringing the set together in an exclusive video.

Pottermore reports:
‘I was overwhelmed,’ Christine told us. ‘I didn’t expect to get as emotional as I did. But I think we all have been working on this for over a year and just have so much invested in it.’

‘There’s just this feeling that we’re working with people we love, on something we love, for people we love. And there’s a lot of emotions that have become buried within the fabric on the making of this.’

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This video of the props and sets involved in the Cursed Child production is slow moving and close-up, showing the intricate craftsmanship behind the immaculate set.

Be sure to take a look at the short preview (below), as it makes one appreciate just how many people are needed to make such a beautiful play come to life!

Read more over at Pottermore here, and read more from Christine Jones on set design here!

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37. David Yates and David Baron talk “Tarzan”

Harry Potter direct David Yates, and Harry Potter producer David Baron, sat down for a an interview about their most recent collaboration, The Legend of Tarzan. The new live-action take on the classic tale (made famous among younger generations by Disney’s animated feature film) hits theaters this week (already in theaters in the USA)–introducing audiences to Tarzan’s life after he and Jane have married and moved away from the jungle. When trouble arises and new enemies emerge, Tarzan must return to the jungle.

The two Davids sat down with Den of Geek to discuss the film, why they chose the legend of Tarzan, their take on the well-known tale, and more. Den of Geek reports:

 

Let’s start with something obvious: why Tarzan?

David Yates: Well, I was reading dozens and dozens of scripts, and trying to find something after [Harry] Potter that felt really fun, immersive, and had lots and lots of colours. Potter was a big arena experience, and in terms of storytelling it always had a funny bit, it always had a dramatic bit, always had something that was very emotional, always had something that was very beautifully thematic. It always took you to four or five different places, and as an experience that was always very enjoyable. And I read all these Hollywood scripts that they kept sending me, and none of them did that. They were all very one-note, it was one colour all the way through, whether they were blowing up cities or whatever, and then this script turned up and it said Tarzan on the front, and I said ‘I don’t think I’m going to read that, because I know what that is.’

Then someone who’d read it in my office said ‘I really think you ought to read this, because it’s not what you think.’ Reluctantly, I opened the page, and then I couldn’t stop turning the pages, and there was something about this human being who didn’t really know where home was. He didn’t know if it was in the jungle, or in his country estate in England, and he was stuck between the two, which I found really compelling. And there was something about the themes in the movie, that were beautiful, about reconnecting with the environment, reconnecting with animals, understanding animals, understanding that the environment was being threatened. This old-fashioned, iconic character was somehow connecting with present-day values that were very relevant and very important, and very ‘now.’ But more than anything, it was fun, it was moving, it was romantic, it was exciting, it had all the colours that the Potter movies, for me, would have. I thought ‘fuck, this is the first time I’ve read a script that I really want to go see this movie.’

David Baron: It’s also a very different Tarzan to all the other movies that we’ve seen in the past. For a start, it’s not the story of the foundling in the forest who gets taken back to England by the end, it’s quite the reverse. The character starts in England and goes back to Africa, which is a very refreshing point of view for Tarzan.

That’s something that I’m very curious about. Everything now is an origin story, even things that aren’t really origin stories. Was there pressure to push in? In the clip we saw, there was the beginning of that – was there pressure to make more of that?

DY: There is a bit of origin story in the movie, and there was no pressure from the studio, but when we showed it to the audience, the origins bit that was in there, they loved. When we put a bit more in, they loved it even more, and when we put a bit more in they loved it even more. But the origin story isn’t straightforward origin story, it refracts. There’s a foreground story, and that story of how Jane and Tarzan met, that refracts against the present time. It’s an element. Is it an origin story? Not really.

DB: There’s enough to explain, to people who don’t know the story, it gives them something to hang on to.

DY: It gives you context, and it’s kinda fun.

 

When he was fighting the monkey, what was he doing really?

DB: You mean physically?

Was it a puppet, or was there a stand-in? How did you do that?

DY: We had a stunt stand-in who would be the gorilla.

DB: In a big suit, for the physical interaction, so Alex’s arms weren’t here, they were sort of here.

DY: Then Alex would fight with him, and then when he couldn’t fight with him because he had to throw a punch, he’d literally be fighting with thin air.

DB: Or a ball on the end of a stick. We didn’t do any motion capture, the apes are completely CG.

