Harry Potter cast reunites 20 years after the release of their first film, celebrates success

Shannon Maye, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Eight movies and 7.7 billion dollars later, the creators and cast of the Harry Potter series sat down to reminisce their time making the films. The Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts special released on January 1, exclusively on HBO Max.

The success of the early books was so immense that the movies started to be produced before Rowling actually finished writing all seven books. The release of the first two movies came in 2001 and 2002, before the fifth book, Order of the Phoenix, was even published. As the movies grew in popularity, they started releasing quickly. The Goblet of Fire movie came out just four months after Rowling published the sixth book, the Half Blood Prince.

As it typically happens when books get translated to cinema, some parts of the book don’t make it into the film on account of keeping the movie an appropriate length. This was the case for many of the films, with the exception of Deathly Hallows. The final installment in the series had so many important parts that couldn’t be cut in the translation to film that it was split into two parts, both over two hours long. As most books or series that get turned into films usually are only produced a couple years after the books are published, Harry Potter is once again an exception thanks to the huge fan base it gained in a short amount of time. This fan base, became known as “Potterheads” around the world.

“Millions would now read books who would never have [voluntarily] lifted up a book in their lives. And suddenly you realize the power of writing,” Robbie Coltrane, actor of Hagrid said.

Growing up in front of the camera on the set of a big movie franchise was an experience only the castmates could relate to. The experiences and struggles they faced, although difficult, brought them closer together and allowed them to “always be bonded” as Grint stated
during the reunion special. The other bright side to their early fame was a respectable acting career ahead of them with many new projects.

“There are people on these films that are foundational to who I am as a person and an actor. I feel so lucky to be where I am and to have the life that I have and be able to work with the people I work with now. But none of it is possible without this. It was a very good ten years,” Radcliffe said.

Harry Potter continues to live within the cast and fans alike as the movies will continue to be rewatched in years to come. From The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Disney World, to a real life “Platform 9 3⁄4” in London, there are dozens of destinations Potterheads will always visit to bring the beloved books and movies to life.