JK Rowling

Harry and the Dursleys

There are plenty of things that are extremely satisfying about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter franchise, her bestselling seven-book series that spawned no less than eight of the most popular movies of all time, but there’s one thing that most fans of the series can generally agree on as being one of the most satisfying: that young Harry ends the series with his own, wonderful, loving, magical family. Let’s back up here a moment, in case you’re in need of a refresher (or, God forbid, you’re not familiar with Harry, which seems impossible at this point). When we first meet young Harry, he’s an orphan forced to live under the stairs at his aunt and uncle’s house. His aunt and uncle Dursley are not exactly nice people, to the point that they’re basically emotionally abusing him (and they’re certainly not magical), and his cousin Dudley is one hell of a bully. They’re duds, and the time that Harry spends living with them before being all but rescued by Hagrid and taken to Hogwarts to hone his magical talents and yes, sniff sniff, to meet the friends who will become his family, is a terrible, horrible time. So why would anyone want to see a production that focuses on Harry’s early years?

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You should probably hold your hands tightly over your ears for the next few moments so your head doesn’t blast off into orbit. According to her Facebook page, J.K. Rowling will be making her screenwriting debut with “an extension of the wizarding world” called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. “It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts’, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. . . That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. . . I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.” The author also notes that it’s the start to a potential series of films, and that the first kicks off in New York 70 years before Harry gets that first owl invitation to Hogwarts. If this really turns into a series (and why wouldn’t it?), I’m psyched for The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection only slightly […]

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Culture Warrior

That the final Harry Potter film became the biggest opening weekend of all time seemed only natural and inevitable. Something so monumentally culturally pervasive could have only gone out with a loud bang. After all, it is – as I’ve been repeatedly reminded – the most successful movie franchise of all time, adapted from a series of books whose sales history rivals that of The Holy Bible. Yet unlike some head scratch-inducing huge opening weekends of the more uninspired entries of blockbusting franchises who rival Harry Potter in their monetary intake but not their longevity (Spider-Man 3, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest) and the former reigning champ whose buzz was accompanied by fascination with the untimely death of a star (The Dark Knight), the mass participation in the cultural event that was the release of Deathly Hallows Part 2 won’t likely be rivaled anytime soon. The Harry Potter films simultaneously represent the inevitable logical extent of franchise filmmaking as much as it is exceptional and anomalous in this same regard.

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If you’re not excited about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, I would direct you to the review written by our own Cole Abaius. If you can’t be bothered to read such things in advance of the final Potter episode, you could watch this new featurette released by Warner Bros. today. “The Story of Snape” includes some spoilers from two movies ago, so tread lightly if you feel the need. If you’re up on your Hogwarts tales, this one seems like a necessary primer for what is to come where the final chapter hits theaters this week.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The cash cow that is Harry Potter just got even bigger.

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When J.K. Rowling announced at Carnegie Hall that Dumbledore was gay, she did a great service to closet organizers everywhere. The doors are open now, folks, and South Park didn’t have to do a thing. They can now leave Tom Cruise alone and pick on someone their own size.

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