Castium Revelio: Crystals, Christmas, and Cat Memes

Fans of Harry Potter naturally gravitate toward worlds we can sink our teeth into. After all, J.K. Rowling created for us a world so vividly and lovingly described that we could literally see it in our heads while reading the books; Universal’s Orlando and Hollywood theme parks then took it to the next level by allowing us to see it before our very eyes as well. Some of our wizarding world favorites now have characters immersed in a similarly beautiful fantasy landscape, as you’ll see below when you check out the breathtaking new trailer for The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. We also have a trailer for you this week from Dame Emma Thompson’s Last Christmas – because it’s never too early to start thinking about the holidays – along with new snaps of Helena Bonham Carter in The Crown, James and Oliver Phelps surprising some San Franciscan kids, and the on-the-nose answer to which of our beloved Harry Potter actresses loves cat memes. Can you haz Casting News? Yes, you can! Castium Revelio!


Harry Potter Cast & Crew

While J.K. Rowling's extended hiatus from social media still has some fans concerned, the author is obviously living her best life. The Scottish Sun reports Rowling was spotted this week at the Admiral Bar in Glasgow, Scotland, enjoying a gig by husband Neil Murray's band, the Fat Cops.

She was having a tremendous night. She was right up front, close to the side of the stage where Neil was playing, and looked really proud of him. I'd go as far as to say it was a magical performance.

Rim shot. If you'd like to check the Cops out for yourself, you can find tour information on the band's Twitter account.

We're officially under two weeks away from the August 30 debut of Netflix's The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, and the streaming service released a new trailer this week. To sum it up: Our jaws are still on the floor. Staying true to Jim Henson's penchant for puppetry while enhancing it with visual effects has created a Thra that looks as if we could step right into it. And we Harry Potter fans definitely appreciate immersive experiences! The ten-episode series stars Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) as All-Maudra, a Gelfling; Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) as the Emperor, a Skeksis; Ralph Ineson (Amycus Carrow) as the Hunter, a Skeksis; Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) as the Librarian, a Gelfling; Ólafur Darri Ólafsson (Skender, Fantastic Beasts) as the Archer, a Mystic; and Natalie Dormer (narrator of the Harry Potter: A History of Magic audiobook) as Onica, a Gelfling.



We also have a few fresh looks for you at Bonham Carter in her role as Princess Margaret on Season 3 of The Crown! Entertainment Weekly spoke to and photographed some of the series' stars this week, and Bonham Carter shared a rather amusing tale about the first time she met the actual Princess Margaret, who had a pithy comment about her acting abilities: "My uncle was actually very close to her. She was pretty scary. At one point, she met me at Windsor Castle and she said, 'You are getting better, aren't you?'" Enjoy the photos and a video from EW's session below!



Bonham Carter, who starred in the film adaptation of E.M. Forster's Howards End, will also appear in October in a Sky Arts documentary about the author, E.M. Forster: His Longest Journey, the Bookseller says, and will appear October 5 at the Cheltenham Literary Festival in Cheltenham, England. Tickets for that event will go on sale September 4.

Isaacs, meanwhile, is currently in talks to join the cast of Streamline, the story of a 15-year-old Australian swimming prodigy who self-destructs after his father is released from prison, Screen Daily reports. Isaacs is being considered for the role of the father. The actor also took to Twitter this week to reflect on the 22nd anniversary of his sci-fi/horror film Event Horizon by lamenting that his request to keep the post-mortem model of his character wasn't granted.


Jason Isaacs mourns a beloved "Event Horizon" prop in this post on his Twitter account.


Meanwhile, fans of his recent Netflix series, The OA - which, as we sadly informed you last week, was canceled after two seasons - have been storming social media with the hashtag #TheOAisReal in an effort to convince the streaming service to bring it back. It's worth a shot!

#TheOAisReal #TheOAisReal #TheOAisReal #TheOAisReal

Ophelia, the retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet from the tragic girl's perspective, has had its United Kingdom and Ireland distribution rights purchased, Deadline Hollywood reports. Blue Finch Film Releasing will handle distribution, with no release date pegged as yet. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) plays Laertes, Ophelia's brother, in the film and does some epic sword fighting to boot!

The January 17, 2020, release date for The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle is still on, but Vital Thrills reported this week that the title of the film, which stars Robert Downey Jr. as the doctor, has been trimmed down to simply Dolittle. How's that for cut and dried. Universal Pictures additionally released a full synopsis for the movie.