DY: You just get the best animators, which we did. And it’s partly about the characters within our story, and you deliver story. Our animals, we made them as photorealistically as we could.

DB: Even though they don’t exist, because they’re giant apes.

They were pretty bloody scary.

DB: They don’t actually exist, they’re drawn from something that was a mixture of a chimpanzee and a gorilla, but they’re bigger. You wouldn’t find anything quite as big as Tarzan’s brother in the wild.

DY: You don’t really look at what other people are doing, you kind of just concentrate on your own story and your own world.

DB: In Planet Of The Apes, they’re pretty much just chimpanzees that ride horses and stand on their back legs.

DY: You look critically at some other work, and you go ‘they did that bit really well, but that bit wasn’t as good.’ You’re aware of it, and you try and learn from other people’s mistakes. And you’ll do something that you think is really good, a stand-out piece of animation, and you do something else and think ‘I’m not sure we nailed that.’

There’s a scene in the trailer where Margot has to scream and she says ‘oh, like a damsel.’ I gather that Jane is quite modern.

DY: She’s feisty. She’s quite modern and feisty, she’s quite punchy.

Where did she punch [Alex], in the face?

DB: No, the arm.

This strategy of finding your own voice, how does it relate to the previous Tarzan movies and what kind of man he is? We know him as being young, and you have to define what kind of man he is becoming.

DY: He’s a man stuck between two worlds. He’s afraid of going back to where he grew up, he’s afraid primarily because he wants to protect Jane, there’s a score that he has to figure out how to settle with an extraordinary character called Chief Mbonga. He actually killed Chief Mbonga’s son at one point in his past, so he’s reticent to go back to Africa. He’s a deeply troubled human being, who is trying to figure everything out, and he has the expectation from his father and his family of staying in England, of keeping the family home, being a proper English lord. He’s quite conflicted. But he finds real peace, and completeness, when he goes back to Africa. He has two families in Africa; he has the Manjani, the gorillas, who found him as a baby, and he has the Kuba tribe, who are this very peaceful group of agrarian tribespeople who saved him and brought him into their community.

DB: Which is where he met Jane.

DY: The Kuba are great, and they bring them into his bigger family. Ultimately, it’s a celebration of family. The thing about Christoph Waltz’s character is, he doesn’t know anything about community, or love, or what it is to feel interconnected, he just wants to take and build for the ambitions of his king. Whereas Tarzan and Jane have this huge family in Africa.

DB: Also Tarzan has, although he didn’t grow up with it, this history of his aristocratic lineage, and Christoph Waltz comes from very humble origins, and thinks that by serving his king well he will be promoted in the annals of history and celebrated as a character who saved his country.

Where does Samuel L. Jackson come into it?

DY: He’s a real character. Sam’s character is based on this extraordinary man, George Washington Williams, a preacher-lawyer-soldier, and one of the first people to draw people’s attention to what was happening in the Congo. There’s a level of politics in the movie, with a very small P, we didn’t want to dwell on it too much but it does give context for what’s happening in our story. So George Washington Williams, played by Sam, wants to try and get to the bottom of what King Leopold is up to in the Congo, which is basically enslaving a good portion of the population. So Sam persuades John, Tarzan, to take him back to the Congo, where they can work together to uncover what Leopold’s up to.

DB: Which was genocide on a massive scale.

DY: It was the first great genocide. Actually, that’s a really heavy part of it, and if one percent of the audience gets intrigued by that, they can learn about the first great genocide.

Will we be hearing the famous Tarzan yell?

DB: Of course you will!

DY: We were mixing it this morning.

 

To read more of this extensive interview with David Yates and David Baren, learn more about the animation of the film, casting choices, and how Jane saves Tarzan, read here.

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38. Hermione Meets Hermione: Emma Watson Talks ‘Cursed Child’ and Meeting Noma Dumezweni

On Wednesday, two Hermiones were in the same place at the same time and not a single Time-Turner was involved.

Emma Watson attended a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and her reaction has us feeling a little emotional.

Emma shared her thoughts on the play–and her thoughts on meeting her “older self”, Noma Dumezweni–on her Facebook page. Of the experience, she said:

 “Having seen it I felt more connected to Hermione and the stories than I have since Deathly Hallows came out, which was such a gift. Meeting Noma and seeing her on stage was like meeting my older self and have her tell me everything was going to be alright, which as you can imagine was immensely comforting (and emotional)!”

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Noma shared the love in a few tweets of her own.

