Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint first took to the silver screen in 2001 in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Arriving at Hogwarts as the mysterious Harry Potter, brainiac Hermione Granger and loveable sidekick Ron Weasley, the trio immediately became household names, bringing author JK Rowling’s famed book series to life.
Then, a decade ago, Radcliffe, Watson and Grint hung up their Hogwarts robes and wands with the final chapter of the movie franchise.
Now, in a move sure to woo fans, the three actors – all aged in their 30s – will get back together for the first time. They will join director Chris Columbus to look back on their years playing their now-iconic characters in a TV special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.
A minute-long teaser released by HBO Max suggests that the cast will look back on their making of the franchise.
The teaser begins with Dumbledore’s famous line from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, mentioning before Hermione and Harry use a time-turner:
“When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin.”
The special will go to air on New Year’s Day 2022, ahead of the release of the latest Harry Potter prequel flick, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.
However, the latest mystery facing the wizarding trio is the notable absence of Rowling from the reunion.
In the years since the conclusion of the Potter franchise, Rowling has used her platform to speak about sex, gender and trans issues – sparking a barrage of backlash against the once widely loved author.
Rowling has been widely panned by critics and even Harry Potter cast members – which might explain her apparent exclusion from the reunion.
The special will be filmed on the movie set in London where the first film was made.
While Rowling won’t be there, other beloved Hogwarts alumni are confirmed to join in. Already confirmed special appearances include Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom).
Warner Bros spokesman Tom Ascheim said the TV special would take a “retrospective” look at the franchise.
“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,” he said.
Executive producer Casey Patterson said the cast were preparing to take their fans on a journey.
“There’s magic in the air here with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago. The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films.”
Emma Watson shared her excitement for the reunion on her Instagram account, along with an adorable throwback photo alongside co-stars Radcliffe and Grint.
“Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione (still is) my favorite fictional character of all time,” she said.
“Thank you to the fans that have continued to show their support well after the last chapter closed. The magic of the world wouldn’t exist without you. Thank you for fighting to make it such an inclusive and loving place.
“Happy 20th Anniversary Potterheads! We hope you enjoy the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts which will stream New Year’s day, Jan. 1 on HBO Max.”
Bonnie Wright, who played Ron’s sister, Ginny, echoed Watson’s excitement.
“Happy 20th anniversary to The Philosopher’s Stone, the movie that changed so many people’s lives,” she wrote.
“Little me pictured on platform 9 3/4 at age nine would never have thought in her wildest dreams she’d find a family like I did on the sets of Harry Potter.
“This anniversary is for every fan to celebrate! We would not be here without you, thank you a million times over!”