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1. The Leaky Cauldron at the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Q&A Event at San Diego Comic-Con!

We have been covering the unveilings of exclusive material at San Diego Comic Con’s Fantastic Beasts panel – first a trailer, and now an exclusive Q&A event with the cast – featuring a question from Leaky!

Present at the event were: Director David Yates, Producer David Heyman, Ezra Miller (Credence), Collin Farrell (Percival Graves), Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander), Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein).

In the U.K., fans (and Leaky) were in the Great Hall at Leavesden Studios to take part in the live stream Q&A, where Fantastic Beasts costumes and props were being flaunted – unfortunately only for this exclusive event. Georgia and Gemma represented Leaky in London, so keep posted for more updates on this!

Carianne and Tabitha attended Comic-Con in San Diego on behalf of The Leaky Cauldron, Carianne managed to ask what Eddie, Katherine, Dan and Alison’s favourite parts about the wizarding world are:

Alison answered “Anything is possible, and also that it’s a beautiful world, it’s close enough to our world that it feels real and yet the possibilities and just the wonder of it, on just the tiniest little details how magic is sort of workaday in the world is just constantly inspiring” 

Katherine says “I think the idea of a parallel universe is just something I think we can all relate to. Of course children have that sense and we kind of grow up and we are kind of bred out or encouraged to stop thinking that way and stop seeing  the beauty and the possibility and the magic around us, and to consider it in this much more literal way that there could be a simultaneous world happening around us that we might not be conscious of, that we might be able to notice if you tune into it or look for it … I love that idea” 

Presenter Edith Bowman asked what it was like in San Diego when the brand new trailer was shown to audiences, and Eddie Redmayne jumped straight in with his answer, clearly excited to be at such a huge event:

“You hear so much about Comic-Con, the moment you actually walk on stage, it’s like no sensory experience you can possibly imagine – it’s so overwhelming, but so exciting”

According to Redmayne, there were people dressed as Newt Scamander in the audience!

Ezra Miller’s character has been kept closely under wraps (he does, however, feature in the new Fantastic Beasts poster), so his answer was understandably more discrete:

“I can’t tell you my favourite scene” he says, but said his favourite thing about working on the film was working with Collin Farrell, Eddie Redmayne and Samantha Morton (Mary Lou).

Alison Sudol says she is a “big Harry Potter fan” so is obviously excited to be promoting Fantastic Beasts at such a great event. “You can’t help but feel like a kid” she says, “It is magical, it’s magical to be a part of this world and to have a continuation of the universe that we all fell in love with, but it’s something new, something different” 

Dan Fogler is a loyal Comic-Con fan, who says he’s been attending the event for probably the past 15 years, and compares the excitement of attending 2016’s event to 2015:

“Last year I didn’t have much going on … then I got the call from my agent saying you know, ‘Next Comic-Con’s gonna be a lot different’, and they were right.” 

Pottermore asked the first time Eddie Redmayne learned to use a wand, which apparently happened in what turned out to be a slightly awkward experience during screen tests for the film:

“I remember David said very kindly ‘Ed, just choose a wand’ and I was like *HUGE GASP*. What was extraordinary was that your inner 9-year-old has waited for this moment all your life, and I picked the thing up, and I got complete stage fright. I had no idea what to do with it – it looked really odd in my hand so in the end I actually went back and looked at some of the Harry Potter films and looked at Dan and Emma and Rupert’s work and thieved an idea or two!”

Alison Sudol echoed this ‘stage fright’, saying that she was also concerned about whether the wand was actually magic, but that after the initial shock is over with “it becomes quite addictive” – apparently she’d found herself actually walking around at home with a wand!

Katherine Waterston said that the muscles involved in wand work were a surprise for her, saying she got a case of ‘wand elbow’.