Emma also met Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter), Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy), producers, and others involved in the making of Cursed Child.  

Harry Potter past has met the present, and it couldn’t be more magical.

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39. Newt Scamander Funko Pop! Figure Coming Soon!

According to Pottermore, Newt Scamander will be coming to San Diego Comic-Con this month – in Funko Pop! style!

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The new figure will make his debut at the convention, and will be on sale to the general public following the event. Being a magizoologist, it’s only fitting that Newt be sold along with a three-pack of a Cornish pixie, Mandrake and Grindylow – these ‘fantastic beasts’ will be exclusive to Comic-Con, and we’re super jealous!

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The convention will run from 20th – 24th July. Find out more here!

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40. “Fantastic Beasts” Dan Fogler talks co-stars on Pottermore!

During a recent Pottermore interview, Award winning actor Dan Fogler who plays Jacob Kowalski in “Fantastic Beasts” spoke about his admiration and respect for co star Alison Sudol.

Speaking of his fondness towards Alison, who effortlessly exudes glamour as the character Queenie, Fogler says “Alison is an angel. She’s an angel”.

“The moment I saw her, I knew her energy was just perfect. When she gets in the make-up and she’s Queenie and she’s got the lights on her, she’s got skin that glows, you know? When I saw her for the first time, I was like, holy…. It’s Alison Monroe over here – Marilyn’s cousin.”

“She has that feminine, delicate quality about her that also lends itself to comedy in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way.”

With No-Maj character Jacob and Queenie, (sister of Tina) sparking our attention as they become part of the prevailing foursome of the film, it is already very exciting to see their relationships develop both on and off screen.

Dan continues  ‘Together we’ve got a bit of an Adelaide and Nathan Detroit [from Guys and Dolls] thing going. So I’m always referencing something, that’s where I come from. I do a lot of homages in my work so I’m always referencing something. That’s what it feels like with the two of us.’

 “She’s the real professional, she’s a rock star.”

Just like Harry Potter, with those endearing relationships built from the start between the likes of Dan, Emma and Rupert, fans can expect a second istallation of charming, genuine chemistry and sparking friendships yet again within the 3 upcoming films. The combination of four protagonists this time shows us it’s definitely going to be a bumpy ride for Newt, and we can’t wait to see how the story pans out for him and his friends.

To read the full interview, visit Pottermore here!

“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” debuts November 18th.

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41. Harry Potter Young Adult Cast Round Up

In a series of “round ups” we have been summarising the many movies, plays and other projects associated with Harry Potter alumni. The YA cast from Potter includes the trio and J.K. Rowling’s ‘Big Six’, so it’s unsurprising that they’re on all sorts of exciting endeavours!

Aside from being UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and leader of a feminist book club, Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) is – as we know – an amazing actress. She’s currently in cinemas starring as ‘Lena’ in The Colony – a thriller based around the cult Colonia Dignidad.

She recently interviewed The Circle co-star Tom Hanks on feminism and the movie industry – the movie is based on Dave Egger’s book, and is set for initial release this year.

Emma is also set to portray the iconic leading lady Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast in 2017. Even ‘the original Belle’, Paige O’Hara, is excited to see her take over the role!

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) has recently appeared in is currently in cinemas as a villain in Now You See Me 2, and has just started in his theatre role in Privacy, which features Edward Snowden.

A new trailer and poster for Dan’s upcoming spy-thriller Imperium have recently been released, which you can view below – he will be portraying nervous undercover FBI agent / white supremacist, Nate Foster. The film is set to be released in August. Entertainment Weekly reports:

“The director says — worryingly — that the more he learned about the topic, the more timely and relevant it seemed. “We’re witnessing a surge in far-right groups all across Europe; in some cases they’re nearly winning national elections,” says Ragussis. “We have a stereotype of what it means to be a white supremacist, but when I began collaborating with Michael and doing my own research, I was stunned by the depth and the extent of this movement.”

Ragussis made every effort to authentically portray the experience of going undercover, as well as the modern-day white supremacist community. “There’s a large white supremacist rally in the middle of the film that we had spent months researching and planning,” the filmmaker explains. “There were so many details that had to be captured to try to make it real and authentic. I’d read about them, seen them, watched videos of them — but to actually see it come to life by our own hands was something I’ll never forget. Someone even called the news and erroneously reported a Klan rally in their neighborhood! So to that extent, I suppose we did our job.””

