Castium Revelio: Dastardly Delays

There’s no denying that we’re living through a stressful period in history right now. But while we’re not going to dwell, we do have to start out this edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News with an update on more upcoming projects featuring your favorite Wizarding World stars that have been delayed or put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there’s good news as well! Jason Isaacs is always there to turn our frowns upside down, and you can discover the actor’s thoughts on not only The Tales of Beedle the Bard audiobook and portraying yet another iconic villain in Scoob! but also what items he likes to cuddle in his sleep! We also have Domhnall Gleeson talking Run and General Armitage Hux, some new insight into The Batman‘s plot from director Matt Reeves, and a premiere date for David Thewlis‘s Barkskins. So give us a smile – or your best villainous smirk, whichever you prefer. Castium Revelio!



Harry Potter Cast & Crew

As we stated above, we're starting off with a rundown of which films we'll be waiting a little longer to see. We let you know previously about No Time to Die, starring Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort). Keep in mind that nothing will be set in stone until world health officials determine the danger has passed. Other films delayed due to the pandemic as of today include:

The Secret Garden, starring Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley), adapted by Jack Thorne (writer, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), and produced by David Heyman (producer, Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts), has been pushed back from April release dates in the United States and United Kingdom to August 14 in both countries.

Artemis Fowl, directed and produced by Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) and starring Colin Farrell (Percival Graves, Fantastic Beasts), has, unfortunately, had its May 29 theater release canceled altogether. The film will now be released directly to Disney+. We'll let you know when a date is set.

Scoob!, produced by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter director and producer) and starring Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), has been pushed back indefinitely from its May release date.

The Woman in the Window, starring Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), has been pushed back indefinitely from its April 15 release date.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, starring Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley), has been pushed back from August 7 to January 15, 2021.

Eternals, starring Gemma Chan (Madam Ya Zhou, Fantastic Beasts), has been pushed back from November 6 to February 12, 2021.

The French Dispatch, scored by Alexandre Desplat (composer, final two Harry Potter films), has been pushed back from July to October 16.

Here also is a list of films that, for the moment, have elected to stick with their original release dates:

Tenet, starring Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour), and Sir Kenneth Branagh: July 17

Monster Hunter, starring Ron Perlman (Gnarlak, Fantastic Beasts): September 4

The King's Man, starring Ralph Fiennes and Rhys Ifans (Xenophilius Lovegood): September 18

Without Remorse, featuring Adrian Rawlins (James Potter): September 18

Last Night in Soho, featuring James Phelps (Fred Weasley) and Oliver Phelps (George Weasley): September 25

We'll let you know if any of that changes.

Despite the delay for Scoob!, Jason Isaacs sat down with SyFy Wire to discuss his character, iconic villain Dick Dastardly.

Dick Dastardly is a villain in this film in some ways, although I have a lot of sympathies for him. Dick Dastardly in the Saturday morning cartoons was a bit of a dismissible wimp. He was the loser from the first frame, always. You were never worried about him.

But while the talented Isaacs is perfectly capable of adding intrigue to a cowardly character (we're looking at you, Lucius), he was gratified to see that Dastardly has a bit more backbone in film form.

He's a man on a mission, and he's not as easily dismissable. He's not as pathetic, and you can tell just by looking at him. Dick Dastardly was a very, very wimpy guy in the original cartoons, and now, he's got a giant, simian jaw and a huge kind of Mr. Incredible body. He's slightly more of a force in this.

Isaacs was also happy with the opportunity to let his wacky villain flag fly.

I was given a lot of leeway. We had enormously good fun recording a billion versions of everything. Me going wildly over the top, and I have no idea what ends up in the film, of course. You just record and record and record all day, laughing or screaming or whatever the hell it is, and then it's down to them to choose the bits that they think will make a good film.

We're definitely bummed that we won't be seeing this one next month, but we'll be sure to let you know as soon as an adjusted release date is announced.


Dick Dastardly, voiced by Jason Isaacs, gives an evil grin in "Scoob!"


Isaacs also spoke with Radio Times about his recent charity appearance on popular British police procedural Line of Duty, which we told you about last month. The spot got rave reviews, prompting fans to ask whether Isaacs might become a permanent fixture on the show.

Oh, you'll have to ask Jed [Mercurio, writer]! He's a lovely man, and it's up to him. All I can do is take the call. Sometimes I get offered jobs that are magnificent on the page, but I think I'd be rubbish because I bring certain baggage with me. Even when I was in 'The West Wing' as one of the most benign, lovely, romantic war photographers who witnessed a terrible bombing, half of the audience thought I'd planted the bomb!

Isaacs additionally talked about his inclusion in the audiobook for The Tales of Beedle the Bard, making clear that it's just Jason, not Lucius, reading "The Warlock's Hairy Heart." Random thought: Can you imagine Lucius Malfoy reading bedtime stories to Draco? No wonder that kid was messed up.

