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I know some kids get really sad when summer vacation is over and it’s time to go back to school, but I was never one of them. I LOVED back-to-school time! Who’s with me? Yay, school!!!! Woo hoo!! No? Um. . . . anyway. . . Whether you are happy or sad, here are some activities to help you celebrate (or mourn) the first day of school.
Author Matt de la Peña has been honored with the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award.
Presented by the National Council of Teachers of English, the award recognizes individuals who take a stand against censorship and suppression. De la Peña made his definitive strike in 2012, when a school in Tucson, Arizona, was forced to remove his novel Mexican WhiteBoy, along with the entire Mexican American studies program, from the curriculum. The school district had recently ruled to ban all material that risked tangling with “critical race theory” and “promoting racial resentment”. De la Peña visited the school anyway, sharing his own experiences of art and cultural identity with a student body that is over 60 percent Latinx. After the speech, he used his fee to buy 240 copies of Mexican WhiteBoy for the students of Tucson High, saying he wanted to “give back what was taken away”.
The Executive Director of NCTE, Emily Kirkpatrick, describes Matt De la Peña as "an inspiration and presence among NCTE scholars and educators as they connect students with literacy and language to develop understanding of our world." In addition to WhiteBoy, De la Peña is the author of fourteen other books, including We Were Here and the 2016 Newbery Medal winner, Last Stop on Market Street.
While Jamie Parker had a varied and successful history in theatre prior to being cast in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, there’s no denying that the role of Harry Potter is the biggest role of his career so far. In a recent interview with Pottermore, Jamie talked about audience reactions and how Cursed Child differs from other productions he’s been part of.
On playing Harry “nineteen years later,” Jamie says:
“To me it is actually quite interesting to hit roundabout the 40 mark of your life, and consider how things affected you profoundly when you were 11 going on 17, and how that is going to come into play into your life as a dad. That’s where the play gets juicy for me.”
With a smile, Jamie also discusses how audiences have been receiving the play:
“I’ve never worked on a play where I’ve heard audible gasps from audiences. [The audience] is desperately hungry to be told this story. They’ve been nothing but wind in our sails from the very get go. And it’s a joy.”
It felt like old times. There were midnight release parties. People dressed in costumes lining up for a new Harry Potter story. Many of us stayed up until the early hours of July 31st reading every line of the eighth Harry Potter story. While we have been gifted this sequel it may be our last Harry story. Since the release J.K. Rowling has said that this will be the end of Harry’s story which the Leaky Cauldron reported on recently. About the new excitement Ellie Berger, President Scholastic Trade stated,
“Eager fans of all ages gathered at midnight parties in bookstores and libraries to get their copies of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, bringing communities together to celebrate the magic of reading and the power of great storytelling.”
According to Entertainment Weekly Harry’s eighth story has sold over 2 million copies in 48 hours. These sales totals are for the United States as well as Canada and were released by Scholastic. Ellie Berger continued to discuss Cursed Child sales.
“It’s an incredible start and all the signs are indicating continued strong sales for this exciting release.”
While some fans are still sorting out their feelings toward this eighth story, one thing is for certain Harry still has the power to captivate his audience. To read more about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child sales visit ew.com.
Since the creation Our Shared Shelf earlier this year, Emma Watson’s feminist book club has been a success. At the time of writing, the group has over 140k members and a lively discussion board where Emma herself posts updates and gathers input from its members.
For the month of June, Emma chose Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi as the reading selection for Our Shared Shelf. Emma recently interviewed the author for Vogue, discussing details about the revolutionary autobiographical graphic novel.
Emma’s book selection for the months of July and August is Hunger Makes me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein. This marks the first time since the creation of the book club that Emma has used a poll to allow book club members to take part in choosing their upcoming read. Emma also made the decision to switch book selections to a bi-monthly basis, allowing readers more time to purchase, read, and discuss the books.
Last weekend, hundreds of fans from a large variety of fandoms (from Starwars, Startrek, Supernatural, Disney, Once Upon a Time, to Gilmore Girls and Parks and Recreation, and many more). This year, GeekyCon took place over the July 31st weekend. An important date in the Harry Potter Universe, particularly this year, with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
GeekyCon and over 800 of Harry Potters biggest fans gathered for Wizard Rock (Wrock) shows–performed by Harry and the Potters, Draco and the Malfoys, Tonks and the Aurors, Lauren Fairweather, The Womping Willows, and many more!–Harry Potter Puppet Pals live performances, panel discussions, Fandom trivia quizzes and Jeopardy, Quidditch matches, live Pottercasts, costume contests and a fantastical Cursed Child Midnight Release Party!
(A perfectly dressed Hufflepuff, Jay from Raging Storm Cosplay, cosplayed Newt Scamander, almost embodying Eddie Redmayne’s chracter! He also won the Cursed Child Costume Contest)
When fans had downtime between activities, attendees were able to peruse the GeekyCon Market place. Booths and Booths of venders gathered to sell various Harry Potter products. GeekyCon attendees could purchase beautifully hand-carved wands (both unique, Harry Potter character wands, and place custom order wands) from Hungarian Wandshop, as well as tshirts, hand-crafted jewlery, Funko POP!s, and more.
