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1. Dan Radcliffe’s Acting is “Phenomenal” in ‘Now You See Me 2′, and New Poster Released!

Dan Radcliffe may not have been at this interview with MTV, but that didn’t stop Now You See Me 2 co-stars Jesse Eisenberg & Dave Franco talking about his role in Harry Potter, after discussing the many intricacies of the film’s title!

After being asked how many Potter films there were, Jesse Eisenberg replies ‘There were several’, and clarifies that he didn’t grow up with the books or films as many did, but that he was ‘enamoured’ with Dan’s acting. Eisenberg also says that Dan will be playing a villain in this movie, and is ‘phenomenal’ as his character, predicting that audiences who are fans of his acting in Potter will be pleasantly surprised with this refreshing reminder of his great talent (along with his other great films, of course!).

Dave Franco also comments, saying that Dan is a hard worker, always striving to achieve his best performance. Franco tells us that Dan nailed a 5 page monologue in every take, admiring how ‘professional’ Dan is, and echoing Eisenberg’s comments on the change in his acting in this film

Watch the interview below:

Mark Ruffalo also tweeted a new poster for the film, saying that they’ve channelled ‘Where’s Waldo’ for this one – Dan is seen above Ruffalo (centre):

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 18.48.07

Watch the newest trailer below, and read more about the film here!

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2. ‘Harry Potter’ Actors Celebrate Shakespeare

Beedle the Bard may be the king of storytelling in the Wizarding World, but it’s the Bard of Avon who reigns over the English-speaking Muggle one.

Saturday, April 23 marks the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, and several of our favorite Harry Potter film actors will be celebrating his plays in the coming weeks.

The main event is a cooperative effort of the BBC and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC): the BBC Shakespeare Festival 2016.  The BBC announced that David Tennant (Doctor Who but also Barty Crouch, Jr. in the Harry Potter films) will host Shakespeare Live! from the RSC on BBC2 this Saturday at 8:30 pm BST.

Tennant will be joined by Joseph Fiennes, Judi Dench, Ian McKellan, Benedict Cumberbatch and others in a special variety show at the Royal Shakespeare Company’s theater in Stratford, England.  The production will also be screened live in cinemas across Britain and Europe.  Movie theaters in the United States will host the event one month later, on May 23, as The Shakespeare Show.

Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore in several Harry Potter films) is participating in the BBC celebrations by playing Mortimer on The Hollow Crown: The War of the Roses television series with Benedict Cumberbatch this year.

Into Film ambassador Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart in the Harry Potter films) has a Q&A session at Belfast’s Queen’s Film Theatre as part of BFI’s Shakespeare anniversary events.  Several of Branagh’s Shakespeare films will screen, including Much Ado About Nothing (1993), which he directed and starred in with Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney in the Harry Potter films) and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films).

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Branagh’s Henry V (1989) will also show, featuring Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid in the Harry Potter films) and Emma Thompson.

Please join us in lifting a tankard of Butterbeer to celebrate over 400 years of William Shakespeare’s genius with some of our favorite Harry Potter film stars.  Huzzah!

 

 

 

 

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3. Could We See Familiar Harry Potter Characters in Fantastic Beasts?

Since the release of the newest, full-length Fantastic Beasts trailer, the Fantastic Beasts cast and Warner Bros have started their journey on the promotional trail for the film. Recently, WB attended CinemaCon in Las Vegas, accompanied by actors and actresses from the various films they presented and intend on releasing in the next year or two.

Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Alyson Sudol, and Dan Fogler took the stage to present Fantastic Beasts with WB. Though the event is closed, and the behind the scenes material shown has not been released to the public, red carpet interviews with the cast are giving fans a little more insight. This recent interview of Dan Fogler (towards the end of the video) is more intriguing than most:

 

Dan Fogler seems to be implying that we will see (and possibly meet?) the younger versions of familiar Harry Potter characters. As most know, Fogler can be a bit of a jokester. Is he messing with Harry Potter fans or is his excitement real? His co-star, Alyson Sudol seem reassured that the world of Fantastic Beasts was pretty independent of that of Harry’s time at Hogwarts. But Dan Fogler’s excitement just seems too real! He pleads the 5th! Why?

We can’t wait to find out. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters November 18, 2016.

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4. J.K. Rowling One of Britain’s Most Charitable, Galbraith up for Crime Award

As we have come to know over the years, J.K. Rowling has a big heart. Since becoming the most financially successful author in history, J.K. Rowling has also become one of the most philanthropic celebrities–never forgetting the humbleness and humility to serve those in need.

