HBO Max has released the first image from its upcoming special “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” which is premiering on Jan. 1 — and it shows stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in conversation in the Gryffindor common room. The program was taped at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
The reunion will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the eight-movie series that began with “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” which was released in November 2001. “The retrospective special will tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time,” reads its logline.
All eight “Harry Potter” movies are currently streaming on HBO Max.
“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” will feature talent from the movies, including — according to the press release — 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.
J.K. Rowling, the author of the iconic book series, will not be interviewed in the special, but will be shown in archival footage about the movies. Because of her anti-trans comments, which have been condemned by the core cast — Rowling has become a figure of instant, and seemingly permanent, controversy in the passionate and vast “Harry Potter” fandom.
Earlier this week, HBO Max released a short trailer that didn’t include Radcliffe, Watson or Grint, but teased other alumni — like Coltrane (Hagrid) and Lewis (Neville Longbottom) — receiving their invitations to attend the reunion.
“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. The special is 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”).