One of the best selling products was Ilvermorny merchandise. Vendors created Ilvermorny crested tshirts, Ilvermorny house necklaces, and much more. All designs were beautifully rendered. Many of the GeekyCon staff sported Ilvermorny shirts throughout the weekend.
(GeekyCon staff gather for an Ilvermorny T-shirt group picture)
GeekyCon attendees had a chance to learn how to play muggle Quidditch, sign up and play in teams during the Cursed Child Midnight Release Party, and watch the annual GeekyCon Staff vs. HPA (Harry Potter Alliance) staff Quidditch match. This year, for the first time in a long time, GeekyCon Staff won the HPA Quidditch match! They beat HPA 140-60, though HPA successfully captured the snitch!
(The GeekyCon Staff take a Quidditch Team picture with the GeekyCon pep band after their win!)
The largest (and possibly best) Harry Potter experience at GeekyCon 2016, was the Cursed Child Midnight Release Party! Hundreds of fans gathered to dance the night away at the Esther Earl ball, that doubled as a raging Cursed Child party. Other activities included team games of Wizard’s Chess, as GeekyCon attendees played a live game of chess, individually taking on the role of a chess piece, and Quidditch. GeekyCon staffers also manned Sorting Hat, Harry Potter Face Painting, Goblet of Fire Cursed Child Predictions, and trivia/games booths for attendees to participate at.
(A GeekyCon Volunteer Cosplays as Professor McGonagall for the Sorting Hat booth!)
GeekyCon attendees also got a chance to parade their cosplay and Harry Potter costumes on stage, as they participated in a Cursed Child Costume Contest. Newt Scamander (pictured above) won the contest.
Then the books came.
GeekyCon staff managed to check out hundreds of people in less than 40 minutes so fans could get back to their hotel rooms as quickly as possible to read!
The next morning, groggy with no sleep but full of new Harry Potter canon from finishing Cursed Child, GeekyCon staff lead panel discussions about different aspects of the new book. The morning began with individual house meet ups between Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff GeekyCon attendees and Staff.
Fans then dispersed gathered into groups to participate in panel discussions covering new characters from Cursed Child, familiar Harry Potter characters grown up, Harry Potter Stagecraft, Potterverse-building, and live Pottercast sessions were held on the main stage to discuss “19 Years Later” (19 years in the Harry Potter fandom) and Cursed Child reactions.
(Hufflepuffs had the largest turn out at the morning House Meet Ups–that loyalty!)
Most importantly, GeekyCon staff and attendees enjoyed a fabulous weekend of love and acceptance. If you missed GeekyCon this year, have no fear! GeekyCon 2017 is in the works. Harry Potter fans still have a chance to buy tickets to LeakyCon 2016 in Los Angeles! Currently LeakyCon has posted a Call Out (here) for programming for the conference, saying:
“We are looking for a select number of knowledgeable witches and wizards to present on their favorite magical topics at LeakyCon 2016.“Do you have a presentation, paper, panel, or workshop on a subject related to the Harry Potter universe? Topics could range from “Currency Conversion in the Wizarding World,” to “The Varied Species of Dragons,” to “The Cultural Impact of the Harry Potter Generation.” We welcome all kinds of proposals from informal discussions to formal academic papers.
“If you have a burning desire to share your ideas and research, this is the place to tell us about it so we can help you make it happen!
“Programs will be accepted on a rolling basis. The sooner you submit, the better your chance of being selected. If you have any questions regarding programming please send your queries to email@example.com. The deadline for submissions is Aug 1, 2016.”
More information on LeakyCon 2016 and how to volunteer coming soon!
Harper Collins, one of the core publishing partners for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, launched its Fantastic Beasts website earlier this week! The website gives fans their fist look at official Movie-Tie in books, including a Fantastic Beasts coloring book!
The coloring book is one of two books on the site that features a finalized cover, and is on sale beginning September 1. Harper Collins describes the book, saying:
“From the bustling city streets and buildings of a vibrant 1926 New York, to Tina and Queenie’s apartment and the wonders of MACUSA, this book invites you to color your way through the adventure – even from inside Newt’s case! You will also find numerous props and artifacts inside, including wands, signs and symbols, and maybe even a fantastic beast….”
The second book to have a finalized cover is a book called, “The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which hits shelves November 18. The Harper Collins website describes this book as:
“The Case of Beasts delivers an enchanting interactive experience by sharing filmmaking secrets, film photography and artwork, and behind-the-scenes stories from cast and crew. Full of removable, facsimile reproductions of props and paper ephemera from the movie, along with some very special effects, this collectible volume offers a unique look from the talented group who created this movie magic.”
Other movie tie-in books include Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and The Art of the Film: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which also come out November 18; as well as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Magical Creatures Coloring Book and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – A Book of 20 Postcards to Color, which will be released December 1! Descriptions of all four of these books, and more information, can be found here.
