Castium Revelio: Weasley Pranks, First Look at “Mank”

We’ve all imagined how wondrous it must have been to be a kid on the set of the Harry Potter film series. We’ve also heard several stories about the actors behind Fred and George Weasley – James and Oliver Phelps – living up to their characters’ reputations, and we’ve got yet another one for you below! Also in this week’s edition of Casting News, check out a few first-look images of Gary Oldman in Mank, find out what legendary director Robbie Coltrane will be playing on a new season of Urban Myths, peep some images of Katherine Waterston and Jim Broadbent at the Venice Film Festival, and see what fantastic character name Shirley Henderson is adding to her already-long list. Let’s manage a little mischief! Castium Revelio!


Harry Potter Cast & Crew

MuggleNet recently let you know about James Phelps's (Fred Weasley) traumatic reaction – and brother Oliver Phelps's (George Weasley) hilarious one – to the news of his character's fate upon his first reading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but Oliver also spoke to Metro about the Weasley family actors' on-set pranks.

We were kind of given free rein because we could just claim we were method actors and we need to be able to express ourselves! They range from silly to just, in hindsight, you could say 'that is really out of order.'

Across the street from Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, construction was underway on offices for BT Group plc, and after snagging a walkie-talkie from a Harry Potter crew member, the twins and their on-screen sister, Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), tried to give the construction team an early day.

So we borrowed one of these walkie-talkies. And we realised that on a certain channel [...] was the same channel as the building site over the road. To which Bonnie Wright [Ginny Weasley], James and myself, we'd have fun looking at these guys from a long distance away saying, 'Hey, guys, you can go home now we've got a missed order' or something like that. And you'd physically see people downing tools, and then the gaffer coming on and probably didn't realise he was dealing with children with his language, but wasn't very happy that we told his workforce to go home for the day. But I suppose if you were to look back and say, yeah, you had the Weasleys telling your workforce to go home. It's not really going to be believable when he goes to his boss about it.

Sky Arts in the United Kingdom has released its upcoming programming plans, and they include a fourth season of Urban Myths, the comedic series that places actors in the roles of historical figures during unusual periods in their lives. Season 4 will feature Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid) as legendary director Orson Welles in "Orson Welles in Norwich." The episode will also include Craig Ferguson and Derry Girls's Saoirse-Monica Jackson.

Cheerful scarecrow Worzel Gummidge is returning for a one-hour special that will find the walking, talking straw man encountering a foul-mouthed old friend: carved ship's figurehead Saucy Nancy, who will be played by Shirley Henderson (Moaning Myrtle). We have to pause for a moment to express the sheer awesomeness of having characters named Moaning Myrtle, Babu Frik, and Saucy Nancy in one's filmography. We'll keep an eye on this one for further casting and a release date. In the meantime, check out the synopsis from the Irish News.

Along with friends Susan and John, Gummidge will help Saucy Nancy return to the sea in search of her ship, making the journey by bus, wheelbarrow, and motorbike and sidecar. The rare trip out of Scatterbrook will see Gummidge encounter wild moorland and the white cliffs of Seashell.

We're all aware of Matthew Lewis's (Neville Longbottom) love for Leeds United, and the actor announced this week that he would be celebrating the team's return to the Premier League with a new podcast: Doing a Leeds. Joining him will be Leeds legend Jermaine Beckford. The first episode was released Thursday, so add the podcast to your list now!

While we know there's nothing typical about box-office numbers at this time – with theaters in many places still shuttered and many would-be moviegoers opting out due to the potential risk – Tenet, starring Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart), and Clémence Poésy (Fleur Delacour), still managed a big opening weekend. The New York Daily News reports the film earned $20.2 million domestically, $150 million worldwide. And if you poll 150 million people, you'll still get 150 million different answers as to what it's about. But there are tons of awesome theories floating around the Internet if you're in want of a rabbit hole to go down!

