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26. J. K. Rowling Writes Letter as Dumbledore to Shooting Victim

Fifteen-year-old Cassidy Stay, who was the only survivor of a shooting that left her parents and siblings dead, received a letter and care package from J. K. Rowling following a speech she made just three days after the shooting, where she quoted Dumbledore. The speech went viral and J. K. Rowling reached out to Ms. Stay by writing a letter in the voice of Dumbledore:

At the memorial service three days after the horrific incident, Stay gave a speech and quoted Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. “‘Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light,’” she said to an audience of supporters. “I know that my mom, dad, Bryan, Emily, Becca and Zach are in a much better place and that I’ll be able to see them again one day.”

The tragic story and her use of Dumbledore’s words grabbed the attention of well-wishers around the world, and word appears to have reached Rowling. According to LDS.net and a Facebook page that wanted to set up a meeting between Stay and Rowling, the Harry Potter author sent an amazing care package.
“This afternoon, I talked to a friend of Cassidy’s who confirmed that J.K. Rowling did, in fact, write her a personalized letter from ‘Dumbledore’ (hand-written with purple ink),” the manager of the page wrote. “She was also sent a wand, an acceptance letter to Hogwarts with a school supply list, along with the 3rd book with JK’s autograph. I’m so excited and ecstatic that we were all able to make a difference! How wonderful.”

You can read more here. Many thanks to Hypable for the tip.

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27. J. K. Rowling and WB Form Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team

In order to manage all upcoming and future Harry Potter related projects - such as the theme park expansions and the "Fantastic Beasts" films - J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have formed a Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team:

Warner Bros. Entertainment has conjured up the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team, based in both London and Burbank, to “develop and execute a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand and its ancillary businesses,” Warner Bros. said Wednesday.

The move follows last year’s announcement that the studio had formed an expanded creative partnership with J.K. Rowling. It is a response to the continuing expansion of the Harry Potter franchise.

This includes, among other projects: a new film series in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter; the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan; the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida; a suite of Harry Potter digital services, and products including J.K. Rowling’s own initiative, “Pottermore”; and a future Harry Potter stage play, which will open in London’s West End next year.

The team, which will work closely with Rowling’s people at The Blair Partnership, will be led by Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, who now adds president of HPGFD to his role. He will be supported by Polly Cochrane, based in London, and Paul Condolora, based in Burbank, who joins the company this week.

Berger commented, “With Harry Potter’s consumer touch-points continuing to grow and flourish, I am confident that this talented, cross-company global team will enable us to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead — helping to bring Harry Potter in all its future incarnations to fans all over the world.”

You can read more here.

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28. J. K. Rowling and WB Form Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team

In order to manage all upcoming and future Harry Potter related projects – such as the theme park expansions and the “Fantastic Beasts” films – J. K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have formed a Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team:

Warner Bros. Entertainment has conjured up the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development team, based in both London and Burbank, to “develop and execute a high-level strategic vision for the Harry Potter brand and its ancillary businesses,” Warner Bros. said Wednesday.

The move follows last year’s announcement that the studio had formed an expanded creative partnership with J.K. Rowling. It is a response to the continuing expansion of the Harry Potter franchise.

This includes, among other projects: a new film series in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter; the recent opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan; the expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida; a suite of Harry Potter digital services, and products including J.K. Rowling’s own initiative, “Pottermore”; and a future Harry Potter stage play, which will open in London’s West End next year.

The team, which will work closely with Rowling’s people at The Blair Partnership, will be led by Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, who now adds president of HPGFD to his role. He will be supported by Polly Cochrane, based in London, and Paul Condolora, based in Burbank, who joins the company this week.

Berger commented, “With Harry Potter’s consumer touch-points continuing to grow and flourish, I am confident that this talented, cross-company global team will enable us to take full advantage of the many opportunities ahead — helping to bring Harry Potter in all its future incarnations to fans all over the world.”

You can read more here.

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29. Happy Birthday J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter

Today our favorite author, J.K. Rowling, celebrates her 49th birthday! Her literary hero, Harry Potter, also turns 34 today. As these two extraordinary people are the reason the Potter universe, this fansite, and wonderful fan base exist, please join us in wishing Jo and Harry a very happy birthday.

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30. Happy Birthday Neville Longbottom!

Please join us in wishing one of the Battle of Hogwarts' most humble heroes, Professor Neville Longbottom, a very happy birthday! Professor Longbottom, the Herbology teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has had an exciting summer attending the Quidditch World Cup with all of his old school mates. He turns 34 today.

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31. Final Installment of "Goblet of Fire" on Pottermore Available to Ravenclaws 7/30, Open to All 7/31

The final installment of "Goblet of Fire" will be posted on Pottermore on July 31st, in honor of Harry Potter and J. K. Rowling's birthdays. However, for Ravenclaws, who won the latest House Cup, the final installment will be available twenty-four hours early on July 30th.

