Together Again! See Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in the First Trailer for HBO Max’s Harry Potter Reunion Special!

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New year, new Hogwarts adventures! The ball isn’t the only thing dropping at midnight this New Year’s, as HBO Max is set to release its star-studded Harry Potter reunion special, Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022.

The streaming service announced the anniversary show on Nov. 16, exactly 20 years after the premiere of the series’ first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Filmmaker Chris Columbus and several stars from the eight-film franchise are set to return to the Hogwarts sets for the unscripted retrospective, which, according to HBO Max, will include “all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations” that “tell an enchanting making-of story.”

“There’s magic in the air here with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago,” executive producer Casey Patterson said of the reunion in a press release. “The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films.”

As Potterheads wait to be spellbound by the special, here is everything we know so far about the Harry Potter reunion, Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts—including all the trailers and sneak peeks, who’s involved and how to watch.

Related: We Ranked All 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter Movies, Including Fantastic Beasts 2 

When is the Harry Potter special on HBO Max?

Even in 2022, you’re still a wizard, Harry! Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will hit HBO Max at midnight on Saturday, Jan. 1. 

Subsequently, it will be rerun on TBS and Cartoon Network in the spring of 2022 prior to the release of the Harry Potter franchise’s third spinoff movie, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

Related: 10 Film Locations to Visit From Harry PotterLord of the Rings and More 

Is there a Harry Potter reunion trailer?

On Dec. 20, a two-minute trailer debuted online that delivered all the emotional wallop fans have likely been craving. It opens with glimpses of the franchise’s young trio of stars—Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, including a great shot of Watson walking along platform 9 3/4—as Radcliffe reminisces, “The thing that scared me the most was the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life was done… It wasn’t, though.”

The preview also hilariously features Helena Bonham Carter showing off her old set of Bellatrix Lestrange fake teeth and Ralph Fiennes recalling how his young nieces and nephews insisted he take the role of Voldemort.

Before that, fans swooned on Dec. 8 when the HBO Max Twitter account shared a new photo from the upcoming reunion special that shows franchise stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint chatting while sitting together in what appears to be Hogwarts’ Gryffindor Common Room.

Like they never left. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: #ReturnToHogwarts premieres New Year’s Day on HBO Max. pic.twitter.com/6MBjWTjJbc

— HBO Max (@hbomax) December 9, 2021

On the day the special was officially announced, HBO Max also shared a minute-long teaser that opens with Albus Dumbledore once again musing, “Mysterious thing, time… When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin.” That preview also promised, “For the first time ever, the legendary cast returns to where the magic started.” In between those declarations, there’s loads of throwback footage featuring an adorably young Daniel Radcliffe (who portrayed the franchise’s title character throughout), Emma Watson (a.k.a. Hermione Granger) and Rupert Grint (who played Ron Weasley).

Related: 35 Dumbledore Quotes From Harry Potter That’ll Inspire You to Find Magic In Your Life 

Who will be in the Harry Potter special on HBO Max? 

Radcliffe, Grint, Watson, Fiennes and Carter are joined by Robbie Coltrane, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Ian Hart on the reunion special.

After the special was announced, Watson took to Instagram to share throwback photos of herself with Grint and Radcliffe, writing in part, “Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione (still is) my favorite fictional character of all time.”

“I am proud not just of what we as [a] group contributed as actors to the franchise but also as the children that became young adults that walked that path,” she continued. “I look at my fellow cast members now and I am just so proud of who everyone has become as people. I am proud we were kind to each other, that we supported one another and that we held up something meaningful.”

As for Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, fans can expect appearances not just from franchise alums like Felton, Simon Fisher-Becker, Shirley Henderson and Luke Youngblood, but also from star superfans Pete Davidson and Jay Leno. 

Will J.K. Rowling be in the Harry Potter special on HBO Max?

One person who might not be hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express this time around? J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author, who has received backlash in recent years for comments many labeled as transphobic, was notably absent from the reunion announcement. 

Rowling also didn’t tweet about the reunion on the day it was announced, and the next day on her official Instagram, she shared a headline about the HBO Max special but didn’t say that she would be a part of it.


When did the first Harry Potter come out?

Readers were introduced to Potter’s wizarding world back in June 1997 with the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in Rowling’s bestselling series. The first film in the cinematic franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, followed in November 2001.

Related: This Is the Most Popular Harry Potter Book in Your State 

How long ago did Harry Potter end?

The seventh and final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published in July 2007. The story was split into two parts for the last installment of the film franchise, with the final flick premiering in July 2011. 

“​​It’s been such an extraordinary experience to work with, essentially, the same group of people for 10 years,” Radcliffe told Larry King in 2011 before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 hit theaters. “You develop such close bonds with so many people that it—it feels odd that—though those bonds will still exist into the future, it feels very, very strange to not be going back to work with them next year.”

Will there also be a Harry Potter reboot?

Along with a Hogwarts letter, many fans have been eagerly awaiting a revival of the fantasy franchise for quite some time. However, it seems the retrospective special is the only project currently in the works. While rumors swirled about a scripted show earlier this year, HBO Max denied having a Harry Potter series in development at the time.

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Even if a reboot makes its way to screens someday, it’s safe to say there’d be some casting shakeups. Many of the actors, including Radcliffe, have previously said they’d prefer not to reprise their exact roles in a reboot.

“I would probably want to go with Sirius or Lupin,” Radcliffe said on an episode of the Happy Sad Confused podcast in August 2021. “Those were always the two characters that I was like, ‘They’re great.’”

Next, 41 Magical Harry Potter-Inspired Recipes That Will Instantly Transport You to Hogwarts 

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