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As Leaky reported earlier this year, PEN America released a press statement, saying Rowling was to be honored with the Allen Foundation Literary Service Award at the PEN America Gala this May. The PEN America website has been updated to give details on the event.
There will be two honorees for the Gala–J.K. Rowling and Michael Pietsch. The website describes the two honorees, the reason for the reception of their awards, and the event, saying:
On Monday, May 16, New York’s literati will gather at the PEN America Literary Gala at the American Museum of Natural History to honor fierce opponents of censorship around the globe. As violence from Mexico to Russia and China to France this year has forced many to consider compromising democratic values in a shortsighted bargain for security, more and more writers—including honorees J.K. Rowling and Michael Pietsch—have joined PEN in defending freedom of expression and the free flow of ideas.
Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling will receive the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award for the extraordinary inspiration her books have provided to generations of readers and writers worldwide. Since her rise from single mother to literary superstar, J.K. Rowling has used her talents and stature as a writer to fight inequality on both a local and global level. Herself the frequent object of censorship in schools and libraries across the globe, as well as online targeting, Rowling has emerged as a vocal proponent of free expression and access to literature and ideas for children, as well as incarcerated people, the learning-disabled, and women and girls worldwide.
The Gala will take place Monday May 16, 6:30 PM, at American Museum of Natural History in New York.
If there are any Harry Potter fans out there willing to pay between $12,000-$50,000 for a table, you can make your reservations here. Buying a $25,000 or $50,000 table gets you a private cocktail reception with J.K. Rowling. (Though, adding a $50,000 purchase to ones shopping cart is daunting–even if you just do it for kicks and back out before making payment.)
Many Dr. Who fans were sadden to hear that Steven Moffat and Peter Capaldi will be stepping down from their roles with the highly successful TV series sooner than any expected. With a new writer and a new Doctor being introduced to the series in the near future (2018), there have been many interesting suggestions flying around the rumor mill–including rumors of Harry Potter stars filling in the lead role.
With new head writer, Chris Chibnall, will there be a woman Doctor Who? It would certainly shake things up a bit for the series–which has essentially been running since 1963 (the first series ended in 1989, but was brought back in 2005)–as the show has always run under a male lead as the Doctor, with a female supporting actress as the Doctor’s companion.
Popular suggestions in the fan base right now are Benedict Cumberbatch, Ben Whishaw (“Q” from the recent James Bond movies), Richard Ayoade and Chiwetel Ejiofor. But the possibility of having a woman Doctor, for the first time in over 50 years, also opens up the opportunity for a male companion. Two popular suggestions at the moment are our own Harry Potter lead actress, Emma Watson, and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams.
Emma Watson’s role as Hermione is a relatively fitting character for a female Dr. Who. Emma Watson’s Hermione was incredibly intelligent, independent, and caring. A Doctor Who, traveling through space and time, with expansive knowledge of all of history and the future, acting as a guardian aid in the safety of the universe, and as a leader embodies all of these things.
Though a female Doctor Who’s personality and quirkiness would be much different than Hermione’s, Emma Watson would still be a great actress to select for the role. Of course, even if she is offered the role, it is up to her to accept it.
The changing of gender roles opens up an interesting discussion within the TV series as well as within the industry itself. Please share with us your thoughts and suggestions!
On February 2, more than 3,000 Donald Trump supporters crammed into an athletic club in Milford, New Hampshire to hear the Republican candidate speak. The place was buzzing with excitement. Before Trump came on, a group of people went onto the stage and delivered speeches. This included some of Trump’s campaign managers and former United States Senator Scott Brown.
This rally was important because it was right after the Iowa Caucus, in which Trump finished second. Trump said that he was pleased with the final standing in Iowa, although he has complained elsewhere that the process was unfair.
At the rally, Trump promised to make “big, big cuts in taxes to the middle class.” When asked about his position on gun control, he said, “We’re going to protect ourselves by protecting the Second Amendment.” The Second Amendment says that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed.”
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION One main topic was illegal immigration. Trump said that he did not oppose immigration. Rather, he just wants immigrants to settle in the U.S. legally.
One Trump supporter with whom I spoke said, “I like his immigration policy. He wants to secure the borders and make people come in the way they used to. You come in, get a job, you support yourself, and you contribute to this country.”
Trump stood by his decision to not participate in the final Republican debate before the Iowa Caucus. That decision was said to have contributed to his defeat to Ted Cruz. Trump said that he had been proud to hold a fundraising event for veterans at the same time as the debate, raising 6 million dollars.
“I like how he is trying to support the country,” said Pearse Wojczak, a young Trump fan from Connecticut, “and how he is trying to protect us.”
Trump ended the rally with a look toward the New Hampshire Primary, saying, “I expect to win.”
Best known for her role as Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, Emma graduated from Brown University and attended Worcester College, Oxford. She received a BAFTA Britannia Award for British Artist of the Year in 2014. In the same year she also became a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador advocating equality and promoting education for girls.
Emma Watson also lived in the Oxford area before being cast in the Harry Potter films.
The appointments were announced by the college’s principal, Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian. Rusbridger writes,
We canvassed names from our own governing body, of people of distinction whom we admired and whom we felt could add to the intellectual and cultural life of LMH. A small sub-committee then whittled down the names to arrive at the list we are announcing today – which spans science, medicine, the performing arts, literature, feminism, politics, law and policing.
Of the eleven people honored, Rusbridger claims that only one is a serious academic. All are leaders in their respective fields, including artist Cornelia Parker, musician Neil Tennant (of the Pet Shop Boys), and film director Beeban Kidron.
Lady Margaret Hall hopes that Emma Watson and the other fellows will feel free to drop by the college, join the students and professors for meals in the dining hall, and participate in at least one structured event/appearance/lecture at the college over the course of the three years of the fellowship. The point is for both the students and the visiting fellows to grow in their knowledge and gain new perspectives.