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Dan will also star in Jungle – a psychological thriller based around the story of Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir of his trip to the Amazon, which was included in The Discovery Channel’s I Shouldn’t Be Alive.

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is set to star in Sick Note with Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), after his recent performance in Moonwalkers with Fantastic Beasts actor Ron Perlman

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been cast as a series regular in CW’s The Flash. He will be portraying Julian Dorne – a Central City Police Department crime scene investigator. Read more here.

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) recently wrote, produced and directed short movie Medusa’s Ankles with Potter co-star Jason Isaacs, which is set for release this year. She also raised money for Film Aid by making her own ‘Come Dream With Me’ t-shirts, which got the support of many Potter co-stars, and even J.K. Rowling herself!

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) is currently starring in  Me Before You alongside Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who).
He is also (almost) confirmed to be  co-starring as ‘Lenny’ in Terminal, along with Margot Robbie , Simon Pegg, Mike Myers and more. The film is being produced by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. Read more at Matthew lewis.com here.

Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas) will be returning to CB’s hit show How to Get Away With Murder for its third season on September 22nd.

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and Katie Leung (Cho Chang) recently took the Ilvermorny sorting tests on Pottermore, both being sorted into the same house as J.K. Rowling: Thunderbird:

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A photo posted by Katie Leung (@_katieleung_) on

Evanna also appeared at the premiere of David Yates’s new film The Legend of Tarzan:

Katie Leung is set to star in The Foreigner – a film based on 1992 novel The Chairman, and co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan.

Lastly, Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) has continued to make videos on her eponymous Youtube channel (here). She also appeared in Call the Midwife, and is set to star in Modern Life Is Rubbish, directed by Daniel Gill, who is known for being assistant Director on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Hope you’re looking forward to all these upcoming features from our favourite YA Potter actors as much as we are! Be sure to take a look at the adult actor round ups, split into Part 1 (here) and Part 2 (here)!

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42. Harry Potter Adult Cast Acting Round Up #2

All of the Harry Potter actors, or alums, have been keeping busy doing what they do best–acting! In a series of “round ups” we will be doing our best to summarize the acting projects of all the Harry Potter star alums, many movies, plays and other projects–many of which sound amazing and may peak different Harry Potter fans’ interests.

Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia Dursley) joined the cast of the SyFy channel’s upcoming horror series Channel Zero: Candle Cove. The mini-series, set to premiere this fall, is based off Kris Straub’s online short story of the same title. Channel Zero: Candle Cove will be a mini-series made up of two 6-episode seasons. Season two is scheduled to be released in 2017. Variety Media describes the story, saying:

“[Channel Zero: Candle Cove] centers on [protagonist Mike Painter’s] obsessive recollection of a mysterious children’s television program from the 1980s – and his ever-growing suspicions about the role it might have played in a series of nightmarish and deadly events from his childhood…Mike Painter, a child psychologist who was a child himself when he witnessed the mysterious disappearance of his twin brother, Eddie, and four other children from their small town, Iron Hill, in 1988. Decades later, he is compelled to return to his hometown to investigate what really happened all those years ago, only to find that it – whatever it was – may be happening all over again. 

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“Shaw also stars as Marla Painter, Mike’s mother and a widow. Marla is shocked when Mike returns home and is reluctant to relive the events of the long-ago disappearance of her son and the other children of Iron Hill.”

 

Bill Nighy (Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour) will be gracing the stage of London’s National Theatre as he joins the production of “Stuff Happens.” The production will be a rehearsed reading, with Bill Nighy set to play the Narrator. The production will only take place for one night, July 6, on the publication day of the Chilcot Inquiry report. The play’s author, David Hare describes the play (which was first performed in 2004):

“In 2004 Nicholas Hytner said the National Theatre could not call itself by that name if it did not have a play about the invasion of Iraq in that calendar year. He was right. And now, 12 years later, when the inquiry into those events is to be published, it seems appropriate to mark the event by presenting the play which first laid out the diplomatic process leading to the most controversial foreign policy decision of my life time.”

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Julie Walters (who played the beloved Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films) has joined the cast of a film adaption of Peter Turner’s memoir Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. The Hollywood Reporter describes the film, saying:

“The story follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening). What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the one person she allows herself to turn to for comfort and strength. When Grahame — known for roles in films like The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful — collapses and refuses medical attention, Turner is forced to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family home in Liverpool.”

Julie Walters will play the role of Peter’s mother. Production on the film began today.