SnitchSeeker then asked Eddie Redmayne what makes Newt Scamander a true Hufflepuff. Eddie said he’d recently taken the Pottermore sorting test:

“I’d been holding off doing it for an age because I couldn’t believe it would actually work, and I was sorted into Hufflepuff and it was the most exciting moment of my life”

“It’s his heart – he’s a complicated, knotty, at moments spiky character, but he has a wonderful heart and a passion for his creatures, and I suppose it’s those qualities which I associated with a Hufflepuff”

You can view the trailer and the full Q&A in the video on the Fantastic Beasts below, and check out our break-down of the trailer here!

Thank you to Carianne for asking Leaky’s question, and to Alison Sudol and Katherine Waterston for answering it! Many thanks to Tabitha, who joined Carianne and represented Leaky at SDCC 2016, and Gemma and Georgia, who joined the festivities at Leavesden Studios in London on Leaky’s behalf–thank you!!!

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2. Meet the Newest Magical Creatures of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’!

Following the release of the newest Fantastic Beasts trailer at San Diego Comic-Con, Pottermore have taken to Twitter to release details of the creatures appearing in the trailer:

First off is the Billywig, a seemingly small, blue flying creature which apparently packs a powerful sting. They’re also suspected to be an ingredient in Fizzing Whizzbees!

Next up is the Occamy, a plumed snake-like creature which hatches silver eggs:

The Demiguise looks like a sloth and a small monkey, and its hair is used to spin invisibility cloaks!

Anybody been sorted into Thunderbird with Pottermore’s Ilvermorny sorting quiz? Here’s your mascot – a bird that can create storms as it flies!

Watch the new trailer below and read our breakdown here!

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3. New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Trailer: House Elves, Queenie and Brand New Beasts!

San Diego Comic-Con’s Fantastic Beasts event is currently underway, which means a BRAND NEW TRAILER!

Leaky is at both the San Diego panel, and Warner Bros’ exclusive event at Leavesden Studios in London, which is currently featuring some brand new Fantastic Beasts costumes!

Watch the trailer below, and keep reading for our coverage of the trailer:

Collin Farrell is the first to appear. He is tracking a beast …. which means, of course, he’s tracking Newt Scamander.

New York city is shown being thrown into chaos by Newt’s case of beasts, which – as we know from previous trailers – was opened by Jacob.

A house elf also makes an appearance in the trailer:

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Along with a new magical moving portrait to love:

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We also get to see more of Queenie Goldstein, saying ‘Teenie… you brought men home?’ as she greets her sister, ‘Mr Scamander’ and Jacob:

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“We’re going to re-capture my creatures before they get hurt” Newt – of course – is concerned for the welfare of his beasts. New York City, not so much. Check out this beautiful shot of 1920s Times Square from the trailer:

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The beauty of the cinematography is not going to let us down – the trailer is breathtaking in its visual effects:

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And there are some new beasts for us to ponder over:

Thunderbird_Fantastic_Beasts_CC_Trailer_WM Demiguise_Fantastic_Beasts_CC_Trailer_WM

“When No-Majs are afraid, they attack…. Contain this, or it’ll mean war” warns Seraphina Picquery, President of MACUSA:

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 17.40.14

“Your skull is susceptible to breakage under immense force” Newt tells Jacob, after handing him a helmet:

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“Don’t panic! There’s absolutely nothing to worry about” Newt assures police officers, as a HUGE beast appears behind him:

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After that IMMENSE trailer, Jacob sits back with Newt and says enviously, “I wanna be a wizard”. We know the feeling!

Screen Shot 2016-07-23 at 17.44.14

Keep posted for more updates, and read Pottarmore’s coverage here!

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4. New “Fantastic Beasts” Interview with David Yates, More from SDCC 2016

David Yates sat down with the Los Angeles Times to talk about his first Comic-Con experience (San Diego is hosting this years International Comic Con this weekend) and Fantastic Beasts.

David Yates, David Heyman, and most of the Fantastic Beasts cast are taking San Diego and the 2016 International Comic Con by storm. As a part of Warner Bros most anticipated fall film release, many eyes are on the magical events and activities Fantastic Beasts is hosting at SDCC 2016.

For those of you who have never been to a Comic Con, it is quite an experience–and David Yates is learning this too. Yates is enjoying his first Comic Con, a little sad he’s missed out on other opportunities like this. The LA Times reports on his experience at SDCC and taking the Potter Universe into new, unchartered territory with the more adult Fantastic Beasts films.