Please join us in congratulating Emma Watson on this most recent honor!
Huffington Postand Hollywood Lifehave recently published two cast interviews with Matt Lewis, Rupert Grint, Evanna Lynch and Katie Leung following A Celebration of Harry Potter.
Rupert Grint thinks Hermione and Ron would be separated (if not divorced), none of them would overlook a role in Star Wars, and Rupert thinks Cursed Child made a huge mistake.
First up is Huff Post, and their representative really got the cast talking, giving a great introduction about the importance of breaking out of viewing these great actors as their characters:
“What I enjoy as I sit down to speak with the group is how much these adults are unlike their characters (except for maybe Lynch, who is still delightfully Luna Lovegood-esque). It seems obvious, but we’ve such a tendency to want to lock actors into their iconic roles. It is challenge breaking out of that, especially when you’re remembered as being a cute, or awkward, or weird, or chubby kid on screen. Yet each has grown up, and gone on to other acting gigs and new pursuits.”
This interview gave a broad sweep of the actor’s opinions on Fantastic Beasts, their characters, further roles in big franchises and more!
On giving advice to Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child cast members:
Matt Lewis: I don’t know how much advice I could ever give anyone. The people who have been cast, as far as I’m aware of, are very, very experienced. They don’t need any advice from me. But I guess just enjoy it. It has been a hell of an experience for me, and everything associated with it: the people, the fans, the environment. It was a good gig to be on! Just enjoy it because there’s nothing else like it, literally in the world. It is unique.
Rupert Grint: I think it’s going to be a very different film, I think. I don’t know much about it, but as Matthew said, just enjoy it. Go with the flow.
Evanna Lynch: I’d say trust David Yates, as well. He always knows better on the film. Sometimes I would go, “Oh, I’m doing terrible, I’m messing up.” He would come along and suggest something tiny, and it would change everything. He is very clever. And he is the one who has transitioned from one to the other. He has the whole picture.
On involving themselves in any large-scale productions again:
Q: This was very much your childhood, and your job growing up. If you had the opportunity now to enter another franchise that would consume multiple years – like Lord of the Rings or Star Wars – would you be reluctant to join that production?
Lynch: No. I loved it. I love the family feel, and the idea you can get deeper into your character over a year. I have been on films that were just three or five weeks, and sometimes I’ve been like, damn, I’d only just started to get into it. It was nice to have something you could develop it, and learn and grow alongside your character. And I just loved the family thing. I got very comfortable there.
Lewis: Hey, if Star Wars come knocking on the door tomorrow, I’m not going to go, “Um no, guys, I’m sorry, I don’t want to do four films, it’s fine.” No, of course not. I’d think about it, and I love Star Wars, etc. But there would definitely be a bit of trepidation in joining a big franchise again for that amount of time. Just simply because I’m really enjoying the diversity of the roles I’ve been given recently. Playing a character is great, but I love the process of finding someone, finding a character, creating and drawing it up. And trying to figure out what makes that person tick. When you do something for however many years, it can start to become – I don’t want to say mundane because it was never boring on the films. But you kind of lose that spark a little bit you get in that first day of school, or on a new job. It is exciting. And I’ve gotten that so often in the last couple years, I’d be reluctant to give that up.
Leung: I kind of agree with Matt. If it goes on for any longer than a certain period of time, you do get really comfortable and feel very safe. Having done all the projects after Potter, it has been a few weeks, a few months for a project. You do really get to know a character, and it is wonderful knowing that, once you stop filming or being on stage and being that character, it essentially dies. So I quite like that. Of course, it depends who the character is you’re going to be playing. But yeah, if it’s Star Wars …
Lewis: Star Wars is welcomed.
Grint: I don’t know. I don’t think it’s put me off. There’s pros and cons. Harry Potter could be at times quite suffocating. It did take up our whole lives. So yeah, I suppose there would be tiny bit of reluctance. Now that I’m out of it, I can see beyond it and it’s nice to have a real life, and do things you want. There’s a lot of freedom in that. But yeah, I think it all depends on the material.
Who knows – maybe a role as another Resistance pilot, or as a key character to unveiling Rey’s mysterious past will come up. Make it happen, Disney!
The Huff Post representative also asked where they’d like to think their Potter characters will be in the future.
As we know, Ron and Hermione were married with two children (Rose and Hugo) at Nineteen Years Later, all of whom attended the 427th Quidditch World Cup in 2014. Ron and Hermione’s relationship seems to be going well – that is, unless you take Rupert Grint’s word for it:
Grint: [laughs] I would expect Ron has probably divorced Hermione already. I don’t think that relationship would have done very well.
Like living in his own, low-rent bachelor pad?
Grint: Yeah. Exactly. He’s living on his own, in a little one-bedroom apartment. He hasn’t got a job.
Lynch: Don’t say divorced. Say they’ve split up. They can reconcile.
Grint: Yeah, they’re briefly separated.
Ron is on Tinder doing horribly…
Lewis: Living in a one-bedroom studio apartment all alone, doing nothing. He lives in Kings Cross, right in that area.
Evanna took a more career-related view for Luna, and we can definitely see this happening:
Lynch: I think Luna would have an adventure documentary series. She becomes a naturalist, and I think she’d travel the world and have a show. I could be a wildlife narrator.
Like a David Attenborough of the wizard world?
Lynch: Yeah, and she would prove all her creatures exist. Everyone is so dubious of her, and I’d like her to show they’re real.
Anybody else want this to become a mini-series?!
Katie Leung had aspirations for her character – we love her no-nonsense view of Cho:
Katie Leung: I reckon Cho would probably have become a really successful entrepreneur, and really cold and ruthless.
Lynch: Oh my god! [laughs]
[Interviewer] I like this.
Leung: Yeah, she’s cried all the tears she could cry, and now she’s become real cold and heartless.
