In honor of the first “Harry Potter” movie turning 20 this year, the cast from the hit films are reuniting to celebrate the momentous anniversary.
Fans of the books and movies are eagerly anticipating the homecoming of their favorite trio for HBO Max’s special “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.”
When “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released in theaters on Nov. 14, 2001, it introduced the world to Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. The flick launched a global phenomenon that continues until this day despite the eighth and final film being released 10 years ago.
HBO Max’s press release for the celebration teased the actors and Chris Columbus, who directed the first film and the sequel “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” coming together for “an enchanting making-of-story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming reunion special and which of your favorite cast members will be making an appearance.
When and where can you watch it?
“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” will be available to stream on HBO Max on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2022, at midnight.
All eight of the “Harry Potter” films are also currently streaming on the platform.
The special will later air on TBS and Cartoon Network in spring 2022 to coincide with the theatrical release of the latest “Harry Potter” spinoff series installment, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.”
Who will make an appearance?
The HBO Max teaser trailer reveals some of the other actors who will be joining Radcliffe, Grint and Watson for the reunion. In the brief clip, multiple stars from the series receive their invitations to the special and in one shot a woman, who is possibly Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), holds a copy of The Daily Prophet with the headline, “Hogwarts Welcomes Back Alumni.”
Robbie Coltrane (Hagrine) also receives an invitation at “The Coffee Shop, Chelsea” and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) curiously inspects a letter sealed with the Hogwarts crest.
Later, Mark Williams (Mr. Weasley) looks out the window of the Hogwarts Express, the train the students board at the beginning of the films before they return to school.
The end of the clip confirms the other actors who will be featured in the special, including Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Olivers Phelps (George Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).
After the reunion was announced, Watson, who was 11 when the first movie debuted, shared throwback photos on Instagram of her with Radcliffe and Grint and another with the cast and crew.
“Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione (still is) my favorite fictional character of all time,” she wrote in the caption. “I think a journalist once said it was irritating how many times during an interview I mentioned how lucky I was and started counting… BUT I DAMN WELL KNEW!!! And still know.”
Watson added, “I look at my fellow cast members now and I am just so proud of who everyone has become as people. I am proud we were kind to each other that we supported one another and that we held up something meaningful.”
One person noticeably absent from the lineup is author J.K. Rowling. The writer, who has been criticized for her controversial views on the trans community, will not appear, but she will be featured in archival footage.
What can we expect?
Based on the press release for “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” fans can expect the cast to reflect on making the films and the legacy it created for readers and viewers around the world.
Executive producer Casey Patterson also revealed the actors will “return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago.”
On Dec. 20, HBO Max unveiled the full-length trailer for the reunion. In the clip, the main trio sit in the Gryffindor common room and share memories from the years they spent filming the franchise together.
Watson, 31, says, “It feels like no time has passed — and loads of time has passed.”
Grint, 33, replies, “I think this is the perfect time to sit down with everyone and reminisce.”
Radcliffe, 32, chimes in as well and adds, “The thing that scared me the most was the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life was done. And there is something so joyous about seeing everyone and (to) be, like, it wasn’t though.”
The new trailer also includes footage of Bonham Carter discussing her favorite scene from the film and Fiennes revealing he questioned accepting the role of the terrifying dark lord.
During an emotional moment at the end, Radcliffe, Grint and Watson hold hands and laugh.
Radcliffe tells the others, “I wouldn’t be the person I am without so many people here.”
“There is something about ‘Harry Potter’ that makes life richer,” Watson quips.
Grint then brings Watson to tears when he concludes, “We’re family and we’ll always be part of each others’ lives.”