We are Wingardium Leviosa-ing at the thought of a “Harry Potter” reunion. And it’s finally happening.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Tom Felton and more of the Hogwarts gang will travel back to the magical school with filmmaker Chris Columbus for an HBO Max special to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the franchise’s first film “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which premiered in the U.S. Nov. 16, 2001.
HBO Max announced the retrospective special, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” Tuesday, corresponding with the anniversary. The special will arrive Jan. 1 and feature in-depth interviews and cast conversations and give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the franchise, according to a press release.
The Gryffindor trio and Felton will be joined by memorable cast members like Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, He Who Must Not Be Named (Ralph Fiennes) and others. “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling’s involvement in the special was not noted in the release.
HBO also released a teaser trailer for the special in which we see flashbacks from the Harry Potter films and hear Albus Dumbledore’s voice saying: “Mysterious thing, time. When in doubt, I find retracing my steps a wise place to begin.”
“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,” Warner Bros. president Tom Ascheim said in the statement.
It was 20 years ago when three children – Radcliffe, Watson and Grint – were plucked from obscurity and thrust into the international spotlight, portraying the stars of one of the most well-known stories of all time in a big-budget franchise adaptation.
They were 11, 10 and 11, respectively, when they were introduced at a news conference in 2000, the stars of “Sorcerer’s Stone,” and they would spend the next 10 years starring in the wildly successful film series based on Rowling’s books.
As child actors go, they fared better than many. But that doesn’t mean it was easy.
“The three of them share a bond that no one else could ever relate to,” says Dina Sartore-Bodo, managing editor at HollywoodLife.com. “They were the biggest stars of their age, in a franchise with a dedicated fandom who were desperate for every detail of the movies to be exactly how they envisioned in the books. That’s a lot of pressure.”
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff