The 20th anniversary of Harry Potter is being celebrated with a reunion special, bringing together many of the Harry Potter actors to reminisce about their experiences with the films.
Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts features Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint amongst others. It’s going to be available on Sky and Now TV in the UK, and on HBO Max in the US, from 1 January 2022.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary special, Return to Hogwarts.
Who’s in it?
A number of Harry Potter actors return for this special. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) all appear, as do Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) amongst others.
Meanwhile, grown-ups including Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), and Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) all appear as well.
Chris Columbus, director of Harry Potter films The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, as well as other popular movies like Home Alone, appears for a conversation with Daniel Radcliffe.
A number of the older cast – including Maggie Smith (McGonagall) and Michael Gambon (Dumbledore) – don’t appear, likely though not necessarily due to the coronavirus.
What sort of things will they discuss in the Harry Potter reunion special?
There’s going to be a lot of time spent reflecting on the more nostalgic aspects of Harry Potter, with the actors (particularly the child stars) all looking back on how the series changed their lives.
However, there are also some occasional moments of substance; for example, Emma Watson reflects on the intensity and isolation of fame at a young age, and reveals that she considered quitting the films midway through the series as a result.
Wasn’t the actual 20th anniversary a few months ago?
Yes, it was. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in November 2001, so this reunion special won’t actually be airing on the actual anniversary.
Is JK Rowling involved in the Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts special?
Well, yes and no. The author doesn’t appear in person in the special, represented instead by short excerpts from an interview recorded in 2019.
However, it is not possible for any official Harry Potter product (merchandise, films, specials such as this) to be made without Rowling enjoying a financial benefit, which may reasonably be a sticking point for people who might otherwise watch the special.
It was recently reported that the producers of the special did invite Rowling to be involved, but the author declined.
Is there a trailer for the Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts special?
Yes, and you can find it right here – it mixes new footage with familiar archival clips.
When and how can I watch Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts?
Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts will be available to watch on Now TV on New Year’s Day. It’ll also air on Sky Max at 8pm, immediately following a showing of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone at 5:15pm.
In the US, you can watch the Harry Potter 20th anniversary special on HBO Max.
Why should I watch Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts?
If you’re feeling nostalgic, this might be a pleasant way to spend a couple of hours thinking back on childhood passions.
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