J.K. Rowling Will Not Feature In ‘Return to Hogwarts’ 20th Anniversary Special

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is premiering on HBO Max on Saturday, 1st January 2022.

The special celebrates 20 years since the cinematic release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first film in the Harry Potter film series. Adapted from J.K. Rowling’s best-selling novel from 1997, Philosopher’s Stone came out in November 2001.

Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) will all be present for the special, along with the film’s director Chris Columbus. A wide assortment of cast members from the eight-film series will also appear, including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) and Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black).

However, Rowling, the British author responsible for the Harry Potter series, will not be involved in the HBO special. Rowling has received widespread criticism in recent times for her repeated and explicit exclusion of transgender women from her advocacy for women’s rights.

The Return to Hogwarts producers remain diplomatic, with Warner Bros. representative Tom Ascheim telling The Hollywood Reporter, “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon – from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”

However, while Rowling will appear in archival footage, she has no direct involvement in the special itself. In other Harry Potter news, THR reports that HBO Max is working on a Harry Potter quiz show. More details are to come.

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