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32. Trailer for "Horns"

The trailer for Daniel Radcliffe's upcoming film "Horns," is now available to watch. You can see it here or below.



Radcliffe attended Comic-Con to promote "Horns" and while he was there he also walked around the convention dressed up as Spider-Man. You can see that here and here.

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33. Happy Birthday, Daniel Radcliffe!

A very happy birthday to Dan Radcliffe, who turns 25 today. Please join Leaky in wishing him many happy returns!

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34. J. K. Rowling: More Cormoran Strike Books Than Harry Potter Series Planned

At the recent Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival, J. K. Rowling revealed that there will probably be more Cormoran Strike books than there were books in the Harry Potter series:

The author, who recently released her second novel featuring detective Cormoran Strike, said that she wants to publish more than the seven books released as part of the Harry Potter series.

...

"It's pretty open ended. I really love writing, so I don't know that I've got an end point in mind," Rowling explained.

"One of the things I love about this genre is unlike Harry Potter, where there was a through line, where there was an overarching story, a beginning and end, you are talking about discreet stories. 

"So while a detective lives, you can keep giving him cases."


You can read more here.

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35. Trailer: Tom Felt in "Ghosts of the Pacific"

A teaser trailer of the upcoming film, "Ghosts of the Pacific," which stars Tom Felton, has been released. You can watch it here or below.




The film does not yet have a release date.

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36. Teaser Poster for "Horns"

"Horns," which stars Daniel Radcliffe, has its first teaser poster, which you can see here:

Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, the never-convicted prime suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend Merrin (Juno Temple). Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns growing from his head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy and to exact revenge on her killer.

The film, which is based on Joe Hill's book of the same name, will be released on October 31st, 2014. You can read more of the article here.

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37. Quidditch World Cup '14: Final Match, Bulgaria versus Brazil

The results of the final match of the Quidditch World Cup are here! Go to the Daily Prophet offices to read through Ginny Potter and Rita Skeeter's comments from throughout the match, and see which team claimed the first place spot.

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38. Dave Legeno, Fenrir Greyback Actor, Dies at 50

Dave Legeno, who played Fenrir Greyback, died while hiking in Death Valley. He was fifty years old. TMZ reports that his body was found in "an area so remote a CHP helicopter had to be called in to remove it."


Our thoughts are with Mr. Legeno's family at this difficult, sad time.

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39. Quidditch World Cup '14: Final Will Be Reported Live Tomorrow

A reminder to all you Quidditch fans out there - the final of this year's world cup will have live commentary. Reporters Ginny Weasley and Rita Skeeter will be reporting on the match between Bulgaria and Brazil as it happens, and their comments will appear on Pottermore Insider and the Daily Prophet section of Pottermore. The game will begin tomorrow at 2:00 pm local time (6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EDT, 10.00am PDT).


A recap of ten facts that you should know before the match can be found here.

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40. Quidditch World Cup '14: USA and Japan Play for Third Place

The results of the match between the USA and Japan, which decides third place, are in. Go to the Daily Prophet section of Pottermore to see which team won.


The final match, between Bulgaria and Brazil, will be played on July 11th.

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41. Universal Studios Diagon Alley Expansion Open Today

The Diagon Alley expansion at Universal Studios Florida opened to the public today and, as expected, Harry Potter fans flocked to the park to see it:

Parkgoers stood in a snaking queue for at least two hours to get into the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter — Diagon Alley. Many then joined yet another line to board Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts, the attraction's signature ride.

By early afternoon, the park's posted wait for the ride reached 450 minutes — enough time to watch the last three Harry Potter movies.

Descriptions of the Escape from Gringotts Ride can be read here, while pictures of opening day can be seen here.

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42. Emma Watson Announced as Goodwill Ambassador

UN Women has announced that Emma Watson will be appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador to promote gender equality:

“We are thrilled and honoured to work with Emma, whom we believe embodies the values of UN Women,” stated Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN Women. “The engagement of young people is critical for the advancement of gender equality in the 21st century, and I am convinced that Emma’s intellect and passion will enable UN Women’s messages to reach the hearts and minds of young people globally,” added Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka.

Ms. Watson has been involved in the promotion of girls' education for several years, and previously visited Bangladesh and Zambia as part of her humanitarian efforts.

“Being asked to serve as UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador is truly humbling. The chance to make a real difference is not an opportunity that everyone is given and is one I have no intention of taking lightly. Women’s rights are something so inextricably linked with who I am, so deeply personal and rooted in my life that I can’t imagine an opportunity more exciting. I still have so much to learn, but as I progress I hope to bring more of my individual knowledge, experience and awareness to this role,” said Ms. Watson.

