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1. 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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2. ‘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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3. 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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4. “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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5. 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!

 

evanna lynch giffoni

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6. 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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7. 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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8. 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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9. 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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10. 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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11. 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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12. 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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13. 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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14. 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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15. “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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16. 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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17. 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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18. 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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19. Bloomsbury UK Competition to Win a Family Trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Bloomsbury has launched a promotional competition within the U.K. for the chance to win a family ticket to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando. The competition is an in-store promotion from WHSmith and advertorials in First News.

The competition is to celebrate the continual success of the Harry Potter franchise. Bloomsbury wrote in their press release:

 

“Bloomsbury have seen an incredible 102% YOY increase in Harry Potter sales and expect this to continue with the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage play on 30th July 2016 and into next year with the 20th Anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It is clear that the appeal of JK Rowling’s bestselling series is as strong as ever.”

 

There are many exciting new aspects of the Harry Potter world coming to fruition this year with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts. Bloomsbury wants to honor the fans that keep the franchise going. The contest will have one Grand Prize winner and seven runner-up winners.

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The Grand Prize winner will receive the following:

A 5-night trip for four to experience it all for yourself, including:

• Round trip air transportation to Orlando, Florida 
• Admission to both Universal Studios Florida™ and Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ theme parks
• Accommodation on-site at Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, opening this summer 
• Ground transportation between airport and hotel in Orlando
• Tickets to Blue Man Group

The winner will also receive a hardback box set of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Deluxe Illustrated Edition, a Harry Potter tote bag and Harry Potter bunting. 

The seven runners-up will receive a paperback box set of the Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Illustrated Edition, a Harry Potter tote bag and Harry Potter bunting.

The contest is open to U.K. residents. Details of how to enter can be found here.

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20. Tales Book Tops in Service Industry Category

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On Friday, Gawker insinuated that the back and forth of will-he-promote or won’t-he-promote discussion of Gay Talese’s new book was a publicity generator.

If so, it certainly seems to be paying off. The book is currently the 3,360 ranked title on Amazon. But it is #1 in the Service Industries category. A work about a guy who runs a motel specifically for the purpose of spying on his customers. That’s service for ya!

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21. Harry Potter Adult Cast Acting Round Up #1

Our adult Harry Potter alumni have been keeping busy lately with a multitude of projects, taking part in everything from new films to the theatre–and even one concert!

Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) will join Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones) and Penelope Wilton (Downton Abbey) in the upcoming film Zoo, based on the true story of a 12-year-old boy and friends who join up with an older woman to save a baby elephant during the Belfast air raids in 1941.

Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) has received much praise for her star performance as Hester Collyer in The Deep Blue Sea, which is to be broadcast live to select cinemas around the world during the September 1 performance at the National’s Lyttelton Theatre.

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An eerie first trailer for the second season of Fortitude, starring Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) was recently released. Gambon stars alongside Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), and Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow, Frequency) in this Icelandic psychological horror series.

Kelly MacDonald (Helena Ravenclaw) has joined Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley) in the upcoming film Goodbye Christopher Robin, which centers around the life of A.A. Milne (the author of Winnie the Pooh) and Milne’s relationship with his son, Christopher Robin. Domhnall will play the role of A.A. Milne himself, and Kelly will take on the role of Olive, Christopher Robin’s nanny.

Domhnall is also attached to an as-of-yet unnamed thriller–currently referred to as Day 6–alongside an all-star cast consisting of fan favorites like Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Javier Bardem.

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The first trailer and movie poster for the highly-anticipated Denial–starring Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew)–were released last week giving us our first look at the film, which is based on the book History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Denier.

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The film–which also stars Academy Award winners Rachel Weisz and Tom Wilkinson–is based on the true story of the legal battle of Deborah E. Lipstadt. Lipstadt and her legal team went up against David Irving (Spall), who–when Lipstadt asserted him a Holocaust denier–accused her of libel.

Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) joins an all-star cast in the latest installment of the Asterix seriesAsterix: The Mansions of the Gods. The film–which is the first feature-length 3D film in the series–will open in cinemas this August.

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The year is 50 BC. Gual is entirely occupied by the Romans. Well, not entirely…

One small village of indomitable Gauls still holds out against the invaders. Julius Caesar (Jim Broadbent), exasperated by the situation, decides to change tactics. Since his armies are unable to prevail through force, Roman civilisation itself will charm the barbaric Gauls. And so he has a luxurious housing complex built near the village for Roman families, called ‘The Mansions of the Gods’.