Lewis: This is dark! I love this!
[Interviewer] What kind of entrepreneur? She runs a tech company? Or a developer who tears down bachelor pads like Ron’s?
Leung: Yeah, yeah, that! Exactly.
Matthew Lewis bases his on information he received from J.K. Rowling herself, and even works Rupert’s view of Ron into his vision:
Lewis: Oh god. Neville works at the school, right? So he’s a professor, just enjoying that. Maybe he’s trying to get Ron a job, man. And he keeps throwing it back in his face, like, “I don’t need your help, Neville; Jesus, just leave it.” And I’m like, “Come on, it’s fine, we’ll sort it out, just trying to get you back into the fold.” Yeah, him and Hermione don’t see eye to eye because I’ve taken Ron’s side in the relationship, obviously. They’ve got everyone split off, friends wise. I don’t know who you guys chose? Did you choose Hermione?
Leung: No, Ron.
Lewis: Are you Ron as well? Jeez, Hermione is thin on the ground with friends!
Leung: Well, I’ll go with Hermione, then.
Lynch: I think Ron would need more help. Hermione would handle herself better.
Grint: Yeah, he’s in a bad way.
[Interviewer] But Ron could have a job as a replacement for Mr. Filch
Lewis: Yeah, I’ll get you in as the caretaker of the school, man. We’ll sort it out. Don’t worry about it.
Grint: Just get me out there. Just get me out of the house.
After the Celebration of Harry Potter last weekend, the celebrating and partying continues! Tonight, February 4th, is the night of the second annual Harry Potter Book Night. This is a night of celebrating the Harry Potter books and the significance they’ve made on our individual lives, and the entire publishing industry and literary world as a whole.
There are many celebrations taking place in bookstores, homes, and various other settings around the U.K. and the U.S. Last year, only Bloomsbury publishing provided party kits of the nights events, but expanded the celebration to other countries through Scholastic.
This year’s Harry Potter Book Night also has a special theme–“A Night of Spells.” In theme, Bloomsbury hosted a poll to find Harry Potter fans’ favorite spell from the series. Participants could choose from the following top ten list. Expecto Patronum won!
1. Expecto patronum – to summon up a Patronus
2. Accio – to call an object to you
3. Wingardium Leviosa – to levitate objects
4. Expelliarmus –to disarm your opponent
5. Lumos – to ignite one’s wand-tip to provide light
6.Alohomora – to open locked windows and doors
7. Avada Kedavra – to bring about instant death
8. Sectumsempra – the incantation for one of the Half-Blood Prince’s spells
9. Obliviate – to make the subject forget
10. Riddikulus – to make a Boggart take on a comical appearance and eventually explode
The night is still very young, and the Harry Potter Book Night website has a map of events and activities to participate in. You can find ideas and different celebrations here.Pottermore wrote up about the celebration, wanting to hear about fan’s celebrations. We also want to know! Please share with us your plans for the night!
The 30th Annual Ezra Jack Keats Book Award winners were announced today, with top honors going to Don Tate for writing and Phoebe Wahl for illustration. Both winners have long-standing relationships with the SCBWI; Wahl won a Student Illustrator Scholarship in 2013, and Tate is a member of our Team Blog. The Jack Ezra Keats Award, named in honor of the author/illustrator of The Snowy Day, is given to new picture books that display an exceptional creative spirit and a dedication to cultural diversity.
Don Tate has embraced these ideals throughout his career as an author/illustrator, founder of the Brown Bookshelf blog, and artist outreach coordinator for the We Need Diverse Books Campaign. Tate’s winning book Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton of Chapel Hill (Peachtree, 2015), which he both wrote and illustrated, is the true story of a slave whose love of language led him to become the first African American poet published in the Southern United States. The book has already garnered star reviews from Kirkus and the School Library Journal, which called Horton's story “lovely” and “inspirational”. Tate previously won a Jack Ezra Keats Award honor three years ago for his book It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw, and called the experience “one of the proudest moments of my career[…]There has always been a special place in my heart for Ezra Jack Keats. When he chose to picture brown children in his books, he chose to acknowledge me. I wasn’t invisible to him. As a creator of color in a field that sorely lacks diversity, it can be easy to sometimes feel unseen. This award serves as a reminder to me that I am not invisible and that my work matters.”
Phoebe Wahl won the illustration award for Sonya’s Chickens (Tundra Books), a bittersweet story about a farm girl tending chicks under the guidance of her multicultural family. Sonya’s lessons about responsibility and the circle of life are framed by warm, richly-textured art pieces that have earned Wahl a Kirkus star. In an EKJ press release, she spoke about the influence that Ezra Jack Keats had on her own signature style: “I can directly trace the roots of my obsession with pattern, color and my use of collage to my affinity with the lacy baby blanket in Peter’s Chair. Keats inspired me to create stories that are quiet and gentle, yet honor the rich inner lives of children and all of the complexity that allows.” Sonya’s Chickens is her debut book.
Today we honor and celebrate Warwick Davis’s birthday! This Harry Potter actor who played goblins and charms professors and choir directors throughout the Harry Potter films turns 46 today. In honor of his birthday, J.K. Rowling retweeted a picture that show a montage of Davis’s film roles over the years!
USA Today released the exclusive first trailer of Matt Lewis’s (Neville Longbottom) new film, Me Before You. The film stars Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin in the film adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ novel. Matt plays a character named Patrick, Lou’s (Clarke) small-town steady boyfriend before she goes and works for Will (Claflin).
Though Matt’s “obsessed with with sports and diet” character isn’t featured in the new trailer, which focuses solely on the leading protagonists, but it looks like a great spring break flick and we can’t wait to see Matt on the silver screen. The movie premieres March 4.