It's about trying to light the kindling in somebody's imagination. One of the tricks that I think all the other actors have all seemed to have managed is to get out of the way of the writing. J.K. Rowling is the master of storytelling. [...] It was an incredible gift to read one of her stories. At a time like this, where the world is feeling so precarious and fragile, so many people are taking such comfort and solace in listening to stories and audiobooks and being taken out of themselves. And there's simply nobody better at doing that than J.K. Rowling.

Lastly on the Isaacs front, Jason Isaacs would simply not be Jason Isaacs if he were incapable of making us laugh, even in the face of a global pandemic. Enjoy his World Health Day video. (The Dobby doll, though!)



Filming, of course, has shut down on all in-progress projects, including Fantastic Beasts 3; Ralph Fiennes' The Forgiven; Macbeth, starring Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley), and Ralph Ineson (Amycus Carrow); and The Batman, all of which are currently still slated for 2021 releases. The Batman director Matt Reeves spoke with Deadline Hollywood Thursday, revealing that around a quarter of the movie – which stars Robert Pattinson in the titular role, Zoë Kravitz (Leta Lestrange, Fantastic Beasts) as Catwoman, and Colin Farrell as the Penguin – had been shot prior to the stoppage. He also made clear that the film isn't an origin story. It's "noir-driven, in which Batman is investigating a particular case that takes us out into the world of Gotham." The downtime won't find him considering rewrites – "It took me two years to work on that story, and it's a very specific mystery noir that's been really thought out by me and my partners" – but could find Reeves reconsidering "the tone of things."

It happens any time you shoot anything. The unexpected – happy accidents and things you didn't quite expect: That is the lightning in a bottle for something that is alive. I would say that the changes really have to do with, oh, seeing the tone of this with these scenes we haven't done which connect to that part of the storyline. It feels like there might be an opportunity to explore some of that unexpected tone that we found. With these movies, you never have enough prep time because they're so complex and so enormous in so many ways. It also gives me a moment to think about the larger sequences that have yet to come up and how I want to realize those.

In another interview with Nerdist, Reeves elaborated on the plot.

I wanted to do not an origin tale but a tale that would still acknowledge his origins, in that it formed who he is. Like this guy, he's majorly struggling, and this is how he's trying to rise above that struggle. But that doesn't mean that he even fully understands, you know? It's that whole idea of the shadow self, and what's driving you, and how much of that you can incorporate, and how much of it you're doing that you're unaware of. There's something in there that feels very psychological, very emotional, and it felt like there was a way of exploring that along with the corruption in this place, Gotham. That feels very current. I think it always does. There's almost no time when you can't do a story about corruption. But today, it still seems incredibly resonant, and maybe, from my perspective, maybe more so than at any other time.

Production is also stopped on television projects, including Season 2 of Netflix's popular The Witcher, featuring Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane), which was filming in the United Kingdom; Peaky Blinders, starring Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), which was set to begin filming its sixth season; Around the World in 80 Days, starring David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr.); and Baptiste, starring Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley), which was filming its second season.

NatGeo has finally announced a premiere date for its limited series Barkskins, which we first let you know about in April of last year. David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) will be portraying wealthy French landowner Monsieur Claude Trepagny in the adaptation of Annie Proulx's 2016 novel of the same name. The Hollywood Reporter says the eight-part series will begin airing over Memorial Day weekend – with the first episode set for 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) Monday, May 25 – in order to make the May 31 Emmys eligibility cutoff. Episodes will air back-to-back each week for four weeks. Series creator Elwood Reid offered a synopsis.

'Barkskins' is a primeval story of survival and the quest to build a civilization out of the endless forest. The settlers who've come to seek their fortune in the vast and unforgiving 'New World' – the landless poor, street urchins, religious seekers, rapacious traders, and penniless young women hoping to marry into land and wealth – are met with the brutal reality of their dreams as they attempt to carve their place in it. They find themselves in the forest of the world, a dark and uncaring place, long settled by indigenous nations who view their arrival with disdain and a recognition that an alliance with these disparate newcomers is increasingly necessary for survival.

Run, starring Domhnall Gleeson, is off and running on HBO, HBO Go, and HBO Now. Episodes are airing on Sundays, and Gleeson sat down with Decider to talk about the show.

You know the energy is always very high because the stakes are high at every moment in the show; you could lose everything or gain everything in a moment. All it will take is for the other character to say, 'I'm committing to you or I'm going home,' and either one changes your life irrevocably.

Despite having not done any television work since a two-episode stint on Catastrophe in 2017 – and before that, Black Mirror in 2013 – Gleeson says the Phoebe Waller-Bridge–written project appealed to him.

I had done some pretty heavy stuff just previously, and I wanted something that was a little bit lighter, where you would be going in [to] have fun. [...] So I read the script, and it really reminded me of, like, 'I've been on that train journey.' I did that train journey across America. It just really reminded me of lots of stuff. [...] I just thought the opportunities were so huge in terms of saying something about love, and I thought that was fascinating.

Love and hope are the primary emotions he hopes viewers feel while watching the show, and since we could all use a lot more of both right now, set those DVRs!