It’s kind of hard to believe that you’ve never been to Comic-Con before.

I have so missed that opportunity because everyone — actors, directors, producers — they always tell me what an amazing experience it is. We were always in the thick of one of the “Potter” movies, so I was never able to make the trip. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s such a sort of touchstone of what’s ticking in popular culture. I’m really thrilled. 

The Potter books and the movies got more mature as the characters got older. “Fantastic Beasts” looks like it’s the continuation of that.

“Beasts” hasn’t got any kids in it. Well, it’s actually got one lovely kid called Faith [Wood-Blagrove], who plays a character called Modesty, but generally it’s a film with grown-ups. So it’s a more adult development of what Jo has done before but still with lots of magic, still with lots of fun. It’s the best of both worlds, I think.

I think that what’s interesting is it speaks to Jo’s curiosity about the world and her observation of the world that we see around us. It speaks to themes that are important now, as well as all the lovely magical stuff and her genius for character. Even though it’s set in New York in 1926, she’s interested in themes that resonate now about a divided world and a polarized world and how important it is to recognize otherness and embrace it and not to be afraid of it. That’s always been an aspect of her work, and it becomes more so now.

For all the kids who grew up watching these films — and as I grow old making some of these films — and for everyone who loved the books and grew up with them, I think this will feel like a really interesting return to her universe.

This is the first time people will go into a movie set in that universe and not have a sense of what the characters look like or where the story will go. How do you approach that as a filmmaker?

In a way, it’s quite liberating. Coming at it from a completely blank canvas, to me, is an advantage. People aren’t bringing any sort of baggage with them.

There aren’t bits that are going to be left out. There isn’t the same frustration that can happen if a favorite chapter has been left out of the movie. This is a story from Jo’s imagination, and people are going to hear it first in the theater. And I think that is tremendously exciting.

 

The entire interview can be read here.

 

Fantastic Beasts’ official Facebook page and Twitter is promising more chances to view and be a part of Fantastic Beast SDCC 2016 events. After today’s open Q&A at 5:30 pm EST, which Leaky will be attending, Fantastic Beasts’ Facebook page will continue live coverage of the panel and cast discussion. See below:

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5. Happy 27th Birthday, Daniel Radcliffe!

Today marks Dan Radcliffe’s 27th Birthday, falling just over a week before Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling’s birthdays.

Dan is busy with two performances in off-broadway show Privacy today (Bonnie Wright visited him this week!), so some fans may be getting to see him on his special day over in New York.

If not, join us in reminiscing over 15 years of seeing Dan grow from being The Boy Who Lived to being in films such as The Woman in BlackSwiss Army Man,  Horns and featuring in Broadway’s Equus. 

Thankfully, he’s got a busy schedule ahead of him, promising no deficit of Dan in the future! He’ll be featuring in Jungle and Imperium, and Now You See Me 2 is still in cinemas.

Take a look at InStyle‘s gallery celebrating Dan’s birthday, showing his transformation over the course of his acting career here.

2000-Daniel-Radcliffe 2016-Daniel-Radcliffe

Join us in wishing Dan a very Happy Birthday!

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6. Harry and Ginny Reunite: Bonnie Wright at Daniel Radcliffe’s Play ‘Privacy’

Mr. and Mrs. Potter reunited on Thursday when Bonnie Wright (along with Chris Columbus–director of the first two Potter films) attended a performance of Daniel Radcliffe’s new off-Broadway play Privacy.

Bonnie later posted a photo of the three to her Instagram and shared her thoughts on the performance:

 “Reunion! Congrats Dan on another stellar performance. Google is terrifying and I’m now scared to use my phone. Can say no more. Go see Privacy!”

The documentary-style play is inspired by the actions of Edward Snowden and takes a critical look at the concept of privacy in the digital age. Privacy runs through August 14 at Public’s Newman Theater. 

Read more at Entertainment Weekly.

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7. The Leaky Cauldron at San Diego Comic-Con’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Q&A!

