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'Harry Potter' cast reuniting for HBO Max 20th anniversary special

Daniel Radcliffe, from left, Rupert Grint and Emma

Daniel Radcliffe, from left, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are among the "Harry Potter" film franchise stars reuniting for an upcoming special on streaming service HBO Max. Credit: Everett Collection

"Harry Potter" literary star J.K. Rowling has not responded publicly to WarnerMedia's announcement Tuesday that she evidently will not be part of the star-studded "Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts" reunion special premiering Jan. 1 on the streaming service HBO Max.

Stars Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger) will be joined by others in the eight-film franchise, which spanned 2001 to 2011, and were adapted from Rowling’s best-selling books.

Guests include Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Mark Williams (Mr. Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood), Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell) and Chris Columbus, director of the first two films.

Rowling, 56, sparked a backlash last year over tweets many took to be transphobic. She subsequently doubled-down on her comments, prompting criticism from the trans community and allies, including franchise star Radcliffe. "Transgender women are women," responded the actor in an essay at The Trevor Project, a national organization providing crisis-intervention and suicide-prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth. "Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations."

Billed as a "making-of story" with "all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations," the special addresses both the films' creation and their subsequent global impact.

"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 in a statement, referring to Rowling's fictional UK wizarding boarding school.

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