Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Return to Hogwarts
The first look at Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is here. On Wednesday, HBO Max unveiled a still from the upcoming Harry Potter special — premiering on New Year’s Day on HBO Max — featuring the lead trio of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint sitting in the Gryffindor common room. This is the first proper look we have had at Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, following a short tease unveiled over the weekend, attached to the Helen Mirren-hosted Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses (that airs on Amazon Prime Video in India). Return to Hogwarts will also be available to watch in India, but details on where it will be aired have not been announced yet.
As you can tell from the title, Return to Hogwarts is set to the celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter — specifically, the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which released in November 2001. And just like Friends: The Reunion that was also made for HBO Max, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will feature interviews and cast conversations.
In addition to Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Watson (Hermione Granger), and Grint (Ron Weasley), Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will also feature the likes of Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and Ian Hart (Quirinus Quirrell) among others.
Chris Columbus, who directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, will also be present. Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts is a production of Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, in association with Warner Horizon. Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment and Pulse Films are executive producers. Return to Hogwarts was filmed at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter.
J.K. Rowling, the Harry Potter author, who is now reviled by parts of the fandom for her anti-trans views (and has found many vocal defenders too), is not involved with the reunion special. She will appear through archival footage though. Rowling is still deeply involved in the Harry Potter Wizarding World franchise, as producer and writer on the five-film Fantastic Beasts series
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Return to Hogwarts
Harry Potter – Film Series
Harry Potter is a film series based on the eponymous novels by J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films, beginning with Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and culminating with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011). A spin-off prequel series that will consist of five films started with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), marking the beginning of the Wizarding World shared media franchise.
The series was mainly produced by David Heyman, and stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson as the three leading characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. Four directors worked on the series: Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates. Michael Goldenberg wrote the screenplay for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), while the remaining films’ screenplays were written by Steve Kloves. Production took place over ten years, with the main story arc following Harry’s quest to overcome his arch-enemy Lord Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final novel in the series, was adapted into two feature-length parts. Part 1 was released in November 2010, and Part 2 was released in July 2011.
Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Philosopher’s Stone, and Deathly Hallows – Part 2 are among the 50 highest-grossing films of all time, and ranking them as the 48th-, 47th-, and 13th-highest-grossing films, with Philosopher’s Stone and Deathly Hallows – Part 2 grossed over $1 billion. Without inflation adjustment, it is the third highest-grossing film series with $7.7 billion in worldwide receipts.
In late 1997, film producer David Heyman’s London offices received a copy of the first book in what would become Rowling’s series of seven Harry Potter novels. The book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was relegated to a low-priority bookshelf, where it was discovered by a secretary who read it and gave it to Heyman with a positive review. Consequently, Heyman, who had originally disliked “the rubbish title”, read the book himself. Highly impressed by Rowling’s work, he began the process that led to one of the most successful cinematic franchises of all time.
Heyman’s enthusiasm led to Rowling’s 1999 sale of the film rights for the first four Harry Potter books to Warner Bros. for a reported £1 million (US$2,000,000). A demand Rowling made was that the principal cast be kept strictly British, allowing nevertheless for the inclusion of many Irish actors, such as Richard Harris as Dumbledore, and for casting of French and Eastern European actors in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where characters from the book are specified as such. Rowling was hesitant to sell the rights because she “didn’t want to give them control over the rest of the story” by selling the rights to the characters, which would have enabled Warner Bros. to make non-author-written sequels.
Although Steven Spielberg initially negotiated to direct the first film, he declined the offer. Spielberg contended that, in his opinion, there was every expectation of profit in making the film. He claims that making money would have been like “shooting ducks in a barrel. It’s just a slam dunk. It’s just like withdrawing a billion dollars and putting it into your personal bank accounts. There’s no challenge.” In the “Rubbish Bin” section of her website, Rowling maintains that she had no role in choosing directors for the films, writing “Anyone who thinks I could (or would) have ‘veto-ed’ him [Spielberg] needs their Quick-Quotes Quill serviced.”