Tomorrow, The Leaky Cauldron will join the Fantastic Beasts team at San Diego Comic-Con and Warner Bros’ special event at Leavesden Studios in London. Leaky will be involved with an exclusive Q&A with the cast and crew of the film, so listen out for us!

The Fantastic Beasts Facebook page also shared some new movie art celebrating their appearance at Comic-Con, and gave the username of the new Harry Potter Snapshat account (wizarding_world), which will be shared by Pottermore, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts teams. A special message will be delivered via the app tomorrow, so be sure to add them and check it!

Be sure to add wizarding_world on snapchat and watch the Q&A at 10:10pm BST/ 2:10pm PT/5:10pm ET tomorrow via the Fantastic Beasts Facebook page (here) and Twitter (here), and listen out for Leaky’s question!

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8. ‘Cursed Child’ Trio: “Being a Wizard is the Best Job Ever”

Jamie Parker, Paul Thornley and Noma Dumezweni are currently portraying Harry, Ron and Hermione on stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which opens for official performances on July 30th. The outside of Palace Theatre has been slowly growing into a masterpiece, adding more Potter-themed decorations in preparation for preview performances coming to an end. The new trio spoke to The Telegraph about their thoughts on how the process is going so far, and their reactions to being a part of a global phenomenon.

“It was absolute craziness, people were so pumped up” Paul Thornley  said, on seeing people wait outside the theatre prior to the first preview performance.. Noma simply stated: “This is quite big.”

Jamie Parker later says:

“That benign attention and pressure has been the wind at our backs,” he says. “The audience [mostly aged 25 to 35] have encouraged us and willed us to succeed the whole way. Generally in the theatre you spend some portion of the performance convincing people they have done the right thing in buying the ticket; that this is the play they want to watch. Never in our lives have we been able to hit the ground at full sprint like this.”

Paul Thornley is just happy it’s a solid job:

“It’s extraordinary to be in a new show in the West End and know you’re not going to close,” says Thornley. “That’s nice.”

This interview actually took part in the very room where Thornley, Parker and Dumezweni discovered that they had made the bill – the basement bar of the Palace Theatre. According to The Telegraph, being a part of the Potter stories instantly had an impact on the three actors’ lives:

“All three actors are discovering the transformative powers of Potter even before the show officially opens next Thursday. “My children finally think I’m doing something worthwhile,” says Thornley, who has two daughters, Katy-Ann, 16, and Florence, eight. “That’s glorious. I could be playing Hamlet at the RSC and they wouldn’t give a monkey’s, but Ron Weasley… it’s got currency in the playground. Suddenly I’m worth talking to.”

The actors were sworn to keep their wizardly identities secret until the cast was announced, but Thornley mistook the release date and told Florence a week in advance. “By which time she had told most of her class, her teacher and anyone else who wanted to know that her dad was Ron Weasley. So keeping the secret starts at home for me. I learnt a big lesson. She’s gorgeous but she’ll make a terrible spy.””

On J.K. Rowling asking preview audiences to #KeeptheSecrets:

“The hashtag KeeptheSecrets is a beautiful thing,” says Dumezweni, whose nine-year-old daughter, Qeiva, took her insider responsibility so seriously that she asked: “Can I tell them it’s in two parts?”

“J K Rowling is not a King John,” says Parker. “She doesn’t assume disloyalty. She assumes the fan base want to protect the secret. Spoilers are inevitable. If you’re looking for them, you’re going to find them. But it’s still overwhelmingly easy to turn up to the theatre knowing nothing about it.”

Noma then sums up the feeling of 2016 in a few beautiful sentences – we’re getting Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child all in one year, and we know that this play won’t let fans down:

“There’s a communion,” says Dumezweni. “When the lights go down we’re all in there together and that’s what the keeping of secrets is. These people in their gut and their soul have travelled with Harry and Ron and Hermione and the other characters for years.” 

