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26. Evanna Lynch Discusses Devon Murray’s Legal Battle at the IFTA Awards

Evanna Lynch attended the IFTA Awards 2016 at The Westbury Hotel and Mansion House in Dublin on Saturday night (April 9th).

She looked absolutely stunning, as did Robbie Jarvis (who played young James Potter in Order of the Phoenix, and is currently in a relationship with Evanna) announcing on Instagram after the event:

“After an especially fancy week, I must apologize for the interruption in the regular stream of Puff pictures. Now to dismantle the glamour and unstick the glitz and go back to looking fluffy round the edges…”

Evanna spoke to the Irish Independent about Potter co-star Devon Murray’s (Seamus Finnigan) legal battle.

Murray was ordered to pay €260,000 to his former agent (neil Brooks), as a result of losing a court battle over ‘unpaid commission charges’. The Metro reports:

“Devon, 27, told reporters he was ‘gutted’ by the decision and addressed claims he’d thrown his £970,000 earnings away on ‘cars, drink and girls’.

‘There was an awful lot of things I put money into,’ he said.

‘I bought a lot of horses at the time… I bought property and the a*** fell out of that. It wasn’t all just women, cars and drink. It wasn’t all that.’

Devon, who appeared in all eight Harry Potter films, reportedly tried to break away from Neil after the fourth movie, allegedly after agreeing an increase in payment to the management company.

His parents were also sued as he was 10 years old when he entered into the contract in 1998 and both appeared in court alongside him.”

Devon tweeted:

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And followed this up last week with :

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Evanna spoke about the difficulty of coping with “crazy success” at such a young age, and handling large amounts of money often lead young stars into trouble, which Evanna feels does not fully reflect the true character of an actor such as Devon Murray, who she knows is a lovely person:

“He (Devon) is a really great guy,” she told the Irish Independent. 

“It’s really so hard when you’re a young actor and you have this crazy success and suddenly you get all this money.

“You’ve no idea how to deal with it, you know. They don’t teach you about how to manage that stuff in school.”

The actress added: “I don’t know the whole case, so I just wish him all the luck and all the love because he’s a lovely person.”

Read the full article by the Irish Independent here, and more on Devon’s case here!

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27. New Attractions Opened at WWOHP Japan

Yesterday, an opening ceremony took place for the newest attractions at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Japan: Wand Studies and Wand Magic.

Information on the new attractions are below (thanks to Mugglenet for the heads up!):

Wand Magic                      

 A special Interactive Wand is now available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Japan that offers guests the chance to cast spells. Guests will search for magical points hidden in several locations in the area based on the Wand Magic Map. To lead guests to a successful magical experience, Wand Assistants at respective locations will give personal interaction to each and every guest.

Wand Studies

This is a show-style attraction in which students of the four Hogwarts houses practice how to cast spells while receiving support from guests.

Actresses Alice and Suzu Hirose helped cast spells to greet fans and demonstrate the new experiences on offer, including Wingardium Leviosa and Locomotor (which was used to levitate the Weasley’s infamous Ford Anglia!).

Check out Mugglenet’s photos and videos from the event here, and be sure to watch Universal Studios Japan’s exciting video of the demonstration below!

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28. Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Privacy’ at the Public

Daniel Radcliffe, who has been in the spotlight since before Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone debuted, is set to star in the Public Theater‘s production of the play Privacy, Variety announced this morning.

Is the irony of such a popular entertainment icon featuring in a play called “privacy” in the “public” theater intentional?  Perhaps.  The tagline for the play reads,

Who are you? Are you the websites you visit, the music you download, the photos you post? Do you measure your value by your followers and your likes? Who’s listening to you? And whom are you watching back..?

According to Playbill, Daniel Radcliffe will play “The Writer,” a young man learning to balance sharing his life on the internet with keeping some things to himself.  (Followers of Radcliffe will know that he takes this pretty seriously in his own life.  Dan’s not very active on social media, only updating his pages occasionally.)  As part of the production, audience members are asked to keep their phones ON so that they can participate in the action.

The Public Theater says that Privacy, written by playwright Edward Graham, is based on leaks from Edward Snowden and interviews with British government officials and reporters.  It is directed by Josie Roarke and produced in association with the original producing theater, Donmar Warehouse in London.  Other featured actors include De’Adre Aziza, Raffi Barsoumian, Michael Countryman, Rachel Dratch, and Reg Rogers.

Privacy will run at the Public Theater in New York July 5-August 7.  Tickets for theater members go on sale soon, with single performance tickets available May 24.

To learn more, visit The Public Theater.

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29. British Secret Intelligence Agency Helped Protect Harry Potter

Back before 2007, when Harry Potter books had yet to be published, the need to protect the unread Harry Potter plot skyrocketed. There have been many reports in the past that describe the security measures taken to keep unpublished Harry Potter books a secret. Little did we know, that security even stretched to GCHQ, a British secret intelligence agency.

Last week, Bloomsbury’s Nigel Newton revealed this security measure taken for Harry Potter on an Australian podcast. (You may listen and download the podcast here.) Since then, the Harry Potter news world, especially around Britain, has been abuzz at this revelation. The BBC reported on what was said in the podcast interview, writing:

 

Mr Newton told Australia’s ABC Radio the publisher regarded keeping the plot secret as very important saying: “If newspapers splashed ‘Dumbledore dies’ what pleasure is there going to be for a kid reading it? The enemies stood to ruin a great deal of pleasure for the world.”

It led Bloomsbury to bring in extra security guards and dogs to patrol the press where the books were being printed and help stop any leaks.

“We fortunately had many allies,” Mr Newton said. “GCHQ rang me up and said, ‘We’ve detected an early copy of this book on the internet’. I got them to read a page to our editor and she said, ‘No, that’s a fake’. We also had judges and the police on our side.

[GCHQ, based in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, is a secret intelligence agency which monitors electronic communication to prevent terrorism and tackle serious and organised crime.]

“It was completely mad and we were at the eye of the storm – I remember Jo Rowling phoning me once after she had delivered a new book saying, ‘please will you release the name of the title because I have people outside searching my trash can looking for bits of paper’.

“We had to go into a complete security lockdown because people were trying to steal the manuscript.”

Mr Newton also claimed a tabloid newspaper sent a reporter with £5,000 in cash to circle the printing press and offer workers money to steal a copy.

 

The Harry Potter series is one of the most well known book series in the world, and has had a huge impact on culture, extending beyond the realm of literature. Sometimes it even needed the help of secret services to thrive. After the news of their involvement went viral, GCHQ released a statement saying, “We don’t comment on our defence against the dark arts.”

 

 

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30. Pottermore Interviews Eddie Redmayne At The MTV Movie Awards!

Following the exciting release of another amazing Fantastic Beasts trailer at the MTV Movie Awards yesterday evening (which you can read about here and watch below), Pottermore caught an exclusive interview with Eddie Redmayne himself – and it’s just about the loveliest interview you’ll ever read!

As we know, Fantastic Beasts will be dealing with a very different setting to that of the Harry Potter series. Tom Riddle is just being born (in 1926), Albus Dumbledore is still teaching Transfiguration at Hogwarts (and apparently advocating against Newt’s expulsion), and we’re being wooshed away to New York, to see how the American wizarding (and No-Maj) world of the 1920’s differs from the British version of the 1990’s-2000’s.

Talking about the pressure of adding to the legacy of Potter, and helping to create this entirely new story, Eddie remains humble as ever, showing how much he cares about the series and his character:

“‘Each time you put a little thing like that out into the world, it feels nerve-wracking,’ he says, in his reverent British half-whisper. ‘The weird thing about film-making is that you make films as a team and together, you care about every bit that goes out. You care what people think. I care.’ 

Eddie blinks a couple of times, earnestly, and it’s clear that he does. He’s the kind of actor who keeps a piece of his characters in his heart. He adores Newt Scamander especially, you can tell.

‘When I first heard the notion of this film and that it was set in a totally different time period [to Harry Potter] the question for me was, would those worlds ever collide? When I read the script, the delicacy with which J.K. Rowling weaves the names and the characters of a different generation to the one we know and love excited me. It still does.’

As for Newt’s expulsion and the reason he’s arrived in New York City? 

‘I can say nothing further about that,’ Eddie says, holding tight onto the secret. “

You can tell Eddie really knows his stuff – we love an actor who gets into the story as much as us (we’re looking at you, Evanna Lynch)!

