2015 – Year in Review

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Find our year in review for 2015 here.

The Numbers:

  • MuggleNet news posts: 1,602
  • MuggleNet page views: 8,826,466
  • MuggleNet seen in: 223 countries, colonies, and territories by over 2,529,399 individuals during 4,423,920 sessions

The Stellar Seven:

The top seven stories of the year.

Harry Potter” Coloring Book Available for Pre-Order

DIY Feature: “Harry Potter” Monopoly

“Fantastic Beasts” Open Casting Call!

UPDATED: “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” Synopsis Revealed

Seven Times Hermione Granger Took Ron Weasley’s Lines in the Movies

Top Ten Harry/Ginny Moments That Didn’t Make It to the Movies

Top Seven Fred and George Moments That Didn’t Make It to the Movies

The Stories:

January

January 2 – New construction photos were published, showing the latest developments of Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood.


January 8 – David Heyman revealed that previous Harry Potter production designer Stuart Craig would be returning to the wizarding world to work on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


January 12 – MuggleNet announced that J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, would be the sole charitable beneficiary for MuggleNet Live! 2015: Expo Patronum.


January 13 – The Harry Potter Alliance achieved its biggest victory yet: Warner Bros. officially moved forward with plans to make all chocolate sold at Warner Bros. outlets and through its licensed partners 100% UTZ or Fair Trade, following the HPA’s campaign Not in Harry’s Name.


January 13 – Bloomsbury revealed four exclusive illustrations from Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Illustrated Edition.


January 23 – More images were released from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, showing that the framework for the Hogwarts towers had been put in place.


January 25 – Emma Watson delivered a speech at the UN Women’s press conference on January 23 to launch UN Women’s newest project, IMPACT 10x10x10, a follow-up to the HeForShe campaign.


January 26 – It was confirmed that Emma Watson would be starring in a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon.


January 26 – The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter announced that their latest expansion would contain the original Hogwarts Express steam train, officially opening on March 19.

February
February 1 – A Celebration of Harry Potter took place from January 30 to February 1 at Universal Orlando, with special guests Evanna Lynch, James and Oliver Phelps, and Sir Michael Gambon.


February 1 – The trailer aired for the Casual Vacancy miniseries.


February 6 – The first clip from the Casual Vacancy miniseries showed news of Barry Fairbrother’s death spreading through the town.


February 6 – J.K. Rowling took to Twitter, revealing why 12 Grimmauld Place is in the middle of Muggle London, what happened to Fluffy, and why the Harry-Horcrux wasn’t destroyed when Harry was bitten by the Basilisk.


February 6 – MuggleNet reviewed Bloomsbury’s Harry Potter Book Night, which took place February 5 at Waterstone’s Piccadilly.


February 10 – Bryony Evens, who worked for the Christopher Little Literary Agency, talked about pushing for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to be published.


February 12 – J.K. Rowling confirmed on Twitter that she had written a Patronus quiz for Pottermore.


February 13 – Funko announced a new line of Pop! Vinyl figures featuring seven Harry Potter characters – Harry, Ron, Hermione, Voldemort, Dumbledore, Hagrid, and Snape.


February 20 – J.K. Rowling donated £5,000 to Wooden Spoon, the children’s charity of rugby.


February 27 – Philip Errington, the writer of J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography 1997-2013, discussed the detailed research he did for the book and what J.K. Rowling had to say about it.

March
March 2 – New photos were released of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood, showing a construction update.


March 3 – MuggleNet reviewed the new Hogwarts Express at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London premiere event and interviewed actor Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley).


March 6 – Bloomsbury released an image of Flourish and Blotts from the upcoming illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


March 6 – The South, Southwest, and West Quidditch Regional Championships all crowned their winners!


March 8 – Emma Watson participated in a live Facebook conversation on International Women’s Day to discuss HeForShe.


March 10 – J.K. Rowling became a recipient of the British Red Cross Humanity Award.


