The Harry Potter film franchise turns 20 this year, and fans just received the best birthday gift ever: a Harry Potter reunion with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, all together for the first time in more than a decade, in addition to so many stars from the beloved series. Announced on Nov. 16, the Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts special will premiere on HBO Max — and it’s coming way sooner than you might think.
Per HBO Max, the anniversary event is set to feature “all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey” through the making of Harry Potter history.
Watson took to Instagram to celebrate the special and reflect on her time playing Hermione. “Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione (still is) my favorite fictional character of all time,” she wrote. “I think a journalist once said it was irritating how many times during an interview I mentioned how lucky I was and started counting… BUT I DAMN WELL KNEW!!! And still know.”
Can’t wait for the reunion? Throw on your house colors and gear up. Here’s everything to know about the Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts streaming special so far.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts Cast
In addition to Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson as the iconic trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, you can expect to see a seriously stacked lineup at the upcoming special — starting with Chris Columbus, director of the first two films. The actors returning to Hogwarts include Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), and Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell). But be prepared for a surprise or two, because HBO Max mentioned “others” would join the reunion as well.
This is definitely not the first time Harry Potter actors have reunited — last year, for example, Felton hosted Radcliffe, Grint, and many more co-stars for a virtual livestream, and the annual Celebration of Harry Potter event at Universal Orlando served as a sort of standing reunion for several years. Plus, as Radcliffe revealed to Today in 2020, he’s definitely still in touch with his friends from Hogwarts. However, the Day 1 trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione have not reunited in public since they bid farewell to the franchise in 2011 — making the upcoming special feel pretty, well, special.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts Trailer
Fittingly, the trailer for Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts includes an allusion to the passage of time, via monologue from Professor Dumbledore himself. “Mysterious thing, time,” he says. “When in doubt, I find retracing my steps to be a wise place to begin.” Clips from some of the franchise’s most memorable moments followed, though there’s no footage of the actual reunion yet.
Harry Potter: Return To Hogwarts Release Date
The Harry Potter reunion is arriving over the holidays — aka, the perfect time to throw on your Weasley jumper and join in the fun. Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts will premiere Jan. 1 on HBO Max, “as the clock strikes midnight,” the streamer reports. Beyond New Year’s Day, fans will be able to watch the special this spring on TBS and Cartoon Network.
This post will be updated with additional details as more information on Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts becomes available.