Movies & TV

Everything We Know About the Harry Potter Reunion Special

Get ready, potterheads.
IMAGE Warner Bros.
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HBO is feeling mighty generous this year. First, we got a Friends reunion, and now we’re getting a Harry Potter reunion. By now, all the potterheads have heard of the upcoming 20th anniversary Harry Potter reunion that will feature the main cast—but excluding the author of the novels, J.K. Rowling. 

It’s no doubt going to be a big event, in the same fashion HBO organized the Friends reunion. Here’s everything we know about the #ReturnToHogwarts. 

When will it happen? 

Mark your calendars for January 1, 2022, for Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. 

The very first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, premiered in 2001, and while the reunion was probably scheduled for a 2021 release to perfectly coincide with the 20th anniversary year, it’ll take place on the very first day of the new year instead. At least 2022 will start with a bang.

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Where can we watch it? 

The Harry Potter reunion will stream on New Year’s Day on HBO Max. HBO Max is not yet available in the Philippines, so it will likely air on HBO Go instead, just as the Friends reunion did. HBO Go is available on Android and Apple for only P150 per month. 

Who will appear at the reunion? 

The Big Three will of course be in attendance: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermoine Granger), and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley).

Also set to appear are Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Estrange), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell).

Who won’t appear at the reunion?

The creator of the Harry Potter universe herself will unfortunately not be in attendance. J.K. Rowling has been in hot water for the last few years following her controversial statements regarding the transgender community. Her stance on gender identity has been met with ire, and even Daniel Radcliffe has spoken out in defense of transgender people. 

Other major names who won’t be in attendance based on the initial cast list include Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore), Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall), Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), and David Thewlis (Remus Lupin).

Perhaps the name we were most saddened to see excluded from the cast list was that of Alan Rickman (Severus Snape) who passed away in 2016. 

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What will happen at the reunion?

The reunion special will likely follow the same format as the unscripted Friends reunion, in which the cast visited the show’s set, sat through table reads, and was interviewed on their favorite memories of the show. 

The reunion will be executive produced by Casey Patterson, who has confirmed that the cast will return to the original sets of Hogwarts. This could refer to the famous Leavesden Film Studios where all eight Harry Potter films were shot or even Alnwick Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, and Oxford University, which were all used to shoot Hogwarts. Other possible locations include the London Zoo for the scene where Harry talked to a snake, and perhaps even King’s Cross Station for the iconic Platform 3/4. 

If the Friends special is to be followed, then we might be treated with a table read from the cast playing their 11-13-year-old characters in the first movie. 

After all, who wouldn’t want to hear Emma Watson recite the classic line, “It's LeviOsa, not LeviosAR.” Or Hagrid say the one line that started the entire journey, "Yerr a wizard, Harry."

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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