The Guardian reported on Britain’s most philanthropic celebrities in terms of donations made this past year, and not surprisingly, J.K. Rowling topped the list. The Guardian reports:

 

“Sir Elton John and JK Rowling have been revealed as Britain’s most benevolent celebrities, with each donating a large proportion of their fortune to charities.

“John gave £26.8m to charity last year, mainly to his Aids foundations in Britain and the US which he established in 1992. Rowling donated £10.3m, according to the Sunday Times.

“The writer’s charities of choice were the Lumos Foundation, her own charity aimed at closing down all child institutions and orphanages around the world by 2050, as well as the Volant Charitable Trust, which raises money to alleviate social deprivation and for research into multiple sclerosis, which killed Rowling’s mother.”

 

In addition to her generosity, Jo is also made headlines for what Jo does best–writing. J.K. Rowling’s closest “friend,” and the Potter world’s favorite crime writer, Robert Galbraith has been added to the long list of 18 finalists for the Theakstons Old Peculier crime novel of the year award for Galbraith’s latest novel, Career of Evil. Galbraith and Rowling are listed with one of the pair’s closest crime-novelist friends, Val McDermid, who is also a former recipient of the award.

The long list of nominees included well-established writers, as well as many debut novelists. Many in the running agree that the debut novelists keep already well-known writers on their toes, exhibiting equal if not greater talent. The Guardian reported on J.K. Rowling’s  praise of last year’s winner, a debut novelist, reporting:

 

“Harrogate International Festivals literary manager Gemma Rowland said the list demonstrates how “even the giants of the genre are constantly kept on their toes, with debut voices as serious contenders”.

“Rowland pointed out that last year’s winner was Sarah Hilary’s debut, Someone Else’s Skin. “It really shows whoever wins this year will know they’ve been pitted against the biggest talent at work today,” she said.”

 

The winner of the award also receives a cash prize of £3,000, which we assume Galbraith and Rowling will come to an agreement on where to donate the prize if they win. Galbraith will probably pull for amputee war veterans, and Rowling will probably agree. They make such a great pair.

The Gaurdian included the long list of nominations which can be read here.

 

 

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5. ‘Criminal’ Featuring Gary Oldman in Theaters Now

Gary Oldman (Harry Potter‘s Sirius Black) features in the new action film, Criminal, showing in theaters now.

Criminal is a spy thriller about a mission gone wrong.  Oldman plays a CIA bureau chief named Quaker Wells.  When one of his agents dies trying to reach a young hacker (Michael Pitt), Wells finds a neurosurgeon (Tommy Lee Jones) who is experimenting with memory transfer to input the memories from his agent into the mind of a death-row inmate named Jericho (Kevin Costner).  Jericho must then find where the hacker is hidden before the bad guys do.

Criminal opened April 15, and reviews have been mixed. Of Oldman’s performance, The Daily Mail Online says that he “looks like he’s having fun as the CIA chief trying to prevent mass destruction.”  But The Hollywood Reporter says that “from such a good actor, this performance seems entirely misdirected and inauthentic for a figure requiring maximum shrewdness and smarts.”

The consensus is that while the action scenes can be exciting, the stellar cast, with Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot filling out the lead roles, are not used to their potential.  Reviewers agreed that the main actors (Oldman, Costner, and Jones) were obviously having a great time on the film, probably enjoying their reunion after working together on JFK (1991).

If Gary Oldman wants to make a movie just to get paid to hang out with his friends, then we won’t fault him for it.

To read the full reviews, see the Mail Online and The Hollywood Reporter.

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6. WNDB WALTER DEAN MYERS GRANT 2016 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

The Walter Dean Myers Grant is now open for submissions. This grant recognizes diversity in children's literature. There will be five winners of the Walter Grant, and the grant amount will be $2000 each. Please check the WNDB website for complete guidelines and application procedures.

The Walter Dean Myers Grant is named in honor of the celebrated children’s book author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Walter Dean Myers was a lifelong advocate for diversity in youth literature, and a National Book Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. His legacy can be seen in the thousands of lives he touched, including those of readers and authors alike. His legacy is also reflected in the We Need Diverse Books™ organization. WNDB™ seeks to honor his memory by establishing this grant in his name. Please see

 

http://weneeddiversebooks.org/walter-grant-submission-guidelines/

0 Comments on WNDB WALTER DEAN MYERS GRANT 2016 CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS as of 4/19/2016 1:50:00 AM
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7. J.K. Rowling Designs New Wands for Trio

This morning, J.K. Rowling tweeted from London. After being up all night with a “Robert-related brainwave” that made the insomnia worth it, our tired beloved author made her way to Cursed Child rehearsals.