Paul Thornley has been in Les Miserables, but we’re glad to hear that he believes “Being a wizard is the best job ever”. The trio tell The Telegraph that the audience are often audibly in awe of the performances, Parker calling the sounds ‘a goldmine':

“All you want is a story that people want to be told. Of course we’ve got lots of toys and bells and whistles but it is not merely spectacle. What people care about is the internal life of these characters, the development of relationships and all the pressures and crises they experience. If we’d thought it was a big, cynical toys-only production, I’m pretty sure we’d have had nothing to do with it.”

The actors then discuss the plot of the play (don’t worry – no spoilers!):

 “As soon as you bring a child into the world, you feel guilty,” says Thornley. “Am I doing it right? Am I doing it wrong? It continues. There are different problems all the way through. That comes across hugely in the play. It’s clever and it’s complex and it’s troubling sometimes because you empathise with these problems.”

Dumezweni and Thornley in particular faced backlash when their casting was announced, entirely based on their appearances (Rowling herself, their co-workers and other Potter alumni have since backed their performance as actors, giving them their full support). The Telegraph documented their reactions:

The actress [Dumezweni], who collected an Olivier award for her role in A Raisin in0 the Sun, and recently excelled in the title role in Linda at the Royal Court Theatre when Kim Cattrall had to pull out, treats the fuss with disdain. “You are looking at me. This is the skin colour I have. You choose to use the word ‘black’. I am just an actress playing Hermione.” She is pleased that mothers regard her as a beacon for their mixed-race daughters.

To quislings who don’t think Thornley is red-headed enough to be Ron Weasley, the actor replies: “I am ginger in my soul.”

Cursed Child will be opening officially next Thursday (30th July). Read more over at The Telegraph here!

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9. Anthony Boyle on Playing Scorpius Malfoy in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Harry Potter’s enduring feud with classmate Draco Malfoy has left many fans curious about the relationships between the rivals’ children at Hogwarts. Anthony Boyle–Draco’s son Scorpius Malfoy in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child–opens up about Scorpius’ childhood and a surprising friendship in a new interview.

 “He’s grown up in isolation in the Malfoy Manor and hasn’t really spoken to anyone in his peer group. He’s just been alone with his books reading about Harry Potter and Albus and all of these different people.”

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Anthony reveals that in Cursed Child, Scorpius does something quite uncharacteristic of the Malfoy clan by befriending a Potter.

“Suddenly, Albus comes into the [Hogwarts Express] carriage. Rose Granger-Weasley doesn’t take too kindly to him. She thinks he’s a bit odd, because he is! But Albus [Potter] quite likes him, and the friendship sort of begins there.”

Hear more from Anthony in the video below:

Read the full interview on Pottermore.

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10. “Fantastic Beasts” Round Up: Comic Con, Test-Screening and More

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is coming around the corner this November! Being one of Warner Bro.’s most anticipated films, the film and its cast and crew will be making an appearance (multiple appearances) at this years San Diego (International) Comic Con, SDCC 2016.

Time Magazine included Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as one of the most anticipated Comic Con films from Warner Bros, along side Suicide Squad and Wonder Woman. Time wrote:

“San Diego Comic-Con isn’t just about comics. The convention plays host to trailers, teasers and panels from Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters…

“This year, Wonder Woman (celebrating her 75th birthday) will vie for first lady of the convention as star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins preview next year’s much-anticipated film; Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will usher in the next era of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world…

“…Between the onstage and on-shelf debut of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the opening of a Harry Potter theme park at Universal Studios in Los Angeles and the upcoming trilogy Fantastic Beasts, the wizarding world is staging a comeback. Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are among the actors that will join director David Yates (who helmed four of the Harry Potterfilms) to give the Comic-Con audience a deeper look at what J.K. Rowling’s vision of a magical, 1920s-era New York.

According to the Comic Con website and schedule, Warner Bros will showcase their highly anticipated releases (Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, The LEGO Batman Movie, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, etc.) including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The showcase is scheduled for Saturday, July 23, 11:30 am. Comic Con has posted that David Yates, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell will be in attendance for the panel. Basically the whole gang will be there.

