By Andy on 22 December 2013 at 12:56 GMT
On 22 December 2003, ten years ago to the day, Harry Potter Fan Zone came online. It looked a little something (actually, a lot something) like this.
I was – at the time – a bored fourteen year–old looking for something to do over the Australian summer holiday break. And here we are today: two books, six movies, and a decade of digging up Harry Potter news and rumours later.
I never imagined that a little pet-project conceived in my bedroom would lead to such awesome opportunities: being featured on the front–page of my local paper, attending the Goblet of Fire premiere in New York City and the Order of the Phoenix premiere in Los Angeles at the invitation of Warner Bros. and twice visiting Leavesden Studios to watch filming on movies six and seven while interviewing the cast and crew.
Plus a bunch more cool stuff (I won't forget eating lunch opposite Alan Rickman in full Snape get–up anytime soon).
Of course, my highlight of this whole little adventure was hearing that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling was a fan of the website and reading the lovely thank–you she gave us on her official website.
So thank you to everyone who's contributed to this website over the past ten years and, of course, to everyone who's given it a visit. I hope you've had as much fun following Harry Potter Fan Zone (yes, I do wish I'd come up with a better name all those years ago) as I've had running it.
By Andy on 6 December 2013 at 09:12 GMT
Bloomsbury today announced that they will publish full–colour editions of all seven Harry Potter novels illustrated by artist Jim Kay. The first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, will be released in 2015.
Jim Kay, winner of the 2012 Kate Greenaway Medal, will illustrate all seven books in full-colour and design the new book jacket image as well as the inside artwork. A lifelong Harry Potter fan, Jim Kay says: ‘From my point of view it is, without doubt, the commission of a lifetime …to design the characters, the clothing, the architecture and landscapes to possibly the most expansive fantasy world in children's literature, well let’s just say I'm extremely excited about it. However, I am also mindful of the huge responsibility this represents. I want to make sure I do the best job I possibly can.’
You can see more of Jim's illustrations over at his official website.
By Andy on 13 September 2013 at 13:05 GMT
Warner Bros. today announced that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut by bringing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (first published in 2001 as a 'Potter' companion book) to the silver screen.
The movie will be "the first in a new film series" and will be set in New York, seventy years before Harry's adventure begins. The film series will follow the book's fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and will, "feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans".
Says Jo Rowling:
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”
By Andy on 14 July 2013 at 12:50 GMT
It has been revealed today that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is the writer behind The Cuckoo’s Calling, a crime novel published back in April under the pseudonym 'Robert Galbraith'.
Rowling revealed she was the author of the 450-page novel earlier today, stating, "I had hoped to keep this secret a little longer because being Robert Galbraith has been such a liberating experience. It has been wonderful to publish without hype or expectation and pure pleasure to get feedback under a different name.”
By Andy on 22 February 2013 at 02:39 GMT
US publisher Scholastic will re-release the Harry Potter books this year with new cover art. The cover for book one – Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Sorcerer's Stone in the US) – has been the only new art revealed so far.
The re-release, planned for September, celebrates the 15th anniversary of the first US publishing run. The new covers, designed by artist Kazu Kibuishi, will, "depict 'a distinct and memorable moment' from that specific book. In the case of 'Sorcerer's Stone,' that moment is young Harry Potter walking with Hagrid down Diagon Alley."
By Andy on 27 September 2012 at 02:27 GMT
Five years after the publication of the final Harry Potter book, J.K. Rowling's new novel – a book for adults – will be published today.
The Casual Vacancy will be released at 8:00 AM in London: that's midnight in LA, 3:00 AM in New York and 5:00 PM in Eastern Australia. (Use this time zone converter to find out when that is for you.)
Set in the small English town of Pagford, the novel clocks in at 512 pages and has been described as, "blackly comic, thought-provoking, and constantly surprising". You can purchase the new novel over at Amazon.
And what of Harry's future? While Rowling has continued to dismiss suggestions of a return to the Potter universe, she did mention in an interview with the BBC that, "I have always left the door ajar because I'm not that cruel. If I had a fabulous idea that came out of that world, because I loved writing it, I would do it".
By Andy on 22 August 2012 at 12:15 GMT
HPFZ's David, Toni and Courtney Gras recently attended LeakyCon 2012 in Chicago where, among many Potter festivities, they caught up with actress Evanna Lynch — Luna Lovegood in the 'Potter' films (check out her fantastic choice of shirt!). Their report follows:
Potter Passion Prevails! That is the thought of these three reporters from Harry Potter Fan Zone, as we observed and participated in The Leaky Cauldron's third conference, LeakyCon 2012, at the Hilton Towers in Chicago on famed Michigan Avenue from Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12, 2012. The 3800+ fans overtook the Hilton hotel as they roamed the hallways and lobbies dressed in both normal and Potter gear. Huge LEAKYCON banners draped the inner lobby of the Hilton and a Hogwarts castle-like backdrop was displayed on the main stage area to help get us in the mood. The number of attendees was overwhelming, this being the largest LeakyCon conference, beating last year's conference in attendance by approximately 800. This itself says something about the excitement that LeakyCon permeates as Chicago boasts no Potter-themed attractions – which means that all 3800 people came for the conference itself.