 

After arriving at rehearsals, Jo released to her fans on twitter a sketch she had drawn for the play. A sketch of new wand designs for the Trio (Harry, Ron, Hermione), Draco, and Ginny.

 

Now, before everyone gets their panties in a bunch, I’ve been thinking about this for the last few hours, and once again Jo is not breaking canon, though that initially may appear to be the case. 

As much as we love to movies, Jo’s canon resides primarily in her books. Hermoine may be white in the movies, but according to the books she can be any ethnicity or nationality the reader imagines–and often the ethnicity the reader most identifies with. (Before all of you start pointing to chapter 21 in Prisoner of Azkaban, “white face” is a euphemism for scared. Chapter 4 of the same book reads, “They were there, both of them, sitting outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor — Ron looking incredibly freckly, Hermione very brown, both waving frantically at him.” She could be tanned, or she could be naturally darker skinned. Arguably, Hermione can be any race–it’s never directly specified. Does it really matter? NO.)

The wands described in the books give readers the wood and core materials and the length. Nothing is mentioned about design. In the first two Harry Potter films, Chirs Columbus opted to make everyone’s wands fairly similar in design. Alfonso Cuaron first brought uniquely designed wands to the films in Prisoner of Azkaban. Whether you love or hate the third movie, it was revolutionary with how the Potter books were portrayed on film, and did deviate from Jo’s world (though Jo did give her approval on the variations).

The materials of the five wands are still the same, as well as the length. For the first time, we are seeing the wands of the five main characters as Jo envisioned them.

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8. Earth Day Activities

Earth Day Trivia and ActivitiesEarth Day activities

Earth Day is April 22. Here are some Earth Day trivia quizzes and activities you can do to celebrate our dear planet Earth, and help inspire your fellow humans to treat our planet with more loving care!

What will YOU do to help save the planet this Earth Day? Let us know in the Comments.

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9. Harry Potter’s Miriam Margolyes Gives a Hilarious Interview on Growing Old

Miriam Margolyes is just as witty, if not more so, than her character of Professor Sprout in Harry Potter. Miriam recently sat down with the British news website, the Mirror, to discuss growing old, farting, and partying with Prince Charles. Three things that do not commonly get mentioned in the same sentence together.

The Harry Potter actress, who has acclaim for many other roles as well, including her BAFTA for best supporting actress in Martin Scorsese’s The Age Of Innocence, will turn 75 this May. She is currently awaiting surgery for a knee replacement just before her birthday. Miriam spoke about her health in a half-serious, half-joking manner, saying:

 

 ‘One of the worst things about ageing,’ she says, rubbing her leg, ‘is the waning of your physical powers; I live in a house with 64 stairs and I simply cannot run up and down them any more, my knee has conked out.’

‘If I could give my younger self one piece of advice,’ she booms, ‘I would say, “lose weight”.

“I’ve been fat my whole life and pretended I don’t mind. But I do mind. It’s really stupid that I’ve gone on being greedy and fat. I’m going to be 75 in May. How can I have lived this long and not know anything?’

‘I don’t care what I look like, I must be comfortable. I can see some of my friends have had plastic surgery and Botox, but I’m not the least bit interested in it.’

She then tells us about one of her friends – a famous actress of a similar age – whose terrible facelift appalled her. ‘She was a beautiful woman, but that damaged little face, it’s heartbreaking.’

One perk of age, she concedes, is you stop giving a damn. She was recently at Edinburgh station and when a young man refused her request to give up his seat for her – she emptied her water bottle over his head.

‘It was naughty. But he didn’t get hurt, just wet, and it did feel fabulous,’ she chuckles.

‘Getting older is a hideous experience, I’m so glad I only have to do it once. But I’ve kept my mind, my career, my relationship, and I have enough money – I know I’ve been blessed. And if the work I’ve done has entertained people that makes me happy.’

 

The Mirror met Miriam at her home for her interview. The interview was a promotional for Miriam’s current project, ITV2’sAncient Rome-set comedy, Plebs. Miriam talked about why she took certain acting jobs over others and the importance of friends in her career.  The Mirror reports:

 

‘I turn down all sorts of jobs because I don’t want to waffle on about b*****ks. But I took Plebs because they film it in Bulgaria, a fascinating place. I take any job abroad because I love to travel.’