The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is pleased to announce the 2015 On-The-Verge Emerging Voices Award winners. The annual award, established by SCBWI and funded by Martin and Sue Schmitt, is given to two writers or illustrators who are from ethnic and/or cultural backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in children’s literature in America and who have a ready-to-submit completed work for children.
Congratulations to Jackie Dorothy for her manuscript Wind Rider, the story of one Arapaho boy’s struggle to protect his family from an evil shaman while the battle between modernization and tradition plague his tribe’s reservation; and to Judy Allen Dodson for Fast Friends, the story of Jesse Owens and Marty Glickman’s inspiring relationship during the race for the gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
Jackie is an active member of SCBWI’s Wyoming Chapter as well as a member of the Northern Arapaho tribe in central Wyoming and is the sixth generation of her family living on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Jackie blogs at www.ArapahoLegends.com and is currently unrepresented.
Judy is an active SCBWI member in the Carolinas Chapter and has been a librarian for several years. She believes strongly in providing authentic and positive images of African Americans in children’s literature. She multiple manuscripts and is currently unrepresented.
The winners will each receive a paid trip to the SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles to meet editors, agents, and other industry professionals. The winning manuscripts will also be available to select agents and editors via a secure website.
The award is inspired in part by the SCBWI’s increasing efforts to foster underrepresented voices in children’s literature. According to SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver, “every child should have the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the pages of a book. And all authors should have the opportunity to write their truth. SCBWI is proud to contribute to this important effort to bring forth new voices.”
The grant is made possible through the generosity of Sue and Martin Schmitt of the 455 Foundation. Sue wrote: "Diverse writers need to know that not only do their voices and stories matter— but are necessary! We live in a world where we must strive to understand other points of view and each other for the betterment of humankind."
More information can be found in the “Awards and Grants” section at www.scbwi.org.
About Martin and Sue Schmitt
Martin and Sue Schmitt are the founders of We Can Build an Orphanage, sponsoring the Kay Angel orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti. The organization was established in 2007 with the mission to provide a home and education for abandoned children infected with or affected by AIDS in Jacmel, Haiti. The Schmitts’ generous and continuous efforts to support SCBWI’s long-term goals also co-sponsored the 2007 Global Voices Program, which highlighted Mongolian artists and authors. To find out more information about the Kay Angel orphanage please visit www.kayangel.org.
Founded in 1971, the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is one of the largest existing writers’ and illustrators’ organizations, with over 22,000 members worldwide. It is the only organization specifically for those working in the fields of children’s literature, magazines, film, television, and multimedia. The organization was founded by Stephen Mooser (President) and Lin Oliver (Executive Director), both of whom are well-published children’s book authors and leaders in the world of children’s literature. For more information about the On-The-Verge Diverse Voices Award, please visit www.scbwi.org, and click “Awards & Grants.”
In the run up to the April 7th opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, the theme park is planning ahead to try to manage operations around this time.
Their new pricing policy will reflect popular demand, so will charge higher for this period of massive fluctuations in visitors (attendance jumped almost 30% in 2011 after the installation of a ride at the Wizarding World in Orlando, and after new installations in 2014 revenue was boosted by double digits).
“Under the pricing policy launched Tuesday by Universal Studios, tickets bought at the gate remain $95. But visitors who book tickets online for low-demand days — such as a weekday in February before Harry Potter opens — can save up to $20.
“During weekends and peak demand days during spring break or summer, parkgoers save only $5 by booking online.
“Universal wants people to plan ahead, which will help it manage its operations. Parkgoers can lock in prices by buying tickets online for dates through the end of September. People who procrastinate might see online prices fluctuate depending on last-minute demand.
” “Demand-based pricing not only helps maximize ticket revenues, but also provides a tool to shift price-conscious consumers to less-busy days,” said Michael Erstad, senior consumer analyst at New York-based ITG Investment Research. “Spreading visitations throughout the week may help improve the overall customer experience at the park.” “
Basically, if you’re wanting to be one of the first to see the Wizarding World in Hollywood, be prepared to pay their high prices. Alternatively, plan around these high-demand dates and go at a period expected to be less crowded!
However, we Potter fans know that these things reveal much much more, if one only looks close enough. The following is an analysis of the behind the scenes clip from “Fantastic Beasts” and a cumulation of everything we know so far. We actually may know a lot more than we think…
First, Let’s Talk Characters
The full cast list on the Fantastic Beasts IMDB has gotten long. It includes gala dinner guests, MACUSA receptionists, witches and wizards (uh, duh), upper class wealthy people, lower class hard working citizens, criminals, a candy store girl (?), exterminators (exciting! Are they big beasty exterminators?), executioners (scary!), factory workers, bank workers, aurors (of course), jazzy people (it is the Roaring 20’s, full of wizard Gatsby parties), gangsters (New York Wizard Mob?), customs officials (immigration to the US has always been a big thing, but there was a big wave in the early 1900’s), Senator Henry Shaw and a Henry Shaw Jr., and journalists (hopefully not the Rita Skeeter kind)! There are even people cast as “beasts”–we have a big foot (Sasquatch) and Edd Osmond has been cast as a Demiguise:
Wow. All those characters make quite a story! But what do we know about the characters with names?
[Picture: Dan Fogler as Jacob stands in front of a drugstore/soda fountain/candy shop]
Remember Modesty? According to the WB Casting call out, we know that Modesty as,
“a haunted young girl with inner strength and stillness. She also possessed an ability to see deep into people and understand them. Modesty met Newton Scamander during his travels in New York, at which time she was between the age of eight and twelve.”
Ron Perlman plays a character named Gnarlack–sounds wizard worldly.
Samantha Morton as “Mary Lou” is the leader of the “Second Salemers.” EW described her character as, “The narrow-minded leader of the fanatical Second Salemers, a group looking to expose and destroy wizards and witches.”
