Accio, trailer! At long last, HBO Max has released the much-anticipated preview of “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” its upcoming special that will reunite the actors and filmmakers from the eight-movie series, which will stream on Jan. 1. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which kicked off the film arm of the Wizarding World, was released in November 2001 — and the special will commemorate the franchise’s 20th anniversary.
“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” which will reunite actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, was taped at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. It will feature talent from the movies, including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis and Evanna Lynch. Filmmakers David Heyman, Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates will also make appearances.
More from Variety
The trailer features the cast reminiscing about the movies, as well as festivities in the Great Hall. Watson says, “It feels like no time has passed — and loads of time has passed.” Radcliffe says that something that had scared him was “the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life was done,” and that seeing everyone is “joyous” because he realizes “it wasn’t though.”
Bonham Carter says a highlight for her was during “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” when she “had to pretend to be Hermione pretending to be Belletrix” as they break into Gringotts. In conversation with Radcliffe, she says, “I’ve still got the teeth,” and puts them in her mouth as he laughs.
Fiennes says his sister, who had “Harry Potter”-aged children during the time when he was weighing whether to play Voldemort told him, “You’ve got to do it!”
“When things get really dark, and times are really hard, there’s something about Harry Potter that makes life richer,” Watson says, as the key trio of friends talk in the Gryffindor common room.
“It’s a strong bond that we’ll always have,” Grint agrees as they embrace.
HBO Max has been steadily rolling out promotional materials for the special. The streamer already dropped the first look at Radcliffe, Watson and Grint last week, as well as a teaser that showed Coltrane (Hagrid) and Lewis (Neville Longbottom) receiving their invitations to attend the reunion.
On Wednesday, HBO Max revealed the key art for “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 15, 2021
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been busy these days. Warner Bros. recently dropped the trailer for “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore,” the third movie in that franchise, which is coming out on April 15. And WarnerMedia cable channels TBS and Cartoon Network broadcast “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses,” a game show hosted by Helen Mirren.
Yet J.K. Rowling, the author of the beloved book series, was not interviewed for “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” and will be shown in only archival footage about the movies. Because of her anti-trans comments, Rowling has become a figure of instant, and seemingly permanent, controversy in the passionate and vast “Harry Potter” fandom. Even recently, Rowling jumped into the fray again, tweeting about proposed reforms to Scottish law that would allow people to identify more easily as their true gender. Her anti-trans views have been condemned by the core cast of the Harry Potter movies.
“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television, in association with Warner Horizon at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter. It’s executive produced by Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment (which was behind “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote”) and Pulse Films (“Beastie Boys Story”).
Best of Variety