Remember back when J.K. Rowling said that there were always seven books planned, and only seven books, and Harry Potter novels were 100% done…BUT “never say never” on returning to Harry’s story? Welcome back the land of ambiguity of whether or not Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the end of the line for the Potter family (not the Potter Universe, of course–we still have Newt Scamander and all his Fantastic Beasts to meet).
In a recent red carpet interview with Reurters and with the BBC’s entertainment correspondent, Lizo Mzimba in a short clip below:
Did you hear that? There seems to have been a plan for a theatrical experience all along…? Even it Sonya Freedman’s idea and inspiration that changed her mind…And though it has been made clear that, though the story’s new content is approved by Jo and she did have a large and important role in collaboration, Cursed Child was written by Jack Thorne (the cover of the novel says “based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne”). However, in the clip above, Jo makes it sound like she had all the information for a new Harry Potter story gift wrapped, and ready to hand over to the Cursed Child crew to create into a play.
But wait, there is more! So many nuggets of information contained with in this short clip point to “Fantastic Beasts” being more “preview-y” than people realize, and a large hesitation from Jo on whether or not Harry’s story is back. Shall we try not to read too much into that, but we are going to anyway.
However, in an interview with Jo at the very same Cursed Child red carpet gala, Reuter’s seems to be telling a different story. Reporting,
‘Asked if the book and play heralded a new phase of stories, Rowling told Reuters: “No, no.”
‘”He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know,” said Rowling, who later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show. “So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”‘
Though we love J.K. Rowling, her Wizarding World, and her Cursed Child red carpet gala shoes, we would really like to sit down for tea and ask her what the heck is going on in the Wizarding World.
Mean while. We will digest Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and peruse the following images Getty Images released of the red carpet gala (see more here):
July 31st also marks the birthday of the late Richard Griffiths, who starred as Vernon Dursley in the Harry Potter films. He gave an excellent performance throughout the series, bringing to life the iconic line:
He also gave fantastic performances in Hugo, Pirates of the caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Bleak House, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and The Vicar of Dibley along with many other titles, and a Tony Award-winning performance in The History Boys.
Daniel Radcliffe gave a moving tribute to Griffiths upon hearing of his death in 2013:
“Richard was by my side during two of the most important moments of my career. In August 2000, before official production had even begun on Potter, we filmed a shot outside the Dursleys’, which was my first ever shot as Harry. I was nervous and he made me feel at ease.
Seven years later, we embarked on Equus together. It was my first time doing a play but, terrified as I was, his encouragement, tutelage and humour made it a joy. In fact, any room he walked into was made twice as funny and twice as clever just by his presence. I am proud to say I knew him.”
Amidst the excitement of the Cursed Child release and J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthdays, it’s important to spend a moment remembering those we have lost.
Please join The Leaky Cauldron in wishing him happy birthday, and keep him in your thoughts when you’re celebrating this special day!
Not only are we celebrating the release of the eighth story, Harry Potter and theCursed Child, but today also marks two very special birthdays in the muggle and wizarding worlds: It’s J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter’s birthdays, of course!
At midnight, the attention turned to the reason we were all celebrating across the world. J.K. Rowling has taken her stories not only across continents, but across a huge variety of medium. Reaching people by page, by screen, through the internet and on stage, she wasn’t exaggerating when she said:
“Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”
It was only fitting, therefore, that she got a birthday cake that matched the beauty of her story – an amazing recreation of King’s Cross, where the journey to Hogwarts for Harry begins, also suggested by Set Designer Christine Jones to have an important part to play in Cursed Child:
‘Few buildings are vast enough to hold the sound of time… there was a superb fitness in the fact that the one which held it better than all others should be a railroad station.’
Few are gifted with such incredible power of expression as J.K. Rowling, so to celebrate her 51st birthday, and Harry’s 36th birthday, IB Times collected 36 quotes from her stories. Entertainment also joined in, collecting photos of Harry Potter stars in their first and final performances.
TIME also explained why 2016 is their biggest birthday yet – thanks to Cursed Child, the power of Harry’s story lives on:
“For some, the date is a pleasant and nostalgic reminder of Harry’s first birthday in the series, when Hagrid brought Harry a cake on the same night he told the boy wizard that he was capable of magic.
For others, though, July 31 is not just a nod back to the beginning of the series but a way to continue celebrating Harry as if he, and his birthday, were real.
‘The Boy Who Lived’ is the first chapter of the Potter series, wherein readers meet Harry as a newborn shortly after surviving a killing curse. Harry survived this, and other battles, despite the odds stacked against him. It seems that this July 31, he’ll simply start doing it again, reminding Potter fans and critics alike why he’ll forever be The Boy Who Lived.”
J.K. Rowling was also named one of 2016’s “Outstanding Women of Scotland” just before her birthday. The Bookseller explains:
“Created in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library, the “Outstanding Women of Scotland” community aims to recognise and celebrate remarkable Scottish women from all walks of life who have made an outstanding contribution to Scottish society.”
Motto collected 10 inspirational quotes from J.K. Rowling to remind us all how much wisdom she has to offer – on happiness, failure, courage, depression and many other areas of life where we may struggle, she’s always been there to guide us:
Harry Potter’s story continues with Cursed Child, however J.K. Rowling has said that his story has come to a close:
“He goes on a very big journey during these two plays and then, yeah, I think we’re done. This is the next generation, you know,” said Rowling, who later appeared on stage during a standing ovation at the end of the show. “So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.”