As conferences go, we can honestly say that we have never experienced the immense amount of passion and excitement from attendees that we witnessed here. Harry Potter brought together all the attendees in friendship and The Leaky Cauldron web site has helped to cultivate and grow Potter Passion which J.K. Rowling started over 15 years ago – for some of the fans present, they were just barely born but yet they mingled with other Potter fans from near and far at this conference. We could sense the feelings of bonding and closeness with those who feel as passionate about the Potter saga as we do.
Our first day, Thursday, August 9, we had the wonderful opportunity to sit in on two press-only conferences, first with some of the actors from the famed "Star Kid" troupe and secondly with the Harry Potter movie actors that were present at the conference which included Robbie Jarvis (the young James Potter), William Melling (Nigel Wolpert), and the ever-friendly, bubbly and lovely Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood). HPFZ reporter, Courtney Gras, sat with Evanna for several minutes asking her various questions and Evanna's sweet and humble nature came forth as she talked about her identification with the character of Luna and what Luna has done for her personally.
By Andy on 13 April 2012 at 04:41 GMT
J.K. Rowling's new novel for adults is called The Casual Vacancy and will be released on 27 September of this year.
When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock.
Seemingly an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.
Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils…Pagford is not what it first seems.
And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?
Blackly comic, thought-provoking and constantly surprising, The Casual Vacancy is J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults.
Jo's website has also been given a revamp and features a comprehensive timeline of everything Rowling and 'Potter'. While you're at it, bookmark thecasualvacancyfanzone.com – it redirects to Harry Potter Fan Zone where we'll be keeping you up-to-date with this new chapter in Jo's literary life.
By Andy on 24 February 2012 at 00:46 GMT
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling today announced that she is working on her first novel since 'Potter', a story for adults.
Although I've enjoyed writing it every bit as much, my next book will be very different to the Harry Potter series, which has been published so brilliantly by Bloomsbury and my other publishers around the world. The freedom to explore new territory is a gift that Harry's success has brought me, and with that new territory it seemed a logical progression to have a new publisher.
I am delighted to have a second publishing home in Little, Brown, and a publishing team that will be a great partner in this new phase of my writing life.
The title and release date are yet to be announced, but it's safe to say exciting times lie ahead!
Update: According to a tweet from Jo Rowling, the novel will be released later this year and will be, "very different to Harry". She added, "I’ve enjoyed writing it every bit as much".
By Andy on 26 January 2012 at 01:01 GMT
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has received three nominations for the 84th Academy Awards (Oscars).
The film has been nominated for: Art Direction (Stuart Craig, pictured right, for production design and Stephanie McMillan for set decoration), Makeup (Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin) and Visual Effects (Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richardson).
Despite a large push by studio Warner Bros., the 'Potter' films were once again bizarrely snubbed by the Academy for consideration in the major categories.
By Andy on 9 December 2011 at 10:21 GMT
Warner Bros. and Universal have announced plans to expand The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park by bringing it to Universal Studios in Hollywood. The park in Florida will also be "significantly expanded".
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said of the decision, "I am delighted that The Wizarding World of Harry Potter has been so popular with fans since the opening in Orlando last year and I am sure that the teams at Universal and Warner Bros. will bring their expertise and attention to detail to Hollywood to make this new experience equally as exciting."
By Andy on 18 November 2011 at 11:50 GMT
I had the pleasure of attending the event, as well as a media preview earlier in the day, which was hosted at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum. James and Oliver, along with creative wizards Eddie Newquist and Robin Stapley, shared a number of interesting facts about the exhibition.
Notably, they spoke about the logistics of bringing such a large exhibition to Australia and some of the more recent props and costumes on show for the first time.
Here are some of the most interesting facts that were shared.
- It took 23 shipping containers and 40 days to bring Harry Potter: The Exhibition to Sydney.
- At one point, James and Oliver had to have their wands shipped back to Leavesden Studios for 'Deathly Hallows' filming.
- There's a mark on one of the Bludgers where it was dropped on set.
- There's authentic James and Oliver Phelps graffiti carvings on the Gryffindor table in the Great Hall.
- There are new props and costumes on show for the first time in Sydney, including the Hallows and Horcruxes (photos below).
- Bellatrix's costume is a new edition to the Sydney display (photo below).
Harry Potter: The Exhibition runs through until 18 March 2012 at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Tickets are now on sale.
By Andy on 13 November 2011 at 01:16 GMT
Alan Rickman has remained tight-lipped over the last decade about his portrayal of Severus Snape in the Harry Potter films. In a new interview with Warner Bros. France, Rickman opens up about the role.
By Andy on 6 November 2011 at 09:54 GMT
J.K. Rowling has revealed that she almost killed Ron Weasley in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
"Funnily enough, I planned from the start that none of them would die. Then midway through, which I think is a reflection of the fact that I wasn't in a very happy place, I started thinking I might polish one of them off. Out of sheer spite. 'There, now you definitely can't have him any more.' But I think in my absolute heart of heart of hearts, although I did seriously consider killing Ron, [I wouldn't have done it]," she told the actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the films and who was "convinced one of the main three had to buy it".
By Andy on 27 October 2011 at 23:10 GMT
David Heyman, Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe and Michael Gambon look at Harry's relationship with Dumbledore in this new video from "Harry Potter: the Quest".
There are also some great new behind-the-scenes shots in the clip. Watch it below.