June 18, 2014 | 1:56 p.m.
Muggles: Have you booked your tickets for Florida yet? In its second phase, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the theme park experience based on J.K. Rowling’s saga, will open its Diagon Alley experience on July 8. The Diagon Alley attraction, modeled after the famous shopping thoroughfare visited by Hogwarts students and their magical families in the books and films, also will be home to a new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, designed to take patrons through the vaults of the famous Goblin bank. The new area will double the size of the Wizarding World already found at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, expanding the themed environment across that and the Universal Studios Florida park. Guests can journey between both lands aboard the Hogwarts Express. FULL COVERAGE: Harry Potter through the years At Diagon Alley, visitors will be […]
May 13, 2014 | 6:30 p.m.
Mark your calendars, J.K. Rowling fans: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the first film in Warner Bros.’ upcoming “Harry Potter” spinoff trilogy, will arrive in theaters Nov. 18, 2016, the studio confirmed Tuesday. Adapted by author Rowling, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will chronicle the adventures of its fictional author and Hufflepuff hero Newt Scamander, a magizoologist (one who studies magical creatures, of course). The character first appeared in the 42-page textbook of sorts from which the new trilogy takes its name; the book was originally published in 2001. The three movies will be written by Rowling herself. The saga will begin in New York 70 years prior to the events in the first “Harry Potter” novel and is designed to offer fans an “extension” of the wizarding world rendered in such detail in the worldwide […]
March 31, 2014 | 11:12 a.m.
When J.K. Rowling revealed plans for a “Harry Potter” spinoff film adapted from her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” fans rejoiced at the idea of returning to the wizarding world the author rendered in such detail in her worldwide bestsellers about the Boy Who Lived. Turns out, there will be more than just one movie. Warner Bros. has announced its intention to release a planned trilogy of films based on “Fantastic Beasts,” with all three screenplays written by Rowling herself. Originally published in 2001, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” arrived as a 42-page textbook of sorts, chronicling the adventures of its fictional author and Hufflepuff hero Newt Scamander — Newt is a magizoologist (one who studies magical creatures, of course). In a release issued last year when the first film project was originally announced, Rowling specified that […]
Jan. 23, 2014 | 11:59 a.m.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is getting an upgrade. Universal Orlando Resort has revealed new details for its planned expansion of its theme park experience based on J.K. Rowling’s saga — a re-creation of Diagon Alley, the famous shopping thoroughfare visited by Hogwarts students and their magical families before the beginning of every new school term. Diagon Alley also will be home to a new ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts, designed to take patrons through the vaults of the famous Goblin bank. According to a release issued by the theme park Thursday, the new attraction will feature a number of shops and eateries from Rowling’s bestsellers about the boy wizard. FULL COVERAGE: Harry Potter through the years Visitors will be able to purchase wands at Ollivanders and Hogwarts uniforms at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, […]
Sept. 13, 2013 | 1:38 p.m.
The news that J.K. Rowling is developing a “Harry Potter” spinoff movie left many magic-loving Muggles feeling a bit like Hogwarts third-years in Honeydukes Sweetshop — overwhelmed, yet hungry for more. The new Warner Bros. film will be based on Rowling’s textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of its fictitious author Newt Scamander, a Hufflepuff magizoologist. Many fans, including former “Potter” stars, rejoiced at the news of more stories from the wizarding world. But the announcement also offered some would-be wizards a glimmer of hope in the possibility of more spinoffs, prequels and sequels. If “Fantastic Beasts” indeed opens up a can of ashwinders, Hero Complex offers up some suggestions for future Rowling films. The original Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley weren’t the first young people to face off […]
Sept. 12, 2013 | 1:06 p.m.
News that J.K. Rowling is writing a “Harry Potter” spinoff movie has magical-minded Muggles, including actors from the original films, abuzz on Twitter. The author and Warner Bros. on Thursday morning unveiled a new agreement to make more movies based on Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — a 42-page textbook of sorts, published in 2001 after the fourth “Harry Potter” novel — and the adventures of its fictional author, Newt Scamander. “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,” Rowling said in a press release. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to […]
Feb. 13, 2013 | 1:08 p.m.
Harry Potter is getting a makeover — no magic wand necessary. A new cover for “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was unveiled Wednesday, the first of seven new Harry Potter book covers on the way. The new covers will appear on the U.S. paperback edition beginning in September, timed to coincide with the 15th anniversary of the U.S. publication of the first in J.K. Rowling’s mega-successful series. The artist behind the new covers is Kazu Kibuishi of Alhambra, Calif., known for the graphic novel series “Amulet.” Each of the seven covers will pluck a memorable moment from the book, and will also be available as a boxed set. Albert Brooks takes bait, signs on for “Finding Nemo 2″ Kibuishi is a longtime Harry Potter fan who called this opportunity “more than a little surreal,” according to a statement posted […]
Dec. 20, 2012 | 9:00 a.m.
J.K. Rowling has a little holiday gift for Harry Potter fans. The first seven chapters of “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” launched on Pottermore.com today, with a series of new interactive illustrations featuring some of the characters, places, objects and creatures that populate the third book in the much-loved fantasy series. Want to learn more about famous Boggarts of the past? Or what Dumbledore gave to Hagrid’s predecessor Professor Kettleburn on his retirement? Or the origin of the wizard adage “I’ll take Cadogan’s pony?” Well, you’re about to be in a wealth of luck, according to a statement issued by the Pottermore folks about the new content. Rowling announced the creation of Pottermore in 2011, describing the site as a new “online reading experience” in which fans of any age could “share, participate in and rediscover the stories” involving […]
Nov. 28, 2012 | 3:53 p.m.
“Wonderbook: Book of Spells,” a new game released exclusively for PlayStation 3 earlier this month, uses augmented reality to transport the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry into a player’s living room. The game, which relies on PlayStation’s Eye camera and Move motion wand, was created in collaboration with “Harry Potter” author J. K. Rowling and allows would-be wizards to learn and cast spells — Incendio, Wingardium Leviosa, Alohomora and many more that will be familiar to any Potter fan. Hero Complex caught up via email with Dave Ranyard, the director of Sony’s London Studio, which designed the game, to talk about the origins of the game and Rowling’s influence. HC: Can you tell us a little about how the project came about? What inspired this augmented reality book/game combination? DR: The London Studio started making augmented reality games back in […]
June 07, 2012 | 11:46 a.m.
After eight movies, a theme park and a slew of video games, Harry Potter’s magical world is returning to its roots: A book. As we reported earlier this week, PlayStation’s “Book of Spells” — announced at E3 2012 in Los Angeles — will allow would-be wizards to wield wands and learn charms in their living rooms through augmented reality. The virtual storybook uses the console’s PlayStation Eye camera, Move motion controller and a new, book-shaped peripheral called Wonderbook, paving the way for other titles in the future. “Book of Spells” will feature charms familiar to Hogwarts aficionados as well as new writing from Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Hero Complex talked with Book of Spells programmer Andrew Ellis and got a hands-on Wonderbook demo. Check it out in the video above. – Noelene Clark RECENT AND RELATED Harry Potter: A fictional life […]