Ezra Miller plays Credence, or as EW revealed, “Perhaps the cast’s most mysterious character. He’s Mary Lou’s troubled adopted son.” One can make a lot of speculations about what that means…
Let’s take a look at Graves, “a powerful auror and the right-hand man of the American wizarding world’s president,” whom we now know as President Seraphina. We saw, in the first trailer, Katherine Waterston’s Tina Goldstein approach, nervously and somberly, the MACUSA leader and a congress of people to make a case for Newt. This serious looking President is probably not a friend of our Newt; he is stirring up a lot of trouble in an already dangerous and tumultuous society with No-Maj relations. Graves, by default is probably not a friend of Newt’s either.
Similar to the trio in Harry Potter, we know that there are four main characters. We’ve known this since the EW report last year, but they stressed this in the second clip. Pottermore highlighted this with a quote from David Heyman, saying, “This isn’t just Newt’s story; Jacob, Tina and Queenie are all at the centre of it. ‘All four central characters are outsiders. Part of the journey of this, for each of them, is coming into themselves,’ says David Heyman.” With the EW report last year and this clip, we actually know quite a bit more about this quartet.
Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Fogler) is just a little blue collar No-Maj, returning home from war and wanting to start a bakery….and accidentally finds himself on a magical adventure.
EW had described him as: “An optimistic No-Maj (aka Muggle) factory worker/aspiring baker who gets introduced to the wizarding world when he meets Newt. Fun fact: He’s the Harry Potter franchise’s first Muggle main character.”
In the new clip, Dan opened up about his character Jacob, saying: ‘Jacob is back from the war and now he’s trying to get his life together and open up a bakery. He just happens into this very magical situation,’ he says. Dan also believes that Potter fans will ‘feel the nostalgia and the love they have for the movies in a whole new light.’
We assume that the simple bedroom that we see Eddie sitting in is Jacob’s, some how the two are very good friends. Or at least Jacob is holding Eddie’s case a lot…
Actually, Newt hardly ever seems to have a hand on his case. No wonder some of the beasties get out!
Newt needs to be more responsible with that case. He looses it a lot. He looses the contents of it…it’s a good thing he’s a Hufflepuff, and must be well adept at finding things.
Half of the new quartet is made up of Tina and Queenie Goldstein. Tina will eventually become Newt’s wife, but until then this is what we know.
EW: Queenie is “Tina’s younger sister and roommate, a big-hearted free-spirit “legilimens” who can read minds.” Porpentina, or Tina, is described, “an ambitious worker at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA, the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic) who meets Newt. Tina is relegated to an office well below her abilities after she stood up for the wrong person. She longs to fight for what’s right.”
Alison [Queenie] also has some interesting comments about the relationship between the Goldstein sisters: ‘You have two sisters, who have raised each other and have a very deep bond.’ We can’t be sure but this shot makes it look like Alison knows what Katherine is thinking. Which is entirely possible – after all, she’s playing a Legilimens.
Katherine says her character Tina is ‘very soulful; she has a lot of heart and strengths and courage.’
Tina’s career at MACUSA has stalled but she’s certainly at the heart of this story. We saw some very intense moments with Tina, wand in hand and looking very serious indeed. ‘The job we have to do is to make it seem natural and you kind of have to ignore your own sense of wonder watching it,’ says Waterston.
Awe how sweet…now what about Tina’s future trouble maker husband, Newt Scamander? The two have a couple of wonderful moments together it seems, though with the trouble Newt causes, I doubt it was love at first sight.
Newt is the leading man, and EW described him as, “An eccentric globe-hopping English “magizoologist” wizard who’s far more comfortable around beasts and creatures than he is around other people. Comes to New York on a quest with his case full of magical habitats containing rare and endangered species.”
We already know Newt doesn’t keep a good eye on that magical case of his, and little beasties escape and reek havoc. As Eddie says in the new feature, “‘And this one catalyst sets in motion this sort of insane amount of events that just cause chaos. And at the core of it, is this quartet.’”
Let’s Talk Set
1926 New York, MACUSA…we’ve actually seen quite a lot of it! From the photos EW first revealed on set of Fantastic Beasts, to the behind the scenes snippet that just came out, we see lots of the streets of New York.
Looks like they wander into a barn at one point…perhaps to capture a beast? And then goof around and pretend to be beasts…
“1. ARCHITECTURAL WIZARDRY: The Magical Congress of the United States of America is hidden from Muggle view inside the very real Woolworth Building (New York’s tallest structure in 1926). Wizards enter through an ultra-fast-spinning revolving door into a grand lobby. While this Fantastic Beasts stage is a rather massive 250 feet long and 50 feet high, the ceiling will be extended with special effects to reach nearly 700 feet to represent “an empty cathedral of light, a hugely impressive, brilliantly lit space,” says production designer Stuart Craig.”
“2. THE PHOENIXES OF THE ORDER: J.K. Rowling’s screenplay included these four golden phoenix statues (two unseen) that bracket the MACUSA entrance, paying homage to those who died during the Salem witch trials – a major traumatic event in the history of American wizard and No-Maj (a.k.a. Muggle) relations. Notes Craig: “Throughout, the magical world is grounded in the context of the Muggle world, born out of things familiar and real.”
“3. GOLD, NOT JUST FOR SNITCHES ANY LONGER: Loosely based on the interior of the Gothic art-deco American Radiator Building in midtown Manhattan, the MACUSA design includes a heavy use of gold to “bring a richness to the decoration. Given that this is the seat of power of the government in the magic world, it’s appropriate that it is gilded.”