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Next on the list, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) has joined the cast of the up coming film, The Death of Stalin. It is currently unknown what role Jason Isaacs will play within the film, which is based off of a graphic novel of the same title. Variety reported:

“‘The Death of Stalin’ has everything: comedy, tragedy, truth, lies, life, death, bravery and cowardice. All under the shadow of Stalin’s Terror. So I’m really pleased we have an amazingly multifaceted cast who can give us all these things and more. It’s an unbelievable ensemble — great actors, brilliant comedians, fantastic personalities — and together they give us all the horrific drama and base absurdity of the crazy last days of Stalin and the power struggle to succeed him.”

“’The Death of Stalin’ is based on true events and set in the days following Stalin’s collapse as his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive,” according to the press statement.”

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Along the lines of the comedic, Emma Thompson will making an appearance as an OBGYN in the Bridget Jones’s Diary sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby. It is absolutely hilarious. Her character was debuted on the newest trailer for the film, which was just recently released. It can be seen below! The synopsis of the film states:

“After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones’s (Zellweger) “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new.  For once, Bridget has everything completely under control.  What could possibly go wrong?

Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not.  In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch…she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.”

Bridget Jones’ Baby hits theaters September 16.

Unfortunately, after facing healthy complications and taking the advice to lay off working, Harry Potter’s John Hurt (Mr. Ollivander) announced he had to withdraw from his involvement in the newest production of The Entertainer. Mr. Hurt said in his statement:

“I have recently been in hospital with an intestinal complaint and although I am much improved and on the road to a full recovery, my doctors have advised that it is too soon for me to undertake a lengthy and arduous stage role.

“It is therefore with great sadness and disappointment that I must withdraw from The Entertainer.”

The play is a Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) production. The Telegraph reports:

It is not yet clear who will replace Hurt in the role, though an announcement is expected soon.

Previews of the play, in which Kenneth Branagh plays Archie Rice, begin at London’s Garrick Theatre on August 20. This is the last play of Branagh’s year-long residency at the theatre.

This was to be the first time Hurt had appeared on the London stage in 10 years. In February, he described himself as “proud and privileged” to be involved in the project.

“I am thrilled to be invited to play Billy Rice in this production of what I believe to be one of the great plays of the 20th century,” he said.

The Entertainer will play at the Garrick Theatre from August 20 until November 12.

 

Helena Bonham Carter sat down for an interview with Market Wired. She discussed loving to dress up in crazy costumes for characters that were vastly different from her–acting as an escape from herself. Helena talked of experimenting with her wardrobe and keeping parts of her past characters’ costumes. Market Wired reported:

“I want to dress up. I don’t want to look like me. I want to feel I have escaped me. Like this one (Alice Through the Looking Glass) is easier to watch because I really don’t look like me. I wish I had special effects in every movie,” the Brit says.

“Oh yes, it’s completely therapeutics,” she says. “I am not naturally very angry. But is quite tiring to be continuously angry, so it took a lot of sugar and caffeine. It’s amazing that you don’t have to pay for the therapy, but you get paid.”

“In daily life, you can use them as costumes, I think. They are a bit magical, and they can have the ability to transform you. Not necessarily just totally from the outside, but it can solicit something else from the inside.”

Bonham-Carter, who has played in over six of her ex-husband´s movies, says she has kept some of the costumes that she wore over the years.

“I should have kept more, because sometimes you do get attached. But you know what I tend to keep?” she laughs. “My character’s underwear. So I have the bloomers and the camisoles. You want to keep something, but it has more to do with letting go of the character.”

More of the interview can be read here and seen below!

Last but certainly not least, Warwick Davis (Griphook, Flitwick) will be a guest on a panel at a Star Wars Celebration Europe in London! The Celebration with take place next week, July 15-17. To learn more about scheduling, visit Collider.

Many thanks to our friends at MuggleNet for the heads up!

 

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43. Harry Potter Adult Cast Acting Round Up #1

Our adult Harry Potter alumni have been keeping busy lately with a multitude of projects, taking part in everything from new films to the theatre–and even one concert!

Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) will join Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones) and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) in the upcoming film Zoo, based on the true story of a 12-year-old boy and friends who join up with an older woman to save a baby elephant during the Belfast air raids in 1941.

Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) has received much praise for her star performance as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea, which is to be broadcast live to select cinemas around the world during the September 1 performance at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre.