Harry is 36 today: head Auror under Kingsley Shakelbolt, husband to Ginny Weasley and father of James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna, Harry is a true hero of the wizarding world.
He reminds us to keep faith, to fight for goodness no matter the odds, to value friendship, love and loyalty, and to learn from the people you admire and respect.
At GeekyCon this weekend, stories like Harry’s have been bringing people together to celebrate their love for good things, to get excited about a book, to sing The Weapon We Have Is Love together and then cry about how powerful love is, because as Potter fans, we’ve learnt to value love above all else.
At Leavesden Studios, at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, at bookstores, book clubs, museums, running clubs, charities and online forums – it’s stories like Harry’s that rock the world, materialise in beautiful ways and change lives for the better, teaching us to come together in a world that may seem dark, to bring goodness to the people that mean most to us, and to be the best parts of ourselves we can be.
We hope you’ve all enjoyed celebrating Cursed Child, and hope that you all have the energy to throw your own Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling birthday parties after most likely staying up reading all night.
Please join us in saying a very happy birthday to both J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter, and share with us how you’ve been celebrating!
With today marking one of (if not the most) important days for Potter fans since the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, the world is abuzz with excitement surrounding the impending release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts 1 & 2 script book, as well as the opening night gala performance of the play itself.
After appearances by Sadiq Khan (the Mayor of London), Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Dan Fogler (Fantastic Beasts), and others, J.K. Rowling herself arrived on the red carpet outside the Palace Theatre in London to celebrate the momentous occasion of the play’s opening performance–one she hasn’t experienced the likes of since the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
Her first step onto the red carpet (in fabulous gold shoes with butterflies at the heels) is the immediate cause for celebration, as is made obvious by the cheers of the crowd.
Of the occasion, she says:
“‘What we’d really like most of all is to bring people into the theatre who’ve never been to the theatre before. I will be so proud to think that kids from my kind of background, who didn’t come from particularly theatre going families, might learn what theatre’s all about through this show. That would be incredible.”
After the excitement of the red carpet arrivals, Pottermore took us backstage with Sam Clemmett (Albus Potter) to see what went on behind the scenes of the opening performance of Cursed Child.
Check out his video diaries for more:
And a final video, where Sam prepares to meet fans at the stage door:
In celebration of the script book release, Pottermore wrote up a memory-filled look at Potter midnight book releases in the past, recalling nights filled with anticipation as fans lined up dressed as their favorite characters, wand in-hand as they counted down the minutes with their fellow Potter aficionados.
To quote the article:
“Midnight launches belong to the Harry Potter fandom. They’re a beautiful, crazy, sentimental thing and they have been since 31 July 2000, when Goblet of Fire went on sale at 12am in the UK, and then the US.”
For those of us longing for the midnight book release parties of the past, Barnes & Noble stores around the U.S. will be hosting midnight parties, and GeekyCon guests with day passes will be lucky enough to attend a midnight release party with fellow fans in Florida, as well.
Whether you choose to go all-out with your fellow Potter fans at a midnight release party or you grab your copy of Cursed Child in the quiet hours of the morning of the book’s release, we all get our chance to celebrate the next chapter in the story of Harry, his family, and his friends. The magic lives on for all of us today.
Ezra Miller has put more thought into being sorted into a house than many fans have realized. “It means too much to me…I respect the sorting process…I know the Sorting [Ceremony] was written by J.K. Rowling, but I still can’t risk it. What if I get Slytherin? I couldn’t live with myself. I need to be in Gryffindor. If I didn’t get Gryffindor, I wouldn’t know who I was anymore.”
To Ezra, sorting has been such a pinnacle of his growth and career that he says, “I just can’t accept a sorting unless it’s by Helga Hufflepuff or Godric Gryffindor directly. I can’t take it unless it’s signed off by all four founders of Hogwarts. I mean, J.K. Rowling is all four founders of Hogwarts..She’s all of them. But I certainly can’t think about that too much…It’s too much, I’ve spent too much of my life caring about it.”
Being an avid Harry Potter fan has been taken to the next level by Ezra, who will be playing the character Credence in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He has been so involved in the character and everything related to JK Rowling’s world that he went into super fan mode when he was actually able to meet her. “Meeting her was unreal. I had so many questions. Talking to the person who created the world I’ve spent so much time in…it just didn’t feel real.”
This all inevitably leads to the fact that Ezra is amazingly dedicated to not only his role, but the entire magical world of Harry Potter. And that, is why we love him.
At 8PM BST, the Pottermore twitter account will be hosting a Harry Potter quiz for fans to brush up on their Potter knowledge before the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. To participate and to see other fans’ answers, simply tune in to the Pottermore account and use the #PottermoreQuiz hashtag to share your answers.
At today’s gala performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, J.K. Rowling took a moment to discuss with an interviewer the creation of the play and its unexpected, overwhelming success.