Will our Gaulish friends resist the lure of easy money and Roman comforts? Will their village become a simple tourist attraction? Asterix and Obelix are going to do all they can to thwart Caesar’s plans.

Lastly, Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) joined husband Jim Carter (Downton Abbey) and the folk duo Show of Hands at a concert in Devon commemorating the Battle of the Somme centenary. During the event, Imelda and Jim read poems penned by war poets.

Of their participation, Imelda said:

“We were delighted to be asked to work on the centenary project. The music is beautiful and the poems work so well. It is very moving and we feel very proud to be a part of it.”

 

Thanks to our friends at Mugglenet for the heads up!

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22. Harry Potter Adult Cast Acting Round Up #2

All of the Harry Potter actors, or alums, have been keeping busy doing what they do best–acting! In a series of “round ups” we will be doing our best to summarize the acting projects of all the Harry Potter star alums, many movies, plays and other projects–many of which sound amazing and may peak different Harry Potter fans’ interests.

Fiona Shaw (Aunt Petunia Dursley) joined the cast of the SyFy channel’s upcoming horror series Channel Zero: Candle Cove. The mini-series, set to premiere this fall, is based off Kris Straub’s online short story of the same title. Channel Zero: Candle Cove will be a mini-series made up of two 6-episode seasons. Season two is scheduled to be released in 2017. Variety Media describes the story, saying:

“[Channel Zero: Candle Cove] centers on [protagonist Mike Painter’s] obsessive recollection of a mysterious children’s television program from the 1980s – and his ever-growing suspicions about the role it might have played in a series of nightmarish and deadly events from his childhood…Mike Painter, a child psychologist who was a child himself when he witnessed the mysterious disappearance of his twin brother, Eddie, and four other children from their small town, Iron Hill, in 1988. Decades later, he is compelled to return to his hometown to investigate what really happened all those years ago, only to find that it – whatever it was – may be happening all over again. 

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“Shaw also stars as Marla Painter, Mike’s mother and a widow. Marla is shocked when Mike returns home and is reluctant to relive the events of the long-ago disappearance of her son and the other children of Iron Hill.”

 

Bill Nighy (Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour) will be gracing the stage of London’s National Theatre as he joins the production of “Stuff Happens.” The production will be a rehearsed reading, with Bill Nighy set to play the Narrator. The production will only take place for one night, July 6, on the publication day of the Chilcot Inquiry report. The play’s author, David Hare describes the play (which was first performed in 2004):

“In 2004 Nicholas Hytner said the National Theatre could not call itself by that name if it did not have a play about the invasion of Iraq in that calendar year. He was right. And now, 12 years later, when the inquiry into those events is to be published, it seems appropriate to mark the event by presenting the play which first laid out the diplomatic process leading to the most controversial foreign policy decision of my life time.”

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Julie Walters (who played the beloved Molly Weasley in the Harry Potter films) has joined the cast of a film adaption of Peter Turner’s memoir Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. The Hollywood Reporter describes the film, saying:

“The story follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner (Bell) and the eccentric Oscar-winning actress Gloria Grahame (Bening). What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the one person she allows herself to turn to for comfort and strength. When Grahame — known for roles in films like The Big Heat, Oklahoma and The Bad and the Beautiful — collapses and refuses medical attention, Turner is forced to take her into his chaotic and often eccentric family home in Liverpool.”

Julie Walters will play the role of Peter’s mother. Production on the film began today.

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Next on the list, Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) has joined the cast of the up coming film, The Death of Stalin. It is currently unknown what role Jason Isaacs will play within the film, which is based off of a graphic novel of the same title. Variety reported:

“‘The Death of Stalin’ has everything: comedy, tragedy, truth, lies, life, death, bravery and cowardice. All under the shadow of Stalin’s Terror. So I’m really pleased we have an amazingly multifaceted cast who can give us all these things and more. It’s an unbelievable ensemble — great actors, brilliant comedians, fantastic personalities — and together they give us all the horrific drama and base absurdity of the crazy last days of Stalin and the power struggle to succeed him.”

“’The Death of Stalin’ is based on true events and set in the days following Stalin’s collapse as his core team of ministers tussle for control; some want positive change in the Soviet Union, others have more sinister motives. Their one common trait? They’re all just desperately trying to remain alive,” according to the press statement.”

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Along the lines of the comedic, Emma Thompson will making an appearance as an OBGYN in the Bridget Jones’s Diary sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby. It is absolutely hilarious. Her character was debuted on the newest trailer for the film, which was just recently released. It can be seen below! The synopsis of the film states:

“After breaking up with Mark Darcy (Firth), Bridget Jones’s (Zellweger) “happily ever after” hasn’t quite gone according to plan.  Fortysomething and single again, she decides to focus on her job as top news producer and surround herself with old friends and new.  For once, Bridget has everything completely under control.  What could possibly go wrong?

