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New Details on Harry Potter – A History Of Magic Documentary
Posted by Megs

BBC has released some new information on their upcoming documentary, Harry Potter – A History Of Magic which will be airing on Saturday 28 October from 9.00pm-10.00pm on BBC TWO.

It’s 20 years since J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone first cast its spell on readers across the globe, thanks to the charm, warmth and imagination of its wizarding world. But Rowling’s fantastical creation wasn’t entirely make-believe…

To mark the 20th anniversary of her book, the BBC presents an enchanting new documentary, uncovering the real life traditions of magic at the heart of Harry Potter.

A thrilling journey through legends, belief and folklore, this film goes behind the scenes with the British Library as they search to tell that story through objects in their collection, in an ambitious new exhibition: Harry Potter: A History Of Magic.

J.K. Rowling, who is lending unseen manuscripts, drawings and drafts from her private archives (which will sit alongside treasures from the British Library, as well as original drafts and drawings from Jim Kay) talks about some of the personal items she has lent to the exhibition and gives new insight into her writing, looking at some of the objects from the exhibition that have fired her imagination.

Readings from famous fans playfully recreates some of the best-loved spells, potions and magical moments from the books, and, as we follow the process of the exhibition, we discover modern magic’s counterparts – from real life wandmakers to Quidditch enthusiasts.

Viewers will discover an unexpected relationship between magic, belief and science: from the Anglo-Saxon spells that cure MRSA to the so-called witches who pioneered contemporary medicine and the ancient stargazers who first mapped the wonders of the night sky.

Filed Under: Books, JK Rowling
J.K. Rowling Appearing on ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ This Weekend
Posted by Megs

A new interview with J.K. Rowling will be airing on CBS Sunday Morning on September 24th beginning at 9am. Mark Phillips talks with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling about the sensation of the London stage (and coming soon to Broadway): “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” The show is 90 minutes long and Jo’s segment could air at any point during the show.

This episode launches the 40th anniversary of the show. According to the press release:

America’s #1 Sunday morning news program, will launch its 40th anniversary season with a new set and an exciting lineup of stories that includes profiles of Shania Twain and J.K. Rowling, along with a look at the fall season in art, movies, books and music, on Sunday, Sept. 24 (9:00 AM) on the CBS Television Network.

The broadcast will mark the first reimagining of the signature set since CBS SUNDAY MORNING launched on Jan. 28, 1979.

“The new set is evocative of the one viewers have come to love since the launch of the broadcast,” said CBS SUNDAY MORNING executive producer Rand Morrison. “The goal is to enhance the visual experience for our viewers, while not shocking them with dramatic changes. The colors are refreshed, the building materials updated, and we have a bit more flexibility in what we can do in the studio.”

The previous set was dismantled and the new set constructed in place over the course of a week leading up to the season premiere. The new set (designed by Jack Morton Worldwide) is a round, multi-level creation that provides multiple positions for anchor Jane Pauley. Additional elements, such as thin tower video panels, will be added in the coming weeks.

In addition to profiles of country star Shania Twain by Lee Cowan and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling by Mark Phillips, the Sept. 24 broadcast will feature Susan Spencer’s cover story on the trend in children being given unusual names; 60 MINUTES correspondent Lesley Stahl’s chat with author and bookstore owner Ann Patchett; David Edelstein’s preview of the fall season in movies; Anna Werner’s look at what’s ahead in art; Serena Altschul’s report on a museum filled with artifacts found by sanitation engineer; and Tracy Smith’s interview with Iain Armitage, star of the new CBS comedy YOUNG SHELDON.

Thanks to SnitchSeeker for the tip.

Filed Under: Harry Potter And The Cursed Child, JK Rowling
SURPRISE! J.K. Rowling Reveals Title for 4th Strike Novel
Posted by Megs

This morning on twitter, J.K. Rowling played a little game with fans to reveal the title for her 4th Cormoran Strike novel! It didn’t take long for one lucky fan to work out the puzzle and come up with “Lethal White.” There is still no release date for the book but at least now we have a little something to hold us over.

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Filed Under: JK Rowling, Robert Galbraith
J.K. Rowling Redesigns Official Website; Answers Fantastic Beasts Questions
Posted by Megs

Today J.K. Rowling has unveiled a new design to her official website. At the end of the introductory article, she answers some frequently asked Fantastic Beasts questions! The answers (including one on Chamber of Secrets) may be read below.

1.     Why couldn’t Newt just Apparate to the USA? Why did he go by boat?
Apparition becomes increasingly risky over long distances. As with most magic, much depends on the skill of the spell-caster: Apparition requires knowledge of the terrain to which one is moving, or the ability to visualise it clearly. Cross-continental Apparition would almost certainly result in severe injury or death.

