Castium Revelio: Honorary Degrees and More “Mr. Mercedes”!

If you couldn’t already tell from the title of this post, we’re back with another week of Casting News! This week’s roundup, as always, is your weekly dose of magical alumni news! What do they have in store for us? Let’s take a look!

Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) will be starring in a new comedy film, according to Variety. The film, titled Made in Italy, will also star Dunkirk actor Jack Lowden. It will be director James D’Arcy’s feature directorial debut.

Nighy will also star in Spacedog and Turbocat alongside Gemma Arterton, his co-star in 2016’s The Finest, reports Screen Daily. The animated family film will see both actors in voice roles.

According to the production, the film will follow ‘loyal canine Buddy and feline vigilante Felix on an animated superhero adventure about friendship, heroism and finding your way back home.’

Additional casting has yet to be announced, but the film is being written and directed by a “first-time feature filmmaker,” Ben Smith.

David Tennant (Barty Crouch, Jr.) also has a new voice role! The actor will be playing the Highway Rat in a half-hour animated special for BBC One, according to The Highway Rat, the title character of a children’s book by Julia Donaldson, was inspired by the Alfred Noyes poem The Highwayman.

The story follows a swashbuckling rat who robs other woodland creatures at swordpoint for their food: clover from a rabbit, nuts from a squirrel, even his own horse’s hay. But what he really craves are cakes, sweets and biscuits, and it is his sweet tooth that leads to his sticky end when, ironically for a character voiced by David, a crafty duck sets a trap for him.

Additional voices will be provided by a number of actors, including Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxime). The special is scheduled to air “over the Christmas period.”

Cherelle Skeete (Rose Granger-Weasley, Cursed Child) is currently starring as Marcia in an adaption of Chekov’s The Seagull. reported on the production ahead of its opening night at the Lyric Hammersmith and provided a glimpse into a week of Cherelle’s life, including photos of the production itself. The Seagull runs at the Lyric Hammersmith until November 4.

Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane) will also be starring in a stage production soon! announced that she has been cast as Daisy in a revival production of Denise Deegan’s Daisy Pulls It Off at the Park Theatre.

The play is a parody of 1920s boarding schoolgirl novels, and follows Daisy, Grangewood School for Girls new student, the first scholarship student at the school. Daisy, who is from an underprivileged background, is forced to put up with pranks and prejudice from her new classmates as she attempts to earn a group of friends.

The play won the 1983 Olivier Award for Best Comedy and ran at what is now the Gielgud Theatre, produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber, for three years and starred actresses such as Kate Buffery, Samantha Bond and Lia Williams.

The show will run from December 5 to January 13, with its official opening set for December 8.

Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski, Fantastic Beasts) stars in an original film, Becks, alongside Lena Hall, writes The film, by Daniel Powell and Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, will be premiering at New Fest on October 24.

Becks follows an NYC-to-LA cross-country move that ends in a breakup.

Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) and Johnny Depp (Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts) are both featured in a clip for their upcoming release, a new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. SlashFilm posted the clip, which you can watch below!



Murder on the Orient Express will be released next month, on November 3 in the UK and November 10 in the US.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower, a film that boasts an English voice cast including Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn), will have a one-night premiere through Fathom Events, reports Animation Magazine. The premiere event, scheduled for January 18, comes ahead of the film’s theatrical release in the US the following day.

Presented by GKIDS, Fathom Events and Studio Ponoc, the special premiere screening event will have two showings: 7 p.m. in English dub, and 8 p.m. in Japanese with English subtitles. In addition to the feature film, audiences will be treated to an exclusive interview with the filmmakers and receive a special commemorative gift (while supplies last at select locations).

The film also includes a school of magic!

Mary, an ordinary 12-year-old girl, is bored and lonely during a summer holiday. She follows an odd cat into the nearby woods where she stumbles upon a flower and then a little broomstick. Together the flower and broomstick whisk her above the clouds, far away to Endor College – a school of magic! At Endor, Mary tells a lie that leads to peril, and then a promise, while discovering that all is not as it seems at the school – there are experiments that horrify. Soon she confronts great danger, and a test of her resolve.

Animation Magazine notes, “Tickets for the premiere screening will go on sale October 20 at”

This year’s Doctor Who Christmas special, featuring David Bradley (Argus Filch) as the First Doctor, will also be in theaters for one night only, writes Entertainment Weekly!

The episode — which bids farewell to Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor and introduces Whittaker as the first woman to play the role — will be shown in theaters nationwide on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. local time.

Following the screening, two exclusive bonus pieces will take audiences behind the scenes of the holiday special and celebrate the tenures of Capaldi, who has led the series since 2013, and exiting showrunner Steven Moffat.

This event will also be run in partnership with Fathom Events, and tickets will be available beginning on October 20 at or at participating box offices.

More details have emerged about The Rhythm Section, a new film starring Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts)! His co-star, Blake Lively, discussed the spy thriller on Vanity Fair‘s “In the Limelight.” The actress said that she plays “a heroin-addicted prostitute,” which gives a hint of what might be to come in the film.

We have to still make her kind of sexy… tragically sexy, but you know, music video. If you drive down skid row, that’s not what you see. That’s not the truth. So it’s really important to us to show a woman who society has written off, and society has forgotten about.