I hope the relationship matters to people. Even though the protagonists are not always that nice, they're not always great people, I do think there's real love there, and so I hope that transmits. I hope that that comes across and that it means that people lean in and start to hope for the character. I think that will be great if we could get to that place despite the fact that they've done these bad things in their lives.


Domhnall Gleeson smiles during filming for HBO's "Run".


Gleeson also had a recent chat with IndieWire about his role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and if you still haven't seen it, fair warning: major spoilers below.

Gleeson's character, General Armitage Hux, dies early in the movie, and we could not boo or hiss more at that fact if we were Dick Dastardly ourselves. No sooner does Hux out himself as a spy for the Resistance than he's gone, and it felt like we were robbed of a chance to see what Gleeson could've done with a now-even-more-interesting character. He agrees – though he won't go as far as to call it a mistake, of course.

It would've been nice to stick around a little bit longer, for sure. It would've been nice to see the spy thing play out a little bit, but J.J. [Abrams] knows what he's doing, and I heard a kind of gasp in the cinema when it happened, so I guess he was right. [...] The film is what the film needed to be, I think. There's always stuff that you would like to see more of, but you can't have a 17-hour film, I've been told. Apparently that's not allowed, so I was happy with what was there.

As MuggleNet readers are already aware, Apple TV's Trying, starring Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge); Timothy Spall's (Peter Pettigrew) son, Rafe Spall; and Esther Smith (Delphi Diggory, original West End run, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), is coming up May 1, and a new trailer for the eight-part series was recently released. You can check that out below.




We also previously let you know about the May 8 release date for How to Build a Girl, starring Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), Frank Dillane (16-year-old Tom Riddle, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), and Beanie Feldstein (Lady Bird). That theatrical release, of course, is not in the cards now, and the movie will instead move straight to video on demand on that date. You can check out the new trailer below.




Ricky Gervais's Netflix comedy After Life is coming back for Season 2, and we have a brand-new trailer for you! Gervais is returning to the role of local journalist Tony, whose life is left in limbo after his wife passes away from cancer. David Bradley (Argus Filch) stars as Tony's father, who suffers from dementia. The second season sees all the show's characters dealing with their own set of problems, which are compounded by the possibility that the local newspaper may close.




Meanwhile, when we last talked Guillermo del Toro's dark reimagining of Pinocchio for Netflix, Bradley had announced his involvement, but an official voice cast for the stop-motion movie had yet to be announced. However, IMDb is now listing Bradley in his stated role as Geppetto, while also adding Ron Perlman as Mangiafuoco and Alexandre Desplat as the film's composer. The site also lists 2021 for the film's intended release, but there's no telling whether that will hold. We'll keep you posted!

And finally, if you're looking for something else to lift your spirits, look no further than SyFy Wire's behind-the-scenes glimpse at Warwick Davis (Griphook/Filius Flitwick) preparing to reprise his career-launching role as Ewok Wicket W. Warrick for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. As we previously let you know, Davis's son, Harrison, joined him this time around to portray Wicket's son, Pommet Warrick, and watching father and son interact both in and out of character is beyond heartwarming.



Fantastic Beasts Cast & Crew

Jude Law's (Albus Dumbledore) and Katherine Waterston's (Tina Goldstein) immersive six-part series The Third Day has been bumped back to autumn, Deadline Hollywood reports. The HBO and Sky drama was originally set to premiere May 11 but saw postproduction impacted by the shutdown. The series was also set to include a live theater event to allow audiences to "inhabit the story," which is also out of the question at the moment. We'll let you know as soon as a new date is set!

Deadline also reports that Fiona Glascott (Minerva McGonagall) is joining the cast of a new pilot for HBO Max. Julia will explore the life of renowned chef, pioneering cookbook author, and lady-with-a-fantastically-awesome-voice Julia Child and will star Sarah Lancashire (Happy Valley) in the titular role and Tom Hollander (Bohemian Rhapsody) as her husband, Paul. Glascott is on tap to portray Judith, "the visionary editor with a knack for pulling manuscripts out of the reject pile and turning them into bestsellers." You can check out the synopsis below.

Written by Daniel Goldfarb ('The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel') and directed by Charles McDougall ('House of Cards'), 'Julia' is inspired by Julia Child's extraordinary life and her show, 'The French Chef', which essentially invented food television. Through Julia and her singular can-do spirit, it explores an evolving time in American history – the emergence of a new social institution called public television, feminism and the women's movement, the nature of celebrity, and America's cultural growth. At its heart, the show is a portrait of a marriage with an evolving and complicated power dynamic.

Glascott also has The Martini Shot in postproduction. She plays Mary in the existential tale of an ailing movie director beginning work on what he feels will be his final film. As such, the movie evolves into a hard look at mortality and how one person can change the world. The picture – which also features John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick, Harry Potter) as Dr. Auyeung – is currently scheduled for a December 25 release in Canada. We'll let you know if that changes.

That’s it for this edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News! Stay home, stay safe, and we’ll be back – without delay – for another update on your favorite Wizarding World stars.

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.