Robert Downey Jr. electrifies one of literature's most enduring characters in a vivid reimagining of the classic tale of the man who could talk to animals: 'Dolittle'. After losing his wife seven years earlier, the eccentric Dr. John Dolittle (Downey), famed doctor and veterinarian of Queen Victoria's England, hermits himself away behind the high walls of Dolittle Manor with only his menagerie of exotic animals for company. But when the young queen (Jessie Buckley, 'Wild Rose') falls gravely ill, a reluctant Dolittle is forced to set sail on an epic adventure to a mythical island in search of a cure, regaining his wit and courage as he crosses old adversaries and discovers wondrous creatures. The doctor is joined on his quest by a young, self-appointed apprentice [Harry Collett, 'Dunkirk'] and a raucous coterie of animal friends, including an anxious gorilla [Rami Malek, 'Bohemian Rhapsody'], an enthusiastic but bird-brained duck [Octavia Spencer, 'Hidden Figures'], a bickering duo of a cynical ostrich [Kumail Nanjiani, 'The Big Sick'] and an upbeat polar bear (John Cena, 'Bumblebee'), and a headstrong parrot [Dame Emma Thompson, Sybill Trelawney], who serves as Dolittle's most trusted advisor and confidante.

Dolittle also stars Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) as Barry (a tiger), Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) in an unnamed role, Frances de la Tour (Madame Maxime) as Ginko-Who-Soars, Ineson as Arnall Stubbins, and Carmen Ejogo (Seraphina Picquery, Fantastic Beasts) as Regine (a lioness).

Thompson is continuing to churn out projects as the year slowly draws to a close. We’ve kept you in the know about Last Christmas, the romantic comedy Thompson penned with Wham!’s hit holiday song of the same name in mind, and the movie’s first trailer has finally been released! The film stars Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding (Crazy Rich Asians), and you can view the trailer, film poster, and a first-look still below. Thompson also features as Adelia, Clarke’s character’s mother. CNA Lifestyle additionally reports that a never-before-heard George Michael song will be featured in the movie. The six-minute track will run in its entirety, beginning near the end of the film and running into the credits. Last Christmas premieres November 8.



The film poster for the movie "Last Christmas".


Thompson has also reportedly closed her deal for Disney’s upcoming villainous feature Cruella, HN Entertainment says. As we previously let you know, Thompson is rumored to portray a character known as Baroness in the movie, which stars Emma Stone in the titular role and will debut December 23, 2020. Lastly on the Thompson list, the actress is slated to write the introduction for Letters to the Earth, a collection of letters calling out the global climate crisis, written by celebrities such as Simon McBurney (voice of Kreacher) and Yoko Ono, along with children, scientists, and others. William Collins is expected to publish the book in November.

Fiennes also had a particularly exciting week, according to the Daily Mail, with a visit from MI6 chief Sir Alex Younger on the set of Bond 25. Fiennes portrays Younger's fictional counterpart, M. That visit came on the heels of another by Prince Charles, who was reportedly offered a cameo in the movie afterward. Bond 25 is set for an April 8, 2020, premiere.

We gave you a list last month of the films featuring wizarding world alumni that would be screening at the Toronto and Venice International Film Festivals, and this week, we can let our Canadian friends know why they'll want to head to Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month for the FIN Atlantic International Film Festival.

The festival will feature seven alumni films: Guest of Honour, starring David Thewlis (Remus Lupin); The Lighthouse, starring Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory); Judy, starring Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore); Frankie, starring Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody); Assholes: A Theory, featuring John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick); Sometimes Always Never, starring Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour); and The Song of Names, starring Richard Bremmer (Voldemort, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone). You can purchase tickets online now.

Sometimes Always Never will soon be making its way to the US as well, as Deadline Hollywood reports Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired the domestic rights to the film and will send it off to theaters October 4. Nighy plays Alan in the flick, a stylish tailor with "moves as sharp as his suits."

[Alan] has spent years searching tirelessly for his missing son, Michael, who stormed out over a game of Scrabble. With a body to identify and his family torn apart, Alan must repair the relationship with his youngest son, Peter, and solve the mystery of an online player whom he thinks could be Michael so he can finally move on and reunite his family.


Bill Nighy is pictured in a still from "Sometimes Always Never".


As for Frankie, Sony Pictures Classics released the film's first full trailer this week, featuring Gleeson in his role as Jimmy. The film is scheduled for a limited release October 25 in New York, New York, and Los Angeles, California.



In final Gleeson news, the actor had another trailer released this week for Season 3 of his acclaimed Audience series and Stephen King adaptation, Mr. Mercedes. Gleeson plays retired detective Bill Hodges in the show, which will return with ten episodes September 10. You can check out that trailer below, along with a photo of Gleeson partaking in the song, dance, and craic at the 2019 Fleadh in Drogheda, Ireland. He's pictured posing with staff at the Market Bar, who described him as "lovely."



