You'll probably never see what happened today happen again on 'The Price Is Right,' plus Kermit and Chrissy Teigen's tattoo argument, J.K. Rowling wishes Draco a happy birthday and more, in today's Pop Bits.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
J.K. Rowling, otherwise known as the lady who wrote those books about the wizard school, has an annual tradition, started in 2015, where she apologizes for a particularly unjust death that has saddened die-hard Harry Potter fans. 2015’s apology was for Fred Weasley, one half of the Weasley twins duo that throughout the series had seemed to be inseparable. Last year’s apology was for Remus Lupin, the werewolf and one-time Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who’d ended up a close ally and friend of Harry’s. Both deaths were tragic, and yet fit with Potter’s theme of victory through self-sacrifice. The apologies both garnered mournful tweets from fans who talked about what great characters they were, and how they miss them. This year’s apology, however, split the fandom right down the middle.
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.
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?
How do you make a successful Harry Potter prequel without Harry Potter? J.K. Rowling’s new spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, travels back nearly 70 years to 1926 before the events of the first Potter movie to tell a whole new story in a new setting with (almost) all new characters. Reviving the magical universe from the second biggest franchise of all time is a pretty risky move, but Fantastic Beasts does a good job of blending the familiar with the new.
The very first Harry Potter movie opened 15 years ago next month. Fifteen years. A lot has changed in blockbuster movies over the past decade and a half – superheroes are now front and center, CG has advanced to remarkable degrees, and remakes, prequels and spin-offs are filling the movie theaters. But J.K. Rowling’s magical world was one of the most original series of its time. Before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened on November 18, 2001, the only major movies for kids born in the ‘80s and ‘90s were animated films from Disney and Dreamworks. The 21st Century also brought with it the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings series, but Harry Potter introduced a whole new era of fantasy blockbusters for kids (Chronicles of Narnia, The Golden Compass, Twilight, etc.). It gave millennials the first major family franchise of their generation.
Much of the appeal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter website Pottermore lies in the extra bits the site dishes out from time to time, often from Rowling herself, as she expands on the Wizarding World’s universe. To prepare us all for the imminent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she’s published a few short histories of magic in America, where the film takes place. Today, she came out with another about the formation of MACUSA, the governing body of magic in the U.S., and how it fits in with American history as we know it.