March 16 – Emma Thompson (Proffessor Sybill Trelawney) was cast as Mrs. Potts in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson.


March 18 – It was announced that Tom Felton’s documentary, Tom Felton Meets the Superfans, would air on BBC Three on March 23.


March 20 – J.K. Rowling visited the British School in Nepal, where she discussed Harry Potter and Lumos and gave advice for creative writers (audio file on page).


March 20 – New clips were released of Daniel Radcliffe from Tom Felton Meets the Superfans.


March 20 – New clips were released of J.K. Rowling and Rupert Grint from Tom Felton Meets the Superfans.


March 24 – It was revealed that fans would be able to see “part” of Diagon Alley at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hollywood.


March 26 – The US and UK covers for the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, with artwork by Jim Kay, were revealed.


March 27 – It was announced that Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) would receive a Legend Award at the Jameson Empire Awards.

April
April 1 – MuggleNet’s April Fools’ Day pranks led fans to believe that J.K. Rowling had announced that she would be launching a worldwide signing tour in 2016.


April 9 – J.K. Rowling launched the US branch of her charity, Lumos.


April 13 – A hardback illustrated copy of J.K. Rowling’s infamous 2008 Harvard speech, titled J.K. Rowling’s Very Good Lives, hit shelves in aid of Lumos.


April 14 – Pottermore updated and told users to expect new and exciting changes to the site.


April 18 – MuggleNet held MuggleNet Live! 2015: Expo Patronum at London’s ExCeL Centre, our very first convention, which featured numerous members of the Harry Potter cast and crew.


April 20 – Warner Bros. announced that the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be released in IMAX format.


April 22 – Emma Watson was honored for her role as a UN Goodwill Ambassador at the Time 100 Gala.


April 23 – We talked updates on what the special guests at MuggleNet Live! 2015: Expo Patronum have been up to!


April 24 – J.K. Rowling announced that Career of Evil would be the title of the third installment in the Cormoran Strike series.


April 28 – MuggleNet launched its monthly Quibbler contests.


April 30 – Daniel Radcliffe was named the Celebrity Straight Ally at the British LGBT Awards 2015.


April 30 – Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) was nominated for a Tony Award for playing Tom Sergeant in Skylight.

May
May 8 – After an earlier rumor, it was confirmed that Daniel Radcliffe would star in the biopic Young Americans.


May 10 – Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) was awarded the Pragnell Shakespeare Birthday Award during a ceremony in late April.


May 12 – Rupert Grint won two Audience Choice Awards for his debut role on Broadway in the production It’s Only a Play.


May 12 – J.K. Rowling’s charity, Lumos, was shortlisted for the UK 2015 Charity Awards, in recognition of its work in Moldova.


May 16 – Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was named the best ride that doesn’t go upside down by the Orlando Informer.


May 17 – Australia’s National College Quidditch championship took place, and the University of Western Sydney took home the title.


May 19 – An annual film festival held in memory of late Harry Potter cast member Rob Knox (Marcus Belby) saw its most popular year ever for submissions.


May 20 – Bloomsbury UK released a new illustration by Jim Kay, leading up to the release of the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


May 20 – Universal Studios Japan unveiled its plans for a 3D version of Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.


May 27 – We got a sneak peek at Harry Potter graphic design duo MinaLima’s new edition of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.


May 27 – We pondered on casting rumors surrounding the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, namely who would play Queenie, Tina, and Jacob.


May 27 – The Warner Bros. Studio Tour Hollywood announced an expansion set to include a photo opportunity featuring Harry Potter.

June
June 1Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them received an official release date: November 18, 2016. Eddie Redmayne was confirmed to play Newt Scamander.


June 2 – Universal Studios announced that the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park would be expanding to Hollywood in the spring of 2016.


June 5 – MuggleNet teamed up with UK charity Booktrust for a Harry Potter party at the Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) at London Film and Comic Con.


