Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts trailer from Sky

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Author JK Rowling’s attendance at the 20th-anniversary show was widely speculated by all ahead of its release. In 2020 Rowling faced backlash from the Harry Potter community after she openly spoke about transgender issues due to her personal experiences with domestic abuse. After the release of the HBO Max special on Saturday morning, Rowling is reportedly referenced just 10 times in the one hour and 42 minutes special, despite being the creator of the entire franchise.

The Harry Potter reunion, Return To Hogwarts, hit screens on Saturday morning after being highly anticipated by eager fans.

The reunion sees some of the actors from the eight films rejoin and reminisce about their experiences during their time in the franchise, 20 years later.

Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts was created to honour the franchise’s 20th anniversary and sees main characters Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and director Chris Columbus discuss the films.

The magical event will also feature actors Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, and many more.

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However, despite a lot of the cast coming together to celebrate the success of the series, JK Rowling had little airtime during the special.

She was referenced just 10 times in the special as footage from 2019 was used.

The minimal appearance of the author came as a shock to fans, who rightly highlighted the franchise wouldn’t have existed without her seven books.

The first mention of the author came from director Chris Columbus as he explained how he became involved in the movies.

He says: “I had to fly to Edinburgh to meet Jo Rowling, and I said: ‘This is my vision of the movies’, and she said she had the same.”

Her next mention came from Bonnie Wright, who played Ginny Weasley, as she praised: “So many people were falling in love with her writing.”

An archive shot of Rowling at a signing for the first book was played, while Robbie Coltrane, who played Hagrid, reminded fans of how she helped people establish their love for Harry Potter in the early Noughties.

The only footage of the author speaking to camera about her experiences with the franchise is a previous segment from a 2019 interview, which has been continuously shared throughout the years.

In the interview, she is seen discussing the struggle she and the casting crew faced trying to find the perfect actor to play Harry in the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Chris also mentioned the fact Rowling had to create a Quidditch rule book for everyone as they struggled to understand the wizarding rules.

Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, revealed how she was in touch with Rowling before she got the part and described them as pen pals.

 “I was writing to JK Rowling from when I was about 11 to say thank you for the books, and she was responding to me. I’m one of the few lucky people who can say I had her as a pen friend.”

Her final appearance throughout the special is again referred back to the 2019 interview where she candidly says: “I have founded a world that’s extraordinary to be involved in, and it’s a beautiful world.”

Prior to the show airing, it was revealed that it was Rowling herself who had opted out of the reunion, not the choice of the producers.

When the author was approached about her involvement to film new footage for the special, she and her team determined that the interview shown in 2019 was enough.

Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts is available to watch on Sky and streaming on Sky NOW. 

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