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J.K. Rowling’s new book ‘The Casual Vacancy’ out 27 September

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.

J.K. Rowling working on a novel for adults, out later this year

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling today announced that she is working on her first novel since ‘Potter’, a story for adults.

J.K. Rowling working on a novel for adultsAlthough 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”.

‘Deathly Hallows: Part 2’ receives three Oscar nominations, snubbed in the major categories

Stuart Craig has received multiple Oscar nominations for his work on the eight Harry Potter films.

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.

‘Wizarding World of Harry Potter’ theme park coming to Hollywood

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.”

James and Oliver Phelps launch ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ in Sydney

James and Oliver Phelps with Andy McCray of Harry Potter Fan ZoneLast night, James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films) attended the gala launch of Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Sydney.

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.

Alan Rickman opens up about playing Severus Snape

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.

Harry Potter : Interview d'Alan Rickman by WarnerBrosPicturesFrance