June 5 – Eddie Redmayne and J.K. Rowling commented on Redmayne’s casting as Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


June 7 – MuggleNet previewed the Jim Kay-illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, available from Bloomsbury and Scholastic on October 6.


June 10 – Pottermore released a new wizarding world timeline outlining key wizarding world events and characters, which revealed some names and facts for the first time.


June 12 – Warner Bros. Studio Tour London announced a new feature, Sweets and Treats, showing visitors how film food was made for the series.


June 14 – MuggleNet’s fourth annual Ordinary Wizarding Level Examinations (OWLs) began!


June 15 – Actress Katherine Waterston was cast as Porpentina in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and was said to play a “pivotal role” in Newt’s adventures in New York City.


June 18 – Scholastic announced that it would be releasing new US editions of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages.


June 18 – Universal Orlando celebrated the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s fifth anniversary with a red carpet appearance by J.K. Rowling.


June 23 – Pottermore released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on the site, including entries on Petunia Dursley, Peter Pettigrew, Extension Charms, and the Sword of Gryffindor.


June 24 – Bloomsbury UK announced that it would release new Harry Potter adult hardback editions, with cover designs featuring woodcuts by Andrew Davidson.


June 26 – Daniel Radcliffe and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’s Eddie Redmayne were invited to join the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.


June 28 – It was announced that Tom Felton would be honored with the Giffoni Experience Award at the 45th Giffoni Film Festival in Italy, making him the second Harry Potter actor to win a Giffoni, after Alan Rickman.

July
July 2 – Emma Watson won an Observer Ethical Award for her work on the HeForShe campaign.


July 6 – Celebrating the Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Diagon Alley, UK fans got a taste of entering Diagon Alley with a unique photo opportunity at London’s King’s Cross.


July 7 – The Wizarding World of Harry Potter received two awards from Theme Park Insider.


July 15 – Bloomsbury announced a deluxe edition of the illustrated Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, set for an October release.


July 18 – Actor John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander) was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Congratulations, Sir John!


July 18 – Warner Bros. held an open casting call for the role of Modesty in Fantastic Beasts at ExCeL Centre London.


July 28Harry Potter fans were called to action to help update the Harry Potter Lexicon.

August
August 4 – Universal Orlando announced that the third annual A Celebration of Harry Potter would take place on January 29-31, 2016.


August 5 – After a casting call in July, Faith Wood-Blagrove was cast as Modesty in Fantastic Beasts.


August 5 – Colin Farrell was cast as Graves in Fantastic Beasts.


August 7 – Jenn Murray was cast as an unspecified role (later revealed as Chastity) in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


August 7MuggleCast celebrated its tenth anniversary.


August 10 – Venues for the 2015-2016 Quidditch season were announced, with Columbia, South Carolina, winning the bid to host the Quidditch World Cup.


August 12 – With rumors flying about the start date for the filming of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, cast members began to tweet about rehearsing for the film.


August 14 – J.K. Rowling revealed that her research into the subject matter for Career of Evil gave her nightmares.


August 14 – J.K. Rowling tweeted that Tina and Queenie’s surname in Fantastic Beasts is Goldstein and also confirmed that the sisters are distantly related to Anthony Goldstein from the Potter books.


August 17 – Filming for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them began at Leavesden Studios.


August 17 – The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London announced the return of its Back to School event, to take place in September. The event allowed visitors to take part in design and storyboarding workshops.


August 20 – Pottermore announced the last House Cup via Twitter.


August 20 – The Fantastic Beasts casting announcements continued to roll in, with Jane Perry confirmed to be already working on the film.


August 21 – J.K. Rowling took to Twitter to reveal that fans already knew the name of the “Cursed Child” and that she blames Tom Felton for making girls have an unhealthy love for Draco Malfoy.


August 25 – Responding to a perceived lack of ethnic diversity in the Fantastic Beasts cast, J.K. Rowling tweeted that the whole cast of characters was yet to be revealed and that not the entire cast is white.


