Harry Potter

June 05, 2012 | 9:40 a.m.

E3: J.K. Rowling conjures up ‘Book of Spells’

"The Book of Spells," published by Sony and Pottermore, is part magical reference manual, part game.
Muggles can now get a taste of Hogwarts. In partnership with J.K. Rowling, Sony on Monday announced an interactive title called “Book of Spells.” Part-game, part-book, the title lets readers learn about spells used in the “Harry Potter” film and book series — and then practice “casting” them via Sony’s PlayStation 3 Move motion controller. The book – or is it a game? — will feature some original writing by Rowling, though it remained unclear to what degree. “Book of Spells” was conjured up by Rowling’s new Pottermore division, which sells electronic versions of the author’s Harry Potter titles. The title, priced at $39.99 for both the physical book and a game disc, will use a new book-shaped peripheral called Wonderbook, which does some conjuring of its own by creating augmented reality to enhance stories and educational titles through the PS3. […]
March 27, 2012 | 9:32 a.m.

‘Harry Potter’ e-books: J.K. Rowling series finally goes digital

Harry Potter (featured image)
This post has been corrected, as detailed below. Would-be wizards can now purchase the “Harry Potter” novels as e-books through Pottermore, author J.K. Rowling’s virtual world for magic-loving Muggles. All seven books in the series are now on sale in the Pottermore Shop, marking the first time the “Harry Potter” series — which shattered book sales records and spawned the most successful movie franchise of all time — is available in digital format. The books are available in English print and audio formats, in their U.S. and U.K. editions, with four other languages on the way, including Spanish, French, Italian and German. They are being released in the popular EPUB format, which is compatible with most e-readers, including Amazon’s Kindle, Barnes & Noble’s Nook, Sony’s Reader and devices using Google Play. The digital books range from $7.99 to $9.99 individually […]
Dec. 30, 2011 | 12:26 p.m.

‘Harry Potter’: Alan Rickman looks back on decade of dark magic

Alan Rickman (featured image)
No one sneers or snarls quite like Alan Rickman and, looking back on a cinematic decade of “Harry Potter,” his Severus Snape now stands as the franchise’s most fascinating figure after being revealed in the eighth film as misunderstood double-agent motivated by long-lost love. According to David Yates, the director of the final four “Potter” movies, there was a similar sort of aura around Rickman on the set when he wore the black robes and sour scowl of his character even when the cameras weren’t rolling. “My early reaction to Alan was, ‘Wow, he’s really prickly and quite unpleasant,’” Yates said during a recent Los Angeles visit. “But there’s a method to his madness. I realized that he has to get in that zone when he’s on the set. When I finally met him away from the job, he was […]
Dec. 01, 2011 | 10:16 a.m.

‘Harry Potter’ director David Yates looks to ‘Doctor Who’ future

David Yates (featured image)
What do you do after the magic is gone? That’s the career question facing David Yates, the director who this year delivered his fourth “Harry Potter” film and watched it go on to $1.3 billion in worldwide box office along with the best reviews of the entire era-defining franchise. On Tuesday, sipping tea and sitting in the sun on the patio of a Los Angeles hotel, the soft-spoken 48-year-old said he was still trying to sort out his emotions as well as his ambitions, which include a “Doctor Who” feature film. “It’s so hard to contextualize. I’m not sure how I feel. I’ve gotten much more opportunity, I know that, but how do I feel? I feel … well, I’m still in recovery, frankly. I’m recovering from six and half years of incredibly intense schedules and expectations. I have post-Hogwarts Syndrome. We were joking […]
Nov. 19, 2011 | 6:49 a.m.

Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide for 2011

Gift Guide (featured image)
Are you looking for a magical gift for that special Muggle in your life? Do you need to send a wrapped present to a Time Lord in the near future? Or maybe you’re an enterprising soul who just can’t figure out the logical thing to bring to the holodeck holiday party? Well, no worries, just mind-meld with us because we’re here to save the day. Look, up in the photo gallery, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…the Hero Complex Holiday Gift Guide. Flip through the gallery image above to see the best geeky gifts around and read our review (be sure to click the “CAPTIONS ON” option). Also below, grouped by price range, you’ll find those same gift suggestions listed with handy links to help you get your shopping done at light speed. May the nog be with you. – Noelene Clark […]
Nov. 18, 2011 | 12:36 p.m.

