“You’re a wizard, Harry!” Those words were first uttered on screen 20 years ago, in case you wanted to feel old. In celebration of that 20th anniversary release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters, Warner Bros. is putting together one of those cast-reuniting specials for HBO Max. Called Return to Hogwarts, the HBO Max show will be an in-depth making-of that features nearly the entire cast, including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and the film’s director Chris Columbus.
“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,” said Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults, and Classics.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, to give the show its full title, is set to be an updated making-of documentary, with in-depth interviews from cast and crew alongside cast conversations all set in the original sets that the film was made on. There will be plenty of other actors showing up aside from the main trio, including Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, and Ian Hart. Given that cast list, it appears the special will not just cover The Sorcerer’s Stone but be a look back at the entire franchise of films.
That franchise just so happens to be carrying on soon with the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in April 2022. It is the finale in the Fantastic Beasts trilogy, though the films haven’t quite captured the cultural zeitgeist as well as the original movies did. There’s also been a long delay since the last movie was released, so maybe WB is hoping some sweet nostalgia will pull folks back into the fold and ramp up excitement for the movie.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts premieres first on HBO Max on January 1, 2022. It will also air on TBS and Cartoon Network sometime this spring. We’re also waiting for more news about that Harry Potter TV show that may be in the works for HBO Max. Now that would be a way to drum up excitement for the next film.