On Newt’s love for magi-zoology:

‘Newt is much better at communicating with beasts and spending time with his creatures than perhaps he is with human interaction. On the journey of this film, he begins to find connections with people but he’s not exactly a people-pleaser. What I love about Newt Scamander is that he’s his own person. He’s a passionate man and he’ll do anything for those beasts.’

Our frame-by-frame analysis of the trailer gives a closer look at one of the more adorable beasts in Newt’s intriguing briefcase, and allows us to see that the briefcase holds beastie characters we’ll get to know more throughout the film. The mysterious Pottermore Correspondent chooses to focus on this strange (but cute!) little beast:

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‘The Niffler!’ says Eddie, with a slight shake of his fist on Newt’s behalf. ‘As you know, I have a love-hate relationship with that little guy. He gets a little moment in the trailer, the Niffler. He’s ravaging a purse. I thought he did pretty immaculately in his debut but there’s a lot more Niffler to come. He looked so sweet and adorable just then but don’t be fooled.’

Eddie beams with genuine affection for the little beast and sighs with relief that he can finally talk about a few more things that appear in the film. Now that the trailer’s out, he’s got approximately eight fewer secrets to keep until November. 

‘I’m so bad at keeping secrets, so anything being out there that I don’t have to hide anymore is good,’ he says.

We know that Eddie’s a busy man, and we also know that he’s expecting a baby with his wife – apparently he’s taking a well-deserved break (but probably not for long – the sequel’s still to come, and another after that!):

‘Do you know, I am actually taking a wee break,’ he says. ‘My wife is having a baby and we thought we’d travel a little. What was wonderful about Fantastic Beasts is that it was fully immersive but the shoot was long, it was six months and it was rigorous. I put everything I had into it so, yeah, it’s time for a wee break.’

But one of the best parts of the interview doesn’t even involve any interviewing – the Pottermore Correspondent beautifully sums up Eddie’s shining personality with a quick observation, making us even more confident that he’s the Newt we never knew we were looking for:

“And with that, Eddie stands, hugs me goodnight, climbs the narrow black stairs down from his trailer, stops to film 11 seconds of fireworks on his phone and jumps into the black car waiting for him outside.”

Read the full interview over at Pottermore here!

We can’t wait to see/hear more about the film (which hits cinemas November 18th!) – catch the trailer below, and read our frame by frame analysis here!

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31. Frame-by-Frame Analysis of the New “Fantastic Beast” Trailer

Yesterday, Eddie Redmayne gave us the biggest present at the MTV Movie Awards. Who was not jumping and squealing with excitement and joy after watching the first full-length theatrical trailer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? All of us at Leaky were gushing, and we could hardly contain ourselves.

After reviewing everything we know about the Fantastic Beast films so far a couple months ago with the release of a Fantastic Beast’s clip (see the Leaky analysis article here), we see the new trailer reveals so much more information! It’s a bucket full of whole new content–more than just 16 new facts, sorry Pottermore. (See Pottermore’s article on 16 new things we learned about the trailer here.)

The music was magical. Our skin tingled hearing the familiar Hedwig’s theme, and familiar Harry Potter scores with a new twist.

The trailer (undoubtedly, as will the movie) opens with the familiar Warner Bros logo, freshly polished since it’s rusty Harry Potter days. From this first frame, we can already tell we are in for one magical ride. (Click to enlarge all photos)

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We first see Eddie Redmayne as New Scamander, sitting alone on a bench in New York city. He hasn’t found his core group of friends yet, don’t worry Newt, we’ve all been there. Over this frame, Colin Farrell, as Graves, narrates his opinion of Newt.

Graves’s voice is rather scary, almost sinister, as if he’s interrogating Mr. Scamander (we do know that Newt is in some deep, serious trouble with MACUSA, and Graves is chief of Wizarding Police, aka Head Auror). “You’re an interesting man, Mr. Scamander,” Graves says. We agree.

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As Newt enters 1920’s America, aboard a ship like the thousands of immigrants coming in from Europe at the time, we get our first beautiful glimpse at the Wizarding World’s 1920’s New York skyline.

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Graves makes a jab at Newt and his troublesome suite case, saying “You’re an interesting man, Mr. Scamander. Just like your suit case. I think there’s much more to you than meets the eye.” And with that, ladies and gentlemen, we get our first look at a beast as it peaks out of Newt’s case…peaking out? That’s slightly problematic…though, those cute little beasty hands don’t look threatening at all!

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Then things get real serious, real quick. Newt was kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering a human life with a beast…sounds like he and Hagrid would get along very well.

While Graves’s tells us this grievous fact, we see that Newt probably did well in Herbology during his time at Hogwarts. Not unlike his fellow Hufflepuff, Professor Sprout. Newt is seen brewing up something magical.

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Newt is at a table overflowing with plants, and what looks like a large slab of meat. He isn’t being very secretive about what he’s doing, as Jacob is sitting off in the corner. This means, at this point, No-Maj Jacob has already been introduced to the world of magic.

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Ooohhh, sparkly! What’cha making there, Newt? A remedy?

 

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If endangering a human life with a beast didn’t sound bad enough in Graves’s deep voice, add in the dramatic orchestra music (we cannot wait for this sound track) and rushing down a dark 1920’s street, with cars headed straight at you. Look at that outdoor set! It’s fantastic.

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Newt, in this next frame, we see the way you’re looking at Tina. We agree–your future wife is very beautiful, and she cleans up well. Tina Goldstein looks like she’s ready for a good night out on the town…except wait. It’s the 1920’s and Prohibition is roaring as strong as the speak easies…that guy over her right shoulder looks like he’s had a rough night.

 

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We quickly change from Newt staring lovingly at his gorgeous future wife, to a good look at a 1920s bank. Something bad happens at this bank–and it’s not a market crash, Black Thursday is still a few years away. While Newt is in line, he suddenly feels the need to glance over his shoulder. Something magical and fishy is happening…

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Honestly, the glance over the shoulder is a look of pure terror.

 

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During this scene, and while we get a good look at the 1920’s American immigration system (which is still a hot topic in American politics today), Graves tells us that one of Newt’s professors fought for him to stay at Hogwarts. Albus Dumbledore.

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In the 1920’s Albus Dumbledore would be a strapping young wizard at the age of 40. However, he would already be well-known around the world for his brilliance. At this time, Dumbledore would be a Transfiguation professor. He would hold this teaching position for at least another 17 years. (It is 1926, the same year Tom Riddle was born, and Dumbledore would still be teaching Transfiguration during young Voldy’s school days).

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While Newt steps hesitantly towards the United States’ Customs (don’t worry, we understand your hesitation), Graves narrates, “What makes Albus Dumbledore so found of you, Mr. Scamander?” We have to admit, being recognized by a genius like Dumbledore is pretty impressive. But look at that face! Eddie, Newt, what’s not to love?

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As Newt gets questioned by a customs officer, we learn some pretty valuable information. It is Newt’s first trip to America! …And then we hear his case click open. That’s not good.

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Newt calmly (a little too calmly) looks down and says oops, he must get that fixed. Oops? OOPS!? That’s a big oops. Newt, we can see how some little beasties escaped, and we can definitely see how you found yourself in a bucket load of trouble!

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As the USA customs officer continues to ask Eddie a few questions, Eddie sneakily changes his case to Muggle Mode. That’s awesome. Don’t deny it all of us have found ourselves in a situation where we could use a Muggle mode on our bags.

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Let’s see…Newt has a Hufflepuff scarf (awe!), a city map of New York, another map with places circled in red, a very nice camera, and some muggle/no-maj clothing.

 

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The USA customs officer asks Eddie if he has anything edible in his case, or any live stock (Note: though this process shares some similarities with current American customs, the process is pretty much nothing like this). Eddie looks in the custom officer’s face and lies.

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That, above, is the “you hesitated” face. Newt, you hesitated. We know what’s really in that case. Though, it’s not the sort of live stock the officer had in mind. But “Welcome to New York”! Let the chaos begin!

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As soon as Newt is allowed into New York, the trailer moves into an action frame. With dramatic orchestra music, we see a group of uniformly dressed men running through MACUSA and down the stairs. Dispatch the aurors! Trouble is here!