After Spielberg left, conversations began with other directors, including Chris Columbus, Jonathan Demme, Terry Gilliam, Mike Newell, Alan Parker, Wolfgang Petersen, Rob Reiner, Tim Robbins, Brad Silberling, and Peter Weir. Petersen and Reiner both pulled out of the running in March 2000. It was then narrowed down to Columbus, Gilliam, Parker, and Silberling. Rowling’s first choice was Terry Gilliam. However, on 28 March 2000 Columbus was appointed as director of the film, with Warner Bros. citing his work on other family films such as Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire as influences for their decision
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Harry Potter is an orphaned boy brought up by his unkind Muggle (non-magical) aunt and uncle. At the age of eleven, half-giant Rubeus Hagrid informs him that he is actually a wizard and that his parents were murdered by an evil wizard named Lord Voldemort. Voldemort also attempted to kill one-year-old Harry on the same night, but his killing curse mysteriously rebounded and reduced him to a weak and helpless form. Harry became extremely famous in the Wizarding World as a result. Harry begins his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and learns about magic. During the year, Harry and his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger become entangled in the mystery of the Philosopher’s Stone which is being kept within the school.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Harry, Ron, and Hermione return to Hogwarts for their second year, which proves to be more challenging than the last. The Chamber of Secrets has been opened, leaving students and ghosts petrified by an unleashed monster. Harry must face up to claims that he is the heir of Salazar Slytherin (founder of the Chamber), learn that he can speak Parseltongue, and also discover the properties of a mysterious diary, only to find himself trapped within the Chamber of Secrets itself.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter’s third year sees the boy wizard, along with his friends, attending Hogwarts School once again. Professor R. J. Lupin joins the staff as Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, while convicted murderer Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban Prison. The Ministry of Magic entrusts the Dementors of Azkaban to guard Hogwarts from Black. Harry learns more about his past and his connection with the escaped prisoner.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
During Harry’s fourth year, Hogwarts plays host to a legendary event: the Triwizard Tournament. Three European schools participate in the tournament, with three ‘champions’ representing each school in the deadly tasks. The Goblet of Fire chooses Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory to compete against each other. However, curiously, Harry’s name is also produced from the Goblet thus making him a fourth champion, which results in a terrifying encounter with a reborn Lord Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry’s fifth year begins with him being attacked by Dementors in Little Whinging. Later, he finds out that the Ministry of Magic is in denial of Lord Voldemort’s return. Harry is also beset by disturbing and realistic nightmares, while Professor Umbridge, a representative of Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, is the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry becomes aware that Voldemort is after a prophecy which reveals: “neither can live while the other survives.” The rebellion involving the students of Hogwarts, secret organisation Order of the Phoenix, the Ministry of Magic, and the Death Eaters begins.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
In Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts, Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters are increasing their terror upon the Wizarding and Muggle worlds. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore persuades his old friend Horace Slughorn to return to Hogwarts as a professor as there is a vacancy to fill. There is a more important reason, however, for Slughorn’s return. While in a Potions lesson, Harry takes possession of a strangely annotated school textbook, inscribed ‘This is the property of the Half-Blood Prince’. Draco Malfoy struggles to carry out a mission presented to him by Voldemort. Meanwhile, Dumbledore and Harry secretly work together to discover the method on how to destroy the Dark Lord once and for all.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)
After unexpected events at the end of the previous year, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are entrusted with a quest to find and destroy Lord Voldemort’s secret to immortality – the Horcruxes. It is supposed to be their final year at Hogwarts, but the collapse of the Ministry of Magic and Voldemort’s rise to power prevents them from attending. The trio undergo a long journey with many obstacles in their path including Death Eaters, Snatchers, the mysterious Deathly Hallows, and Harry’s connection with the Dark Lord’s mind becoming ever stronger
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
After destroying one Horcrux and discovering the significance of the three Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione continue to seek the other Horcruxes in an attempt to destroy Voldemort, who has now obtained the powerful Elder Wand. The Dark Lord discovers Harry’s hunt for Horcruxes and launches an attack on Hogwarts School, where the trio return for one last stand against the dark forces that threaten both the Wizarding and Muggle worlds.
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