The three lead stars of the Harry Potter franchise, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, will reunite for a 20th anniversary special on HBO Max, parent company WarnerMedia announced Tuesday, along with much of the rest of the cast — but not author J.K. Rowling, who has been criticized by some of the stars after she made comments in recent years that have been viewed as transphobic.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will stream at midnight on January 1 on HBO Max.
The retrospective and an accompanying quiz show were announced earlier in the year, to coincide with the 20-year release anniversary of the first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, whose director Chris Columbus will be involved as well.
Return to Hogwarts will also reunite other stars including Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman and others.
$7.7 billion. That’s how much the eight-film series grossed over the years, making it the third-biggest movie franchise in history. Forbes pegged Rowling as the highest-earning author in the world in 2019, with $92 million in pre-tax earnings.
The first Harry Potter book was published in 1997 and the last in 2007, while the last film adaptation was released in 2011. The books and film have remained popular, and spawned a spin-off Fantastic Beasts series. But Rowling herself has been criticized in recent years for her extensive comments about trans people, which have in turn been denounced by many Harry Potter stars including Radcliffe, Watson and Grint.
“‘Harry Potter’ Retrospective to Feature Cast — But No J.K. Rowling” (The Hollywood Reporter)
“Harry Potter ‘Return to Hogwarts’ Special to Reunite Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint for HBO Max” (Variety)
“‘Harry Potter’ stars reuniting for 20th anniversary reunion special” (Entertainment Weekly)
“A Complete Breakdown of the J.K. Rowling Transgender-Comments Controversy” (Glamour)
“Harry Potter 20th anniversary: How Harry Potter changed the world” (Vox)