“4. MAGICAL HERALDRY: The official MACUSA emblem, based on the U.S. presidential seal, includes the etching of an American flag combined with an abstract phoenix
The behind the scenes trailer gave us a clearer picture of MACUSA and its phoenixes, and weird Puritan statues in the middle:
We also get a first (fuzzy) glimpse at the MACUSA seal:
During the Harry Potter Celebration, Pottermore and J.K. Rowling released a lot of information about wizarding schools around the world. We know from previous J.K. Rowling tweets that the North American (USA?) Wizarding school, Ilvermorny, will be featured in the first Fantastic Beasts films. The description and detail of the other schools–Castelobruxo (Brazil), Mahoutokoro (Japan), Uagadou (Africa)–is amazing. One can only hope that future Fantastic Beasts films will travel around the world to these schools too. J.K. Rowling says to keep watching Pottermore for more details….
Let’s Talk Wands…
Newt’s wand was originally thought to be “vegan.” It was “simply wood,” according to EW. Why vegan? Because Newt was a zoologist who cares lot about animals, loves them and connects with them more than people, so his wand would be “vegan.” However, the recent reveal that Newt’s wand was made from lime wood, shell, and bone, seems to contradict that original theory. Bone definitely doesn’t make it vegan.
What wands are made of is important. But wands look like is even more appealing to fans (because, of course, by this time next year we will be buying replicas of them). In the new video, we actually see many of the characters’ wands up close.
Newt shows off his quite a lot throughout the two small videos we have.
Tina becomes more brave about using her wand, and even does magic in front of a No-Maj! Don’t worry, it’s just Jacob…a wounded Jacob.
Queenie’s and Graves’ wands have a little flare to them. They each have shiny handles, though we are sure specifics about those will come later:
Let’s Talk Beasts…
The troublemakers. We actually haven’t seen any of the “fantastic” beasts yet. There have been a couple beast castings (see above) and EW did release a small list of beasts we can expect to see. Those beasts include a Niffler, Ashwinder, Lethifold, Augurey, Bowtruckle, Crup and Merepeople. Descriptions of all of these creatures can be found in book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It would be really bad if an Ashwinder got into that barn the quartet is in…Other than that, we have a beastie Fantastic Beasts logo, and that is about it.
I think that pretty much sums up all that we are allowed to know of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them so far. The two videos we have so far can be seen below. Enjoy! We will update you with more news when we can!
The first is a Barnes & Noble Exclusive Pre-Release – an absolutely adorable Neville Longbottom (with Trevor, too!), which Matthew Lewis posed with in his recent post (his moustache will be making its latest appearance in Happy Valley):
The next is equally as adorable – Sorting Hat Harry Potter:
Qudditch Draco Malfoy‘s Pop! Vinyl is pretty suave, we think:
And the new Trizward Cedric Diggory is what all the Hufflepuffs have been waiting for!
Neville and Harry are Barnes and Noble exclusives, whilst Cedric and Draco are exclusive to Hot Topic.
These characters will be released in March, and we can’t wait! Let us know what you think via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
I’m a firm believer that we shouldn’t celebrate black history or women’s history only one month a year, but 365 days (or even 366 days) a year. However Black History Month has given rise to Black Comics Month and a a website covering all kinds of comics. By special arrangement with that site’s mastermind, Miz […]
News on Matt Lewis’s (Neville Longbottom) new role in BBC One’s popular dramatic TV series, Happy Valley, is starting to emerge. Radio Times gave insight into the second season of Happy Valley, which is to make its season premiere next week, February 9, at 9:00 PM.
We’ve noticed that new mustache on Matt’s up lip, and it has already made its appearance in his role as Sgt. Drum Drummond in Ripper Street. Pictures released by Radio Times show that the ‘stache is staying, and will also star as apart of Matt’s character in Happy Valley.
Matt is joining the Happy Valley cast with another face that is familiar to Harry Potter fans. Shirley Henderson, who plays Moaning Myrtle in the Harry Potter series, will be joining ranks with the killer Sarah Lancashire’s Catherine Cawood is hunting for. Matt will be playing a character named Sean Balmforth.
Not much is known about Matt’s character, Sean Balmforth. The BBC recently released an extended media pack full of interviews with the cast, including Matt, who offered a little insight into his new character. The BBC interviews reported:
“Q: How would you describe your character?
“A: Sean has had a bad start in life and it’s defined him in ways that are out of his control. He’s not an alcoholic, as in he doesn’t need it to function but he is well on his way to becoming one. He’s angry and lost and finds it difficult to express his emotions which when coupled with his drinking can become a tinderbox.
“Q: Was your character challenging to play?
“A: It was tough to get into his mind. I can’t say too much without giving away parts of the story that we will discover along the way with Sean but he’s in a very dark place and it gets worse for him throughout. Getting into the mind of somebody like that with those problems and those thought processes was daunting. Luckily I had a superb cast and crew around to help out.”
Matt talked of his experiences on set, why he chose to take on this roll in Happy Valley, and being able to watch and learn from the show’s the two leading ladies.
“Q: What appealed to you about this project?
“A: Sally Wainwright and Sarah Lancashire. I hadn’t seen the first series until after I’d been cast but I knew the sheer talent involved in the project and how successful the first series had been. I’d worked with Sarah and Siobhan Finneran about 20 years previous and the chance to do that again was amazing. The opportunity to work with Sally and the complexity of the character she had created meant I couldn’t say no even if I wanted to.
“Q: Are there any anecdotes you can tell us about that happened during filming?
“A: There was a wonderful moment off set when the crew were setting up and Sarah and Siobhan were talking about a big scene they had coming up in a few days. Sarah half knew it and Siobhan hadn’t really looked at it. They decided to run it together and I feel so fortunate that I was there to watch it. It was a big scene, about ten pages or something and after about 4 or 5 pages Siobhan had gotten as far as she’d prepared. Sarah kept going and so Siobhan basically guessed what her character would say in the situation and it just fit. Every single time it fit and Sarah had a cue and was able to keep going with her dialogue. It was mind-blowing, they inhabit their characters so well and they work off each other like real sisters. It was such a pleasure to watch. I wasn’t there for the actual shooting of the scene a few days later but I bet it was a corker.”