August 26 – J.K. Rowling tweeted about the possibility of there being Hogwarts House hybrids.


August 28 – The Harry Potter Alliance joined the Copyright Coalition to help protect fan fiction and fan art, as Congress attempted to change laws regarding fair use.

September
September 1 – J.K. Rowling tweeted that James Sirius Potter was starting his first year at Hogwarts and was Sorted into Gryffindor.


September 3 – Pottermore began to allow users to print personalized certificates of their progress on the site.


September 4 – J.K. Rowling narrated a video for Lumos, highlighting the plight of eight million children in orphanages.


September 9 – Hufflepuff won the final Pottermore House Cup. J.K. Rowling described it as “the dawn of the age of Hufflepuff.”


September 10 – Shanghai, China, was announced as the next tour stop for Harry Potter: The Exhibition.


September 10 – The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter announced its Dark Arts feature, which ran for two weeks in October in celebration of Halloween.


September 10 – J.K. Rowling made headlines by reminding everyone that the “T” in “Voldemort” is silent.


September 15Harry Potter: The Official Coloring Book was made available for pre-order, and was later released in November.


September 22 – Pottermore relaunched with new content and reports from the Pottermore Correspondent. J.K. Rowling provided new information about the Potter family history.


September 24 – J.K. Rowling revealed on Twitter that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child would be told in two parts.


September 29 – The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter announced Dinner in the Great Hall, a special event to take place December 3.


September 29 – Emma Watson discussed her experiences with sexism in the film industry, as part of a report in the Guardian.

October
October 5 – Jon Voight, Gemma Chan, and Carmen Ejogo were all revealed to have been cast in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


October 6 – The Jim Kay illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released.


October 8 – Ron Perlman joined the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


October 10 – John Williams became the first composer to receive the American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


October 12 – It was announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be filming on location in Liverpool, England.


October 14 – It was announced that the seasonal Hogwarts in the Snow feature would return to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London beginning on November 13.


October 20 – The first pictures were released from the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


October 20 – J.K. Rowling released the third book in the Cormoran Strike series, Career of Evil, under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.


October 22 – Artwork and ticket information was released for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, giving insight as to how the play’s two-part format would work.


October 23 – The synopsis for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was revealed.


October 28 – Priority booking tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went on sale, breaking records.


October 29 – It was announced that Daniel Radcliffe would receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

November
November 2 – J.K. Rowling discussed pseudonyms, fame, and Career of Evil during interviews with BBC Radio 2 and NPR.


November 3 – Pottermore and Entertainment Weekly revealed information about Fantastic Beasts’s newly revealed title design. We also learned that the film would be set in 1926.


November 4 – We got our first look at Newt Scamander on the cover of Entertainment Weekly.


November 4 – MuggleNet interviewed Aïcha Wijland, the artist responsible for J.K. Rowling’s favorite fan art of young Sirius and James.


November 4Entertainment Weekly gave us a glimpse of New York’s wizarding world, through official photos from the set of Fantastic Beasts.


November 5 – MuggleNet searched for plot clues in the new Fantastic Beasts photos.


November 5Entertainment Weekly revealed the plot of Fantastic Beasts.


November 5Fantastic Beasts character descriptions were released, revealing information about Queenie’s magical talents, the franchise’s first No-Maj (Muggle) main character, and much more!


November 5 – MuggleNet discussed David Heyman’s statements on diversity in the Fantastic Beasts cast.


November 5 – Eddie Redmayne chatted with Cinema Blend about the pressure of being the new leading man in J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world.


November 5 – MuggleNet took a look at some of the beasts that we hoped to see in Fantastic Beasts.


November 6Entertainment Weekly released an article detailing five secrets we might have missed from its Fantastic Beasts cover, including new information about the MACUSA and Newt’s briefcase.


November 6 – MuggleNet wondered if Albus Dumbledore would be in Fantastic Beasts.