Indeed, earlier this year Miriam was in Jaipur, India, where she filmed the BBC’s Real Marigold Hotel with seven fellow well-known pensioners.

It was hugely popular and more episodes are planned later this year. ‘I loved the experience so much I would have paid them to take me,’ she says. ‘We all email each other and meet up, it’s like we are eight new, old friends, it’s lovely.’

‘There is this huge sadness to losing your friends – people you have loved and imagined would always know, then leave your life. That’s the saddest part. I’m not someone who believes old age is a blessing – b*****ks! – it’s f***ing awful and you get through it as best you can.’

 

Miriam says she used to enjoy parties, but has now grown to old for them and prefers small social gatherings. However, she will make an exception for Prince Charles. The Mirror said:

 

One party she did enjoy was at Sandringham, when she was invited by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall a few years back. ‘It was terrific! I’m a socialist but I am very much in favour of them. He’s a terrific bloke and we had a huge laugh. I’m so glad he’s found happiness with this lady who he should have married first time around.’

 

Miriam went on to discuss living with no regrets, embarrassing topics she doesn’t mind talking about on talk shows, what embarrasses her, and more. The original article, pictures of Miriam throughout her acting career, and video clips can be seen here.

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10. More on ‘Fantastic Beasts’ at CinemaCon: Interviews with Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler and Colin Farrell!

The Warner Bros. presentation on April 12th at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas gave a ‘big picture’ on what to expect in Summer 2016, and of course the biggest thing attendees wanted to hear about was Fantastic Beasts. Therefore, it was only fitting that Eddie Redmayne, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol and Colin Farrell hit the stage to rile up the crowd and promote the film:

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

More images from the event can be found over at Getty Images here.

Access Hollywood caught up with Eddie Redmayne at the event, for a short interview about the Potter franchise. He ‘opens up’ about whether or not he was a fan of the original series (obviously he was!). Catch the video below:

Associated Press released a similar interview of Eddie and Collin Farrell talking about the magic of the series, and Colin raves about having a personalised wand.

Eddie’s so engrossed in the series already – we can’t wait to see how he does as Newt (judging by Pottermore’s interview, we’d say he’s definitely doing great).

Collider also met with Dan Fogler, to talk about his role as muggle (no-maj) ‘Jacob’ in Fanatic Beasts. They graced us with a video of their interview (below), and even gave us a handy time index:

    • 0:17 – What it means to him to be part of the Harry Potter universe.
    • 1:15 – His “surreal” and lengthy audition process.
    • 3:36 – The experience of making the movie.
    • 4:22 – How the story will surprise people.

Comic Vine also released a video with Dan (below), on finding out about the role and more on his character’s 1920’s New York / Brooklyn accent:

You can read a transcript of the interview over at Snitch Seeker here.

Just incase you haven’t seen the trailer already (or want to see it again) catch our frame-by-frame analysis here, and the trailer itself below:

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11. New ‘Diverse Children’s Books’ Meme

I am very excited that Mirrors Windows Doors will be one of the regular hosts of the new Diverse Children’s Books meme.  Find out all about it below – and be sure to join in, both by adding a post to the linky and by exploring the riches those links … Continue reading ...

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12. DC Universe accepts “R” rating for Batman: The Killing Joke animated film

TKJbatmanDC Universe announced today they've accepted an "R" rating from the MPAA for the upcoming animated release Batman: The Killing Joke.

2 Comments on DC Universe accepts “R” rating for Batman: The Killing Joke animated film, last added: 4/16/2016
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13. Happy Birthday Emma^2!

It is impossible to celebrate too much, and the Harry Potter world is celebrating two of its most brilliant actresses today.

Making headlines and trending on many social media, many recognize as Harry Potter’s brilliant real-life Hermione celebrates her 26th birthday! Emma Watson, who is quite an accomplished young woman, was born in Paris, France and raised in Oxfordshire, England. She was eleven years old when she landed the role of Hermione Granger.

After spending ten years on the Harry Potter series, Emma has gone on to work on a variety of films as well as lead the modern wave of feminism in her role as Women’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

While on the Harry Potter set, Emma Watson worked with Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney). Emma Thompson is an incredibly talented actress, who has been recognized for her role in many films. Having been nominated over twenty-five times for acting awards, Emma Thompson has two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, two BAFTAs, and an Emmy under her belt. Emma Thompson turns 57 today.