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Take a minute to take in the MACUSA atrium, as we get another look at it. There is a 1920’s lift next to the stairs (how considerate), and a large central clock. Along the far end of the room, we see employees working at their desks. A white marble statue, possibly of a former MACUSA President, stands above their desks. A rather large banner of the current MACUSA Madam President, Seraphina, hangs above them as well–looking down and watching over everyone in the MACUSA atrium…

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The Harry Potter films were incredibly detailed, and it looks like the Fantastic Beasts films will not disappoint in this area. Newspapers often give away many clues about what is going on in the wizarding world. This one second frame is no different (click to enlarge the pictures).

The New York G– is what the picture shows. It must be the wizarding version of the New York Gazette, which was New York’s first newspaper in real life. If you feel like a brief History of Muggles lesson, see more information on the New York Gazette here.

The Second Salemers are at large, as one headline on the back page reads, “International Wizard Hunt Intensifies.” On the same page, we see there are some wizards that might be contributing to this distress. Alberto Macellarus is wanted for 3,500 Dragots (American Wizarding money), for counterfeiting wands and murder–he is “bearing a wand and extremely dangerous!” Newt and his troubles is a jar of butterflies compared to that guy.

On the same page, an article tracks the “Threat Levels of Magical Exposure” from 1913-1926, and “Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj obliviation” records a record number of penalties issued.

The biggest headline is “Magical Disturbances Risk Wizarding Exposure,” with a supporting article stating that President Seraphina Picquery is to “address fearful American Wizarding Community.”

As we learned in the History of North America stories from J.K. Rowling, MACUSA has a much more strict statute of secrecy than the rest of the world. They try to completely isolate themselves from the No-Maj world.

On a lighter note, the newspaper also reports “Sports,” “Wizbiz,” “Celestial Updates” and a “Wizards Checkers” newspaper puzzle game like the New York Time’s crossword puzzle.

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We then see Newt and Tina, walking somberly up the steps of MACUSA that aurors were rushing down a few frames before. With all of the political no-maj unrest, and Newt’s ultimate rule breaking habits, we can see why a visit to MACUSA might be no laughing matter. They are probably not there for a cup of tea and biscuits.

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In the next few frames, we return to what looks like a secret night out. In this frame, Newt looks more weary of magic than Jacob–Jacob is so used to it by now. Wizards, of course, don’t have to abide by no-maj prohibition. As J.K. Rowling wrote in her North American history of magic lessons:

“Unlike the No-Maj community of the 1920s, MACUSA allowed witches and wizards to drink alcohol. Many critics of this policy pointed out that it made witches and wizards rather conspicuous in cities full of sober No-Majs. However, in one of her rare light-hearted moments, President Picquery was heard to say that being a wizard in America was already hard enough. ‘The Gigglewater’, as she famously told her Chief of Staff, ‘is non-negotiable.’”

It looks like a pretty dark and sketchy place to be…however, Queenie looks like she’s enjoying their little adventure.

 

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Let’s take a break and just admire this outdoor set for a couple frames:

 

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Ahhhh…okay moving on.

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As we know from Liverpool set reports last November, a rally of Second Salemers makes quite the ruckus outside a no-maj American political event. They apparently support a presidential candidate named “Shaw.”

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It’s not hard to see why…his political dinner looks a wee bit fascist (just a little). He doesn’t look like he’d be too friendly with the MACUSA or the United States wizarding community.

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It looks like someone with a super strong Diluminator interrupted Shaw’s event and started taking out the lights and chandeliers.  That can’t be good. That’s going to hurt the American wizarding community.

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Definitely not a Diluminator. Whatever blew out the lights is throwing people across rooms a few frames later. This really can’t be good.

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Hello, Graves. Try smiling sometime; you’re wearing this wonderful coat. The coat is totally worth all the trouble going down in your world right now.

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Remember back when a young girl named Faith was cast as a character named Modesty? If you don’t, here is a refresher. As the Harry Potter Wikia reminds us, “she was a haunted young girl with inner strength and stillness. She also possessed an ability to see deep into people and understand them. Modesty met Newton Scamander during his travels in New York, at which time she was between the age of eight and twelve.

That’s her.

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Meanwhile, Newt and Tina find themselves in a sticky situation in what looks like underground tunnels. They are hiding and trying to run from those scary looking dudes on the right.

Then Newt has this brilliant idea.

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He’s just going to through this blue and green ball of beast at their pursuers. Honestly, where did you pull that from, Newt? Your pocket?

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It’s half-butterfly half-bat with a skull for a face. It’s a “Swooping Evil.” At least that is what the coding and title tag on the Pottermore official picture (picture number 14) calls it. It is not in the little Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook written by J.K. Rowling. This must be a new invention…sadly, that means we don’t know what it does. It’s name suggests something sinister, and it’s face doesn’t look nice.

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Seriously, it doesn’t. It’s the type of face that haunts you in your dreams.

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That’s the face you’d make after seeing a Swooping Evil in your dreams.

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When an auror bursts into a speak easy by apparating, it must be a magical speak easy or that would be breaking a lot of laws. He’s definitely not there to confiscate that alcohol…so maybe he’s after Newt and the gang?

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Graves is definitely after them, and he’s giving it his all in this scene. The situation must be dire if he, head auror, is casting that much magic in a no-maj subway.

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A second fantastic beast! Hello, little guy! You are much cuter than that Swooping Evil thing. It looks like it was your tiny claws peaking out of the suitcase in the beginning frames. Ladies and gentlemen, meet a Niffler.

In the Fantastic Beasts textbook by J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author describes a Niffler as such:

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A little trouble maker, but an adorable one. Looks like he’s got a hold on Queenie’s purse.

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Can we laugh at the 1920’s NYPD? They have no idea what they’re up against. I highly doubt those guns are a match for magic.

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Queenie definitely looks suspicious. And it looks like she’s coming out of the MACUSA elevator…hmmm.

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Mean while, Tina and Newt, back in the underground tunnels, are making a run for it.

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I don’t think that Swooping Evil creature did its job…

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…it’s hard to tell if they make it out of this situation.

Newt resorts to jumping off a building and apparating before he can fall. Don’t try this at home unless you are a very skilled wizard. Even then, we don’t recommend it.

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Graves starts narrating again. We learn that “no human can do what this thing is capable of.” Sounds like something really nasty escaped from Newt’s case, because President Seriphina and Graves do not look happy. They’re stylish, but not happy.

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The Fantastic Beast logo flies onto the screen, but the trailer doesn’t end there. The Harry Potter music, though! Hedwig’s theme just sinks right down to the soul!

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In fact, the funniest, most adorable Newt-Jacob bro moment is saved for last. We now understand what David Heyman meant when he said, “[Beasts] is very funny, it’s got a big heart, and there’s darkness too.” 

Newt’s face as he struggles to get to sleep. That moment, when you’re lying in bed and you have an idea that just pushes you out of bed and you startle your roommate, who is drinking some bed-time hot coco and reading “Cassandra and Her Cat Gustavus.”

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Of course, that brilliant idea that pushes Newt out of bed is stepping into his case. Don’t think Hermione ever went inside her beaded bag…is that a good idea?

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Of course, good idea or not, then Newt whistles to his no-maj roomie and motions him to follow. Jacob’s “who, me?” look is priceless. Maybe he’d rather stay in bed with that cup of hot coco and read about Cassandra and her cat Gustav…eh, who are we kidding?

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The entire Fantastic Beasts trailer [HD] can be seen below. We’ve watched it a million times, and we’re sure you have too–never enough! Let us know if we missed anything. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18.

 

 

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32. A New Trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Has Just Been Released and it’s GLORIOUS

Eddie Redmayne appeared at the MTV Movie Awards this evening to introduce a new trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and it was very exciting. Even the theatrical introduction to the trailer was thrilling; it featured a very 1920s-esque set, some briefcase-toting men, and a special entrance from Eddie Redmayne himself. I won’t spoil all the details, because that would ruin the fun, but you can watch the introduction as well as the “wee glimpse” into “Fantastic Beasts” below (thanks Perez Hilton!)

Check in with us soon, because we’ll be posting an in-depth analysis of the trailer shortly. For now, we hope you feel as giddy with excitement over this latest update as we do! I must say that my eyes welled up a bit when I realized that Hedwig’s Theme had been woven into the “Fantastic Beasts” theme music. I wasn’t expecting it, and it just made me feel so wistful. I think it was a great creative choice, and it will definitely tug on the heartstrings of anyone who loves Harry Potter!

