As I write this, I am looking suspiciously at my surroundings to make sure that I am still in my home and have not died and gone to heaven because the following news sure as heck makes me feel like I have transcended this earth.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the release of the first film in the Harry Potter franchise — Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone — Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson will join director Chris Columbus and other Harry Potter cast members for a reunion special.
I mean, seriously, if I could look into the Mirror of Erised, this is 100% what I’d see.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere on HBO Max on New Year’s Day on BINGE which is where the much-hyped Friends reunion aired. The special will be available from 7:01pm AEDT, which means you have all day to sleep off your hangover and be fresh to take in the magic.
In addition to Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, BINGE will also deliver the four-part special event Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren from 15 January 2022. Fans can also catch up on all their favourite wizardry moments with all eight Harry Potter films now streaming on BINGE.
According to a press release from HBO Max, the feature will “tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations.”
Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Ian Hart will all feature in the special as they look back on what it was like to be part of one of the most beloved and successful franchises in entertainment history.
There has been no word on whether author of the books, JK Rowling, will make an appearance after facing widespread criticism for remarks she made that were harmful to the transgender community.
Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, said in a statement: “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon — from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”
In a recent interview with Variety, Columbus — who directed the first two films in the franchise — reflected on making the first film and recalled how nervous he was about being tasked with such a fiercely beloved IP.
“I had every expectation that I would probably be fired within the first two weeks,” he told the publication. “I was very, I don’t want to say anxious, but aware of the fact that if I screw this up, I probably will never work again. And I would have millions of fans at my door just infuriated. I knew I was taking on something fairly gigantic, and I’ve never been involved in a project that had so much scrutiny.”
The filmmaker also revealed his favourite scene from the first film saying, “There’s a moment with Dan as he looks back to Hogwarts, and someone mentions something about going home. And he said his line: ‘I’m not going home, not really.’
“I remember looking over at [producer] David Heyman, we’re standing next to each other, and I yelled, ‘cut.’ David and I both had tears in our eyes. We were like, ‘That was beautiful.’ He was fantastic.”