Then her love life takes a turn and Bridget meets a dashing American named Jack (Dempsey), the suitor who is everything Mr. Darcy is not.  In an unlikely twist she finds herself pregnant, but with one hitch…she can only be fifty percent sure of the identity of her baby’s father.”

Bridget Jones’ Baby hits theaters September 16.

Unfortunately, after facing healthy complications and taking the advice to lay off working, Harry Potter’s John Hurt (Mr. Ollivander) announced he had to withdraw from his involvement in the newest production of The Entertainer. Mr. Hurt said in his statement:

“I have recently been in hospital with an intestinal complaint and although I am much improved and on the road to a full recovery, my doctors have advised that it is too soon for me to undertake a lengthy and arduous stage role.

“It is therefore with great sadness and disappointment that I must withdraw from The Entertainer.”

The play is a Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) production. The Telegraph reports:

It is not yet clear who will replace Hurt in the role, though an announcement is expected soon.

Previews of the play, in which Kenneth Branagh plays Archie Rice, begin at London’s Garrick Theatre on August 20. This is the last play of Branagh’s year-long residency at the theatre.

This was to be the first time Hurt had appeared on the London stage in 10 years. In February, he described himself as “proud and privileged” to be involved in the project.

“I am thrilled to be invited to play Billy Rice in this production of what I believe to be one of the great plays of the 20th century,” he said.

The Entertainer will play at the Garrick Theatre from August 20 until November 12.

 

Helena Bonham Carter sat down for an interview with Market Wired. She discussed loving to dress up in crazy costumes for characters that were vastly different from her–acting as an escape from herself. Helena talked of experimenting with her wardrobe and keeping parts of her past characters’ costumes. Market Wired reported:

“I want to dress up. I don’t want to look like me. I want to feel I have escaped me. Like this one (Alice Through the Looking Glass) is easier to watch because I really don’t look like me. I wish I had special effects in every movie,” the Brit says.

“Oh yes, it’s completely therapeutics,” she says. “I am not naturally very angry. But is quite tiring to be continuously angry, so it took a lot of sugar and caffeine. It’s amazing that you don’t have to pay for the therapy, but you get paid.”

“In daily life, you can use them as costumes, I think. They are a bit magical, and they can have the ability to transform you. Not necessarily just totally from the outside, but it can solicit something else from the inside.”

Bonham-Carter, who has played in over six of her ex-husband´s movies, says she has kept some of the costumes that she wore over the years.

“I should have kept more, because sometimes you do get attached. But you know what I tend to keep?” she laughs. “My character’s underwear. So I have the bloomers and the camisoles. You want to keep something, but it has more to do with letting go of the character.”

More of the interview can be read here and seen below!

Last but certainly not least, Warwick Davis (Griphook, Flitwick) will be a guest on a panel at a Star Wars Celebration Europe in London! The Celebration with take place next week, July 15-17. To learn more about scheduling, visit Collider.

Many thanks to our friends at MuggleNet for the heads up!

 

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23. Harry Potter Young Adult Cast Round Up

In a series of “round ups” we have been summarising the many movies, plays and other projects associated with Harry Potter alumni. The YA cast from Potter includes the trio and J.K. Rowling’s ‘Big Six’, so it’s unsurprising that they’re on all sorts of exciting endeavours!

Aside from being UN Women Goodwill Ambassador and leader of a feminist book club, Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) is – as we know – an amazing actress. She’s currently in cinemas starring as ‘Lena’ in The Colony – a thriller based around the cult Colonia Dignidad.

She recently interviewed The Circle co-star Tom Hanks on feminism and the movie industry – the movie is based on Dave Egger’s book, and is set for initial release this year.

Emma is also set to portray the iconic leading lady Belle in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast in 2017. Even ‘the original Belle’, Paige O’Hara, is excited to see her take over the role!

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) has recently appeared in is currently in cinemas as a villain in Now You See Me 2, and has just started in his theatre role in Privacy, which features Edward Snowden.

A new trailer and poster for Dan’s upcoming spy-thriller Imperium have recently been released, which you can view below – he will be portraying nervous undercover FBI agent / white supremacist, Nate Foster. The film is set to be released in August. Entertainment Weekly reports:

“The director says — worryingly — that the more he learned about the topic, the more timely and relevant it seemed. “We’re witnessing a surge in far-right groups all across Europe; in some cases they’re nearly winning national elections,” says Ragussis. “We have a stereotype of what it means to be a white supremacist, but when I began collaborating with Michael and doing my own research, I was stunned by the depth and the extent of this movement.”

