Harry Potter Return To Hogwarts – What We Know About The 20th Anniversary Reunion TV Special

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are reuniting to celebrate 20 years of the film franchise.

Harry Potter fans across the globe are currently preparing to board the Hogwarts Express back to their childhoods ahead of the cast reunion.

A TV special is set to reunite the original cast next month to celebrate the film franchise’s 20th anniversary, after Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone debuted in November 2001.

In the same vein as the recent Friends reunion, stars including leading trio Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson will reminisce about their time in the Wizarding World and growing up on the silver screen.

Ahead of its debut, here’s everything we can tell you about Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts...

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are returning to Hogwarts
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are returning to Hogwarts
Getty Images via Getty Images

How will I be able to watch it?

Like the Friends reunion, the show has been made for US streaming service HBO Max, which isn’t available here in the UK.

However, as with many HBO shows, it will be available to watch here on NOW.

If you are not already a NOW subscriber, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial, with an Entertainment Pass subsequently available for £9.99 a month.

When does it debut?

It has been confirmed that the Harry Potter reunion will begin streaming on HBO Max and NOW from 8.05am on 1 January 2022 – a perfect dose of nostalgia to ease that NYE hangover.

Sky has confirmed the special will also air on Sky Showcase at 8pm on 1 January.

It's been 20 years since Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was released
It's been 20 years since Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was released
Peter Mountain via Getty Images

Which stars are taking part?

Alongside Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Grainger actors Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, a host of other familiar Hogwarts faces will also be joining the reunion.

A trailer has revealed Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) are also set to appear, alongside “many more”.

What form does the special take?

According to HBO Max, the special will “tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations”.

The reunion was filmed at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, which has become a popular attraction for Potter fans in recent years, as it features a number of sets from the films.

The recent trailer teased the cast’s return to classic locations, such as the famous Platform 9 3/4 and Hogwarts’ Great Hall, where it appears a party for them all was thrown.

Many of the Harry Potter cast were seen in the Great Hall
Many of the Harry Potter cast were seen in the Great Hall

In November, Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) hinted that he was off to film scenes for the show, tweeting a picture of him in his Slytherin scarf, with the caption: “Back to school.”

back to school pic.twitter.com/Y1ITWcqIx6

— Tom Felton (@TomFelton) November 18, 2021

What revelations are there?

We’ve already been teased with what we can expect from the 20th anniversary celebration – including plenty of cast secrets.

One of those is Daniel’s revelation that he had a major crush on Helena Bonham Carter, who played Voldemort’s evil lieutenant Bellatrix Lestrange.

He shared a note he sent to his co-star, which read: “Dear HBC, it was a pleasure being your co-star and coaster in the fact I always ended up holding your coffee.

“I do love you and I wish I’d just been born ten years earlier so I might’ve been in with a chance.”

Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Radcliffe
Helena Bonham Carter and Daniel Radcliffe

And Daniel wasn’t the only Harry Potter star who had an on-set crush – Emma told of the exact moment she “fell in love” with Tom Felton, who played villainous Draco Malfoy, during a tutoring session between filming.

“I walked into the room where we were having tutoring,” Emma recalled. “The assignment that had been given was to draw what you thought God looked like, and Tom had drawn a girl with a backward cap on a skateboard.

Emma Watson And Tom Felton at the Disney Channel Kids Awards 2003
Emma Watson And Tom Felton at the Disney Channel Kids Awards 2003
Brian Rasic via Getty Images

“And I just don’t know how to say it – I just fell in love with him. I used to come in every day and look for his number on the call sheet, it was number seven, and if his name was on the call sheet, it was an extra exciting day.

“He was three years above me and so for him he was like: ‘you’re like my little sister’.”

Will J.K. Rowling appear?

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling
Cindy Ord via Getty Images

There was much speculation as to whether Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would be part of the special, after a number of the film’s cast – including Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson – spoke out against the writer’s controversial comments about gender last year to stand with transgender people, non-binary people and gender-nonconforming people.

However, after previews of the special were issued to the press, it has been confirmed that she will appear, but only through archived footage from a 2019 interview.

During the special, the stars praised her as an author, with Rupert saying “it was such an intricately, perfectly designed universe”.

Similarly, Robbie Coltrane, who played Rubeus Hagrid, said: “One of the many reasons I admire JK so much is millions now read books who would have never have lifted a book up in their lives and you suddenly realise the power of writing.”

Is there a trailer?

There’s been three trailers for the special, with the latest one offering a first look at actual footage from the show.

Take a look below...

How else is the 20th anniversary being celebrated?

Sky and NOW will also air Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses from 29 December.

Hosted by Helen Mirren, the special four-part event sees Potter fans having their knowledge put to the test in an attempt to be named House Cup Champion.

A Harry Potter 20th Anniversary pop-up channel also went live on 19 December, which will air all the Potter films and the Fantastic Beasts series.

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