November 9 – John Williams’s works were voted into the top ten movie scores of all time, including the Harry Potter score.


November 9 – The Pottermore Correspondent reported from the set of Fantastic Beasts, revealing information about the NYC set and the Goldstein sisters’ apartment.


November 11 – The second wave of Harry Potter Funko Pop! Vinyl figures was announced.


November 12 – MuggleNet reported that a signed, deluxe, illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone would be sold at a Sotheby’s auction to raise money for Lumos.


November 12Harry Potter graphic design team MinaLima announced the opening of an exhibition of their work at the Coningsby Gallery in London.


November 13 – Ron Perlman revealed that Newt Scamander comes to visit his character’s nightclub in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


November 16 – The first episode of MuggleWatch, MuggleNet’s biweekly video update on Potter news, went on the air.


November 18 – Storm Barney damaged the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them set and forced at least four hundred members of the cast and crew to evacuate.


November 19 – The IQA announced that the 2016 Quidditch World Cup would take place in Frankfurt on July 23-24.


November 19 – Universal Studios Hollywood offered a virtual tour of the park’s Hogsmeade, via the Hogwarts Express!


November 19 – David Heyman compared Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to Goblet of Fire in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.


November 20 – All seven Harry Potter books became available for download through Audible, Amazon’s audiobook subscription service.


November 24 – Eddie Redmayne told the Wall Street Journal that he and Dan Fogler were handling live snakes on the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


November 24 – Funko revealed mini Pocket Pop! Keychain versions of Harry, Hermione, and Voldemort.


November 25 – The Producers Guild of America honored David Heyman with the David O. Selznick Achievement Award.


November 26 – British casting agency Signature Model Management posted a casting call for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


November 27 – Emma Watson was featured in the “Incredible Women” issue of Porter Magazine.


November 28 – J.K. Rowling called the Harry Potter world an “explosion of color” in an interview with the Guardian.


November 30Harry Potter: The Exhibition prepared to reopen, this time in Shanghai, China.


November 30Radio Times announced that J.K. Rowling would be paying tribute to comedian Peter Kay in a BBC One special celebrating Kay’s career.

December
December 1 – MuggleNet’s 2015 Advent Calendar Giveaway Event opened at midnight.


December 1 – MuggleNet provided a look at the opening of MinaLima’s exhibition, The Graphic Art of the Harry Potter Films, on November 30.


December 4 – James and Oliver Phelps welcomed guests to Harry Potter: The Exhibition in Shanghai, which officially opened on December 5.


December 6 – An exhibition of Jim Kay’s artwork opened at Seven Stories in Newcastle.


December 8 – Universal Studios Hollywood announced that Rhe Wizarding World of Harry Potter would open at the theme park on April 7, 2016.


December 9 – Pottermore’s CEO, Susan Jurevics, provided insight into the site’s redesign and also hinted at future changes during London’s FutureBook 2015 conference.


December 10 – Warner Bros. released the first official plot synopsis for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.


December 14 – Both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Career of Evil were shortlisted for Audible UK’s Audiobook of the Year.


December 15 – The world got its first glimpse of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them footage as Warner Bros. released an announcement trailer for the film.


December 17 – Director David Yates revealed how the cast of Fantastic Beasts was built around Eddie Redmayne’s casting.


December 20 – MuggleNet’s Fantastic Beasts podcast, SpeakBeasty, was launched.


December 20Harry Potter and the Cursed Child cast its Harry, Ron, and Hermione, with the Black British actress Noma Dumezweni chosen to portray Hermione Granger.


December 22 – A signed illustrated copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone raised £13,750 for Lumos at a Sotheby’s auction.


December 22Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone won Audible UK’s Audiobook of the Year.


December 22 – J.K. Rowling and Cursed Child playwright Jack Thorne addressed the casting choices for the play.


December 26Cursed Child theater producer Sonia Friedman was nominated for a 2016 Stage Award.