When asked about her request to fans to “Keep the Secrets”, she said:
“They’ve done me so proud. They’ve done me so proud. And I think our give back is that we really hope to take this play to as many places as it’s feasible to take it. So I hope a lot of them will get to see this play in due course.”
Today is the day. This is not a drill. Today is the first time in nine years that Harry Potter fans get a full Harry Potter story (in the form of a play) about the Trio and the rest of the gang as adults, 19 years later. WHO ISN’T EXCITED?
The GeekyCon party will be hosted by classic Potter podcast MuggleCast and PotterCast, and many others with experience and knowledge of Pottermania. The fun will start at 7 PM with the convention’s traditional Esther Earl Rocking Charity Ball. Starting at 10:00 PM, festivities will convert themselves into a huge Harry Potter and the Cursed Child midnight book release . In tried and true Harry Potter Book Midnight Release party fashion, there will be a set of games, activities, and events to take part of–including, but not limited to:
Trivia and other games
Wizard Rock performances
Face painting and other crafts
Appearances from special guests
Put your name in the Goblet of Fire! (Submit your predictions, and we’ll go through them together at Sunday’s programming!)
Share in the Pensieve: Submit memories about Harry Potter and your experiences; we’ll be sharing them throughout the night.
And a lot more!
At midnight, everyone will begin to receive their book copy of the Cursed Child script! You must reserve a copy online (here), and purchase will happen on site. Full, detailed instructions will shortly follow this announcement.
It isn’t only the script that is released today. The Cursed Child is a play, and it’s official opening night is tonight.
The Pottermore Twitter is being continuously updated by the minute, as the Cursed Child gala unfolds in front of the Palace Theater. J.K. Rowling and the creators of Cursed Child are greeting fans, and introducing opening night to the public.
The Harry Potter Play London Twitter will be doing a similar Twitter series, but following Anthony Boyle, who is playing the role of Scorpius Malfoy. Anthony will be showing fans what it is like behind the scenes of Cursed Child with his daily routine.
Pottermore released an article this morning, detailing when Jo Rowling met the Cursed Child cast–watching her Boy Wizard, his friends and family, come to life in their adult form. Everyone gather into a large circle to introduce themselves to the group by giving their names and the roles that they played. Pottermore reports:
When the circle of induction finally reached J.K. Rowling she said, ‘I’m Jo… Well, you know what I did.’
There was a long, sweet, earnest pause as we all stopped to think about exactly what she has done and why we were all here. Excitement unfurled across the party.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story – the story that fans have wished, dreamed and begged to have since Deathly Hallows. It’s an adult life for Harry, Ron and Hermione that, until now, we’ve only been able to imagine for ourselves. They’re really back.
J.K. Rowling has always enigmatically said ‘never say never’ when asked about the prospect of a new Harry Potter story. ‘…Until these two came to me,’ J.K. Rowling said, with a look of fond incredulity toward producers Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender.
It was Sonia and Colin, of course, who did the unimaginable: They helped J.K. Rowling to bring her characters back and released them on stage, in a two-part play directed by the brilliant John Tiffany. Together they assembled this group of gifted creatives – starting with writer Jack Thorne.
‘None of this would have been possible without that man,’ J.K. Rowling said, as she pointed across the room to Jack, a very tall man trying to hide behind two much shorter women. He beamed at her with a sweet modesty that belied the gargantuan task he had just completed. Jack is, after all, the only person in the world who has been trusted to write Harry, Ron and Hermione back into life.
The main Fantastic Beasts Quartet (similar to the Trio–Harry, Ron and Hermione), Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler, sat down with Pottermore for an exclusive interview. The group was gathered in their bus at Comic Con in San Diego, which took place this last weekend, and discussed their weekend with the PMC.
The leader of the Quartet, Newt Scamander (or Eddie Redmayne in the No-Maj world) answered first, telling Pottermore:
‘I feel like what’s extraordinary about Comic-Con is that so much energy comes into the city for four days and you feed off that,’ says Eddie. ‘So, your adrenaline is pumping and pulsating through your body and you kind of feel elated. Slightly like you’re floating on a different planet. You almost can’t take it in; it’s too much visual stimulus.
‘You see people everywhere dressed in costume – I saw a guy dressed as Newt Scamander. I was like “I love it!” And there’s this Funko toy… That’s kind of amazing, although I think I’m going to take mine home and put freckles on it.’
Katherine Waterston, who plays Newt’s future wife, Tina, said that, for her, SDCC and conference experiences were about the fans. She told Pottermore,
‘I’ve had conversations where someone is shaking and sweating because they know I’m in Fantastic Beasts. So I keep thinking of those people I know who love it so much, when I’m looking at this sea of smiling faces.’
Dan Fogler is the only one of the Quartet with Comic Con experience, talked about his previous visit to San Diego. Apparently, it was at that uneventful (for him, he said) Comic Con that he received a phone call letting him know he was a part of Fantastic Beasts!
The casts opinions on all the secrecy surrounding the films, and more can be found here, on Pottermore.