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An eerie first trailer for the second season of Fortitude, starring Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) was recently released. Gambon stars alongside Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), and Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow, Frequency) in this Icelandic psychological horror series.

Kelly MacDonald (Helena Ravenclaw) has joined Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley) in the upcoming film Goodbye Christopher Robin, which centers around the life of A.A. Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh) and Milne’s relationship with his son, Christopher Robin. Domhnall will play the role of A.A. Milne himself, and Kelly will take on the role of Olive, Christopher Robin’s nanny.

Domhnall is also attached to an as-of-yet unnamed thriller–currently referred to as Day 6–alongside an all-star cast consisting of fan favorites like Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Javier Bardem.

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The first trailer and movie poster for the highly-anticipated Denial–starring Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew)–were released last week giving us our first look at the film, which is based on the book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.

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The film–which also stars Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson–is based on the true story of the legal battle of Deborah E. Lipstadt. Lipstadt and her legal team went up against David Irving (Spall), who–when Lipstadt asserted him a Holocaust denier–accused her of libel.

Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) joins an all-star cast in the latest installment of the Asterix seriesAsterix: The Mansions of the Gods. The film–which is the first feature-length 3D film in the series–will open in cinemas this August.

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The year is 50 BC. Gual is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely…

One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. Julius Caesar (Jim Broadbent), exasperated by the situation, decides to change tactics. Since his armies are unable to prevail through force, Roman civilisation itself will charm the barbaric Gauls. And so he has a luxurious housing complex built near the village for Roman families, called ‘The Mansions of the Gods’.

Will our Gaulish friends resist the lure of easy money and Roman comforts? Will their village become a simple tourist attraction? Asterix and Obelix are going to do all they can to thwart Caesar’s plans.

Lastly, Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) joined husband Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) and the folk duo Show of Hands at a concert in Devon commemorating the Battle of the Somme centenary. During the event, Imelda and Jim read poems penned by war poets.

Of their participation, Imelda said:

“We were delighted to be asked to work on the centenary project. The music is beautiful and the poems work so well. It is very moving and we feel very proud to be a part of it.”

 

Thanks to our friends at Mugglenet for the heads up!

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44. Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol on Portraying the Goldstein Sisters in ‘Fantastic Beasts’

Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol feature in Fantastic Beasts as sisters, Tina and Queenie Goldstein. The Pottermore Correpondent caught up with them to ask about their auditions, and how they manage to portray the bond between the sisters so well.

According to Pottermore, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol were cast as the Goldstein sisters after Eddie Redmayne had been cast as Newt, and David Yates was looking for two actresses with a ‘very specific type of chemistry’. Alison Sudol describes the moment they showed that they were the right fit:

‘We were introduced and it was kind of like, “Okay Katherine, this is Alison. Alison, this is Katherine. Why don’t you have a seat on that couch and be sisters?” We were both like, “Right, okay!”’

‘And so I [Alison] sat down and something happened: I just looked at Katherine’s face and felt incredibly empathetic towards her. In this scene, she – Tina – was suffering and I could see that. I started playing with her hair, and plaiting her hair, and it was a really emotional moment for both of us.’

But, according to Katherine, it wasn’t the first time she’d seen Alison act:

‘The truth is that I saw Alison in a scene first. I got to watch her work a little bit before we did the improvisation, so I already knew she was a really good actor,’ Katherine says.

‘So I went into the improvisation knowing I was with someone who would be able to hold up their side of the bargain. With things like that when you’re nervous and you’re auditioning, to know you can trust your partner gives you confidence you might not otherwise have in that situation. 

‘I think that made a big difference.”

J.K. Rowling’s focus on family, love and relationships in the Harry Potter series has continued to be a prominent theme in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and it seems we’ll get to see another side to this in the sisterly relationship between Tina and Queenie in Fantastic Beasts.

Katherine Waterston says that being a sister makes the role slightly easier to play naturally, given that she knows all the quirks of such a close bond:

 

 

‘I have a whole life’s history of that feeling of being a sister. That’s really what it comes down to with acting like this: it’s trust and love. We both felt that connection on the first day, Alison and I. But also, I’ve got a sister. I am a sister, so it wasn’t tricky to call on that. Sometimes my sister and I have come downstairs wearing the same outfit or we’ve called our mom at exactly the same time. There’s something witchy about being sisters anyway, don’t you think?’

Read the full article here!

If you haven’t seen it already, catch the sisters in the Fantastic Beasts trailer here, and read an interview with Katherine Waterston on working with David Yates here.