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Entertainment Weekly‘s coverage of this weekend’s SDCC events, states that fans will have signing opportunities from the Fantastic Beasts group:

 

“In addition to the panels, there will signing appearances in three distinct areas: the Warner Bros. Booth (Fantastic Beasts, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword), the DC Booth (Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman), and the LEGO Booth (The LEGO Batman Movie).”

 

So far at SDCC 2016, WB and Fantastic Beasts have hosted a wand-training workshop! We’ll keep you updated on more WB and Fantastic Beasts events at SDCC 2016 as the weekend unfolds!

 

 

In addition, MuggleNet reported on test-screenings of Fantastic Beasts that occurred in Chicago this week. They gave a spoiler-free report of how the movie was received by the audience. MuggleNet reports:

  • It is more adult-oriented and interesting to see how adult wizards exist and live in society.
  • That said, this may also be the funniest movie of all the Wizarding World films. The humor worked for the most part and the audience really enjoyed most of the jokes. There may have even been some hidden adult jokes.
  • The Wizarding World in the USA is much stricter and scarier than Britain’s Wizarding World.
  • Beasts will not disappoint, but they do not steal the show.
  • Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) and Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein) steal the movie with brilliant performances.
  • It was HIGHLY recommended that viewers know the Wizarding World laws and magical nuances before seeing this film. Muggles (sorry…”No-Maj’s”) will not get any explanations to the magical world.
  • Newt is fighting a good fight, which makes the fans appreciate the magical beasts.
  • Finally, our team was not disappointed and said the fans should look forward to a fantastic new film this fall.

Read more about the discussion focus groups with David Yates, David Heyman and the audience in the full report from MuggleNet, here.

As reported previously, Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling will be publishing the Fantastic Beasts screen play in book form (pre-order here). It was also announced last March that Warner Bros had gathered Publishing Partners, which will work to release Fantastic Beasts merchandise, interactive film-to-page books (particularly children’s books), and more. Warner Bros also formed a Harry Potter production team called the Harry Potter Global Franchise Development Team (HPGFD), and more of that can be read here. The Bookseller reported recently that Walker Books is a part of these publishing partners and production teams, and will be releasing a Fantastic Beasts interactive series. The Bookseller reports:

 

“Walker Books UK will publish a series of interactive children’s books based on the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”.

“The film, written by J K Rowling, was inspired by her “Hogwarts textbook”, also entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was published by Bloomsbury Children’s in 2001. It follows the adventures of Newt Scamander as several of his magical creatures escape in New York, and will be released in the UK in November.

“Walker Books UK signed a sublicence agreement with Insight Editions, which has the rights to a global publishing program based on J K Rowling’s Wizarding World, and Warner Bros Consumer Products. The agreement is for “several” titles in novelty and interactive formats that go behind the scenes of the film, and publication will start this October.

“Walker Books UK will publish the books simultaneously with Walker Books Australia. In the US, the same titles will be released by Walker’s sister company Candlewick Press.”

 

The full report can be read here.

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11. Evanna Lynch Attends Giffoni Film Festival 2016

Yesterday, Evanna Lynch attended the Giffoni Film Festival held in Salerno (Italy), after starring in My Name is Emily, which featured in the Generator +16 competition at the event. Of course, many Potter fans attended the festival to ask questions, but Evanna also had some wisdom of her own to share.

Evanna was part of the Potter community long before she was cast as Luna at 14 years old, so it makes sense that she’d have ideas about where she  would have liked the plot to go. The bonus of being cast was that J.K. Rowling was right there, available to speak to about ideas, and maybe get a few hints at the story along the way. Evanna did not waste this opportunity, telling Rowling a very interesting idea she’d had for the development of Luna’s character:

“I’ve always had so many ideas about the narrative developments that one day I went to the writer to propose her a love story between Luna and the Headmaster … I told her I didn’t mind the difference of age between them, instead, I thought they would be a nice couple. She replied: ‘It’s not about the age. In any case, the relationship would be impossible because he is gay’. That’s how I found out about one of the greatest revelations of J.K. Rowling”

When asked about the decision to cast Noma Dumezweni in Cursed Child (which opens officially on July 30th), Evanna gave sensitive, thoughtful reasoning behind her answer:

“I consider it to be the right decision. Hermione is a libertarian in spirit, she fights for those in difficulty, it makes total sense to imagine her as part of a minority. One of the most beautiful things about J.K Rowling, which for me is a point of reference, is the way in which she uses her characters to send a message”.

