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“Today” Show No Longer Broadcasting from Universal Friday
Posted by Megs

The Orlando Sentinal is reporting that the Today show will no longer be broadcasting from Universal Orlando this Friday as we reported yesterday. Universal spokesman Tom Schroder said:

“Plans for live broadcasts are ever-changing things, any attempt to draw conclusions beyond that would just be wrong.”

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park
Daniel Radcliffe Talks His Career with Newsday
Posted by Megs

Newsday has posted a new interview with Daniel Radcliffe where he talks about his career and newest projects such as Frankenstein and The Cripple of Inishmaan.  One of the questions was about his role as Igor in the new rendition of Frankenstein, out in 2015.

Tell me about Igor — only one of the most beloved characters ever. This film has a new take?

There are so many Frankenstein stories out there. It’s like Max Landis has sewn together the dead corpses of other Frankenstein films, books and mythologies to make this. Igor gets a backstory, which we’ve never seen before, and the relationship between him and Dr. Frankenstein is more level. A lot of it is just Victor going insane and me trying to drag him back from the edge. But, yeah, it’s a really good dark adventure movie.

Will there be a hump?

There will. Not for the whole film, though, so I’ll leave that to your imagination.

He also mentions Kill Your Darlings and What If? (previously called The F Word):

She [a fan] wondered what your favorite post-Harry role has been.

Probably Ginsberg in “Kill Your Darlings.” That’s a bit old for her. There’s a film coming out in August called “What If?” A sweet, lovely romantic comedy.

Ah, you hang out and play suave?

Oh, no — not suave. I don’t get cast as suave. I get cast as charmingly self-deprecating and a little bit nervy.

Filed Under: Daniel Radcliffe
HBO and BBC To Co-Produce ‘The Casual Vacancy’ Miniseries
Posted by Megs

It has been revealed today, by The Wrap, that HBO and BBC will be co-producing the tv series based on J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. We posted way back in December 2012 that the BBC would be producing the series and now have some more details. The episodes will be one hour each with both HBO and BBC airing the three-part mini-series,.

The production, which will air in three one-hour installments, will begin production this summer in South West England, HBO president of programming Michael Lombardo announced Wednesday. The BBC announced plans for an adaptation in 2012, the same year the novel, Rowling’s first post-”Harry Potter” book, was released.

The miniseries is being produced by Bronte Film and Television, the independent production company run by Rowling and Neil Blair, who is executive producing with Paul Trijbits (“Saving Mr. Banks” Golden Globe winner “”Dancing on the Edge”) and Rick Senat.

It is written by Sarah Phelps (“EastEnders,” the BBC’s “Great Expectations” and “The Crimson Field”) produced by Ruth Kenley-Letts (“The Tunnel,” “The Hour”) and directed by Jonny Campbell (“In the Flesh,” “Eric & Ernie”).

The story centers on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. But behind the pretty exterior is a town in conflict between rich and poor, teenagers and parents, husbands and wives, and students and teachers.

Filed Under: Books, JK Rowling
UK Harry Potter Illustrator Clare Melinsky Talks Potter Artwork
Posted by Megs

Culture 24 reports that one of the illustrators of the Harry Potter books, Clare Melinsky, will be showing her work at some exhibitions in the next few months.  Clare is responsible for the “Signature Look” designs for Bloomsbury that were released back in 2010. They also talked with the artist about her Harry Potter designs.

“I had to cover up what was on my desk so even my friends didn’t know what I was working on,” she says, discussing the secrecy which proved the hardest part of the project. “There were many times when I sat up reading the text deep into the night so I could get the illustrations just right. And sometimes I went out in search of places that would give me inspiration.”

Once the covers were out, Melinsky swiftly won new-found admiration from her nephews and nieces, inspired by a local landmark.

“Many people assume that the picture of platform 9¾ in on the back cover of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is from Kings Cross. In fact it’s not – it’s the railway station at Dumfries. And the gravestones on The Deathly Hallows are also from reality. I based them on the old graveyard at Morton in Dumfries and Galloway.”