MuggleNet let you know in October 2019 about Gary Oldman's (Sirius Black) casting as Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz in David Fincher's Mank, and Netflix shared some first-look images last week. The film will follow Mankiewicz's race to complete a screenplay for Citizen Kane amid battles with Orson Welles over credit for the script. Filming reportedly wrapped in February. The film has an October 2020 release range listed, but no specific date has been attached as yet.



The Hollywood Reporter has released its full, uncensored Drama Actress Roundtable from late last month, featuring Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and others. Bonham Carter chats about The Crown, and you can watch the discussion on the Reporter's website.

Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) appeared last weekend as part of a prerecorded Star Trek: Discovery panel for Dragon Con Goes Virtual and was inevitably asked for the odds on his character, the late Captain Gabriel Lorca, returning in the future. He was appropriately cryptic.

Taking the Fifth. The whole point of having a story told to you is that you don't know what's in the story. It's like asking when someone is going to tell you a joke: 'Give me the punchline, and I'll make my mind up.'

Some people's voices are as soothing as a hot cup of tea on a rainy day, and Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) is one of those people. Thompson was recently asked by Last Christmas costar Emilia Clarke to read the poem "Kindness" by Naomi Shihab Nye. Thompson dedicated the reading to "our future selves, who we will be after this pandemic."



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The ever glorious and wonderful Emma Thompson reads “Kindness” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Emma would like to dedicate this poem to our future selves, who we will be after this pandemic. What a glorious sentiment that is, filled to the brim with hope. What we need, what we always need, most. Here is the prescription as written in @thepoetrypharmacy @thepoetryremedy. Condition: Need for Kindness There are times in life when everything we thought we could rely on fails, and everything we have wanted for ourselves dissolves in front of us. There are times, also, when we are confronted with the same suffering in others. Faced with the sheer scale of the misery of the world, it can be agonizingly difficult to engage meaningfully- and all too tempting simply to harden our hearts against it. Yet, as Naomi Shihab Nye tells us in this inspiring poem, those moments- hard as they are- are also an opportunity, if we will only dare to open our hearts. For it is only by reckoning with true sorrow and desolation that we can come to understand exactly how necessary, how life-preserving, kindess really is, and then move towards it. First, however, we must learn true empathy. ‘Kindness’, after all, is just another word for love- and once we’ve acknowledged that the pain of others is exactly as searing as our own, what can we do but love them? What can we do but try to ease their burden? As Nye so wonderfully suggests, nothing else makes sense. This is a challenge. Even at our lowest points, we must not ignore the suffering of others: we must not allow the solipsism of personal misery to cut us off from the great cloth of human feeling. Yet it is also a consolation: if we reject that isolation, we can take comfort in knowing that whatever loss lays us bare will also bring us into the presence of kindness. By looking pain in the eye, we can find the kindness needed to reach out not only to others, but to ourselves, as well. It will tie our shoes for us; it will lead us back into the world when everything else has abandoned us. So gaze unflinchingly into the bright light of loss, and let kindness be unleashed from you like a soothing shadow. Big Thank you Big Em! 🥰🕊🙌

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Promotional press looks just as different as everything else these days, and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (11-year-old Tom Riddle) and his After We Collided costars are doing the majority of their talking about the upcoming film via conference call. He, Josephine Langford, and Dylan Sprouse spoke jointly with 9Honey Celebrity, Australia, this week, delving into the fleshing-out of Fiennes-Tiffin's character, Hardin Scott, and just the fleshing in general that goes on in these movies. You can watch the interview at 9Honey's site and check out a few film stills below. After We Collided hits theaters September 2–4 around much of Europe, September 11 in Canada, and October 2 in the United States.



Yet another theater casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic was Uncle Vanya – starring Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) and Ciarán Hinds (Aberforth Dumbledore) – a new adaptation of the Anton Chekhov classic that was in the final weeks of its West End run when lockdowns commenced. Playbill reported last week, however, that the play has been filmed and will receive a limited cinema release ahead of a broadcast on BBC Four. Unfortunately, Hinds was unavailable for the filming and was replaced by Roger Allam (Endeavour). Sonia Friedman (producer, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) was coproducing the production and issued a joint statement with Sally Angel:

Collaborating on filming Ian Rickson’s extraordinary production of 'Uncle Vanya' has been a wonderful and inspiring experience. Despite all the challenges involved in filming this production (with no social distancing on screen), the results are testament to a brilliant and dedicated cast and crew led by Ian himself alongside Ross MacGibbon. It is such a privilege that we are able to bring this beautiful production to a wider audience after its run was cut so brutally short by the COVID-19 pandemic in March. We would also like to thank SFP’s loyal co-producers who have so generously allowed us to pursue this vision for the filmed production and enabled it to become a reality.