On the subject of music, the genius behind the film’s score was recently revealed to be the eight-times Oscar-nominated composer James Newton Howard, whose film credits include “The Hunger Games” trilogy, “The Sixth Sense,” and “Pretty Woman.” (Source: NME)

The first film in the “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” trilogy will be released on November 18, 2016.

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33. Tom Felton and Warwick Davis on Theme Parks, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘Cursed Child’

Adding to the torrent of great interviews from the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood this week, SnitchSeeker have posted interviews with Tom Felton and Warwick Davis,  on which attraction they think should be added to the park.

Tom Felton stayed loyal to his character, saying he’d love to see Malfoy Manor, and even said he’d agree if he was asked to be involved in the process of making it!:

I would like to see Malfoy Manor – obviously a bit biased there. I think it would maybe make a good ghost house or some sort of like spook train or whatever. There’s enough dark sides of that house to scare any child, I think. Yeah, there’s more look forward to. Something tells me this isn’t the end of it.”

On Fantastic Beasts, Tom Felton was confident that the newest venture in the cinematic Wizarding World will live up to Potter fans’ standards:
SnitchSeeker: What are your thoughts about the Fantastic Beasts series? What are you hoping to see, as a fan, as part of the series?
Tom:
 No expectations. I haven’t thought about it. I know it’s the dream team. You’ve got Heyman, Yates and Rowling back together, so they can’t really do much wrong, I don’t think. I have every faith in their ability to convert Jo’s work to the best of their abilities. I just think it’s exciting that she’s keeping the flame going, in a different sense. She’s creating more content.

SnitchSeeker: What would be your advice to that cast, just coming into this fan base, for Eddie Redmayne and everybody else?
Tom:
 I don’t think they need to take advice from us. We don’t share any similarities, really. At 9 and 10 years old, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. And Eddie’s an Oscar-winning actor. The last thing he needs is advice from me.

Tom also spoke about his career choices, and projects he’s currently involved in:

SnitchSeeker: What do you have coming up, project-wise?
Tom:
 Something released? A few things this year. There’s an animation film called, Sheep & Wolves, there’s a British spy film called, Stratton and a film that I just did with Troian Bellisario, an American drama called, Feed. I have no idea when any of these films will be out, but I know they will be at some point. This year’s going to be mostly commercial.

SnitchSeeker: You pick so many different projects. How do you choose them? What motivates you?
Tom:
 Just people. I don’t particularly go for character or story. I mean, it all plays a part, but I’m more interested in working with people that I get on well with. I don’t consider the outcome to be the reward or the result. I just purely base it on my experience, and what comes out of it is really neither here nor there to me. If the Harry Potter films were a complete failure, I still would have loved them as much as I did. So yeah, just enjoying the experience.

Watch SnitchSeeker’s video of the interview below, and read the full interview here.

Warwick Davis also told us what he’d add – he takes a dark route, similar to Tom – it’d definitely be interesting to see some sort of haunted mansion-esque ride with the darker places in the Wizarding World featuring somehow!:

SnitchSeeker: If you had a voice in how to expand the Wizarding World here or in Orlando or even Japan, what would you like to see come to life?
Warwick:
 I would like to see Azkaban. I’m intrigued about what goes on in Azkaban. We hear about it but we never really get a chance to see in Azkaban. So I think that’d be interesting.

SnitchSeeker: How would you envision it?
Warwick:
 A dark experience, wouldn’t it be? It’d be spooky, kind of like a Haunted Mansion-type thing that they have at Disneyworld. You go through and it’s one of those exploratory rides that takes you through. Lots of shocks and stuff, and really into special effects.

Speaking on Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child (which Warwick admitted he’d love to have a part in),  Davis seems just as excited as Tom, with all the trust in Jo Rowling and Jack Thorne to give us amazing stories, and links this to the abilities of the theme park to add to the Potter stories in ways we’d never imagined:

SnitchSeeker: So Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child, it’s basically a new chapter in the entire Wizarding World. What are your thoughts on it – starting with Fantastic Beasts?
Warwick:
 Fantastic Beasts will, I believe, give us another glimpse into the Wizarding World J.K. Rowling’s imagined. That’s quite exciting, isn’t it? It’ll be a slightly different perspective of that world. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.

SnitchSeeker: Have you poked J.K. Rowling to get her rolling there? Because we know there are goblins in Fantastic Beasts?
Warwick:
 You don’t know who to drop hints to, these days. I used to do that with Star Wars. That was my old trick. If there’s a character, I would hope that they would ask me to do something. As I said, I’m just excited that they’re actually going to make some more stuff that gives us another look into that world. 

As do things here in the Wizarding World. Forbidden Journey is a chance to experience further adventures – something you don’t see in the movies. So all of this stuff expands on it. The play in London will also do a little bit more of that, as well. It’ll be a slightly different glimpse into the world.

SnitchSeeker: So what advice would you give to the actors in Fantastic Beasts, as somebody whose been surrounded by millions of fans over the years? They’re about to hit that, as well.
Warwick:
 They’re certainly going to find it an interesting experience. And one I should imagine they’re preparing themselves for because, obviously, when we made the first Harry Potter film we knew the books were really successful, there were two books out at that point. 

We never had a concept of how successful the movie was going to be. And then the fact that we were going to go and make eight in total. So at this point I imagine they actually have some idea like, “Yeah, this could be pretty huge, this.” But, you never can tell, but they’re always going to be known for being cast members in Fantastic Beasts. That’s what’s going to happen.

In terms of projects he’s working on, Warwick is very secretive – SnitchSeeker try to get us some hints, but to no avail, unfortunately! We look forward to the eventual revealing of his role in films to come:

SnitchSeeker: So what’s coming up for you, project-wise?
Warwick:
 I’m in loads of stuff at the minute. Much of it I can’t talk about, which is a shame, but rules of secrecy exist quite prominently in the film industry now. There’s lots of exciting things, but stuff I can’t talk about. Sorry.

SnitchSeeker: Possibly back in Star Wars?
Warwick:
 Again, I couldn’t talk about it.

Again, see SnitchSeeker’s interview with Warwick below, and read the full interview with him here.

Catch more with Tom, Warwick and other Potter actors from the event here and here!

 

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34. Will Cherrelle Skeete portray ‘Cursed Child’s’ Rose Weasley?

A graduate of London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, 26-year-old Cherrelle Skeete’s appearance on the cast breakdown for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has raised many questions, mainly due to The Voice reporting that she has ‘a leading role’ in the play. Could Cursed Child have found its Rose Weasley?

The Birmingham-born actress first appeared on the West End in The Lion King in 2012, and in the Olivier-nominated Amen Corner at the National Theatre a year later. Her other theatre appearances can be found here.

Skeete made her TV debut in the BBC series Call the Midwife, and starred in the BBC1 drama Ordinary Lies. She also appeared as Dee Dee in Danny and the Human Zoo, which also starred Evanna Lynch!

According to The VoiceSkeete ran the Paris half-marathon for Children With Cancer, has worked with the Lozells-based Lighthouse Project, which aims to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation.

In January, she spoke at Birmingham Town Hall on her concerns about the increases in shootings in Birmingham, as part of an annual tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, saying:

“This generation out there now needs to be healthy in heart and mind so we can change what is going on out there.

“We need a new generation of young people who can rise up and be anything they want to be – even if it doesn’t yet exist.”

Born in 2006, Rose Weasley should be 11 years old in 2017, when ‘Nineteen Years Later’ should technically be set, meaning she’ll be starting Hogwarts alongside Albus Serverus and Scorpius. This has raised questions about the probability of 26 year old Cherrelle Skeete playing the daughter of Hermione and Ron.

Anthony Boyle was announced as Scorpius Malfoy last month, and at 21 years old, proves that it is certainly not out of the question for Skeete to be portraying Rose Weasley.

She is certainly an amazingly talented actress, and we look forward to seeing if the rumours were true!

Read more about the actress here, and find her Twitter here.

Cursed Child is opening for previews in late May 2016, and for official opening performances in July 2016 at London’s Palace Theatre – bookings are being taken until May 2017!