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45. Rupert Grint Joins His Brother at Goodwood Festival of Speed

Rupert Grint recently joined his brother (James Grint, a rally cross driver) in racing a Peugeot 308 GTi uphill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Before the drive, Rupert says his brother ‘knows what he’s doing’, and remarks that he’s a ‘terrible driver’ (even though he passed his driving test after two tries, and James took three tries).

Regardless of his trust in his brother, Grint pretty much constantly curses the whole way around the track!

On whether there’s any rivalry between the two siblings, both brothers agree, saying that they’re ‘pretty severely’ competitive in ‘everything’, especially go-karting. Rupert even said he’d ‘die behind the wheel’ to stop James beating him, after which James remarks ‘He is dangerous’.

Read more at Boldride here, and watch the video below!

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46. Dan Radcliffe Says He Was ‘Genuinely Scared’ of Ralph Fiennes

In the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview, Daniel Radcliffe talks about working with hugely successful actors such as Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Ralph Fiennes in his role as Harry Potter, and reveals a few stories about the late Richard Harris, and comments on being intimidated by Ralph Fiennes!

Dan is told to describe the actors he worked with. He calls Emma Watson ‘smart‘, Rupert Grint ‘funny‘, Maggie Smith sharp as a knife, in a wonderful way … tough and quick witted’, Alan Rickman ‘generous‘ and Michael Gambon ‘out of control, funny, just mad in a great way, again’.

Richard Harris he says ‘The first thing that comes to mind is phoenix, I suppose – there was this one moment where Fawkes, the animatronic phoenix in the second film … Richard thought it was a real bird’

Dan says of Richard Harris’ death:

‘I remember it was devastating, it was so sad … I’d never known a person who had died before so it was crazy. I feel like looking back it’s just one of those things where you just have to go “I am so lucky to have worked with him” – it’s an amazing thing to be able to say now … the films he made are going to be true parts of history, a lot of them, it’s going to be an incredible thing to be able to say that I worked with him.

I’ve spent some time with his granddaughter, Ella, who’s also a wonderful person- his whole family was incredibly sweet to me … I was involved a little bit in a memorial service for him and they were just incredibly kind and warm”

Dan describes Helena Bonham-Carter as ‘nuts, and fabulous … I love her

He then calls Ralph Fiennes ‘genuinely intimidating’:

‘I remember when I was 15 doing scenes with Ralph for the first time. He was even scarier than Alan was at first … Alan was super intimidating to start off with as well, but then you get into it, but Ralph genuinely scared me for a few years.’

Dan then imagines working with Ralph on a comedy in the future, and says it was ‘a hell of a learning experience’ to have worked with him.

Read more at Entertainment Weekly, and watch the interview below!

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47. Cursed Child already a Best Seller

The Harry Potter fandom has longed for more information on Harry Potter’s world ever since The Deathly Hallows was published almost 9 years ago. So it is no surprise that the pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child have been staggering. According to Digital Journal

The company states that the new book has sold more copies at its initial release than any other in the series to date.

While many will not be able to attend the stage production in London in the coming months they will be able to read the much anticipated new story from Rowling. The Cursed Child has also seen the revival of the midnight release party. From Geeky Con to Barnes & Noble to local bookstores the excitement is palpable. The book is also a top seller on Amazon.com.

Once again Harry Potter fans will get to experience a new book together. This will only add to the already close knit community of Potter fans. The book will be released on July 31 of this year. Convenient as that is both Harry’s and Rowling’s birthday. As we all read this new story together it will deepen our knowledge and love of the Wizarding World that Rowling has created.

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48. Celebrating 18 Years of “Chamber of Secrets,” Jim Kay Deluxe Edition

On July 2, 1998 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets hit shelves in the United Kingdom. Barely a year after the small publication and release of the first Harry Potter number, the Boy Who Lived was beginning to become as famous in the Muggle world as he was in the Wizarding World. Whispers and word of mouth had jumped the pond to the United States, and with the success of the second book, Scholastic was looking to make the largest bet in history at the time on a relatively unknown children’s book ($105,000).

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets became the turning point in literature and J.K. Rowling’s life. The second book boosted notoriety of the series–proving Harry Potter wasn’t a one-hit wonder with mediocre sequels, but a series that would change the literary world forever.

Critically acclaimed as a book to be “re-read into adulthood,” and collecting several literary awards and honors for children’s literature, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is still making an impact 18 years later.