A Flash Mob in New York City Celebrates a New Harry Potter Story by Adedayo Perkovich
In New York City, Harry Potter fans stopped traffic! More than 300 people streamed out of Scholastic’s headquarters onto Broadway, the street in front of the building. Scholastic employees and their children were part of a flash mob celebrating the July 31 publication of a new Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Parts One and Two.
Scholastic is the United States publisher of the best-selling Harry Potter series by British author J.K. Rowling. The books chronicle the adventures of a wizard named Harry Potter and his classmates at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The eighth Harry Potter story is a script book based on a play that’s opening in London, England, on July 30. The play is by Jack Thorne and is based on an original story by Rowling, Thorne, and John Tiffany.
SHARING THE MAGIC
I had no idea what to expect as I entered Scholastic in the morning. Scholastic editors and artists whispered excitedly as they flooded down the escalator. The only word I caught was “Muggle.” In the auditorium, we were each given a copy of one of the original books in the series and a paddle announcing the publication of The Cursed Child.
Billy DiMichele, vice president of creative development at Scholastic, said that we were about to become a “Muggle Mob.” We would celebrate the upcoming release of The Cursed Child by doing a giant read-aloud in the middle of Broadway.
“This means that [we] can continue to share the magic with new generations of children,” DiMichele said.
Excitement continued to build as we rehearsed our movements and practiced reading aloud. Abram Chen, 10, said that he was thrilled “that there is going to be a new book to read.” Abram considers himself to be a Hufflepuff, his favorite house at Hogwarts.
As for editorial assistant Patrice Caldwell, she is “absolutely Slytherin,” she said. “It’s kind of cool to be here and imagine what it felt like when the first seven books came out,” Caldwell added. “This is a way to delve back into that world.”
After a few run-throughs, we calmly strolled outside with our paddles hidden inside our books, pretending to be tourists and typical passersby. Suddenly, music started playing and we rushed into our places in the middle of Broadway. (The street had been blocked off by the police for the event.) Then we read aloud from the Harry Potter books.
Our voices rose along with the music. Right on cue, we faced the Scholastic building and looked up. A giant, billowy banner began to drop, revealing the cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
We held up our paddles and cheered. Then we went into the crowd of observers and gave away copies of the original books to happy readers.
Lesley Little saw everything from the sidewalk. “This is fantastic,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the new play. I’m going to get to see it in London in September.” Suzanne Lewis, a Gryffindor, added, “This was a lot of fun. I could tell, even from blocks away, that something wonderful was happening.”
As we learned from our editors at SDCC 2016 and Leavesden Studios, fans, press and attendees were given limited edition Newt Scamander wands from Noble Collection. Eddie Redmayned lead a crowd in lighting up H Hall at Comic Con, as everyone said “lumos” with their Fantastic Beasts wands. He then show cased his wand for the Noble Collection event at SDCC.
With this, we get our first close up look at Fantastic Beasts movie merchandise, and most anticipated retail item. Georgia, snapped this picture of her wand.
(Click to enlarge the picture below.)
The box isn’t quite up to par with the other Olivander boxes from the Wizarding World theme parks and other Harry Potter Noble Collection wands. However, as new merchandise is released with the opening of the movie, we expect this simple cardboard box to be replaced with a more standard wand box. Perhaps they will keep the scaled background and the Fantastic Beasts logo.
Newt’s Wand is simple, wooden (like most wands), marked with scars and gashes. He does deal with many beasts, after all. The wood wand is a spectrum of light melting into dark. The end of the wand, at its base, we see that it is open, and an inside lined with shell.
We know from previous Fantastic Beasts reports that Newts wand in Fantastic Beasts/Harry Potter canon is made of “lime wood, shell, bone and other elements.” The prop replica seems able to represent that description quite well.Many of these first-look, tester wands from SDCC are being auctioned off on Ebay, but we are quite sure they will be available through Harry Potter channels in the near future!
“It’s always very nerve-racking when you’re joining such a well-oiled machine,” Felton told ET’s Leanne Aguilera during a Comic-Con Facebook Live session on Saturday. “But I’ve only been around them for less than a few days, and I already feel like part of the family.”
“Any character I play you should see as a threat … I honestly don’t know”
“I tried to get both of these writers tipsy last night, to pry some information out of them. I’m not sure,” he added. “In the first two episodes that we’ve gotten so for, there’s definitely friction [with Barry]… There’s some feathers ruffled.”
“If the last two seasons have anything to go by, anything is possible. I could be a woman by episode six!” he added.
Flashpoint is a huge event will be coming in Season 3 of The Flash, which, according to executive producer Todd Helbing, is going to “ripple through the entire season”. It has the potential to ‘ripple through’ other shows in the DC/The CW universe as well, including Arrow. This event is the reason Tom Felton is able to join the show, as the changes caused by Flashpoint lead to many new characters being introduced to this season.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Tom also reflected on the connection between Harry Potter and The Flash at Comic Con:
Felton couldn’t help but give the franchise that started his career some love, saying he was last here at Comic-Con representing a franchise “symbolized by a lightning bolt and now here I am.”