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14. Katherine Waterston talks to Pottermore about her role as Tina in ‘Fantastic Beasts’!

The ever-mysterious Pottermore Correspondent managed to sneak in an interview with Katherine Waterston, on the set of Fantastic Beasts. She ‘perfectly inhabits’ the character of Tina Goldstein, according to Pottermoreand we can’t wait to see for ourselves the level of talent David Yates clearly saw in her:

‘We were standing in the pouring rain with David Yates and I asked him about the casting process,’ I [the Pottermore Correspondent] tell Katherine, wondering if she knows. ‘David said he got Eddie Redmayne to read with so many actresses but he knew immediately that you were Tina. That you had such perfect chemistry and it had to be you.’

‘Oh! Oh, really?’ she says, genuinely incredulous and in her soft American accent. ‘That’s too nice. I bet he was like, “Don’t tell her that, it’ll go to her head!” Oh, he’s such a dear man. He brings so much joy to the set, but the real thing that trickles down from the top is his faith in this process because he’s been in this world before.’

Yates has also been at work on The Legend of Tarzan, and knows the Potter series well after directing the last four movies, so he is well versed in leading great actors – we’re confident he’s found something special in Waterston!

Katherine says that Yates has been a huge help on set, and clearly has a passion for his work and J.K. Rowling’s world:

‘Usually on a movie, you’re going into new territory together and you’re like, “Is there quicksand around the corner, are there going to be wolves attacking?” Whereas David’s been here before so he’s just like, “You’re going to take a left here and avoid the quicksand”. 

‘He has a shorthand and a comfort with the world. He’s not precious with it, he understands what it needs and what it doesn’t need and there’s something really comforting in that.’

 ‘When we’re incorporating things that aren’t actually there, to look at David and know he can see the world is… everything,’

‘It’s sort of like when your parents read you a book when you’re a kid; if they read it with passion and curiosity, you can see the whole world.’

When asked by the Pottermore correspondent what she thinks of Rowling’s world, and how she feels about the script, Katherine gives us some great insight on the film’s tone. ‘Tender’, ‘slightly English’ and ‘beautiful’, but more interestingly, the film is reportedly ‘rooted in truth':

‘Ah, this movie. It’s so clever and it’s rooted in truth. It’s got light, funny elements and then much darker, more adult elements. I normally don’t respond so well to innocent lovely things, I think, “come on, let’s get on with it”. But there’s something about this script and the way J.K. Rowling writes; it’s tender without being saccharine. It never lingers on the sweet parts but maybe that’s a slightly English thing: “Oh I felt something – moving on!” No, really, it’s a beautiful film. It’ll kill me to finish filming it.’

Read the full interview with Katherine Waterston over at Pottermore here.

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15. Disney tease ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at CinemaCon

CinemaCon attendees waited with high hopes to see some Beauty and the Beast footage featuring Emma Watson, but it seems they’ll have to wait like the rest of us – Disney are doing very well at keeping it under wraps!

However, they did say Emma Watson is ‘extraordinary’ as Belle in their current screen-tests (obviously), making us even more excited to hear more news!

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 14.49.32 Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 14.53.59

Read more from CinemaCon here, and more about Beauty and the Beast here!

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16. New Photo of Rupert Grint in ‘Adolf the Artist’

A new image of Rupert Grint in Adolf the Artist (previously The Artist) has emerged, also featuring Game of Thrones’ Iwan Rheon (below).

Rupert Grint will be portraying August (Gustl) Kubizek, whilst Rheon will be playing Hitler.

Ice Cream Man gives us a synopsis of the upcoming drama:

“Adolf Hitler has been portrayed on screen many times – but never like this! Adolf the Artist is a satirical drama starring Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Rupert Grint (Harry Potter), telling the little-known tale of a young Adolf, before politics and before war, when all he could dream about was becoming a famous painter. Historically accurate, this imagining of the young pre-tyrant is comedic in its approach and sees him ata crossroads in his life, when “his struggle” was purely about not being a good enough artist. In 1907, an 18-year-old Hitler applied to the prestigious Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, certain that his genious would be recognized. It wasn’t. He resolved to re-apply the following year and moved to Vienna, hopeful that living amongst artists would rub off on him. Not one to let himself go, Hitler found the opium-taking, schnapps-swilling, sexual experimentation of his fellow artists somewhat irritating and as he’d not yet developed into a demagogic ranter, no-one listened. They didn’t have to. Yet. This story follows Adolf in the run-up to retaking the entrance exam, burdened by temper tantrums and an oddball dress sense, and desperately trying to improve as an artist and gain recognition.”