Ragussis made every effort to authentically portray the experience of going undercover, as well as the modern-day white supremacist community. “There’s a large white supremacist rally in the middle of the film that we had spent months researching and planning,” the filmmaker explains. “There were so many details that had to be captured to try to make it real and authentic. I’d read about them, seen them, watched videos of them — but to actually see it come to life by our own hands was something I’ll never forget. Someone even called the news and erroneously reported a Klan rally in their neighborhood! So to that extent, I suppose we did our job.””

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Dan will also star in Jungle – a psychological thriller based around the story of Yossi Ghinsberg’s memoir of his trip to the Amazon, which was included in The Discovery Channel’s I Shouldn’t Be Alive.

Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) is set to star in Sick Note with Nick Frost (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), after his recent performance in Moonwalkers with Fantastic Beasts actor Ron Perlman

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) has been cast as a series regular in CW’s The Flash. He will be portraying Julian Dorne – a Central City Police Department crime scene investigator. Read more here.

Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) recently wrote, produced and directed short movie Medusa’s Ankles with Potter co-star Jason Isaacs, which is set for release this year. She also raised money for Film Aid by making her own ‘Come Dream With Me’ t-shirts, which got the support of many Potter co-stars, and even J.K. Rowling herself!

Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) is currently starring in  Me Before You alongside Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who).
He is also (almost) confirmed to be  co-starring as ‘Lenny’ in Terminal, along with Margot Robbie , Simon Pegg, Mike Myers and more. The film is being produced by Harry Potter producer, David Barron. Read more at Matthew lewis.com here.

Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas) will be returning to CB’s hit show How to Get Away With Murder for its third season on September 22nd.

Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and Katie Leung (Cho Chang) recently took the Ilvermorny sorting tests on Pottermore, both being sorted into the same house as J.K. Rowling: Thunderbird:

Sorted. #Ilvermorny

A photo posted by Katie Leung (@_katieleung_) on

Evanna also appeared at the premiere of David Yates’s new film The Legend of Tarzan:

Katie Leung is set to star in The Foreigner – a film based on 1992 novel The Chairman, and co-starring Pierce Brosnan and Jackie Chan.

Lastly, Jessie Cave (Lavender Brown) has continued to make videos on her eponymous Youtube channel (here). She also appeared in Call the Midwife, and is set to star in Modern Life Is Rubbish, directed by Daniel Gill, who is known for being assistant Director on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.

Hope you’re looking forward to all these upcoming features from our favourite YA Potter actors as much as we are! Be sure to take a look at the adult actor round ups, split into Part 1 (here) and Part 2 (here)!

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24. “Fantastic Beasts” Dan Fogler talks co-stars on Pottermore!

During a recent Pottermore interview, Award winning actor Dan Fogler who plays Jacob Kowalski in “Fantastic Beasts” spoke about his admiration and respect for co star Alison Sudol.

Speaking of his fondness towards Alison, who effortlessly exudes glamour as the character Queenie, Fogler says “Alison is an angel. She’s an angel”.

“The moment I saw her, I knew her energy was just perfect. When she gets in the make-up and she’s Queenie and she’s got the lights on her, she’s got skin that glows, you know? When I saw her for the first time, I was like, holy…. It’s Alison Monroe over here – Marilyn’s cousin.”

“She has that feminine, delicate quality about her that also lends itself to comedy in an Audrey Hepburn kind of way.”

With No-Maj character Jacob and Queenie, (sister of Tina) sparking our attention as they become part of the prevailing foursome of the film, it is already very exciting to see their relationships develop both on and off screen.

Dan continues  ‘Together we’ve got a bit of an Adelaide and Nathan Detroit [from Guys and Dolls] thing going. So I’m always referencing something, that’s where I come from. I do a lot of homages in my work so I’m always referencing something. That’s what it feels like with the two of us.’

 “She’s the real professional, she’s a rock star.”

Just like Harry Potter, with those endearing relationships built from the start between the likes of Dan, Emma and Rupert, fans can expect a second istallation of charming, genuine chemistry and sparking friendships yet again within the 3 upcoming films. The combination of four protagonists this time shows us it’s definitely going to be a bumpy ride for Newt, and we can’t wait to see how the story pans out for him and his friends.

To read the full interview, visit Pottermore here!

“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” debuts November 18th.

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25. 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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