As to the other Matt Lewis film and tv appearances we can look forward too,
“I shot a film for Warner Brothers called Me Before You a few months before Happy Valley so that’ll be out in 2016 and I’ve just finished a new season of Ripper Street which is also on in 2016. Filming on the next season of that starts late January so I’m growing my 19th century sideburns and moustache back as we speak.”
Beverly Cleary’s 100th birthday: To mark the occasion, publisher David Reuther; authors Elaine Scott, Varian Johnson, Kurtis Scaletta, Kate Messner, and Tony DiTerlizzi; and librarian Julie Roach reflect on Beverly Cleary’s work.
Ibi Zoboi on building a “Fine Bookshelf” of mirror books. Plus, her interview with authors Edwidge Danticat and Rita Williams-Garcia.
The Writer’s Page: Marc Aronson discusses writing narrative nonfiction (versus informational nonfiction) with his wife Marina Budhos.
Field Notes: Betty Carter wonders what new chapter-book readers miss from the picture-book section.
In the piece, Jacob Heilbrunn states that “It’s precisely Trump’s lubricity that is allowing him to transcend the GOP’s parochial ideological battles.” And I actually did think, “is that a made up word?” Nope. It’s in the dictionary! Merriam Webster defines the term as “the property or state of being lubricious; also the capacity for reducing friction.”
Obviously the context basically gives away the definition. It’s not like I was shocked by reading the actual textbook definition. Rather, at first glance, I figured this was some analyst-made-up word like the football commentators who continually talk about “escapability.” It was nice to know that yes, this is indeed a legitimate word.
[By the way, absolutely zero politically — positive or negative — about this article is intended towards Trump himself. Take your political kvetching to the Huffington Post or somewhere.]
During the Celebration of Harry Potter, many news sites got the opportunity to sit down for exclusive interviews with many of the film experts that were there. Blastr and other interviews there released some vital information about Newt Scamander’s wand in the up coming wizarding world films, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
“Bonus: In a group interview conducted separately with Harry Potter propmaster Pierre Bohanna, we learned Newt’s movie wand has lime wood, shell, bone and other elements to reflect his consideration of animals.”
How is this? EW released the first large set report from the new films last year, and told fans that Newt’s wand was not made out of any animal products, which begged the question of how it was made–the wand cores revealed in the Harry Potter series were Phoenix feather, dragon heart string, unicorn hair, Thestral tail hair, Kneazle whisker, and veela hair, all are considered “animal products.” Other known wand cores include coral and dittany stalk.
I think it is responsible to say that bone is considered an animal product, as all animals have bones. Being a zoologist, it was presumed that no animals were harmed or killed, or even died by natural causes, in the making of Newt’s wand. Is it possible for the prop to be made out of different materials than the cannon wand of the story? Most wands in real life are made out of synthetic material, so that doesn’t seem to make any sense.EW reported: “His wand, too, is deliberately simple and wooden.”
Unfortunately, this last weekend, Leaky wasn’t able to attend the Harry Potter Celebration in Orlando. However, we do have marvelous Harry Potter fans who follow our site, and we invited them to share their experiences of the celebration.
Chelsea Kleven, a Senior Production Editor for a Central Florida newspaper, was the first to share her experience with us. The following review of the Harry Potter celebration is written by Chelsea Kleven. (Click to enlarge photos)
I had no expectations for the Harry Potter Celebration weekend. My friend Amy and I had heard about the Harry Potter Celebrations before, but had never been to one. We live an hour from Universal Studios and both have annual passes to the park, and this year, we decided to see what it was all about. We figured it would be over-crowded and impossible to do anything all day, but since we have been to the park and experienced this many times before, we didn’t mind.
Amy and I both work for a daily Central Florida newspaper. I’m a designer, and she has a design background but now works on special projects and social media. We are both HUGE newspaper nerds, which inspires our love for the Daily Prophet (even though it seems Daily Prophet is written by many crooked journalists in the books.)
We headed straight for Hogsmeade Village when we got to the park, though we normally go to Diagon Alley first (that way you can ride the train from King’s Cross to Hogwarts like you would at the start of a school year. We’ve given this a lot of thought.)
When we looked up the schedule for the Celebration events, we discovered there was a graphic design panel happening in about 45 minutes in Hogsmeade. Perfect! We had just enough time for a ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and run over to the panel.
For as big of a Harry Potter fan and design nerd as I am, I had absolutely no prior knowledge of Minalima, the graphic design duo behind the Harry Potter films. Their talk was short and sweet, but still awesome. I had no idea what being a graphic designer for a film was like.
They began with a short video showing clips of their work as seen in the films. They discussed how many people don’t realize how every paper, poster, package … everything!…has to be created by a graphic designer.
Minalima spent a large amount of time creating a realistic world for these characters to interact in, but often, their work is rarely seen in the final film. For example, they said they spent 7 months working on all of the elements for Fred and George’s shop, when it was only seen in the film for about a minute and 30 seconds.
They weren’t bitter about this at all though. They seemed thrilled to have been a part of the films, and lucky to help bring authenticity to the magical world. Another example of their hard work was how they designed all of Hermione’s books for Deathly Hallows. However, the books, too, were never even seen in the film. All they got was a sound of the books falling over in Hermione’s beaded bag.
They discussed how the parks were such a dream for them, because they were now able to show their work in a place where people were able to really stop and look at it. Park-goers could pick up boxes, look at advertisements on the walls of Diagon Alley, and really absorb the detail that went into everything.
The duo also discussed their favorite pieces to create, which were the Daily Prophet and The Marauders Map. The Daily Prophet is my absolute obsession, so I was busy snapping hundreds of pictures of all of the close-up images of the Daily Prophet and didn’t absorb much of what was said about it.
