Return to Hogwarts: The Noticeable Absence of JK Rowling

20 years of Harry Potter: JK Rowling will finally be in Return to Hogwarts
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The author of Harry Potter appears for 30 seconds (in archive footage) over nearly 2 hours of the program.

The participation – or not – of Jk rowling in Back to Hogwarts caused a lot of ink to flow before its release. Would the writer behind the saga be invited by Warner Bros? Where would she be “cancel” following comments deemed transphobic shared for a year and a half on his Twitter account? She was not on the guest list released by the studio in December 2021, nor mentioned in Instagram posts of actors who teased their reunion (Emma Watson and Tom Felton have for example published several behind-the-scenes photos of the first film, School of wizards, without ever mentioning the author). She also did not appear in the show’s trailers or on its official poster.

20 years of Harry Potter: JK Rowling will finally be in Return to Hogwarts

Now that the special show dedicated to 20 years of Harry potter at the cinema is online, on HBO Max for English-speaking audiences and on Salto in France, fans of the saga have seen that the author of the novels was physically absent from the program, appearing for short moments in archive footage and being hardly mentioned by the leading actors of the first film. Daniel Radcliffe and Robbie Coltrane nonetheless recall the crazy success of novels, which encouraged young children to read. “One of the reasons I admire JK so much is that millions of people who weren’t interested in reading read his books and discovered the power of writing.”, says for example the interpreter of Hagrid. On the other hand, she does not participate in the reunion of the members of the team to tell anecdotes about the creation of the first film. In all, we only see JK Rowling for about thirty seconds out of nearly two hours of the program, calculated the Los Angeles Times, which is little for the person without whom Harry Potter wouldn’t exist.

JK Rowling has been heavily criticized for her transphobic comments, notably by stars of the saga: Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione) or Eddie Redmayne (Norbert Dragonneau, the hero of Fantastic animals) have all reacted publicly to condemn his thoughts. Did this push the production not to invite him as part of this program wanting to give a positive image of Harry Potter? Entertainment Weekly assures that HBO asked Rowling to participate in the show, but that she declined their offer. The journalist from Los Angeles Times, relayed in French by International mail, is less formal: An HBO spokesperson said Rowling had been asked to give a new interview, but the producers felt the archive footage [de 2019] did the trick. HBO did not respond to questions as to whether Rowling turned down the new interview, or whether it was filmed before it was ultimately left out of the cut by the show’s producers. “. The controversy surrounding it is in any case never mentioned in Back to Hogwarts, but it is indeed mentioned when she appears on the screen that her interview dates from 2019, that is to say before she shares transphobic thoughts on social networks.

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