No dates have yet been announced for either the theater release or the BBC broadcast, but we'll keep you posted!

We're accustomed to having to wait our turn while British series slowly make their way to PBS's Masterpiece, and a few featuring Wizarding World alumni are finally arriving this autumn.

Flesh and Blood, the four-episode family drama starring Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), is set to premiere October 4. To give you a refresher, Staunton plays Mary Bennett, the nosy neighbor of a family in the midst of turmoil when its matriarch finds new romance. BBC four-parter Roadkill, starring Hugh Laurie (House) as politician Peter Laurence and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy) as Prime Minister Dawn Ellison, will debut November 1. The political thriller sees Laurie's character clawing his way through the ranks, plagued by scheming colleagues and trouble at home.

We couldn't find any stills of McCrory in her role, but enjoy a few photos of Staunton in the gallery below.



John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) has some sound advice for those attempting to tap into their creativity in the modern era: Turn off your phone. In a piece written for educational resource website Tes, Cleese notes that creativity isn't taught in schools, with most education systems actually discouraging it.

When I was 15, I had to write an essay on 'Time'. I wrote the whole piece about the fact that I didn't have time to write it. Looking back, I think that was rather amusing, but the attitude of my teachers was: why haven't you written a proper essay? [...] These days, we live in an atmosphere that's antithetical to creativity because it's so hard to be still when you're anxious, and impossible if you're being interrupted by people or smartphones. It was easier 40 years ago. Now it requires real planning.

You can read Cleese's full advice on finding the time to be creative on Tes. Cleese's newly released book, Creativity: A Short and Cheerful Guide, is available on Amazon, where it's already achieved bestseller status. Click the button below to pick up your copy.

Buy on Amazon

Cleese additionally appeared last week on Late Night with Seth Meyers to further explain his thoughts on creativity as well as how his path diverted from science to comedy while studying at Cambridge University.




We let you know last week about Rebecca, featuring Jeff Rawle (Amos Diggory), and a new trailer has since dropped for the Armie Hammer- and Lily James–starrer.



The World Soundtrack Awards (WSA) are scheduled for October 24, and Film Fest Gent released its 2020 nominees this week. Both John Williams (composer, first three Harry Potter films) and Alexandre Desplat (composer, final two Harry Potter films) are nominated for Film Composer of the Year for their respective work on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Little Women, J'accuse, and Adults in the Room. Desplat will also be attending the digital ceremony as its guest of honor as an 11-time Academy Award nominee and five-time WSA Film Composer of the Year winner.

Sketch for Survival – Sketching a Future for Endangered Species, an exhibition designed to highlight the plight of elephants and other endangered animals, will be on display November 11–15 at gallery@oxo in London, England. Explorers Against Extinction invited professional artists and celebrity supporters to submit works, and among those answering the call were Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) and Stephen Fry (narrator, UK Harry Potter audiobooks). Admission to the exhibition is free, and you can find out more at gallery@oxo's website.

Fantastic Beasts Cast & Crew

We've seen some things in 2020, but the images from the Venice Film Festival have served as the clearest sign of the times to date. The festival was the first such event to be held in person since the pandemic began, and there's nothing more surreal than seeing celebrities all dolled up, posing on the red carpet, with only their eyes visible above their masks. But we're very glad to see that precautions were being taken!

