A Harry Potter HBO Max reunion special is coming


Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I should probably freak out about that passage of time but I’m okay with it. I think it’s because my daughter just got into the movies this year and we binged them over a matter of days. So for me it’s more like, “oh Christ, more of this guy?!” But truthfully, it was an extraordinary book series and became an extraordinary movie franchise. Fans were right to become as invested as they were. And with the obvious exception of its creator, the bulk of the cast that brought these characters to life have not let their fans down. In light of this milestone, HBO Max has put together a 20th Anniversary reunion special that will air on January 1st. By the sound of it, everyone will be there too… except J.K. Rowling.

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.

“Happy 20th Anniversary Potterheads!” Watson wrote on Instagram Tuesday. “Thank you to the fans that have continued to show their support well after the last chapter closed. The magic of the world wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you for fighting to make it such an inclusive and loving place.”

Felton added, “Is this what school homecoming is like?”

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.

[From USA Today]

In addition to generally being neat people, the younger castmates all remained good friends (I think the older castmates were existing friends already). I wrote a couple of years ago about how there’s a small Potter Village in Santa Monica where several of them live. Inexplicably, I never got into these books or movies. I do enjoy the world surrounding them, though. I am a dedicated Ravensclaw and have opinions on all the characters and their outcome. So I will probably watch this. Richard Harris and Helen McCroy have both passed away, sadly, so they will be missed. OMG, Alan Rickman as well! I don’t know how they can have anything to do with Harry Potter without Dame Maggie Smith, but I wonder if she’d refuse. She’s not listed. She won’t watch the films as a refresher, we know that. My gawd I love her. Gary Oldman is listed. Anyway, this is exciting and what’s better is it isn’t a remake. I posted the teaser below, but it doesn’t really tell us much.

Several people take the fact that Rowling’s name is not on the release as confirmation that she will not be involved. Technically we don’t know that, but we can hope that is the case. How tragic that she has become so hateful that she’s not even welcome at a celebration for the world she created for kids who needed an escape from their own realities. I hope she lets that sink in.




Photo credit: Avalon Red YouTube and Instagram

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23 Responses to “A Harry Potter HBO Max reunion special is coming”

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  1. Red Dog says:

    But is it gonna be a J. K. Roasting???

  2. L says:

    well, transphobia really aint it, guess rowling’s just gonna have to lie in the bed she made

    /shrug, good riddance to an unrepentant, hateful terf

    • Mac says:

      For someone who created a world where prejudice is evil, it’s beyond disappointing that Rowling is a TERF. I used to be a huge Potterhead, but I can no longer engage in anything that will result in income for her.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Yeah but it’s also taking away income from those who ARE using their platform properly. Tomayto tomahto lol.

  3. Cee says:

    I went to the movie theatre last Saturday for the 20th Anniversary release and what really got to me were the teenagers dressed in their House colours, watching it at a movie theatre for the first time. I hope they re-release all of them once the 20th mark hits them.

  4. smcollins says:

    I love this and can’t wait! I’m 46 and a mom-of-two but I’m a total Potterhead. My 8-year-old has seen most of the movies and we recently started reading the books (still on the first one). The absence of Alan Rickman is going to create a big hole in the reunion but I have no doubt he’ll be commemorated in some (make me ugly cry) way. If JK is involved in any way my money is on something being taped separately with her not actually being a part of the bigger cast reunion. Despite her hateful transphobic views there would be no Harry Potter without her, so credit where credit is due and all that. So excited!

  5. Becks1 says:

    I started reading the books in the summer of 2001, after my freshman year of college (I remember I was at a neighborhood party and an old friend of mine said I had to read them and i was like, aren’t they kids books? And she assured me I would love them. so by the time this movie came out I had read the first three books and was reading Goblet I think – I remember having it in hardcover lol on the shelf in my college dorm room).

    I love the movies, I think they did a good job adapting the books as far as I can remember – I only read each book once, but now we we are re-reading them with our boys and I can tell how much they left out of the movies, which is fine, because the movies are long enough as it is. But they really do fully immerse you in the world of Hogwarts and wizarding and my husband and I watch the whole movie series every year during Christmas break.

    (We’re on book 4 with the boys and I’ve let them watch through Order of the Phoenix, but I’m not letting them watch the last three movies until they read the books. Also I never finished reading Order, because I found the storyline with Umbridge so disturbing and twisted. I stopped. Also someone spoiled the ending of Half Blood Prince for me but I still read it. I also bought Deathly Hallows in an airport in Jamaica on our honeymoon. And that is my Harry Potter reading history.)

