Ultimate Year in Review: 2018
For MuggleNet’s 20th anniversary, we are looking back at the past 20 years in Harry Potter history to bring attention back to its most significant moments. We hope you enjoyed this series of articles over the past four months. Our previous article covered the year 2017.
This week, the Time-Turner takes us all the way back to 2018, a year full of political events and blockbuster releases: Angela Merkel was sworn in for a fourth term as German Chancellor; David Attenborough warned against the collapse of civilization and the natural world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland; American actress Meghan Markle married Prince Harry at Windsor Castle; and the biggest movie releases included Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, Misson: Impossible – Fallout, Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, A Star Is Born, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, and Ocean’s Eight, starring Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange).
In news surrounding Rowling, the Harry Potter franchise, and MuggleNet, 2018 was a year of a lot of exciting announcements.
In January, director David Yates created an uproar in the fandom with his response regarding whether Albus Dumbledore’s homosexuality would be displayed on-screen. After all, Rowling had revealed the sexual orientation of the character ten years prior but had not addressed it in her books.
Not explicitly. But I think all the fans are aware of that. He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas and ideology and each other.
Following the outrage of the Potter community, Rowling took to Twitter:
Being sent abuse about an interview that didn't involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that's only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what's even *more* fun? pic.twitter.com/Rj6Zr8aKUk
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2018
Following the success of the exhibition Harry Potter: A History of Magic, the British Library teamed up with Google Arts & Culture to make the exhibition available to everyone online. There is a lot of content about the real-world background of the magic of Harry Potter from the British Library’s collections available to explore. The entire online exhibit is available for free on the Google Arts & Culture website.
In April, many fans finally got a dream fulfilled: They received their Hogwarts letter as part of the newly released mobile game Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery. The game allows users to create their own character and finally attend Hogwarts with their peers. And of course, it wouldn’t be Hogwarts if there wasn’t a mystery to solve. In the story, set in the 1980s, players attend Hogwarts alongside characters such as Bill Weasley and Nymphadora Tonks, learning magic while enjoying extracurricular activities, like the Duelling Club.
On May 30, we got the cover art for the upcoming Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald screenplay, which was designed by MinaLima, as was the previous cover. They commented on the cover:
The Art Nouveau aesthetic is so strong in this film. The costumes, the architecture, the colours: that all felt like something we should really push [in the cover]. So while there are Easter eggs and hidden gems in here, they’re all knitted in with these swirls and flourishes that really follow that traditional aesthetic.
The location is so significant in this film, and the Eiffel Tower is so iconic, it lends itself to this design. And as for the colour, we wanted to keep the gold theme running through, but as the storyline is getting darker, we introduced this black silhouette design. And the overall colour is typical of the period.
In July, during San Diego Comic-Con, fans got the long-awaited trailer for Crimes of Grindelwald. The previous teaser trailer already had fans discussing Apparition at Hogwarts; this trailer caused a whole new debate since Dumbledore was shown as the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor.
— Fantastic Beasts (@FantasticBeasts) July 21, 2018
In August, MuggleNet was allowed to publish articles regarding its set visit to Crimes of Grindelwald. At the time of the set visit, the crew was still referring to the film by its code name, Voltaire. From the art department to the streets of wizarding Paris to interviews with notable cast and crew members, MuggleNet got to share a lot of new information with fans who were willing to learn about the film before its release in November.
Producer David Heyman commented on the casting of Jude Law:
Well, it was not inconsiderable, as you can imagine, and we had various people work with Eddie [Redmayne], and we did three or four scenes. And it was quite clear that Jude [Law] was the one. He has a bit of mischief. He’s charismatic. And he has many of the qualities that we wanted in the part.
Actor Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone/Aurelius Dumbledore) commented on the set design for the Paris streets:
Oh, isn’t that mind-blowing? Yeah. Just saw the wand and Quidditch shop, the French versions. Almost lost my cool entirely. [I can’t] really contain myself on the streets.
Around the release of the new movie, Rowling updated her website with new FAQs to answer fans’ burning questions, including a tease regarding the relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald:
I knew a huge amount more than ever happened in the books, and this is my chance to show/tell some of it.