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35. New “Fantastic Beasts” Trailer to be released at MTV Movie Awards

Last week, Leaky reported that Eddie Redmayne will be appearing at the MTV Movie Awards to make a special Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them announcement that included a clip showing new material. Warner Bros has confirmed that the announcement will include a world premiere of a new theatrical teaser trailer for the film. Perhaps the movie’s first full-length trailer.

Stay tuned to Leaky tonight when the trailer is released. More news to come. The MTV Movie Awards are at 9:00 PM EST tonight.

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36. Galaxy Quest 2 Could NOT go on without Alan Rickman

Recently, Alan Rickman’s Galaxy Quest co-star revealed that Amazon was working on a sequel to one of Alan Rickman’s most famous movies. Galaxy Quest is one of Alan Rickman’s must-see roles.

Alan Rickman, who passed away last month after a very quick battle with a late stage of pancreatic cancer, played a key role in the film. Until recently, Amazon was working on a sequel to the film–with the entire original cast on board. With Alan Rickman’s tragic and untimely death, many felt that the void his death created could not be filled. The plans to do the movie fell through.

Sam Rockwell, Alan Rickman’s costar, revealed the plans for a Galaxy Quest sequel on a Nerdist Podcast. Entertainment Weekly reported the details of the podcast:

 

“They were going to do a sequel on Amazon,” Rockwell said. “We were ready to sign up, and [then] Alan Rickman passed away and Tim Allen wasn’t available – he has a show – and everybody’s schedule was all weird. It was going to shoot, like, right now. And how do you fill that void of Alan Rickman? That’s a hard void to fill.”

One of Rickman’s most beloved roles was Alexander Dane on Galaxy Quest, about a group of veteran actors from a beloved sci-fi show who are mistaken for the real deal by an alien race. EW learned last year that a TV series based on the film had landed at Amazon, though it was in its early stages and it’s unclear whether this sequel project was linked to it. 

When asked in 2013 about hope for a sequel of some kind, Rickman said, “They’d need a few zimmer frames.”

You know what they say… Never give up. Never surrender.

 

The original Nerdist podcast, containing the entire interview with Sam Rockwell, can be listened to here.

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37. Timothy Spall Is Back On Stage

This week, Playbill announced that Harry Potter actor Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) has returned to the stage after a 19-year hiatus.  He features in a revival production of Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker as the homeless vagabond, Davies.

The play, directed by Matthew Warchus, is in production at the Old Vic Theatre in London until May 14.  BBC News writes that Timothy Spall’s reviews are mostly positive, pulling quotes from reviewers at The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, and The Guardian, among others.

In her review, Sarah Carson of the Radio Times writes,

Spall fills the creaking, cluttered attic in which all the action takes place with tales of his far-flung friends; his lifelong mistreatment; his various monikers; and his ‘papers’ – with a man down in Sidcup, apparently, to be collected anon. Early in the play, his performance has echoes of a regrettably over-friendly exchange with a stranger on a bus. His Davies has a Faginesque quality, brilliantly physically comic if without much subtlety. Lines are replete with guttural outbursts that win cackles from the audience.

Several reviewers described this production of The Caretaker as a strong outlet for Timothy Spall’s talent at portraying odd characters using physical comedy.  The Old Vic created a trailer, which can be seen below.

Follow the links above to read more, or visit The Old Vic to purchase tickets.

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38. Evanna Lynch on Zombies, Warwick Davis on ‘Cursed Child’ and More From The Wizarding World in Hollywood!

The red carpet event celebrating yesterday’s grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood took place on the 5th April.  Leaky fans were on the ground covering the event, which you can read about here, but of course there are more interviews with the Potter cast than we can count!

Here are some of the best below:

Entertainment Weekly sought after the actor’s questions for J.K. Rowling since the series finished filming.

James and Oliver Phelps wanted to know what happened to George after Fred’s death:

OLIVER: I think with George, it would probably be what does he do with the company. Like, does he expand it? Or does he just keep it as homage to his brother? Or does he go, we’re going to open it up elsewhere?

JAMES: Did he franchise it?

Oliver Phelps came up with a great theory regarding Fred’s ultimate fate, which he told Seventeen:

“I think he’d dive into the family business even more and try to make it even better in Fred’s memory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fred was a ghost in the shop.”

Tom Felton told Entertainment Weekly that he missed Draco, and had endless compliments for J.K. Rowling regarding the character:

There’s a beautiful understanding between him and I, I think. I miss him. I miss him a lot. But Jo has such a wonderful way of making these characters so rich and full anyway. I suppose all the things that I don’t know are assumed. But I also know that Jo is an endless wealth of knowledge so if I ever have anything that was puzzling me, I know she’d be more than happy for me to ask her. You’ve got me picking my brains now. I’ll have to message her tomorrow.”

Evanna Lynch obviously had the most questions about Luna – being a huge fan of the books, she wanted to know more about Luna’s family:

I think the big blank is her mom. I’ve always wondered what she’s like. We’ve just been told her name is Pandora and that she died doing an experiment, and I just wonder, I really am curious what was her relationship with Luna? Because obviously she’s so close to her dad, and I find that there’s always one parent that you have more in common with or that you confide in more, and I wonder … was that her mom? Or just what kind of person she was.”

Make sure you catch the full article from Entertainment Weekly here.

You can also read a hilarious exclusive interview with Tom Felton playing ‘Marry, Snog, Stupefy’ with Bustle here, and a snippet from the interview below:

“When given three names of Harry Potter characters, Felton must choose which he’d most like to marry, snog (kiss), and stupefy, which, according to Harry Potter wiki, to stupefy someone means to “render a victim unconscious and/or halt moving objects.” So basically, it’s a less morbid version of the “kill” option most muggles are accustom to.

But before I can give him three options, Felton declares: “I’d snog Bellatrix.” …. I remind him of the rules — I give you the three options, Tom — and we begin.”

MSN also spoke to Evanna Lynch, about the roles she is currently looking for, which appear to steer away from ‘darker’ roles in shows such as The Walking Dead:

“I really just want to do characters a I really love,” Lynch told AAP on the red carpet at the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in California.

“There are other scripts that come along and I see them but I don’t really have the passion unless I connect with the character.

“I am sick of zombie movies, all these things about undead people. I want things that make the world lighter rather than scarier.

“Everyone says it’s so good but I hate zombies and that kind of violence.”

She also commented on J.K. Rowling’s constant development of the wizarding world – which we know she is excited about and understandably wanting to be involved in! Evanna spoke about what she’d like to see from any sequels involving Luna:

“She (Rowling) has created another world and made it so rich and varied and interesting and I feel like it will never end,” Lynch said.

“I’d love if she did a sequel, I would love to know more about Luna and I feel like there is a lot more to explore.

“I would love a wildlife show with Luna and a documentary series.”

Read the MSN interview in full here.

She revealed her thoughts on whether she thought the pairing of Neville and Luna should have gone any further to Movie Pilot:

“Definitely not. I think he’s very much a homebody, a stay-at-home dad. And Luna wants to go out and explore the world and different creatures, and I think she wants to have several different relationships and not be committed forever. Neville would want a good sturdy wife who cooks, and that’s not her.”

Evanna also gave Extra a VIP tour along with James and Oliver Phelps, which you can view below:

Warwick Davis also attended the event, and spoke to Hollywood Life about the how he’d feel about appearing in Cursed Child. Of course, he’d be more than thrilled:

“To be back in something that has been created by J.K. Rowling and something that goes on to have a life beyond that is exceptional and it would be lovely to do that!”

“I love performing, I am an actor. This is what I love doing So however I manage that and have that manifest itself is a great pleasure!”

He also revealed his aspirations for TV:

“It would be to have a chat show, I mean that is my last bucket list to take on”

“I have done everything else in my career that I have wanted to take on and what I want to do but the chat show still remains elusively something that I would still love to do and a thing that I think I could do very well!”

Read the full interview at Hollywood Life here.

SnitchSeeker also caught up with James and Oliver Phelps to ask them about the theme parks, and about the newest ventures into the wizarding world (Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child). They posted a video of the interview (below), and you can catch their transcript here.

Make sure you catch our full coverage of the event at this link!

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39. Exclusive Clip of Emma Watson in ‘Colonia’!

Vulture have released an exclusive clip from Academy Award-winner Florian Gallenberger’s Colonia starring Emma Watson.

The clip shows Lena (Emma Watson) and Daniel (Daniel Brühl) get caught up in a Chilean military coup, leading to the events of the film, with Daniel – and his camera – receiving a brutal beating.