Watch Entertainment Tonight’s interview with the cast, and the trailer for Season 3 of The Flash below:
Reviews of Cursed Child have been dominating muggle news, and the Cursed Child Twitter page have not been ignoring the love.
Following our pervious article on the review snippets that the @HPPlayLDN Twitter page has been sharing, we’re covering a few more of the newest reviews and photo releases from the Cursed Child website to get you excited for the Cursed Child official opening and script book release in just a few days time!
24 new photos of the playhave been released, and SnitchSeeker have compiled them into an article here. In an effort to ‘keep the secrets’, some have been omitted in this article, so check out Snitchseeker’s gallery here for more.
Unsurprisingly, Time Out describe the play as “intense” and “ritualistic” as a result of Steven Hoggett’s ‘startling movement direction’. Judging from the captivating air of the Harry Potter soundtrack, and the latest Fantastic Beasts trailer, it’s hard to believe that a play – being so involving and close to the audience – would be any less enchanting!
@HPPlayLDN posted this review, with a photo of what appears to be students swooshing their robes, potentially jumping, or perhaps disapparating? Take a look below:
‘Steven Hoggett’s startling movement direction adds an intense, ritualistic air that heightens everything’ -Time Out pic.twitter.com/9ij4qbPKtB
I reread “The Deathly Hallows” on the flight to London from New York, and I was amazed at how naturally what I saw on the stage seemed to flow from the page. Mr. Thorne, Mr. Tiffany and their movement director, Steven Hoggett, and set designer, Christine Jones, collaborated previously on the chilling adolescent vampire play “Let the Right One In,” and they are all expert in mapping the intersection of the uncanny and the everyday.
Along with a team that includes Katrina Lindsay (costumes), Neil Austin (lighting) and Imogen Heap (music), Mr. Tiffany and his cast conjure the self-contained world(s) of Ms. Rowling’s books with imagistic wit, precision and, occasionally, stark terror. A convocation of wizards is evoked through the simultaneous swirling of black capes; an otherworldly, xenophobic and unsettlingly topical-feeling Fascist brigade materializes and multiplies out of yawning darkness; and staircases, bookcases and suitcases assume varied and miraculous lives that propel both themes and story.
With mere days until the release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts 1 & 2 script book, fans around the world are celebrating in ways we haven’t seen since the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
On July 21, hundreds of Potter fans descended on NYC’s SoHo neighborhood to put on a “Muggle Mob” in celebration of the release of the eighth book.
“More than 300 Harry Potter fans formed a massive flash mob or ‘Muggle Mob’ today, taking over Broadway in front of the Scholastic headquarters building in New York City, just 10 days before the highly anticipated release of the eighth Harry Potter story, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two. The fans, all Scholastic employees and their children, flooded onto the street reading from a favorite Harry Potter book and stopping traffic in the busy SoHo area. At the culmination of the estimated two-and-a-half[-]minute event, the fans lowered their books and raised up paddles showing the cover of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, drawing cheers throughout the neighborhood. As the crowd dispersed, ‘Muggle Mob’ participants handed out their Harry Potter books from the Harry Potter series 1-7 to lucky passersby, sharing the gift of books and reading.”
While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child may be makingmagic across the pond, a decidedly different Potter-inspired play is stirring up success of its own in New York.
Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic is a fan-created, unofficial play written by Matt Cox that follows the true Hogwarts underdogs–Hufflepuffs–as they navigate seven years of mishaps and misadventure, all thanks to a certain troublemaking trio. The parody–which will soon wrap up a sold-out run at the Peoples Improv Theater–has recently announced that it will move on to an off-Broadway run this fall.
Some people are born to do great things. Some people change the world. Some people rise from humble beginnings to beat back the forces of darkness in the face of insurmountable odds. Puffs, or: Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic & Magic by Matt Cox is the story of the people who sit in class next to those people. And badgers.
Wayne Hopkins–a boy from New Mexico who is neither brave, smart, nor a snake–finds out he’s a wizard. Upon arrival at a certain school of magic and magic, he’s placed into the Puffs: a group of well meaning, loyal rejects. Over seven increasingly eventful years, he’ll try to learn magic; try to get out of the shadow of his world famous nemesis; and try not to get hurt in what is actually a very dangerous place for unsupervised children to be. Sometimes he will succeed. Partially.
Public previews for Puffs will begin at the Elektra Theatre on September 29. The show officially opens on October 20.
Jamie Parker recently sat down with The Stage to give an extensive interview on his acting career, including his latest mega-headliner, The Boy Who Lived. Playing the most well known boy wizard is a pretty daunting task, but Parker remarked that he was “under no illusion the role of Harry Potter belongs” to him.
For many fans who are pretty weary of the latest addition to the Harry Potter franchise, the “8th story,” a Harry Potter play (a medium never used in the franchise before), Parker tries his best to put those qualms to rest. Acting is his career, his job, and he recounts this in his description of what it is like to work on Cursed Child.
“We’re still working during the day and performing at night,” he tells me. “But our hours with the creative team are starting to lessen off as we get into a full performance schedule of eight shows a week. The company is feeling really good – Steven [Hoggett, the movement director] has prepped us properly to be in the right physical shape. Working with him, you’ve got to be in shape. And John [Tiffany, the director] has kept up our spirits with his relentless positivity and trust in his company.”
