MuggleNet’s 2017 Year in Review: Two Decades of “Potter” and No Sign of Stopping
Let’s face it: 2016, the year that brought us both Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is a hard act to follow. Still, there was a lot for fans to be grateful for in 2017 – as well as a good deal of controversy.
The early months of the year were chock-full of stories about prestigious recognition of Potter properties – Fantastic Beasts was nominated for both the BAFTAs and the Oscars, while Cursed Child took home three Critics’ Circle Awards and eleven Olivier Award nominations (a new record!). Still, for many fans, the most exciting Cursed Child news of the year involved the show’s Broadway debut, which we learned will feature both new and original cast members. Cursed Child also helped J.K. Rowling have a remarkable year, in which she returned to Forbes’ Highest Paid Celebrities list after a three-year absence and was named a Companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II, among other achievements.
Our beloved trio – Dan, Emma, and Rupert – also had an eventful 2017. The unstoppable Dan starred in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead on the West End and in the adventure film Jungle. Emma, meanwhile, starred (and sang!) in the wildly popular live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast while continuing to promote gender equality on several platforms, including the MTV Movie Awards. Rupert also had a busy year – both Sick Note and Snatch were renewed for second seasons, and the actor was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, alongside other Potter alumni.
While we’re on the topic of the original Potter books and films, we can’t forget to mark a major milestone in the fandom: the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Bloomsbury celebrated the occasion with the release of special House editions of the first book while the British Library launched Harry Potter: A History of Magic: The Exhibition, accompanied by the publication of two books showcasing the exhibit. We even got a peek inside Rowling’s world with the documentary J.K. Rowling: A Year in the Life. And while the announcement of the Pokémon Go-style game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite wasn’t technically in honor of the 20th anniversary of the series, we’re pretty excited about it anyway.
Our fervor for illustrated editions of all things Potter also continued in 2017, which saw the publication of Jim Kay’s illustrated Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Olivia Lomenech Gill’s illustrated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – not to mention the announcement of Chris Riddell’s illustrated version of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, coming in 2018.
Even so, the year wasn’t entirely about Potter – we were also thrilled to learn that the next book in J.K. Rowling’s Cormoran Strike series would be called Lethal White and to finally see Cormoran and Robin come to life in the BBC series Strike. MuggleNet even interviewed star Tom Burke!
Still, we’d be lying if we said the biggest news items of the year weren’t about Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. In April, it was announced that Jude Law would play young Dumbledore; in October, we learned that Nicolas Flamel would make an appearance in the film; in November, we finally found out what the movie would be called. But nothing was more talked about than the decision by filmmakers to uphold Johnny Depp’s casting as Grindelwald. J.K. Rowling wrote in support of Depp and his participation in the franchise, while many fans continue to speak out against his casting. Other Potter lovers remain supportive of Depp and his role in the Fantastic Beasts, causing a sharp divide in the fandom. As we inch closer to the film’s release, this debate is certain to remain relevant into 2018 and beyond.
Whew! We guess it was a pretty busy year after all – be sure to check out our full Year in Review right here for more of 2017’s most magical milestones. From all of us here at MuggleNet, Harry New Year, and may much Potter goodness come your way in 2018!