She later reaffirmed this answer:

“Hermione’s feature is her desire to help the defenceless, like house-elves, thus it makes perfectly sense her being part of a minority. Such a choice proves that J.K. Rowling wished to give a strong social message through her work. As far as I’m concerned, it’s talent that counts, not skin colour”.

She also had a few words to say about Luna’s sense of social justice:

 “Luna doesn’t give a darn about people’s prejudices, she is a free spirit and she also helped me fighting my insecurities, just like she’s doing with million people in the world. This is the reason why I decided to embrace important causes in my following projects. For example, I acted a wicked girl who hates homosexuals in G.B.F. Because I felt awkward whilst giving life to her pettiness, I understood that my character would have succeeded in proving the premises of the film true.”

Evanna is an aspirational young actress, who likes to take on challenging roles – her troubled character in My Name is Emily illustrates her desire to portray complex characters who tell a story. However, she also sets herself personal challenges in her career:

“I always look for new challenges and I’ve got a long list of actors I’d like to play with. First of all is Benedict Cumberbatch because I’m a fan of his TV Sherlock”

Of course, as a Potter fan herself, Evanna would never give up another chance to play Luna:

“I am not ready to abandon the character entirely and I think I would be jealous if it were assigned to someone else”.

Later she also said of Cursed Child:

“ Should anyone make a film based on the stage play I would whip into it. The truth is that I can’t say goodbye to my character, and I hope to play it again, maybe in an older version”. 

We all know that Evanna loves her cat – her Instagram is almost exclusively photos/videos of Puff, so when a fan awkwardly proposed to her at the event, her reply was believable:

“We’ll talk about it again in ten years’ time, now I’m giving all my time over my kitties, indeed, I wish to open a cattery very soon to welcome them all and spend all my money on their safeguard”

I swear to god she talks to me and I understand her!! ???? #soulmates #bff #LilPuff

A video posted by Evanna Lynch (@msevylynch) on

Lynch also advised young aspiring actors to “read a lot and broadly, stay pure and be yourselves; this will help you in a world that is not always easy”.

She also gave advice to younger fans in the audience:

“Be sympathetic to your parents, explain them your dreams and help them understanding the reasons why you want to experience new things. Sometimes, they might forbid you to dye your hair or wear some clothes but they do it in good faith to protect you. My mother, who is here with me in the hall at Giffoni, gave me strict rules but she also left me free to find my way, so I realised that my adolescence rebellion was not a pique but instead a desire to understand who I was”

Read more over at the Giffoni Film Festival website and ANSA, and see photos of Evanna at the event below!

 

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12. Win a Signed Copy of ‘Cursed Child’ from Waterstones!

Like most Potter fans, we’re counting down the days until the release of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child  book so we can all experience the latest installment in Harry’s story for ourselves.  The only thing that could possibly be better than an eighth Harry Potter book? A signed eighth Harry Potter book.

Waterstones has just announced–in what is their grandest contest to date–the chance to be one of seven winners to receive a copy of the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child book signed by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne.

This free prize draw is open to residents of the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands and Belgium age 18 and over. The contest ends at 11:59pm on July 30, 2016.

Enter for your chance to win here. Good luck!

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13. Warwick Davis’ ‘Star Wars’ Career Continues

Throughout the years, Warwick Davis has appeared in three different Star Wars installments as five different characters. He has become a familiar face to those who follow the movies and is due to return this December in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as a new character, rumored to be called Bistan.

The actor appeared as different characters in 'Return of the Jedi,' 'The Phantom Menace' and 'The Force Awakens.'

The news of Warwick’s addition to the Rogue One lineup comes just weeks after it was confirmed that Darth Vader himself would be making an appearance in the film, which is set immediately prior to the events in the franchise’s first outing, A New Hope.