Yahoo wrote a short summary of the film, saying:

It’s been nearly five years since Emma Watson last appeared as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, and the 25-year-old actress continues move far beyond the magical adventures of her childhood. In her new movie Colonia, Watson plays Lena, a young woman desperate to find her missing boyfriend Daniel (Daniel Brühl) amid the political tumult of early 1970s Chile.

Based loosely on true events, the film takes place just after the violent 1973 military coup that put General Augusto Pinochet into power in Chile. A real-life settlement, Colonia Dignidad was an ominous, pseudo-religious community that was later revealed to have Nazi ties, to employ torture, and to engage in an array of other criminal activities, including child abuse.

See the exclusive clip from Vulture below, read more about the film here and watch the trailer below!

Colonia will be hitting the U.S. on April 15, in cinemas and Video on Demand.

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40. Leaky at the Red Carpet Premiere of the Wizarding World in Hollywood

Tuesday night, Harry Potter stars, Hollywood stars, the esteemed John Williams and many CEOs gathered to celebrate the red carpet premiere of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood. The new Harry Potter theme park opens today, April 7.

Leaky had two very willing Leaky and Harry Potter fans, Christina and Jeasica, were on the ground for Leaky, covering the event as our volunteer freelance reporters! Christina and Jeasica were on the red carpet, asking our favorite Harry Potter stars, and several others, questions.

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Many stars were in attendance for the event, and answered a few questions on the red carpet. As the press release stated, those guests included:

John Williams conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Tom Felton(Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Stuart Craig (Production Designer, Harry Potter films and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”), along with Hollywood celebrities, including Chris Hardwick (comedian/host, “Talking Dead”), Vanessa Hudgens (“Grease Live”), Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Alanna Masterson (“The Walking Dead”), Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), Thandie Newton (Crash), Greg Nicotero (Executive Producer, “The Walking Dead”), and Billy Bob Thornton, among others.

Also attending are Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood; Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts; Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

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Film director and producer Stephan Spielberg, who had an interest in adapting the Harry Potter books to film in the early stages of developing movie rights, was also in attendance. Spielberg was not chosen to direct or adapt the first Harry Potter film, as Jo and Warner Bros. felt Chris Columbus was a better fit. Mr. Spielberg was accompanied by Larry Kurzweil, Tom Williams, Mark Woodbury, and Kevin Tsujihara on the red carpet:

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Jeasica and Christina conducted brief interviews with the stars. The video clips of this can be seen below.

The first is with Warwick Davis, talking about his favorite part of the Wizarding World theme parks. We were excited to watching John Williams conduct the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra too!

[MORE VIDEOS COMING SOON]

The red carpet questioning was followed by a beautiful ceremony. The presidents and CEOs of Universal and Warner Bros, and the Mayor of Las Angeles gave speeches about the theme park and the magic it will bring to the Hollywood area. John Williams and the Harry Potter stars were introduced.

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Leaky’s Jeasica and Christina had great seats to watch the introduction ceremony, and captured these clips of the speeches.


Tom Felton, Evanna Lynch, and Warwick Davis entered stage the same way all other guests and speakers entered. The Phelps twins–in proper Fred and George style–rolled in, driving the Weasley car:

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The ceremony included a performance by the Hogwarts frog choir, and concluded with a magnificent light show on the castle that featured all four Hogwarts Houses, and was accompanied by John Williams conducting the L.A. Philharmonic!

One of the ever-mysterious Pottermore correspondents was at the event, reporting on the Harry Potter site’s behalf. They too, talked to stars and captured beautiful photos of the event.

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Pottermore talked with Billy Bob Thornton on his visit to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. He was there with his daughter, who is a big fan of the series. Pottermore reports:

‘She’s really into it,’ Thornton admitted. ‘Half the stuff she talks about, I don’t know what it means. She and her best friend have secrets they won’t tell us about. I think they take something out of Harry Potter and they invent their own worlds.’

With a string of iconic roles under his belt, does Mr Thornton think he would make a good wizard?

‘Well, I’ve been called a wizard, and a few other things, so who knows? I’ve cast a spell or two in my time.’

 

 

Pottermore talked to other stars about who they thought were Hollywood wizards, saying:

‘Blake Lively,’ affirmed Jaime Camil, of Jane the Virgin fame. ‘I saw her Instagram today and she said she was up to no good.’

Comedian Chris Hardwick has clearly thought about this question before.

‘[George] Clooney is definitely a wizard.’ He announced. ‘It’s the smoky eyes. Clooney is definitely a guy that was, like, President of the Hogwarts school newspaper. President of everything.’

 

Pottermore also caught up with the Harry Potter cast, and talked to them about the nostalgia of visiting the Harry Potter theme parks. Pottermore reported:

 

‘You just feel immersed in it,’ James admitted. ‘You forget you’re not at Leavesden Studios filming. You still feel – I don’t mean to be cheesy – but the magical thrill of it.’ In full Fred and George style, James and Oliver even turned up to the bash in the iconic, blue Ford Anglia.

While Warwick Davies waxed lyrical about how much he loved the Butterbeer, Evanna Lynch, who is famously a huge fan of the books, was simply soaking in as much atmosphere as possible.

‘When I see new things in the park, I get excited and I feel spoiled that I get to go wherever I want,’ she enthused. ‘I love coming back here every time.’

‘It’s a bit like walking through your old school’, [Tom Felton] told us. Felton promised to return often, and recalled that, last week, he had wandered around for about an hour without anyone noticing. 

‘Hogwarts as a whole is a wonder to be around, so the fact that we have it a few meters behind us all is special.’

‘It’s my childhood,’ the actor added.

 

To read the entire Pottermore account of the night, and see the beautiful photos they uploaded, read the original article here.

You may view the entire ceremony here:

Wednesday, the the Harry Potter stars gathered for a media panel and one-on-one interviews, and the park opened to the general public (and press) in the very early hours of this morning.

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Evanna Lynch told Leaky’s Christina, coming off the Ride of the Hippogriff, that she enjoys the out door rollercoaster. We do too, Evanna, we do too!

James and Oliver Phelps answered questions for Harry Potter’s official Facebook page. This video can be seen below:

#JamesPhelps and #OliverPhelps are live at #WizardingWorldHollywood in Universal Studios Hollywood! #24Live

Posted by Harry Potter on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

 

Warwick Davis and Evanna Lynch were next in the Facebook hot seat. They too answered fans’ questions, and this video can be seen below:

Warwick Davis and Evanna Lynch are live at #WizardingWorldHollywood Universal Studios Hollywood! #24Live

Posted by Harry Potter on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

More photos of the night–the gorgeously lit Hogsmeade grounds and Hogwarts castle–may be seen below.

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About our volunteer freelance writers:

Christina is 33, and a single mother of two, who lives in  Apple Valley. When she is not being an epic Harry Potter fan, and attending events for Leaky, she is a mechanic on the tatical vehicles for the Marine Corps civilian side. She described her experience in the new Harry Potter theme park, saying:

You are a muggle who has imagined a wondrous place filled with magic and mystery. You are a muggle who wanted to befriend a wizard, dragon, or maybe a hippogriff. Wait no longer Muggle, for I have seen that magical place that you have been waiting for. That place has finally come to Universal Studios Hollywood as the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park.

As you follow the footsteps of Professor Albus Percival Wolfric Brian Dumbledore, you enter into a familiar, magical far away land. You will forget you’re from the old muggle world and immerse yourself into a world that has not been seen by the Muggle kind. A world that as you might considered to be unreal. It is quite the opposite here at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter—the theme parks make the imagined real.

Jeasica said “It was such an amazing experience thank you so much for the opportunity. Both the frozen butter beer and regular were fantastic! The food tasted just as it smelled AMAZING!!! The rides were just as expected fun and made you feel like you were flying with the characters.”

Some footage of this morning’s general opening can be seen below. Fans dressed up as their favorite characters–including wearing Luna’s Gryffindor Lion hat.The press joined the crowds at 5:30 this morning, before the sun rose:

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Fox News reporters were also dressed up in their house robes, interviewing fans.

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41. J.K. Rowling’s Chair Auctions for Nearly $400,000

Last month, when Leaky reported that the chair J.K. Rowling sat on writing the first two Harry Potter book as a struggling single mother, the opening auction price was $45,000. It was sold for $394,000 at the auction earlier this week. Yes, nearly $400,000 for that little magical chair.