Though the first and second Harry Potter book wouldn’t beginning it’s journey to world publishing in 1999, many of the first Harry Potter fans from the U.K. remember the release of the second Harry Potter book.

For the older fans and younger fans alike, whether you started the series in 1997 or in 2016, please share with us your favorite stories and memories of reading and re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets!

Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is set to be released later this year (October). News of the deluxe edition of the illustrated book has just been released.

The deluxe edition of the book will feature a red slip cover, etched with a giant gold spider. The book itself features an identically design cover, with a gold etched image of Hogwarts.

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Bloomsbury wrote:

“Picture the magic – discover J.K. Rowling’s extraordinary wizarding world with the glorious Deluxe edition of the full-colour illustrated Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – Rowling’s original, unabridged text paired with breathtaking illustrations by Jim Kay, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal.

“The much-loved second novel in the series brings wonderful illustrated set-pieces, dark themes and unforgettable characters – including Dobby and Gilderoy Lockhart. This beautiful, deluxe edition of J.K. Rowling’s timeless classic features an opulent page size and an exclusive pull-out double gatefold; intricate foiled line art by Jim Kay on the real cloth cover and slipcase; gilt edges on premium grade paper; head and tail bands and two ribbon markers – the ultimate must-have edition for any Potter fan, collector or bibliophile.”

 

The deluxe edition can be preordered here, and the normal illustrated edition can be preordered here.

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49. Breakfast at Hogwarts!

This summer, Warner Bros Studio Tour London are inviting guests to enjoy an exclusive breakfast in front of their extraordinary Hogwarts model, with early access to the Studio Tour!

The event will run on 21st and 28th August. Details from the website are as follows:

“Harry Potter fans of all ages are invited to watch dawn break over the Hogwarts castle model while enjoying an exclusive breakfast reception. The iconic castle took a team of 40 people seven months to build from scratch with over 300 fibre optic lights installed to simulate lanterns and torches.

After breakfast, you will be given early access to the Studio Tour where the Great Hall will be specially dressed for breakfast as it was in the magical film series right down to the boxes of Pixie Puffs and Cheeri Owls on the trestle tables. Staff members dressed in full Hogwarts’ uniforms will join you in the Great Hall for a complimentary souvenir photograph at the breakfast table.

Then you will be invited to walk among the authentic sets and discover the behind the scenes secrets at the studios where it all began, ahead of the first tour of the day. Highlights include the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office, the Weasley kitchen at The Burrow and the iconic Platform 9 ¾ that houses the original Hogwarts Express locomotive.

Following a complimentary tankard of Butterbeer in the Backlot Café, you will be able to step inside Harry Potter’s childhood home, number four Privet Drive, before wandering up the wizarding shopping street of Diagon Alley. The visit concludes in our lobby where a complimentary souvenir guidebook can be collected.”

Tickets go on sale at 10am (BST) on July 6th (adult tickets £95, child tickets £75).

For more information, an itinerary, and details on how to buy tickets, visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour website here!

 

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50. Bloomsbury UK Competition to Win a Family Trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Bloomsbury has launched a promotional competition within the U.K. for the chance to win a family ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. The competition is an in-store promotion from WHSmith and advertorials in First News.

The competition is to celebrate the continual success of the Harry Potter franchise. Bloomsbury wrote in their press release:

 

“Bloomsbury have seen an incredible 102% YOY increase in Harry Potter sales and expect this to continue with the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play on 30th July 2016 and into next year with the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It is clear that the appeal of JK Rowling’s bestselling series is as strong as ever.”

 

There are many exciting new aspects of the Harry Potter world coming to fruition this year with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts. Bloomsbury wants to honor the fans that keep the franchise going. The contest will have one Grand Prize winner and seven runner-up winners.

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The Grand Prize winner will receive the following:

A 5-night trip for four to experience it all for yourself, including:

• Round trip air transportation to Orlando, Florida 
• Admission to both Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ theme parks
• Accommodation on-site at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, opening this summer 
• Ground transportation between airport and hotel in Orlando
• Tickets to Blue Man Group

The winner will also receive a hardback box set of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Deluxe Illustrated Edition, a Harry Potter tote bag and Harry Potter bunting. 

The seven runners-up will receive a paperback box set of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition, a Harry Potter tote bag and Harry Potter bunting.

The contest is open to U.K. residents. Details of how to enter can be found here.

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