Read/see more at Ice Cream Man here!

TheArtist2016-300x217-2

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17. Warner Bros. Give a Star-Studded CinemaCon Presentation

Warner Bros. showcased their huge list of talented actors and crew members involved in making their highly anticipated films at this year’s CinemaCon in Las Vegas, including clips from Fantastic Beasts and Yates’ Legend of Tarzan.

According to Business Wire, Warner Bros. focussed their presentation on trailers and  some never-before-seen footage from the films, illustrating a statement by CEO Tsujihara about the diversity of their works, encompassing huge feature films (such as Fantastic Beasts!), dramas, action adventures, horror thrillers and comedies.

Making a video appearance for The Legend of Tarzan, Dwayne Johnson; Alexander Skarsgård, Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz introduced the film at the panel, showing just how talented the cast for David Yates’ film has been!

Even more excitingly, Warner Bros. closed with a look at Fantastic Beasts, with on-stage appearances by Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Colin Farrell, who helped introduce the new trailer (below), and an exclusive look behind the scenes of the film.

Read more about the presentation here!

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18. Helen Mirren: Alan Rickman “Would Be Proud” of Last Movie

Earlier this week, Alan Rickman’s last film, Eye in the Sky, had its UK red carpet premiere. While attending the event, Dame Helen Mirren talked about her beloved co-star, who unexpectedly past away earlier this year from a short battle with late stages of pancreatic cancer.

Dame Mirren said that Alan Rickman would be proud of his last film, and that the film was a “lovely” way to say good bye to the director and actor we love so much. The actress spoke to Female First on the red carpet, saying:

“It’s incredibly sad to have to say goodbye to Alan, not least because he was far too young and he had such great work in him, ahead of him, as you’ll see from his performance in this film, which is fantastic.

“The great thing is, it’s very much Alan on the screen. It’s not him playing one of his amazing characters – it’s Alan as we all knew him and remembered him – so it’s a lovely way to say goodbye.”

“The Alan we see on the screen in ‘Eye In The Sky’ is Alan. It’s Alan as I remember him. His wit, his humanity, his intelligence.

“I think Alan would have been really, really proud for this to have been his last film.”

“Alan was a genius character actor and he could play all these amazing baddies.”

“I’m still in a state of shock about it. I looked at a picture of him just today and thought, ‘I can’t believe that I’m not going to see him again.'”

More of Female First’s reports can be read here and here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Newt’s love for magi-zoology:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full interview over at Pottermore here!

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

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20. British Secret Intelligence Agency Helped Protect Harry Potter

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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21. Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Privacy’ at the Public

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

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

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

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

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

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

To learn more, visit The Public Theater.

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22. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London Opens its doors to Privet Drive!

In celebration of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s 15th Anniversary, Warner Bros. Studio Tour London will be opening the doors to Privet Drive, from Friday 27 May to Monday 6 June!

Walk around the living room, and delight in Vernon and Petunia’s choice of decoration, fondly remembering the times that the wizarding world intruded on that very space.

Pottermore reports:

“Although this room was the setting for many horrible memories for Harry, it is also where he was bombarded with letters, inviting him to go to Hogwarts, and far away from his supposed ‘family’.

That iconic letter, created by graphic design team MinaLima, will of course be on set too, with hundreds of them suspended in the air, just like they were when they flew out of the fireplace during Philosopher’s Stone (2001). Fans will also be able to check out the mechanism that was built in order to shoot out such letters during filming, with approximately 10,000 being used for the iconic moment. 

The Dursleys’ costumes, in all their grotesque finery, will also be on display, so enemies of bad jumpers, beware.”

Find out more, and book tickets here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devon tweeted:

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 14.36.52 Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 14.36.57

And followed this up last week with :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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24. New Attractions Opened at WWOHP Japan

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

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

Wand Magic                      

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

Wand Studies

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

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

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

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25. New MWD Feature

Catalogue of 2015 IBBY Selection of Outstanding Books for Young People with Disabilities

I am very excited to be introducing a new regular feature on Mirrors Windows Doors, in which children’s librarian Debora Pearson will be sharing a monthly review of one of the … Continue reading ...

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