The seller of the chair, Gerald Gray, said that he would donate 10% of the proceeds to J.K. Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos. Long ago, J.K. Rowling originally auctioned off the chair to benefit charity and Mr. Gray felt called to contribute to a cause. Lumos was gifted nearly $40,000 in donations from the chair alone.

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The Belfast Telegraph reported on the auction, saying:

The chair was auctioned twice before – once by J. K. Rowling to benefit charity.

The seller, Gerald Gray, of Worsley, Greater Manchester, said the winning bid far exceeded his expectations.

“I plan to donate 10% to J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, because that’s what she did in the first place,” said Mr Gray, a businessman who runs a vehicle speed control equipment company in Manchester, and in Sarasota, Florida, called AutoKontrol.

He said he would like to see the new buyer display it somewhere where children could see it, perhaps in a museum or theme park.

He bought the chair in 2009 after his daughter, a Harry Potter fan, saw it on eBay.

 

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Heritage Auctions, who hosted the auction of the chair, uploaded several images of the chair and wrote a lengthy description of it, saying:

A few years after the publication of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the chair was donated to a small auction in 2002 called Chair-ish a Child in aid of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). However, it was something that according to Rowling herself would have been “purchased from a junk shop for a tenner.” Rather than selling it in its original form, Rowling used gold, rose, and green paints to transform the chair into a magical piece of literary memorabilia.

On the stiles and splats, in gold and rose colors: “You may not / find me pretty ~ / but don’t judge / on what you see.”

Rowling signed the backrest in the gold and rose paints. Then along the apron of the seat: “I wrote / Harry Potter / while sitting / on this chair.”

For comparison, a handwritten manuscript of The Tales of Beedle the Bard was auctioned by Sotheby’s in 2007 and purchased by Amazon.com for nearly $4 million, benefiting Rowling’s own charity, Lumos.

An incredible representation of a woman’s against-all-odds struggle to share her creative vision that is distinctly connected to and passed on by Rowling herself. This ordinary chair turned beautiful art piece is an incredible physical manifestation of a woman’s transformation into the modern world’s foremost literary figure. A small piece of history connected to the mythology of the Wizarding World and one of the most beloved characters in children’s literature: Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.

 

The entire description of the piece, and more photos of it, may be read here . A video created about the chair, created for the auction, can be seen below.

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42. Round Up: Dan’s New Movies

Daniel Radcliffe has been keeping pretty busy in the film industry. He has released quite a few films since wrapping up Harry Potter–some of them more…odd…than others. Dan’s two latest movies cap the ends of that spectrum.

The Now You See Me sequel follows it’s successful predecessor in the main stream, generally well-accepted action-thriller genre. Dan’s role in the independent film, Swiss Army Man, which had many walk-outs at it’s Sundance Film Fest premiere, draws an entirely different crowds–a smaller, more select group of people who may appreciate the film.

Last week a new trailer and movie poster surfaced for Swiss Army Man. Around the same time, Entertainment Weekly to talked to the makers of Now You See Me 2 about Dan’s squib-worthy magic in the film.

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E.W. calls Dan’s character in Now You See Me 2 the “anti-Harry Potter.” The creators agree. Though, they were thoroughly impressed with Dan’s work ethic–which must have rubbed off on him from all those years of working with Emma Watson as Hermione. Entertainment Weekly reports:

 

Radcliffe certainly seems to be having some fun with his public persona. His character, a mysterious tech-mogul named Walter, wears his lackluster magic talent as a core feature on his personality.

“Walter definitely plays the anti-magician, who maybe used to love magic, but he’s horrible at it,” director Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) says. “He’s been burnt by it, so he’s turned to science. Science is the real magic to him. He basically takes these Horsemen [Eisenberg, Harrelson, Franco, Caplan] on a ride. He now owns the Horsemen in a way that they have to escape his magic trick.”

Though his card work might be laughable, when it came time to show up to set as Walter, Radcliffe wasn’t messing around. Typically a table read is a very literally named rehearsal — the cast sits around a table and reads the script aloud — but Radcliffe showed up with his lines already memorized.

“That’s how precise and how far ahead he works on all of this stuff,” Chu says. “He owned it.”

 

To read the entire article, please visit EW here.

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43. Red Carpet Event: Wizarding World Hollywood

Tonight, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal’s Hollywood theme park is hosting their Red Carpet Premiere. Universal Studios has a live update available on their Twitter. The event has a live feed streaming through YouTube, which can be viewed below.

Leaky is proud to have two of our fans at the event, Christina and Jeasica,  volunteering as free lance writers for us. The press call is at 4:30 pm PT, so we will be hearing more soon.

According to the Wizarding World Press Release, the following people will be in attendance at the red carpet event:

 

Legendary Oscar, Emmy, Golden Globe, BAFTA and Grammy award-winning composer John Williams conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; Harry Potter film talent, including Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Stuart Craig (Production Designer, Harry Potter films and “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter”), along with Hollywood celebrities, including Chris Hardwick (comedian/host, “Talking Dead”), Vanessa Hudgens (“Grease Live”), Sarah Hyland (“Modern Family”), Mindy Kaling (“The Mindy Project”), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Alanna Masterson (“The Walking Dead”), Ed O’Neill (“Modern Family”), Thandie Newton (Crash), Greg Nicotero (Executive Producer, “The Walking Dead”), and Billy Bob Thornton, among others.

Also attending are Larry Kurzweil, President, Universal Studios Hollywood; Tom Williams, Chairman & CEO, Universal Parks & Resorts; Mark Woodbury, President, Universal Creative; Ron Meyer, Vice Chairman, NBCUniversal; Kevin Tsujihara, Chairman & CEO, Warner Bros. Entertainment and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.

 

Please stay tuned to Leaky for more!

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44. Tom Felton Gives Fans a Tour of Wizarding World with USA Today

As the USA Today reported through their Twitter and SnapChat, they toured the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Studios Hollywood with Harry Potter’s Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy). Yesterday, after the wave of social media updates, USA Today put together a full article of the pre-opening tour of the park that Tom also gave some lucky fans!

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The article includes a video introducing Tom and showing a time-lapsed clip of the different parts of the Harry Potter park that they toured. The video shows Tom and the USA Today news correspondent going through Zonko’s Joke Shop, Honeydukes, buying wands at Ollivander’s. Take a look:

USA Today also uploaded a series of images, a few of which can be seen below. The article stated:

 

He might have played villainous Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films, butTom Felton’s appearance in person at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywoodbrought pure joy to fans.

One euphoria-frozen fan even burst into tears as Felton, 28,  walked the grounds of the major attraction, which officially opens Thursday.

For the British actor, who now resides in Los Angeles, it was emotional stepping back into the world he inhabited for eight Harry Potter films.

“It is really cool to have a place like this to come back to,” says Felton. “Every time I get homesick, I can come here and re-live a bit of my childhood.”

 

 

Tom Felton, with years and years of background knowledge having spent his childhood on a set very similar to the parks, gave USA Today and fans suggestions of what needs to be done with their time spent in the Wizarding World park: fans must get a Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks, getting a wand at Ollivander’s, purchasing robes (or Hogwarts school wear) at Gladrags Wizardwear, and getting some sweets and toys at Zonko’s/Honeydukes.

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Tom Felton described his experiences on set compared to those at the theme park, saying:

Felton inducted USA TODAY’s reporter into Malfoy’s Slytherin house with an impromptu robe ceremony (and lethal tie-fitting) at Gladrags, the Hogwarts wizarding apparel store. The robes are legit: Felton pointed out the hidden, built-in wand holder and pockets.

“When we were filming, they sewed these pockets up because I would put chocolate and sweets in there,” says Felton.

Honeydukes candy is a hit with Hogwarts students and Felton, who enjoyed the chocolate frog and Bertie Bott’s Every-Flavour Beans. Proceed with caution, though — some of the unique jelly bean flavors are gross.

“It’s a fun game, you give them to your friends — the good ones first and then the bad ones,”  says Felton, chewing away. “I think I just tried earthworm.”

 

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It is also important to explore Hogwarts. Even if one does not want to ride the Forbidden Journey, fans can walk through the castle in a separate line market out for “Castle Tours.” Tom Felton walked through the castle in the Hollywood park, feeling “joyous and happy.”

