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Return to Hogwarts: JK Rowling not ‘snubbed’ as she makes appearance in Harry Potter reunion

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First looks at the long-awaited Harry Potter reunion special Return to Hogwarts have revealed that author JK Rowling has not been omitted as early reports claimed.

The HBO Max production celebrates the 20th anniversary of the beloved wizarding film franchise with former stars including Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

Tabloid reports claimed that Rowling had been “snubbed” from the production due to the controversy surrounding her views on transgender rights.

Watson, Grint and Radcliffe had all previously spoken out against Rowling’s remarks.

However, with the special now released in the UK, viewers can watchcast members discuss how much of an impact Rowling’s books had on them personally, before she makes an appearance herself.

“So many people were falling in love with JK Rowling’s writing,” Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley in the films, says, while others recall their excitement upon the release of new books in the series.

“I think it’s very easy to forget that at the time, people were talking about ‘the death of reading,’” Radcliffe points out, while Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane adds: “One of the many reasons I admire JK so much is that millions now read books who would never have lifted a book up in their lives, and you suddenly realise the power of writing.”

Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Return to Hogwarts’ (HBO Max)
Daniel Radcliffe in ‘Return to Hogwarts’ (HBO Max)

Talk then turns to the discussion of how difficult it was to find an actor for the role of Harry Potter.

“We couldn’t find Harry!” Rowling says, in a segment filmed in 2019. “We just couldn’t find Harry, and it was getting kind of weird, and panicky.”

She later says it was “very emotional” when she and the filmmakers realised that Radcliffe was perfect for the role.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts is available exclusively on Sky and streaming service NOW.

Elsewhere in the special, Radcliffe reveals a flirty note that he wrote to an older cast member on the last day of filming, while Watson detailed the moment she “fell in love” with Felton on set.

Radcliffe also described “trying to be cool” to impress co-star Gary Oldman, and Ralph Fiennes revealed what lead him to accept the role of the villainous Lord Voldemort.

The cast also discussed a time when Emma Watson almost quit the franchise. The special closed with a tribute to the late Alan Rickman, a moment which moved Harry Potter fans to tears.

You can read The Independent’s review of Return to Hogwarts here

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