Brendan Gleeson poses with fans at The Market Bar in Drogheda, Ireland.


Deadline Hollywood reports that Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) will be portraying Sonia Woodley, Queen’s Counsel, in a television adaptation of James Graham’s play, Quiz. The three-part drama will cover the story of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? cheating scandal in Britain and will air on AMC and ITV. No word yet on a release date, but we’ll keep you posted!

McCrory’s drama MotherFatherSon, which we told you about in April, has also crossed the pond and is available now on Starz. McCrory plays Kathryn Finch, ex-wife of Richard Gere’s character, Max Finch, and the show also features Ciarán Hinds (Aberforth Dumbledore) as Finch’s father, Walter.



Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) has been busy paying it forward this week, officially opening a new My Sister’s House women’s charity center in Bognor Regis, England, the Bognor Regis Observer reports. My Sister’s House aids women and girls in need of help with violence, abuse, poverty, and mental health issues. "I feel privileged to open this centre," Walters said. "It is wonderful work that they do here. We are very lucky to have it here in West Sussex. It feels very special." You can view a gallery of photos from the opening below.

The Express and Star also reports that Walters is backing a fundraising campaign to save a children’s hospice in Walsall, England. Acorns hospice was marked for closure but is attempting to raise ₤2 million in order to keep its doors open, and Walters says she is proud to support the fundraising efforts. Those wishing to contribute may do so online.

Children's hospices are incredible places that help families going through the toughest times. It's clear just how much Acorns in the Black Country means to all the families who depend on its services and to the amazing staff and volunteers for whom it's not just a place of work but more like an extended family. I am delighted to back the campaign to help safeguard the hospice's future and hope that everyone in Birmingham and the Black Country will do their bit, whether it's making a donation or doing something daft or daring to raise money.

Meanwhile, the men behind Molly Weasley’s most capricious sons - James Phelps (Fred Weasley) and Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) - were following Walters’ lead in the US, visiting children in San Francisco, California, as guests of Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation for Kids, which raises funds for children’s programs.



We’re a month away now from the September 20 premiere of the Downton Abbey movie, and Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) spoke with the Mirror this week about what it was like to visit the world she’d already known well through her husband, Jim Carter, who portrays Carson the butler. "I'd been living with Downton for six or seven years, so I did know what was going on, but it was lovely to be there," Staunton said. "It was just very nice to be in amongst that phenomenon." The actress plays Lady Maud Bagshaw, cousin of the Dowager Countess’s - played by Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall) - late husband, and Staunton notes she and Smith definitely had their fun. "With Maggie Smith of course there are going to be loads of one-liners," Staunton said. "Maggie and I have great stuff. There's no fisticuffs, but we don't like each other. I've got things to do in that story. I have issues."

'Downton' was just luxury. It was like a nice box of chocolates. It's so much easier doing filming, I'm telling you. I've done seven years of hardcore theatre, where it just beats me all the time, but this was great. I could go home at night and I could switch off. I've got a taste for going home at night, for doing the garden. I don't have a life when I do theatre.

Michelle Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, also had a hilarious tidbit about Smith to share - one that comes as less of a surprise to Potter fans, who are well aware of why the dame might have an affinity for felines.

She's a dear, dear friend. She is as funny as you'd expect. She's not on any social media, so Laura [Carmichael] and I would find funny memes of cats and show them to Maggie at work. I had a file called 'Pictures for Maggie' of various cats on the internet doing silly things to make her laugh.

Staunton also said she would have loved to have been a part of Peaky Blinders and expressed interest in playing a more macabre role, to the surprise of no one attending Hogwarts during the 1995--1996 school year. "Yes! I'd do that. I'd be Shelby's aunty, and I'd f***ing kill the lot of them,” Staunton said. "I watched 'Succession', that was great. And 'Killing Eve'. I like unusual, weird stuff. I could be an assassin."

The actress was in more of a somber mood, meanwhile, when talking about her new ITV series A Confession, which tells the true story of a series of serial killings in the UK in the early 2000s. Staunton plays Karen Edwards, mother of one of the murdered girls, and while she told Good Housekeeping she was initially reluctant to meet the real-life woman she’s portraying, she was glad she did and also that she took on the role. You can check out a quote and a few still images below.