‘The Simpsons’ and Neil Gaiman heist ‘Twilight,’ ‘Hunger Games’

Simpsons (featured image)
Ever feel like the world’s bookshelf has been hijacked by “Harry Potter,” “Twilight” and “The Hunger Games“?  If so, you might want to visit Springfield this Sunday night when”The Simpsons” delivers one of its most ambitious episodes — an elaborate heist spoof that finds Homer, Bart and guest star Neil Gaiman trying to steal the thunder of today’s mega-successful publishing series. The episode, titled “The Book Job,” is a parody of Steven Soderbergh’s “Ocean’s Eleven” (and, yes, that is Andy Garcia playing the wealthy, cold-blooded heavy) but it saves its most savage parody for today’s novels of the fantastic which target young-skewing audiences. And, according to Matt Selman, an executive producer and longtime “Simpsons” writer, the episode has stirred excitement for the show’s creative team. “The show is all about the world of young-adult fantasy novels, as Homer assembles a team of Springfielders to write […]
Sept. 07, 2011 | 9:30 a.m.

‘Harry Potter,’ ‘X-Men: First Class’ lead Scream Awards

"X-Men: First Class," left, and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- Part 1." (20th Century Fox / Warner Bros.)
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2″ and “X-Men: First Class” lead the way with 14 nominations each for Spike TV’s Scream Awards 2011, the televised trophy franchise that has become the sci-fi, horror and fantasy universe’s equivalent of the MTV Video Music Awards. The sixth annual Scream Awards will be taped Oct. 15 on the Universal lot and then air as a two-hour show on Oct. 18. Other notable nominees include “Captain America: The First Avenger” (11 nominations), “Thor” (nine), “True Blood” (seven), “Game of Thrones (seven) and AMC’s “The Walking Dead” (six). Voting is done by fans who visit the Spike TV website. In the world of comic books, the nominees for best writer are Ed Brubaker, Joe Hill, Robert Kirkman, Grant Morrison and Mike Mignola, while the field for best artist — Charlie Adlard, Mark Buckingham, Duncan Fegredo, John […]
Aug. 17, 2011 | 10:20 a.m.

Daniel Radcliffe gives chills in ‘The Woman in Black’ trailer

Daniel Radcliffe (featured image)
Fresh from the wizarding world, “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe is trying his hand at horror in the upcoming film “The Woman in Black.” A new trailer shows Radcliffe in a creepy mansion, playing a young attorney sent to settle the affairs of a deceased client. There, he discovers the ghost of a scorned woman, the mysterious “woman in black.” The film also stars Ciarán Hinds, another “Harry Potter” actor, who played Aberforth Dumbledore in the franchise’s final film. The Potter story got darker with each new film, so the horror role seems like a natural (and smart) move for 22-year-old Radcliffe. The film is based on Susan Hill’s 1983 novel. A stage adaptation by Stephen Mallatratt, which was first produced in 1989, is still performed in London’s West End. The story has received several TV movie treatments, but the 2012 film, […]
Aug. 05, 2011 | 2:44 p.m.

‘Harry Potter’ stars say final scene was a challenge for the ages

Harry Potter epilogue (featured image)
No other scene in the eight “Harry Potter” films created more angst for filmmakers than the epilogue of the final movie, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” a movie that last week crossed the $1 billion mark in worldwide box office. There were no chained dragons, hairy hippogriffs or crackling magic energies in the sequence — it’s a few minutes of quiet dialogue between parents and their children in a train station — but the anxiety of it all was so smothering that the franchise’s star, Daniel Radcliffe, at one point wanted to sit out the scene. “I think they should do it with older actors and just leave us out of the scene,” Radcliffe said two years ago during a quiet moment on the stone-floor movie set where he has spent half of his working life […]
July 29, 2011 | 6:35 a.m.

‘Harry Potter’: Did 3-D really make the film more magical?

Just like Severus Snape, Hugh Murray presented an ambiguous figure in the “Harry Potter” universe. In the end, would he be an unexpected hero — or just another 3-D bad guy? Hugh Murray, IMAX’s senior vice president of film production, performed his dark arts as the stereographer on “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2,” guiding and filtering the 3-D conversion process for director David Yates. The stakes for Murray and Yates were high; the finale film in the Warner Bros. eight-film adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s “Potter” epic was the first to be released fully in 3-D, and the demands of history — not to mention muggle fans all across the globe — put plenty of pressure on the team. “It’s always interesting and scary,” Murray said, “to wait and see what the world thinks.” The world seems pretty happy. The movie was released July […]
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