‘Harry Potter’ stars reuniting for 20th anniversary special

They were magical then. They are magical now. But has it really been 20 years?

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It sure has.

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” debuted 20 years ago this week. The original wizarding trio from Hogwarts are reuniting to recall their adventures through the years.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint will join filmmaker Chris Columbus and other cast members from all eight “Harry Potter” films for the first time in an HBO Max retrospective special, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” that will air on Jan. 1, 2022, Variety reported.

British author J.K. Rowling, who wrote the books the movies are based on and worked with the film’s producers, is not in the lineup for the retrospective, The Washington Post reported. Representatives for Rowling and Warner Bros. declined to comment, the newspaper reported.

Rowling was criticized last year after she shared her opinions on Twitter and months later wrote a lengthy personal essay on transgender issues, the Post reported. Grint, Watson and Radcliffe publicly distanced themselves from Rowling’s comments at the time and said they stood with the trans community.

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The show will feature in-depth cast interviews and behind-the-scenes moments from the eight movies and hopes to “honor the magic behind the making of the films,” Warner Bros. said in a release.

Other alumni of the film franchise joining in the streaming tribute include Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Ian Hart, according to Variety.

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“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,” “Hogwarts” executive producer Casey Patterson said in a statement. “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.”

The special also will air on WarnerMedia’s TBS and Cartoon Network in spring 2022, Variety reported. It will be aired ahead of the Warner Bros. Pictures theatrical debut of “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.”

“It has been an incredible journey since the debut of the ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ film, and witnessing how it has evolved into this remarkable interconnected universe has been magical, to say the least,” Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. for global kids, young adults and classics, said in a statement. “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon -- from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”

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Watson, who played Hermione Granger, shared the news of the television reunion on her Instagram page.

“Harry Potter was my home, my family, my world and Hermione (still is) my favorite fictional character of all time,” she said Tuesday. “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.”

Felton, who played Harry Potter’s archrival Draco Malfoy, tweeted: “Is this what school homecoming is like? Mark your calendars.”

Lewis, who played Neville Longbottom, wrote on Instagram: “This New Year’s Day … we’re putting the band back together.”

An exclusive first look at the special will debut during the premiere of the bracket-style quiz competition “Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses” at 8 p.m. EST on Nov. 28, Variety reported. The show will air on TBS and Cartoon Network.