She will be part of the following:

D&G|OUT is at James Harvey British Art, London from April 24-26. Clare Melinsky will be discussing her work on April 24 at 6pm. Tickets £8, visit spring_fling.eventbrite.co.uk to book.

Spring Fling, the popular annual event in the region, will feature 95 Scottish artists in a series of open studios from May 24-26.

Filed Under: Books
Wizarding World’s Diagon Alley Expansion to Open in ‘Second Quarter’
Posted by Megs

The Orlando Business Journal reports this morning that during Comcast Corp.’s first quarter conference call they revealed that the Diagon Alley expansion of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Orlando will be opening by the end of the second quarter.  This means that the park will hopefully be open by the end of June, which many fans have already speculated. But this is always subject to change.

The Orlando Sentinal is also reporting that The Today Show will be broadcasting from Universal Orlando this Friday, April 25th and the exact opening date could possibly be revealed then. The article states:

A Universal Orlando spokesman confirmed Monday that Today will broadcast from the resort at the end of the week, though he would not say whether the show will include an opening date announcement for Diagon Alley, which is being built in the Universal Studios Florida theme park.

Finally, all this week, EXTRA will be holding a contest to win a trip to the Grand Opening with host Mario Lopez.  Watch EXTRA every day to see the word of the day and enter here to win.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park
Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan Opening July 15 2014
Posted by Megs

Universal Studios Japan have announced a grand opening date for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It will open to the public on July 15th, 2014. Evanna Lynch and Stuart Craig (production designer) were at an event in Osaka to make the announcement. A press release may be read below:

Universal Studios Japan hosted an event today, to celebrate the announcement of the Grand Opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” which meticulously recreates some of the iconic locations from the world of Harry Potter. Universal Studios Japan revealed that “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” will open on July 15, 2014. The announcement culminated with the unveiling of the magnificent Hogwarts castle, the focal point of the land.

Universal Studios Japan welcomed special guests from Japan and around the globe: Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan; Ms. Caroline Kennedy, Ambassador of the United States of America to Japan; Academy Award®-winning art director and production designer for the Harry Potter films, Stuart Craig; actress Evanna Lynch, who played “Luna Lovegood” in the Harry Potter film series; world-renowned architect Tadao Ando; and Universal Studios Japan ambassadors, and beloved musical act, SMAP, gathered for the celebration.

When Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy announced the opening date, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a spectacular show of lights and brilliant fireworks.

Event Overview

The evening’s celebration began with an “owl” delivering a letter from Hogwarts to President and CEO of Universal Studios Japan, Mr. Glenn Gumpel, who was revealed on stage with the letter in hand to introduce the honored guests.

Guests Evanna Lynch, Stuart Craig, Tadao Ando and SMAP were greeted on stage with loud cheers, and the appearance of United States Ambassador Kennedy was met with thunderous applause. Following her remarks, she introduced special guest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, for the momentous occasion.

With distinguished guests from around the world gathered, Mr. Gumpel presented the letter from the wizarding world to Prime Minister Abe and Ambassador Kennedy, who together, reading from the letter, announced “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” opening date. At that moment, Hogwarts castle was illuminated with a radiant light show with fireworks, which unveiled its towering scale and lit up the night sky.

Following additional remarks by Prime Minister Abe, Ms. Evanna Lynch led the guests in casting the spell “Lumos!” followed by more dazzling fireworks to the further the excitement and joy of the crowd.

A special website, where you can begin to explore “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” online, has now launched. Please visit www.usj.co.jp/harrypotter in the official Universal Studios Japan website.

Universal Studios Japan received an annual 10 million visitors for the second time this past March 19 (day 353 of fiscal year), which is the first time USJ has achieved this milestone since the park’s opening in 2001, and, thanks to all, continues to perform strongly. With the much-anticipated opening of “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter,” USJ looks to continue to attract more visitors from both Japan and worldwide.

Filed Under: Harry Potter Theme Park
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