I haven't done anything like this on television. It was surprising to me that I was asked to do it because I thought I wouldn't get offered a part in TV or film of the itnensity that I've done in theatre. I wanted to be part of it because it's such a terrible tale, and [writer] Jeff Pope has done such an extraordinary job in not making it any more than it is. I hate those things that overdo all the emotion - these are women who have lost their children, of course it's going to be emotional. You don't have to do anything else to it. You just have to tell the story as honestly as you can.


Imelda Staunton is pictured in a still from "A Confession".

Imelda Staunton is pictured in a still from "A Confession".


Filming is expected to begin at the end of September on Sir Kenneth Branagh’s (Gilderoy Lockhart) next Agathie Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile, and the Hollywood Reporter says British comedian Russell Brand is in talks to join the cast. No word yet on whom Brand would portray, but we’ll keep an eye out! Branagh will, of course, be back as detective Hercule Poirot in a cast that already boasts Armie Hammer and Gal Gadot. The movie is set for a December 20, 2020, release. Branagh’s tribute to the Bard, All Is True, is also out now on Blu-ray, and you can pick up your copy on Amazon.

Ian Hart (Quirinus Quirrell) will be among the cast of a television adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s books, Noughts & Crosses, the Daily Record reports. Hart’s role is unknown, but the newspaper also says Stormzy and Scottish supermodel Eunice Olumide have signed on for the six-part series, set to air on BBC1 sometime this year. The show is produced by Jay-Z.

Fan Fest News recently sat down with Afshan Azad (Padma Patil) for a discussion on all things Potter. The actress says she actually got the call that she’d received a part in the series on her 16th birthday. "Which was incredible. Best birthday present ever." You can read her reaction to joining the cast as an already-dyed-in-the-wool fan below and find out which is her favorite book, movie, behind-the-scenes moment, and more in the full interview.

I was a huge 'Potter' geek. Huge for the books. I'd read them religiously the minute they came out. So I knew about the universe, about the 'Potter'-world as they call it. And so when I got the role, it didn't dawn on me right away that I was part of the universe, the world. The first day that I went, went for a read-through and met the whole cast, I was calling them by their character names, which I know now is like the most cringiest thing I could've done. I was like, 'Hi, Harry!' And he was like, 'Hi, I'm Daniel Radcliffe.' I was like, 'I know who you are.' I think when I met everyone, I realized, 'Oh my God. I'm part of something big.' Because, you know, around the table there was Harry, Hermione, and Ron, to me, in my head, but now, obviously, looking back - whole different time. Even being here today, it just goes to show how big 'Harry Potter' is and how loved it is around the world. And ten years later, we're still here. So to be a part of it is just overwhelming and the most incredible feeling.


Afshan Azad speaks with Fan Fest News.


HBO released a trailer this week for its new series premiering before the end of the year and in 2020, and it includes snippets from the Jack Thorne–written (writer, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) His Dark MaterialsThe New Pope, starring Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore, Fantastic Beasts); and Run, starring Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley). Don’t blink or you’ll miss Gleeson, but we promise he’s there - right at the 1:13 mark.



Gleeson also spoke with the Irish Sun about how other crime dramas in his home country, particularly Love/Hate, helped him prepare for his role in the recently released The Kitchen.

I watched a few documentaries about Hell's Kitchen in the 1970s. There were very small Irish gangs there, but they were influential and basically out of their minds. There have been so many gang-related movies and shows in Ireland, especially since 'Love/Hate', that you're basically immersed in it whether you realise it or not. When I was playing the part of Gabriel, I decided he wasn't scared, and I made him walk around like he didn't care. He was someone who did what had to be done and made his peace with that.

Fan fiction-turned-film After cleaned up recently at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards, with the film winning Choice Drama Movie, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (11-year-old Tom Riddle) taking Choice Drama Movie Actor, and Josephine Langford scoring Choice Drama Movie Actress. The two stars weren’t able to accept their awards in person, as they’re busy preparing for the sequel - After We Collided - but passed along their thanks in video form.



Meanwhile, Deadline Hollywood reports the sequel has rounded out its new cast members, which will include Charlie Weber (How to Get Away with Murder), Louise Lombard (CSI), Candice King (The Vampire Diaries), Karimah Westbrook (Save the Last Dance), and Rob Estes (90210). The movie is slated for a 2020 release.

The Isle of Wight is preparing for its annual comic convention, Fan TC Con, and Josh Herdman (Gregory Goyle) will be among the special guests. The convention is slated to run August 24--25, and you can purchase tickets online.

Digital Spy reports that Guy Henry (Pius Thicknesse) is taking a break from his role as Henrik Hanssen on BBC1 drama Holby City to tread the boards for a bit. Henry is joining the cast of Peter Gynt at the National Theatre - for which you can purchase tickets online - but Digital Spy says he’s expected to return to Holby City next year.


