All aboard the Hogwarts Express! HBO Max has released the first image from the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts set, giving Potterheads a first look at the reunion featuring The Golden Trio. Celebrating the anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which hit theaters in November 2001, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are seen in the photo conversing in the Gryffindor common room. Watson sits between Grint and Radcliffe as the trio share laughs, no doubt reminiscing about the decade they spent together bringing Harry, Ron, and Hermione to life.
The three aren’t the only cast members returning for the 20th Anniversary special. Other notable stars who’ll journey back to Hogwarts with us include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, and Evanna Lynch, in addition to other cast members yet to be announced.
When the reunion special was announced last month, it was met with mixed feelings from Harry Potter fans who’ve struggled with the series author JK Rowling‘s comments about trans people. It appears that Rowling is not attached to the Warner Bros. production, however, many people are reasonably concerned about supporting any new Harry Potter content following her inflammatory statements. For now, HBO Max is heralding Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts as a making-of retrospective, featuring interviews and conversations with the cast. It’s unknown whether anyone will touch on the sensitive subject of Rowling‘s political opinions, though Watson and other cast members have spoken out in support of trans lives in the past.
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is an unscripted event filmed at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Executive producers for the special include Casey Patterson of Casey Patterson Entertainment (A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote) and Pulse Films (Beastie Boys Story).
Harry Potter left an undeniable mark on an entire generation of readers and movie-goers and the reunion special is set to be an emotional event. The teaser trailer for the reunion special, released earlier this week, highlights many returning cast members receiving their Hogwarts letters and boarding the Hogwarts Express to make the magical journey back to the school of witchcraft and wizardry. The special looks to lean into the nostalgia and holiday warmth of the series. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere exclusively on HBO Max on January 1, 2022.