With his first Star Wars appearance as Wicket the Ewok in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, and his latest appearance as Wollivan in last year’s The Force Awakens, fans are excited to see what he will bring to the screen this time around. See more about his new role here.

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14. Alfred Enoch Shares His Wisdom After Filming ‘King Lear’

After portraying Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films, Alfred Enoch has been starring in US drama How to Get Away With Murder, and is currently taking a break from TV to play Edmund in a filmed, critically-acclaimed theatrical production of Shakespeare’s King Lear, which will also star Don Warrington.

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Huffington Post took some time to catch up with Enoch as part of their Wise Words interview series:

When and where are you happiest?
Working. Theatre, particularly, being on stage. Not that I like it more than TV, but the release of being on stage is very exciting to me. There comes a point when you go on and it’s beyond any rehearsal or correction, you just have to commit. When you’re in the wings, and you have to go on, it can be very freeing, but you have to trust that you’ve done enough work. I find that exhilarating.

What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
Rejoice. Don’t worry about it. It doesn’t matter that much. Throw yourself into it, and don’t check yourself.

What 3 things are at the top of your bucket list?
Go for a really long walk, Camino Del Santiago or something that big.
Do more plays.
Go back to Brazil.

What was the last good deed or act of kindness you received?
We’re about to start shooting the next season of this TV show ‘How to Get Away With Murder’, and everyone is so enthused to see each other. I’ve been in a different continent, other people have been travelling for work, scattered to the winds and now we return. There’s a lot of warmth when everyone gets back together.

Alfred also spoke about his wider beliefs – what happens when we die, good advice to live by, and occasions when he’s felt like we might live ‘in the presence of something bigger than ourselves':

“I love walking in London, and architecture is a big thing for me. I like the idea of the past happening in a certain place, I find it elusive and I love to try to bridge that gap between then and now. It can be a city, or equally the wilderness, but it can have that same feeling. In Malibu a while ago, I went for a walk with my parents, the sun was setting, and it just felt… immense.

Equally, I felt like that doing ‘Lear’ at the Royal Exchange. It’s a fantastic theatre, it has this dome and we used to come down from the dressing room, full of excitement and adrenalin, about to open a show, after all the work. I remember coming down the first few shows, looking up at glass dome which hangs over the theatre module, and feeling the wonder.”

Enoch’s appearance in King Lear: The Film will be available on demand in the UK and internationally for three months here. The film is a Talawa Theatre Company, Royal Exchange Theatre and Saffron Cherry TV production, in association with Lion Eyes TV and commissioned by The Space.

Royal Exchange Theatre gives more details:

“Captured at the Royal Exchange Theatre in May 2016, King Lear played to sell out theatre crowds during its run, winning 4 and 5 star reviews across the board and was described by the Guardian as ‘as close to definitive as can be’.

The original ‘intelligent and theatrical’ (Guardian) stage production was directed by Michael Buffong (A Raisin in the Sun, Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, All My Sons) and was a co-production between Talawa Theatre Company and the Royal Exchange Theatre in association with the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.”

Read more here, and watch a promo below!

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15. Matt Lewis Returns to London Stage!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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17. Bloomsbury Announces Theme for HP Book Night 2017

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

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

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Bloomsbury stated in a press release:

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hear more from Paul in the video below:

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

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19. Newt Scamander Funko Pop! Figure Coming Soon!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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21. David Yates and David Baron talk “Tarzan”

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

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

 

Let’s start with something obvious: why Tarzan?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

DB: You mean physically?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They were pretty bloody scary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DB: No, the arm.

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

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

DB: Which is where he met Jane.

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

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

Where does Samuel L. Jackson come into it?

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

DB: Which was genocide on a massive scale.

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

Will we be hearing the famous Tarzan yell?

DB: Of course you will!

DY: We were mixing it this morning.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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24. PotterCast #258 – PukWhatgie?

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

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

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

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

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

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

DOWNLOAD THE NEWEST EPISODE OF POTTERCAST ON ITUNES :)

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

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

Digital Spy reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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