Guy Henry is pictured in his "Holby City" role as Henrik Henssen.


John Williams (composer of the first three Harry Potter film scores) is hard at work on the score for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the composer’s younger brother, Don, said this week. During his interview with Scoring Arts, Don also hinted at the film’s run time, telling the audience his brother has 135 minutes’ worth of music to write. The final film in the Skywalker saga is set for a December 20 release, and you can watch Don’s interview below.



As we previously let you know, Stephen Fry (narrator of the UK Harry Potter audiobooks) will be performing his show Mythos August 20--25 at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but Chortle reports he’ll also be presenting the Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award to the best show of the 2019 festival on Saturday, August 24. Fry won the first-ever Comedy Award in 1981.

Fantastic Beasts Cast & Crew

As we let you know in June, Callum Turner (Theseus Scamander) and Holliday Grainger (Robin Ellacott, C.B. Strike) are starring together as Shaun Emery and Detective Inspector Rachel Carey, respectively, in the new BBC thriller The Capture, and the two joined costar Ben Miles in posing for the camera this week at a photo call at London’s Soho Hotel. Check out the photos below, courtesy of the Daily Mail, and the show later this year!

Last week, we let you know about the upcoming Simon Annand photography exhibition, The Half, set to run September 7--February 1, 2020, at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield, England, and also gave you a look at an image of David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr., Harry Potter) that will be part of the show. The photographs capture actors in the half-hour before they take the stage for theatre productions and will also feature images of Dame Maggie Smith (Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter), Stephen Fry (narrator of the UK Harry Potter audiobooks), and Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore). This week, we have a striking look for you at photos of Law.


Photos of Jude Law that will be featured in the upcoming exhibition "The Half".


Meanwhile, Variety reports Law’s embattled Woody Allen movie, A Rainy Day in New York, which was shelved by Amazon due to concerns over scandals in Allen’s past, will open October 3 in Hong Kong. Variety says a mainland China release is also expected.

Vogue UK recently penned an article exploring fluidity in fashion, speaking to a number of famous faces who’ve been pushing back against gender boundaries in the clothing world. That prompted a no-brainer call to Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone), who envisions a world where gender doesn’t come in a box. You can read the full article on Vogue UK’s site.

Gender itself is not our enemy, and it will never really be over because it's a vital aspect of existence... but if you want it, we can see a world in which we are liberated from the bonds of it and nourished by the joys and beauty of it.

The start of Season 10 of AMC’s The Walking Dead is coming up October 6, and Samantha Morton (Mary Lou Barebone) said in an interview this week that she’s excited for viewers to get a deeper look into her character, Alpha.

In Season 10, I'm most excited for the fans to see Alpha's humanity and understanding a little bit more about what are the Whisperers, why they behave the way they behave. We've already seen this within the entire show, I think, but how the apocalypse affects some people one way and other people another way, and how primal instincts can take over individuals. And seeing more of that from a female perspective as well, I think, is quite important. And with Alpha being this female villain, it's interesting to explore.

The Walking Dead Twitter account also posted a behind-the-scenes snippet that shows Alpha and Carol - who’ve been teased as having an "epic showdown" this season - interacting off camera.



Gemma Chan (Madam Ya Zhou) has reportedly been cast opposite Meryl Streep in a new, previously secret film project from Steven Soderbergh, the Playlist says. Soderbergh had been hinting at a new project on social media and revealed via Twitter that the movie will be titled Let Them All Talk.



The Playlist says shooting is underway in New York and will then move to a "remote location" outside the US. We’ll keep our eyes open for more details!

Sony is set to release a 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray version of the original Hellboy movie, starring Ron Perlman (Gnarlack) and Sir John Hurt (Garrick Ollivander, Harry Potter), on October 15. The new disc will include remastered theatrical and director’s cuts, audio commentaries, trailers, deleted scenes, and more. You can preorder your copy on Amazon.

So how surprised were you that it was Maggie Smith? Yeah, us neither, but it still makes us smile! Check back with us next week for more of the latest updates on your wizarding world faves, and let us know in the comments if there’s a project you’d like us to keep an eye on!

Brienne Green

I'm a passionate journalist, feeding my wizarding world obsession on MuggleNet by night, forever trying to find ways to work "Potter" references into high school sports stories by day. When not writing, I can be often be found making quiche at 2 a.m., playing Queen tunes on the piano, or talking (and talking and talking) about Sirius Black.