As far as the Marauders Map, they really reiterated how they wanted to pump the personality of the characters who created the map into their design. It wasn’t about their personal design aesthetic, it was about bringing authenticity to the object. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs were crafty and intelligent, and they wanted the map to be a reflection of those qualities.
The map was drawn BY HAND based off of architectural maps that had been created for the set. The hand drawings were scanned in and developed into what you see on film. When the map was first created, there was a small mistake on it. They had included the Room of Requirement. Someone on the team realized that the room was not supposed to appear on the map, and went back through the whole process to take the room out.
After the graphic design panel, Amy and I headed over to the other park where the Harry Potter Expo was located. After chatting with some people at the design panel, we learned there was a wall covered in Daily Prophets at the expo and we had to check it out. We went first to Diagon Alley and had lunch at the Leaky Cauldron, complete with a Dragon Scale beer, and (it is our tradition on every visit) we sat on the stoop of the Daily Prophet office and took a photo.
We didn’t have to wait very long to get into the expo, though it was pretty crowded. We caught a glimpse of people being sorted into houses by the sorting hat on the way in.
The expo wasn’t quite as large as we were expecting. There was a large stuffed Fluffy you could take photos with, and a large Fawkes perched from the ceiling. A giant Lego replica of Hogwarts and some other movie props were on display. A wall blank wall was available for fans to write “What Harry Potter means to you.”
There was a booth handing out posters of the cover of the illustrated Sorcerer’s Stone, and a place to take a Quidditch themed photo. At the Pottermore booth, there was a large map of the new wizarding schools around the world. [Click to enlarge photo]
Minalima had a booth set up as well, which was where the Daily Prophet wall was. Amy and I took about 394 photos in front of it. Mira Mina and Eduardo Lima were there signing prints they had for sale. They also had a spread of some of the movie props they had designed, such as a copy of Advanced Potion Making, a stack of Qibblers, and pamphlets on “When Muggles Attack.”
There was a cool display of school letters hanging from the ceiling and trailing on the floor, that was previously featured in their gallery exhibit last month. The graphic designer in me was overjoyed.
There was a studio tour at the expo as well, but the line was incredibly long so Amy and I decided to skip it. And it was lucky we did, because when we left we realized the cast Q&A panel had just begun nearby. We stood towards the back of the crowd, but we still could not believe we were actually seeing the cast answer questions. We had no expectations going into the day of even catching a glimpse of them, so it was an awesome surprise.
Overall the day was amazing. There had been a lot more to do and see over the whole weekend, but we were completely happy with the little bit we got to experience. Maybe next time we’ll try and see more of the events – I highly recommend making a visit!
Chelsea took video of the Q&A that took place in the early afternoon. This cast Q&A was not live streamed, exclusive for those at the celebration. A similar cast Q&A that night was made available on live stream. In this clip the actors talk about their fears and if they have conquered them. The topic of spiders led to asking Rupert to rap, but Matt came to Rupert’s rescue with his own spider story. Apparently Matt is more afraid of spiders than Rupert, and no he definitely has not overcome that fear.
Snow – love it or dread it, I think most adults would agree at least that for children there’s something very special about it. And there are also some very special picture books around too. Here, in no particular order, is a small selection of snowy stories set around the … Continue reading ... →
Yesterday, Disney released two new teasers for Alice Through the Looking Glass, in the run-up to the film’s release in May.
The beloved Alan Rickman’s voice is heard in the clips, and the late actor will make his final appearance inthe Alice In Wonderland sequelas the voice of the Blue Caterpillar. Helena Bonham Carter also appears in the teasers as the Red Queen, and the Cheshire Cat, voiced by Stephen Fry.
‘You’ve been gone too long, Alice. There are matters which might benefit from your attention’, Alan’s voice drawls ominously in the first teaser.‘Friends cannot be neglected’.
‘You’ve been gone too long, Alice.’ he says, again in the second Hurry Up clip. ‘There are matters which cannot be neglected… Hurry.’
In this second teaser, Helena Bonham Carter’s ‘Hello, Alice.’ is followed by a very Bellatrix-esque evil laugh, and something that sounds fittingly like a yelled ‘I want her head!’.
The sequel takes place three years after the first instalment – a short summary of the plot is as follows:
“[Alice’s] quest to rescue the Mad Hatter from a heartbreaking end against the pressures of a ticking Chronosphere, a device that powers all of time itself”
See Alice Through the Looking Glass in cinemas from May 27th, 2016. A plethora of Potter actors will be making appearances in the film, which you can read about here. Take a look at the ‘First Look’ trailer below!
February 1, 2016, LOS ANGELES –SCBWI affirms its place as the preeminent organization serving children’s book authors and illustrators by bolstering its team with the expertise of leaders from the publishing and entertainment industries, Tammy Brown and Bonnie Bader.
Executive Director Lin Oliver said, “As the SCBWI expands to provide an ever-growing array of programs that benefit our membership, we are happy to be able to add these key positions that enable us to maintain our leadership in the children’s publishing world.”
Tammy Brown, entertainment and digital media industries marketer, joins SCBWI as Director, Community Marketing and Engagement. Brown comes to the organization with marketing expertise from stints in The Walt Disney Company’s Disney and ESPN Media Networks affiliate marketing department, and Technicolor’s entertainment services division. Her focus will be on creating and marketing programs that serve both aspiring and professional authors and illustrators along with defining business partnerships and strategic alliances for the organization. Brown is based in Los Angeles and joins SCBWI starting March 1, 2016.
Bonnie Bader will be a consultant to the organization, assuming the title of Publishing Advisor. She will provide leadership in creating new professional initiatives for SCBWI’s published authors and illustrators, managing the prestigious Golden Kite Award and contributing to the formation of SCBWI’s webinar program. Bader is based in New York and joins SCBWI starting immediately.
SCBWI President Stephen Mooser added, “We look forward to expanding SCBWI’s outreach with the addition of these two outstanding industry professionals.”