“I was familiar with the books and read some of them, but I wasn’t a Potterhead. But it’s been great now to immerse myself in it – I’ve gone through all of them several times now, and I’m going to go through them again. I won’t stop making notes, and every day I am finding out exactly how detailed Jack [Thorne, the playwright] and John’s work on it has been with Jo [JK Rowling]. In any decent play there’s an unspoken script going on underneath the actual script – like Woody Allen’s subtitles, whether they’re serious or funny – and that’s absolutely the case here. The play is perfectly clear to anyone who doesn’t know anything about Harry Potter – it’s just a very good play on that level. But for those who are immersed in it, there are Easter eggs hidden in every scene. There’s a lot that goes unspoken, and that’s fertile ground for being able to talk to each other onstage.”
From the moment the show was announced, it has been the subject of intense media interest and speculation. How was he cast to follow in Daniel Radcliffe’s very significant footprints? Was it a long process? “Because of the nature of the beast, not that much,” he recalls. “They couldn’t spread the script around to cast the net especially wide, so they were quite particular aboutwho they had on the list in the first place, though I never saw who else was on it. But they asked themselves before they got in touch with people if they really wanted to have that conversation.”
What about the responsibility, though, of playing such a beloved character and giving flesh and blood to him? “It’s not my responsibility solely. I know I’m only as good as the material I’ve got to work with. I’m not an alchemist, not when it comes to writing or production. You could argue that alchemy is part and parcel of what we do, but that responsibility is shared with the audience, and putting it on in the first place was Jack and John drawing from the wealth of Jo’s back catalogue and the layer upon layer of detail in there to create something that has its own emotional trajectory and its own legs. If I hadn’t thought that was apparent, even in that early draft, I wouldn’t have put myself in the position of taking on the amount of responsibility I do have – that would be a suicide mission.”
Though we do not know for sure how many years after Potter the play finishes at, and Parker says he can’t reveal such information, we do know it begins right where Deathly Hallows left off, with Rose and Albus heading to Hogwarts “19 years later.” Parker continues, “the relationship between Harry and his son Albus is a large part of the meal.”
To read more on Jamie Parker’s extensive career, working with Noma Dumezweni and Paul Thornley again, and his opinions on the Hermione controversy, visit the original article here.
The published script of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child hits shelves this weekend! The play also officially opens for previews on the West End.
USAopoly recently revived fan-favorite Harry Potter board games, Trivia Pursuit’s World of Harry Potter and Harry Potter CLUE. With multiple editions of well-loved Harry Potter games, it has been years since we’ve seen a brand new Harry Potter board game. With the resurgence of the Harry Potter franchise with the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (both the opening of the play for preview and the script book reaching fans this weekend!!!) and the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films, USAopoly is releasing a new Harry Potter deck building game!
Harry Potter Hogwarts Battle–A Cooperative Deck-Building Game is a new interactive board game that allow players to take on Voldemort as one of their favorite member Dumbledore’s Army (choosing between Harry, Ron, Hermione, or Neville). Each player must complete seven tasks, each one more challenging, to protect Hogwarts from Voldemort and his Death Eaters. Each player starts with cards specific to their character, and then collects more cards–spells, skills, abilities and more. USAopoly describes the game:
The forces of evil are threatening to overrun HOGWARTS™ castle in this new cooperative game! It’s up to four students to ensure the safety of the school by defeating villains and consolidating their defenses. Players take on the role of a HOGWARTS student: Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville, each with his or her own personal deck of cards. To secure the castle from the forces of evil the students must work together to build more powerful decks using iconic Wizarding World characters, spells, and items. Defeat all the villains including He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and win the game!
Play together as your favorite heroes! Harry, Ron, Hermione or Neville
Relive the excitement of the Wizarding World as you battle evil forces to defend HOGWARTS™
Become a more powerful wizard as you learn new spells and acquire more allies and items
Unlock new secrets and challenges with each successive game adventure
Fans can preview and play the game for the first time at GenCon in Indianapolis, August 4-7, 2016. A limited number of copies will be available for sale and fans will receive exclusive extra cards with purchase.
The game will be featured and available for purchase at GenCon (with exclusive extra cards!) August 4-7 , and is available for preorder on the Harry Potter Shop website. The game will be shipped out to customers September 15, 2016.
“Can you stop the forces of Evil from overtaking Hogwarts Castle? Take on the role of a HOGWARTS student; Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville to defeat the villains and ensure the safety of the school with this Hogwarts Battle Deck Building Game. Each character has his or her own personal deck of cards which is used to acquire resources. Add more cards to the deck to form iconic characters, spells, and magical items. But be weary of villains and the Dark Arts. Other cards allow you to regain health or to fight against villains, keeping them from gaining power. Only by working together will players be able to defeat all of the villains, securing the castle from the forces of evil. Includes game board, chip pieces, markers, health tracker boards, 245 cards, dice, card boxes, rules booklet, and sorting cards. Ages: 11+. 2-4 Players.”