Hearts broke across the world for Harry Potter fans when Richard Harris died in 2002. Warner Bros. was only two movies deep into the eight-film franchise and they’d already lost the perfect Dumbledore. The British actor embodied J.K. Rowling’s beloved character in every way, from his patient and wise demeanor to his half-moon spectacles and long white beard. Then Michael Gambon took over as the Hogwarts headmaster and infamously displeased many fans. (For the record, I still loved Gambon’s Dumbledore so there’s a hot take for ya.) But what if the man behind another iconic wizard had taken over for Harris instead?
Quick, name the quirkiest character Jim Broadbent has played. Are you thinking of his plastic surgeon in Brazil? Or maybe his zany Moulin Rouge! owner. What about his tiny red-haired thief in The Borrowers? But don’t forget all four of his characters in Cloud Atlas. Few actors have a resume as varied as Broadbent’s, who’s worked with everyone from Martin Scorsese to multiple collaborations with Mike Leigh.
While not exactly a household name, Jason Isaacs has very quietly put together an impressive resume of villains over his 30 years in Hollywood. Anyone who was in high school in the late ’90s will remember him from Mel Gibson’s The Patriot — I can’t possibly be the only person who had a lazy substitute history teacher, right? — but he’s also worked regularly in film and television, from frequent collaborations with Resident Evil director Paul W.S. Anderson to his most memorable role in the Harry Potter franchise. Often evil, always great.
Stocks in magic are down. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was less than fantastic (hey-o), the much-touted stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child won’t come to Broadway for months, and we can assume that the constant onslaught that was 2016 sapped many children of their belief in the wonder of magic. The Harry Potter-industrial complex needs a shot in the arm, and head honchos over at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park may have just the thing to inspire a little excitement.
As limey wizard Newt Scamander continues to traipse about America’s magical underground at the cinema with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, another enchanted British import prepares to cross the Atlantic. Just because mega-selling novels have long since ended, the Harry Potter business hasn’t stopped booming, and its latest gold mine is the stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The production has routinely sold out showings at the Palace Theatre in London’s storied West End, and the producers are now gearing up to bring the play stateside in the hopes that their fabulous success will follow them to the Great White Way.
Whatever holiday you celebrate in December, it comes with a lot of pressure. If you get that special someone the wrong gift, watch out. Things can get pretty ugly. That’s particularly true for pop-culture fans. They know what they want, and they probably have most of it already. Perhaps you know someone like this. Perhaps you are someone like this. (Perhaps I am someone like this.)
Leading up to the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on November 16, we’re looking back on the series and rewatching one movie each week to see how they hold up.
J.K. Rowling‘s wizarding world has finally returned. Now that you’ve seen the new Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and read our spoiler-free review, it’s time discuss all the spoilers, criticisms, and theories for what’s next in the five-film franchise. Take out your wands, fill up a nice cold mug of Butterbeer, and get ready to go back in time to the 1920s.
Everyone knows Harry Potter’s most famous distinguishing mark: The lightning bolt scar on his forehead. But do you know how many times Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, had that scar applied to his forehead over the course of making the eight Harry Potter movies? All told, it was over 2,000 times. That works out to about 250 applications per movie. That’s just one of the cool Potter facts featured in the newest episode of You Think You Know Movies!
Fifteen years ago this week we met a little boy with glasses and a lightening bolt scar on his forehead. He went to a magical school, learned how to fly, made some friends, made some enemies, and went on to defeat one of the worst movie villains of all time. You probably know that his name is Harry Potter, but how well do you know the Harry Potter movies?