Moreover, the beasts in Newt’s case had varying magical natures. Some could have Apparated with him, but others could not.

2.    Why did Newt go in through No-Maj customs?
He was transporting magical creatures at a time when this was illegal. No-Majs were far easier to fool than the wizarding checkpoint would have been.

3.    Why couldn’t Newt use ‘Accio’ to retrieve all his beasts?
‘Accio’ only works on inanimate objects. While people or creatures may be indirectly moved by ‘Accio-ing’ objects that they are wearing or holding, this carries all kinds of risks because of the likelihood of injury to the person or beast attached to an object travelling at close to the speed of light.

4.    Why isn’t Veritaserum used in interrogations?
It is, but skilled wizards can avoid its effects by using antidotes and charms. A gifted Occlumens could also resist Veritaserum.

5.    Why did ‘revelio’ undo the effects of Polyjuice Potion?
It didn’t. Grindelwald’s Transfiguration surpasses that of most wizards, so he used a spell, not a potion, to take on the appearance of Percival Graves.

6.    Why didn’t Harry Potter develop an Obscurus?
An Obscurus is developed under very specific conditions: trauma associated with the use of magic, internalized hatred of one’s own magic and a conscious attempt to suppress it.

The Dursleys were too frightened of magic ever to acknowledge its existence to Harry. While Vernon and Petunia had a confused hope that if they were nasty enough to Harry his strange abilities might somehow evaporate, they never taught him to be ashamed or afraid of magic. Even when he was scolded for ‘making things happen’, he didn’t make any attempt to suppress his true nature, nor did he ever imagine that he had the power to do so.

And finally, an oldie but a perennial favourite…
7.    Why wasn’t the Horcrux inside Harry destroyed when he was bitten by the Basilisk in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

A Horcrux can only be destroyed if its container is damaged beyond repair. Harry was healed by Fawkes. Had he died, the Horcrux would indeed have been destroyed.

PS I’m being asked all kinds of excellent questions about Fantastic Beasts that I can’t answer right now, because the answers would give away too much about future plots. If your burning question isn’t here, you are probably safe to assume that it will be answered in the sequels!

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, JK Rowling
Video: JK Rowling and Eddie Redmayne Talk Lumos at Fantastic Beasts Screening
Posted by Megs

This past Saturday we were in attendance at a special screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. J.K. Rowling and Eddie Redmayne spoke at the screening to support her charity, Lumos. They shed a light on the very important issue of children being institutionalized at orphanages. Their message of the evening was that if you want to help children donate to community based organizations rather than orphanages.

The special advance screening, of the new Warner Bros. feature film, with box office ticket sales and proceeds from an online sweepstakes going directly to support Lumos’ work, is part of We Are Lumos Worldwide, a global campaign to raise awareness and urge people to get involved with the non-profit organization’s work to bring the 8 million hidden children in orphanages around the world to light, and get them home to families.

Lumos have sent over a short clip from their conversation.

Update: The full video is now available:

Sitting across from each other on the stage of perhaps the most celebrated concert hall in America, before an enthralled sold-out audience, the acclaimed writer and actor talked at length about the work of Lumos in helping children around the world to leave orphanages and institutions and return them to their families.

“We know that children who are raised in institutions suffer developmental delays, that they tend to be physically stunted, they normally have psychological trauma – it is just not what nature intended for children to be herded together and not given individual love and care,” said J.K. Rowling. “This is an entirely solvable issue. Lumos’ ambition – and we believe it’s achievable – is that by 2050, we will have ended institutionalization globally.”

She concluded: “The last thing I would say, particularly to young people in the audience today – I would reiterate that we need to change minds… do a little bit of research, and make sure you are supporting families to stay together.”

The two artists went on to talk about the new film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and were joined on stage by director David Yates and cast members Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol, before introducing the film to the nearly 3,000 guests at Carnegie Hall.

Filed Under: Eddie Redmayne, Fantastic Beasts Films, JK Rowling
HBO Acquires Rights for ‘Cormoran Strike’ in US and Canada
Posted by Megs

Deadline reports that HBO has acquired the rights for BBC One’s adaption of J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series. We reported a rumor of this partnership back in November of last year.

Tom Burke will star as the detective in Cormoran Strike, which will air as three separate event series, the three-hour The Cuckoo’s Calling, two-hour The Silkworm and two-hour Career Of Evil. Jo also confirmed via Twitter that Robin Ellacott has been cast but left us in suspense as to who it will be.

J.K. Rowling executive produces the series and two writers have worked on the episodes. Ben Richards wrote The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm, and Tom Edge wrote Career of Evil. Michael Keillor will direct The Cuckoo’s Calling. Filming starts this fall in London.

Filed Under: JK Rowling, Robert Galbraith, The Cormoran Strike Mysteries
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