You can read the rest here.

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43. New Harry Potter short story from JKR

As she promised at the beginning of Pottermore's Quidditch World Cup coverage, J.K. Rowling has published a Harry Potter short story. Like most new material from the Potter Universe, this short story has been posted on Pottermore as extra content. However, this time the new content is a short story of Harry as an adult. Business Insider reported that in the short story Harry, age 34, is attending the final match with his family and friends. The short story is written as a gossip column for the Daily Prophet by Rita Skeeter. Much of the short story incorporates what J.K. Rowling revealed in her documentary, A Year in the Life, when she drew out the family tree of the remaining, living characters. Please log into Pottermore and visit the Daily Prophet to read the full short story.

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44. Dan Radcliffe to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

Dan Radcliffe is among the 30 honorees selected to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2015:


“We know that the new selections represent the best of the entertainment industry and will be a great addition to the Walk of Fame for both the Hollywood community and fans from around the world who visit Hollywood every year,” Maureen Schultz, Chair of the Walk of Fame selection committee, said in a statement.

The Walk of Fame Selection Committee of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce selected the honorees at a meeting held on June 16.

Of these 30 ceremonies planned for the recipients, approximately 24 of them will be broadcasted to a worldwide audience.

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45. J.K. Rowling to Receive Writing Award Today

Today, June 23, J.K. Rowling will be honored with the International Writers Award for her outstanding contribution to children's literature. Ms. Rowling will receive this prestigious award in the presence of the Chief Justice, judges, ministers, editors, and diplomats at the International Conference of Jurists and Writers in London. Please join us in congratulating Ms. Rowling for her amazing achievements and the reception of this award. Thank you to our close friends at MuggleNet for the tip.

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46. Pottermore Updated with Ludo Bagman's Take on the Quidditch World Cup

Ludo Bagman is apparently still up to his old gambling ways, as Pottermore has been updated with new writing from J. K. Rowling concerning Bagman's take on the betting odds of the current Quidditch World Cup. You can see a quick breakdown of his opinion on the four remaining teams (Brazil, USA, Japan, and Bulgaria) here on the Pottermore Insider, and read the complete article in the Daily Prophet section on Pottermore.

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47. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" Will be Shot at Leavesden Studios

Though we know that the first film will open in New York, the "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" trilogy will be shot at Leavesden Studios in the UK, where all of the "Harry Potter" films were made:

J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is to shoot at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden in the U.K., it was confirmed by Warner Bros. Thursday.

U.K. Culture Secretary Sajid Javid announced the news at an event late Wednesday.

The screenplay for the hotly anticipated trilogy was adapted by Rowling, based on the 54-page Hogwarts textbook she wrote in 2001 between publication of the fourth and fifth Potter books.

Set initially in New York about seven decades before the start of the Harry Potter story, the films will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander. They’re not prequels or sequels, but an “extension of the wizarding world,” Rowling said.

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48. Quidditch World Cup '14 Semi-finals: Brazil vs. USA

The results of the first semi-final match, Brazil versus USA, are in! Go to the Daily Prophet section of Pottermore to see which team will be advancing to the final round.

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49. Quidditch World Cup '14 Semi-finals: Bulgaria vs. Japan

The results of the last semi-final match, Bulgaria versus Japan, can now be read on Pottermore. Go to the Daily Prophet section to see which team will be advancing and which team will be playing the USA for third place.

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50. Ginny Potter Will Comment Live on the Quidditch World Cup Final

Ginny Potter will be reporting live from the Patagonian desert for the Quidditch World Cup final match: Brazil versus Bulgaria. The match will take place on July 11th and Ginny will be joined by a "familiar face" in the journalist's enclosure:

It’s Brazil versus Bulgaria for the 2014 Quidditch World Cup final! The hotly anticipated match will take place this Friday, July 11 from 2.00pm Patagonia time (6.00pm BST, 1.00pm EDT, 10.00am PDT). The final will follow the play-off for third place between Japan and the USA this Wednesday, July 9. 

Daily Prophet Quidditch Correspondent Ginny Potter will be commenting live from the final as it happens, so get ready for tensions and excitement as the match progresses! Can Brazil claim a sixth tournament victory, or will Viktor Krum’s team pull another win out of the bag? 

Stay tuned to learn more about Ginny’s live commentary, which will be available here on the Pottermore Insider for all to enjoy. 

Ginny Potter will also be joined in the journalists’ enclosure by a familiar face for the World Cup final – who do you think it will be? Vote in our poll below or tell us on Facebook or Twitter if you have an account using #QuidditchWorldCup!

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