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More photos of the day, and the entire USA Today article, can be read here.

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45. Two-Year Project Manager Position Needed at Lumos

This morning, J.K. Rowling’s children’s charity, Lumos, released a statement that they are now hiring. Lumos, which is “committed to protecting and empowering the world’s most vulnerable children,” is looking for a project manager at their office in London.

The job description is posted on their site, wearelumos.org. Some of the details are below:

 

project manager

Location: London – with the ability to travel internationally
Salary: 40,000 per annum – 2 year fixed term contract
Full/Part time: Full time
Temporary/Permanent: Temporary
Closing date: 19th April 2016
Interview date: 2nd May 2016

Job Description

Are you an experienced project manager with a passion to help vulnerable children? If you are, this job may be ideal for you.
Across the globe, an estimated eight million children live in institutions and orphanages. At least 80% are not orphans but are separated from families. They are deprived of the close, loving adult engagement a family provides; their physical, intellectual and emotional development is harmed; and they are exposed to significant risk of abuse and neglect. These are some of the world’s most disadvantaged children.
At Lumos, an international NGO founded by J.K. Rowling, and the UK 2015 Charity of the Year, we believe this is a solvable problem. We have developed a model of ‘deinstitutionalisation’ to support countries to reform child care and protection systems based on institutions and replace them with health, education and social care services which keep families together in the community.
We are seeking an experienced project manager to oversee the development and delivery of two major projects at Lumos. 
1. Knowledge Transfer Project:
2. Greece Deinstitutionalisation Support Project:
Lumos operates in a number of different countries helping to support national and regional-level deinstitutionalisation activities. This project aims to help plan for and support the deinstitutionalisation process in Greece. This involves providing training and technical support to staff in the child protection system, emergency support and advocacy activities.
To apply for this role, you should be able to demonstrate a commitment to children’s rights, as well as an understanding of the factors influencing the institutionalisation of children and the complex challenges during the transition from institutional to community-based systems. Demonstrable experience in project management, including budget management, is required, together with experience of working in partnership with other organisations including governments, NGOs and other service providers. 
Post-qualification experience in social work, health, public sector management, international children’s charity work or other relevant children’s services environments involving cross sector working is essential.

 

For more details and requirements about the job, instructions how to apply, and more, please visit wearelumos.orgAll applicants must have an existing right to work in the UK. 

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46. Maggie Smith Received Critics’ Circle Award

Late last week, Dame Maggie Smith was awarded the Critics’ Circle Award for Services to the Arts. Dame Maggie Smith now joins other legendary actors and actresses such as Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen.

What’s On Stage reported on the private ceremony and event, posting pictures and a video. The website reported:

 

Accepting the award, Smith said she felt “very, very honoured”.

“I know people say and I’ve certainly said I don’t read the critics, which a lot of actors say very airily, but believe me, you get to know what’s there.”

She spoke about one particular occasion when she picked up a newspaper whilst filming Othello, a film which led to her first Oscar nomination.

“There was a review in there and it was absolutely lethal and truly frightening,” she said. “It was for The Master Builder at the National, and I remember bursting into tears.”

 

The video may be seen below, and the original article may be read here.

 

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47. “You know, I sometimes think we Sort too Soon”

It looks like David Tennant agrees with Albus Dumbledore. The Radio Times caught Tennant and his Doctor Who co-star Billie Piper’s comments on J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World at an event earlier this week.

Both Doctor Who stars are Harry Potter fans, as expected. Both of them sorted themselves into Slytherin–coming from Barty Crouch Jr., who is surprised?–without taking any quizzes. Tennant also questioned the whole sorting deal in general, finding it a quirk in J.K. Rowling’s world building.

The Radio Times reports Tennant saying:

 

“I’ve always found that a bit odd. You turn up, think you’re an easy going, happy-go-lucky kid and then on the first day they go, ‘No, you’re a baddie, you’re in Slytherin!’

“As a child psychologist, I don’t think it’s great,” he added with a laugh. “People develop at different stages. I think you should be allowed to get through puberty before you’re condemned to a life on the dark side.”

 

The original article may be read here.

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48. ‘Career of Evil’ Paperback Release Coming 21st April

All those who have been waiting for the paperback release of Robert Galbraith’s Career of Evil will be pleased to know that the date is set for just over 3 weeks time, on the 21st April.

The announcement was made via the Robert Galbraith Facebook page, where we’re invited to ‘Strike down to publication’ with them:

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To those who haven’t read the book (or the series) yet, this is the perfect opportunity to buy them all in paperback – J.K. Rowling has done an amazing job via Robert Galbraith, with Career of Evil earning amazing ratings: 4.2 stars on Goodreads, 4.5 on Amazon

We’ll let the reviews speak for themselves!

“Quirkily different… let’s hope the sardonic Strike is here to stay” (Independent)

“The denouement is violent, unexpected and satisfying . . . [an] entertaining novel” (The Times)

“Fans of the intrepid duo are in for some shocks . . . as readable and exciting as ever” (Daily Telegraph)

“A confident hold on a deliriously clever plot”(Guardian)

“The real joy of this series comes from the originality of the characters” (Morning Star)

“Robert Galbraith . . . again demonstrates that rare, inexplicable and indefinable gift: once started, one simply can’t put [his] books down” (Literary Review)

“Strike is a compelling creation . . . this is terrifically entertaining stuff” (Irish Times)

Read more reviews on ‘The New Queen of Crime’ here, and an interview with J.K. Rowling on the series here!

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49. ‘Cursed Child’ Writer Jack Thorne to Pen ‘His Dark Materials’ TV Series

Fans of Phillip Pullman’s book series His Dark Materials may remember the the 2007 movie adaptation of the first book, called The Golden Compass, and look back with vague disappointment at what we were given, yet a sombre sadness that the movie series was left unfinished.

Now, Phillip Pullman is teaming up with none other than Cursed Child writer Jack Thorne to pen a tv show based on the trilogy!

Hypable reports:

“It is such an honor and a privilege to be given this opportunity to delve into Philip Pullman’s world,” said Thorne in a statement to Deadline. “The His Dark Materials trilogy are vast and glorious books full of beautiful characters and I’m going to work as hard as I can to try and do justice to them.”

“I’m delighted to welcome Jack Thorne as writer on the TV dramatization of His Dark Materials,” added Philip Pullman, who will be an executive producer on the series. “Jack is a writer of formidable energy and range, and I’ve greatly enjoyed talking to him and learning about his plans for bringing His Dark Materials to the screen. I’m certain he’ll do a superb job, and I look forward to seeing the whole project develop as he shapes the story.”

The series will be aired on BBC One. Read the original article by Deadline here, reasons why TV could be the perfect format for the series at The Guardian here, and the original BBC announcement of the TV adaptation back in 2015 here.

We look forward to hearing more about Thorne’s newest venture!

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50. Eddie Redmayne to Reveal New “Fantastic Beasts” Clip at MTV Awards

MTV announced this morning that Eddie Redmayne will be promoting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the MTV Movie Awards this Sunday. The announcement came with a tweet, saying that Redmayne will be revealing a new clip of the film!

 

 

In preparation for the reveal, MTV wrote an article summarizing everything they know so far. The writer leans heavily on Ezra Miller’s character of Credence. Credence is the “troubled,” “mysterious” character, the son of avid Second-Salemer, Mary Lou. It’s Hollywood’s worst kept secret that he must be a wizard afraid of his radical, oppressive mother. Perhaps the new clip will show more of Credence’s role. MTV reports:

 

On Sunday, April 10, MTV and Newt Scamander himself invite you to return to J.K. Rowling’s fantastical wizarding world. No, this is not a drill, and yes, you should probably sit down.

Famed Hufflepuff Eddie Redmayne is heading to the 2016 MTV Movie Awards to debut a sneak peek at his anticipated new film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, MTV News can exclusively reveal.

It’s official: The very thought of this never-before-seen footage is going to keep us up all night for the next week. What will we get to see?! Well, we have a few suggestions…

 

MTV goes on to give suggestions based on their speculations. MTV, as well as the rest of us, would like to see more about MACUSA and the characters that work there, New York in the 1920’s, the Fantastic Beasts and creatures we haven’t seen yet, the “Grindelwald,” and Newt’s Hogwarts days. The original article can be read here.

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