The upcoming Han Solo-centric film – an addition to the Star Wars franchise, which also features Warwick Davis (Filius Flitwick/Griphook) in the role of a droid – has now received its official title and wrapped production! The film is titled Solo:  A Star Wars Story! FilmBook writes that the film’s director, Ron Howard, made the announcements on his Twitter account:


Ezra Miller (Credence, Fantastic Beasts) is featured in a new poster for Justice League, which has its US theatrical release on November 17. The film’s official Twitter account tweeted out the poster of Miller’s character, Barry Allen, also known as the Flash!



Amazon has debuted its trailer for Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams, an anthology series that has been airing on Channel 4 in the UK since September. One episode, “The Commuter,” features both Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) and Anthony Boyle (Scorpius Malfoy, Cursed Child), while Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger, Cursed Child) and Holliday Grainger (Robin Ellacott, Strike) both appear in the episode “The Hood Maker.” An exclusive for Amazon Prime members, the series will premiere in 2018. Watch the trailer below!



Mr. Mercedes, the television series adapted from Stephen King’s Bill Hodges Trilogy, which stars Brendan Gleeson (Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody), has been renewed for a second season on AT&T’s Audience Network, reports Variety.

The second season will be based on Stephen King’s best-selling ‘Bill Hodges Trilogy,’ which includes ‘Mr. Mercedes,’ ‘Finders Keepers’ and ‘End of Watch.’ David E. Kelley will return to write the script for Season 2, with Jack Bender also returning as director. King, Kelley and Bender will also continue to serve as executive producers, along with Dennis Lehane, who will also write, and Marty Bowen and Wyck Godfrey of Temple Hill Entertainment. The series is produced by Sonar Entertainment. Production for the 10 one-hour episodes is scheduled to begin in February of 2018.

The upcoming BBC and PBS television adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, which includes Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) as Mr. Laurence, is continuing production in Ireland as PBS teases its first image of the March sisters. The Christian Post reported on the news, noting that there has been no air date set for the US or the UK.

Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) has been cast as Goneril in a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s King Lear. Deadline Hollywood reports that the made-for-television movie will be produced by Colin Callender’s Playground and Sonia Friedman Productions. (Of note, Callender and Friedman are the co-producers of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.) Actor Anthony Hopkins will play King Lear, while Jim Broadbent will play the Earl of Gloucester.

‘King Lear’ will premiere on BBC Two in the UK in 2018 with Amazon Studios co-producing and taking U.S. and German rights. Amazon Prime Video will also air the drama in the UK, following the BBC’s run.

Thompson also recently attended the UK premiere of her latest film, The Meyerowitz Stories, at the BFI London Film Festival. At the premiere, she spoke to the Press Association.

I did enjoy [the character] very much because she was a foreigner. You know I felt very foreign, I am very foreign in America, which is the way I like it, so I was playing an outsider.

I was very honoured to be part of what is, after all, a very American piece. I don’t make films in America very much, although through choice, but I really couldn’t resist this one.

Screen Daily reports that Visit Films has gained worldwide rights to Anchor and Hope, starring Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks), which also premiered at the BFI London Film Festival.

‘Anchor and Hope’ stars Oona Chaplin and Natalia Tena as a carefree couple in their mid-30s in London who face a test when one of them wants to start a family. David Verdaguer also stars, and worked with Marques-Marcet and Tena on ‘10.000 KM.’

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) has a message for fans who are questioning his Star Trek: Discovery character’s motives, as told to The Cheat Sheet.

Why would they question his motives? What he isn’t is a super cuddly captain. He’s a wartime captain with a bunch of people who haven’t trained for war and a ship that isn’t built for it and equipment that isn’t up to it. So he’s trying to get an edge because the Klingons, frankly, are far superior to us.

He also hinted that viewers could see his character’s backstory.

We see a bunch of things about many of the characters and what traditionally happens in television is in the very first episode, the pilot and everybody tells each other their entire life history, even though they’ve known each other for decades. And what we have license to do now is only show the backstory where and how that’s useful, and you’ll find out a lot about many of them.

Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) is set to be awarded an honorary degree on October 20 from Mansfield College, Oxford, one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford, the Oxford Student newspaper reports.

Mansfield College has announced in a press release that Dame Maggie Smith, English actress, is to be conferred with an Honorary Fellowship of the college on the 20th October. Smith will then be in conversation with the Principal of Mansfield, talking about her life and career.
The conferment and subsequent talk will mark the beginning of the Mansfield Lecture Series of this term.

The newspaper adds, “The conferment event will be taking place in the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium in the Hands Building of Mansfield College and is currently only open to Mansfield members.

Finally, Miriam Margolyes (Pomona Sprout) is encouraging UK-based Australians to vote “yes” in the Australian marriage equality postal survey. Margolyes, who is a lesbian, is also a dual citizen of the UK and Australia. To show her support for marriage equality, she has participated in a video for the Equality Campaign, which you can watch below!



That’s all we have for this week’s Casting News! Check back again next week for more magical updates! In the meantime, tell us which project you’re most excited for in the comments below!

Mary W.

I am a Slytherin, a lifelong fan of Harry Potter, and a member of MuggleNet staff since 2014. In my Muggle life, I am passionate about human rights, and I love to travel around the world and meet new people.