In competition this year was The World to Come, starring Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein) and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown), while The Duke, starring Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) and Dame Helen Mirren, screened out of competition. The World to Come came up short at today's awards ceremony, but Kirby did pick up the Best Actress award for another film, Pieces of a Woman. Waterston's film was praised by critics, however, as was The Duke, which garnered several five-star reviews. You can check out a gallery of photos of Waterston and Broadbent from the event below, along with the festival's first clip of The World to Come and an interview with Broadbent about The Duke. Broadbent told the Guardian last week that he had been apprehensive about traveling to Venice but found the festival feel "almost normal." He did note, however, that it might be difficult for older actors to work in this climate due to insurance issues. The World to Come does not yet have a theater release projection, but The Duke is set to hit UK cinemas in 2021.





Also missing out in competition was Chaitanya Tamhane's The Disciple, which was executive produced by Alfonso Cuarón (director, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban). You can check out that trailer below.



Speaking at DC FanDome this weekend, The Flash director Andy Muschietti gave fans a small idea of what will be in store for titular star Ezra Miller (Credence Barebone).

My 'Flash' is not gonna be light or dark in tone; it's gonna have everything. If you saw my previous movies like 'It' and 'It [Chapter] 2', you'll notice that I like to put everything in it. What you will see in 'Flash' is a very deep, emotional story, but it's also gonna be very funny and a great, epic adventure at the same time. [But] also terrifying for some of the time... get ready.

The Flash is expected to begin production in early 2021 in preparation for a June 3, 2022, release.

Reminiscing is becoming everyone's favorite pastime in these strange days, and rock legend Alice Cooper joined in last week, posting a picture on Instagram of himself and Hollywood Vampires bandmate Johnny Depp (Gellert Grindelwald). And believe us when we say, we were not going to miss out on the chance to show you Johnny Depp spoon-feeding ice cream to Alice Cooper.



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Ever been caught in the middle of something... @hollywoodvampires #tbt 📷 @cerealkyler

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Depp is also continuing to be fascinating in quarantine and posted a video to Instagram Friday thanking his fans for their support. We're generally never going to delve into his personal life in Casting News, but it's worth a mention that Depp had been requesting a delay to the start of his defamation lawsuit against ex Amber Heard due to potential conflicts with Fantastic Beasts 3 filming. Deadline Hollywood reported this week that the delay was granted – but for a different reason. Fairfax County, Virginia, Circuit Court Chief Judge Bruce White noted that the Virginia Supreme Court has not yet authorized the system to conduct jury trials while pushing the date back from January 11, 2021, to May 3, 2021.



In final Fantastic Beasts cast news, you can catch Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore) talking about The Third Day, which will have just dropped on HBO and HBO Max, on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Monday, September 14.

The series also stars Katherine Waterston. Law spoke to the Guardian last week about the emotional challenges involved with playing Sam, who is dealing with the loss of a child.

I completely underestimated getting into Sam's skin. I think messing with grief, really sticking your finger in and poking around at what grief is... The emotion is unrelenting for Sam. [...] It's a sort of muddy area. One doesn't sit dwelling on the loss of your own children, but you kind of poke around at what that might be. My children all got lots of messages during the making of this, telling them how much I loved them. [When I became a parent] I started crying at anything. Everything emotional immediately goes to my relationship with them – and the capacity of love and the capacity of loss and all of that.

Law's other upcoming project, The Nest, meanwhile, is still set for a September 18 premiere in theaters, and Arcade Fire fans will definitely want to check out the score. The soundtrack, composed by Richard Reed Parry, will be released on Milan Records, and the musician spoke to NME about the experience last week.

When I watched the very first rough cut of 'The Nest' without any music, I could feel right away what I wanted the score to be: music that sounded like it was written and played somewhere within the massive old manor house that so much of the film centres around. I am very grateful to my fantastic musical collaborators, and for Sean Durkin's trust in my own intuitive musical process and the artistic space and freedom he gave me to explore the musical landscape of this film.

You can hear some of that music in The Nest trailer below and view the recently released movie poster.



Pictured is a movie poster for Jude Law's "The Nest".

That’s it for this week’s edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News! Be sure to tune in next Saturday for even more information on the latest projects from your Wizarding World favorites.


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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.