    • BeanieBean says:

      😉 Reminds me of my freshman college reading days, only with the Lord of the Rings trilogy (box set); I even had a Lord of the Rings trilogy poster on my dorm room wall! (Total nerd here.)

  6. Charlotte says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t really like the films? I love the books! I thought the films were a bit rubbish. Tbh I think it is because in my opinion (at least at the time) Daniel Radcliffe & Emma Watson were/are not very good at acting. The supporting cast and Rupert Grint were great! Also, I didn’t like either Richard Harris or Michael Gambon’s Dumbledores.

    • BW says:

      I love the books, but don’t like the films. Between leaving too much stuff out and the bad acting, I just can’t get through the films if I try to rewatch them. I’ve reread the books several times. The books are much funnier and go deeper into the story. The films just hit the high points and leave out all the best bits. I do think the kids grew up with their heads on straight, so I’ll give the Potter movies that kudos.

      • Sof says:

        You are right about the books being funny. I was surprised by that when I re read them a couple of years ago. Even the second one, which I always regarded as the darkest one.

    • Nick G says:

      I think it was going to be hard to do the books justice because they were so Dickensian in length and detail. Some are terrible I think, but there were some nice bits in the last three that seemed more artistically reaching.

    • molly says:

      The movies did the best they could, but they never could have held up to the books or included everything. My husband never read the books, so I spent most of the movie filling him in on all the details they left out. (He looooved it, let me tell you! lol)

    • Sof says:

      No, you are definitely not alone on this.
      What annoyed me is how they changed the plot line in the 5th and 6th. Couldn’t Rowling pop in the writing room and say “hey guys, please don’t leave the Marauders out because their story is key to the ending? How about talking about Voldemort’s orgin too?”
      And of course, don’t get me started on how they lighted up Snape’s story to make him seem like a good guy (though I partially blame Alan Rickman’s performance, he was brilliant).

      • Becks1 says:

        This is one of my big confusions re-reading the books. Snape is a bully. full stop. He’s cruel to Harry. how is he considered one of the heroes of the series? Like I said, I’m working my way back through the books and maybe I’ll skip ahead of where we are with the boys and just read, but I think Snape is horrible.

      • Sof says:

        You can tell the last movie was directed by a man. Snape hugging Lily’s corpse??? After calling her a racist slur and joining a supremacist group that targeted her and her family? That scene almost made me vomit. (in the books the house exploded after Voldemort tried to kill Harry so it was 100% the directors idea)

    • Beach Dreams says:

      Yeah, I don’t like the films either. For me a big part of the issue was the director they used from movie 4 (Goblet of Fire) onward. I *hated* the way he brought the rest of the series to life. So much important plot was cut and replaced with scenes that were unnecessary (especially for movie 6/The Half-Blood Prince, my favorite book of the series).

      I also didn’t care for a lot of the acting either. Unpopular opinion incoming, but while I think Alan Rickman was a fantastic actor, I really didn’t like his Snape. Book Snape felt very different from film Snape and it was hard to reconcile.

    • a mascarada says:

      The movies are great, with many wonderful adult actors (and some young ones too like Rupert Grin and Tom Felton) and I’m glad so many people got in the story through them, but that’s not the real story for me. I have only watched them once.
      They didn’t do justice to important storylines, like the Marauders, Tom Riddle background, they burnt the Burrow for nothing and gave many Ron and Dumbledore’s lines and Harry’s decisions to Hermione. Nothing wrong about her character, but she became insufferable.
      And don’t get me started on the absence of sassy Harry from the books ughhh…

  7. Leslie says:

    Harry Potter was such a massive part of my childhood and through college (the last movie came out as I was graduating). I did a full reread of the books and a full rewatch of the movies over the summer, and went to a special screening of HP 1 at the movie theater for the 20th anniversary. It was wonderful seeing that movie in a theater again after 20 years. I’ll definitely be watching this interview special.

  8. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    It’s hard to believe we’ve been crazy muggles for 20 years. Those books got my kids reading. My middle son inhaled them at an extraordinarily young age and they were the catalyst for consuming books and book series. All of us were swept into that world.

    Alan Rickman. 😭

    • JanetDR says:

      I am still stricken by his passing. Snape was very confusing for me because I love Alan Rickman so much 💔

  9. Thirtynine says:

    I thought Robert Pattinson was a wonderful Cedric Diggory and the scene where his dad cries over his body always makes me cry. But Alan Rickman! Irreplaceable.

    • Lou says:

      Yes! Amos Diggory’s scene was just heartbreaking. Every time!
      “That’s my son! That’s my boy!” 😢😢

      Hits even harder now that I have a wee son of my own. ❤️