In 2001, Warner Bros. Pictures premiered in cinemas the first chapter of a modern magical fantasy epic. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” based on the book by J.K. Rowling, became a blockbuster success, with an initial-run box office take nearing a billion dollars while catapulting its primary cast of child actors to young stardom. Fans followed Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as Harry, Ron and Hermione through eight movies’ worth of Wizarding World adventures lasting a decade. And now, a decade after the end of the “Harry Potter” films, the cast and crew reunite in an HBO Max special, the full trailer of which released this week.
Variety tells us that HBO Max put up a trailer for “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” on their official social media pages this past Tuesday, December 21. This is a heavily-anticipated reunion special that brings back many of the cast and creative forces behind the generation-defining “Harry Potter” film franchise. The teaser released earlier only whetted appetites for fans to once again see the now-adult Golden Trio of Daniel Radcliffe and friends as they reminisce about time making the films and what the franchise meant to their lives.
The trailer footage is an absolute nostalgia bomb, being filmed on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London which preserves the sets used for the “Potter” movies. Seeing Radcliffe stroll down Diagon Alley, and Emma Watson at Platform 9¾ and the Hogwarts Great Hall where she embraces Rupert Grint, one can agree with Watson’s sentiment that both “no time has passed” and “loads of time has passed.” Radcliffe adds that he once felt that the most important part of their lives ended when they completed their last film, “Deathly Hallows Part 2.” He shares the joy of his cast-mates in realizing that it has not.
Aside from Harry, Ron and Hermione, other “Harry Potter” films stars joining the reunion include baddies Ralph Fiennes and Helena Bonham-Carter, Jason Isaacs, Tom Felton, Gary Oldman and more. Even the movie directors Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates will get to say their pieces here. Emma also talks of how the movies and overall franchise made life richer when things got dark and times got hard, reinforced by Grint asserting that their time in the Wizarding World is a bond they will always have, as family.
If there is one dim light in “Return to Hogwarts,” it would be the complete absence of original book author J.K. Rowling from the proceedings. Despite still being active in developing the Wizarding World through film, Rowling’s recent personal opinions have caused a split in her fan-base between those appalled at her viewpoints and those accusing the former of “cancelling” her. Nevertheless, HBO Max subscribers can expect to watch “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” when its streams come New Year’s Day, in 2022.
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