Castium Revelio: We Recognize Harry Melling

It seems as if every time Harry Melling lands a new role, the first thing everyone wants to talk about is that he doesn’t look like he did when he was a teenager. Well, duh. We Harry Potter fans, meanwhile, have been proudly recognizing Melling for years, and we’ve spotted him again in two new stills from The Queen’s Gambit, which you can check out below. Meanwhile, we have a new release date for Season 2 of Servant, starring Rupert Grint; trailers for The Crown, Mank, and His Dark Materials; and much, much more in this week’s Casting News. Fair warning, though: None of these actors look like they did when they were in Harry Potter. Brace yourselves. Castium Revelio!

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Harry Potter Cast & Crew

It's been a while since we had an update on M. Night Shyamalan's Servant, starring Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), but we've got a big one this week: Season 2 will be premiering in three months!

Apple TV+ dropped the news last week that the show will return January 15, 2021. It'll consist of ten episodes, and you can check out the unnerving trailer below. When Stephen King calls something "extremely creepy," you know you're in for a wild ride.

 

 

Batman was in the home of the Beatles recently, and the result was a whole lot of set photos that just make it all the more depressing that The Batman's release was bumped into 2022. Filming has also been underway in Chicago, Illinois, so we've rolled up our Bat Sleeves and rounded up as many photos featuring Robert Pattinson (Cedric Diggory), Zoë Kravitz (Leta Lestrange, Fantastic Beasts), and Colin Farrell (Percival Graves, Fantastic Beasts) as we could find. Enjoy! And for the record, we can't believe that's Colin Farrell either.

 

 

Meanwhile, the film's stunt doubles have also been put through their paces of late. We get some excellent looks at the new Batsuit and a few of those wonderful toys in these shots, so it's two galleries for the price of one today.

 

 

 

 

It seems like every time poor Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley) has a new project on offer – and he's had quite a few lately – he has to sit through a dozen or so interviews that center largely around the topic of how "unrecognizable" he is since his Harry Potter days. But while it must be at least a little annoying to have people constantly pointing out that you've dropped your baby fat, Melling is a good sport about it, most recently telling People that his "transformation" gave him a chance to start afresh.

I think it was an unconscious thing when it started to happen. I went to drama school when I was 18, and that's kind of where the weight shifted, not for any sort of major need on my side, but it's just something that happened. And I've done a lot since drama school, went to do lots of theater. I think one of the blessings of that sort of stage in my life was the fact that I didn't get recognized. I had this history of being part of the films, but also I felt like I had the opportunity to sort of cause a new start, which I think is useful.

You can see Melling now – alongside Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma) and Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Game of Thrones) – as chess master Harry Beltik in Netflix's series The Queen's Gambit, and he confessed that he was no Ron Weasley when it came to the game.

I was awful. I didn't know how to play. I knew a chessboard; I knew what the pieces looked like, but I had no idea how they moved, where they went, what the rules were. So I was starting from scratch.

You can also check out two additional interviews with Melling and a pair of stills below.

 

 

 

Harry Melling is pictured in a still from "The Queen's Gambit".

 

Harry Melling takes on Anya Taylor-Joy in a game of chess in this still from "The Queen's Gambit".

 

Filming has finally wrapped on pandemic-stalled The Forgiven, starring Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort) and Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), and Deadline Hollywood reports the worldwide rights have been purchased by Focus Features. The film follows "the reverberations of a random accident on the lives of an Anglo-American couple, their friends and the local Moroccans, who all converge on a luxurious desert villa during a decadent weekend-long party." Fiennes plays David Henniger, and you can check out a first-look image below. We'll keep an eye out for release dates.

 

Ralph Fiennes is pictured alongside Jessica Chastain in a still from "The Forgiven".

 

Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley) sat down last week with the Times to discuss the upsetting news that she may or may not be finished with acting, with one notable exception... and it's unfortunately not a Weasley family sitcom spinoff. Walters told the Times that she feels her career may have had a hand in her 2018 cancer diagnosis and was asked if that meant permanent retirement:

Well, never say never. The oncologist said to me, 'What do you think has caused the cancer?' And the first thing that came to my mind was acting. Acting caused it. Because of the way that I approach it. I have to be totally in it. Everything has to be just so. It's very stressful. You're immediately above the parapet. You're being judged. It's a stressful job, and I don't sleep when I'm working. It's not good for me. [...] After I had the operation and I was thinking about the future, I thought, 'I don't want to work again.' Unless it's another 'Mamma Mia'!

In happier news, Walters was among the celebrities appearing in previously unreleased photos from the 1970–1984 British drama series Play for Today. The BBC released the archived snaps to celebrate the show's 50th anniversary, and you can view the stills of Walters – appearing alongside Alan Bennett – and Gemma Jones (Poppy Pomfrey) below.

 

Dame Julie Walters is pictured in a still from "Play for Today".

 

Gemma Jones is pictured in a still from "Play for Today".

 

Finally, Walters has lent her voice to a commercial aimed at drawing attention to the current fundraising appeal of the Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity. You can read her remarks below and support the charity on its official website.

I am incredibly proud to be supporting Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity with their first-ever television advert, which will help to raise vital funds. It’s been a tough year for the charity, so I am delighted to be able to help them out in this way. I have seen for myself the difference the amazing staff have made to the lives of the children and families they care for, and it is critical that the charity can support them with this work, now and in the future.

We still have a little over a month to go until Netflix's December 4 release of Mank, starring Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), but the anticipation is building with the release of the movie's official trailer last week. This is clearly an extremely creative project, and we can't wait to see it!

 

 

As for things we won't have to wait quite as long to see, Season 4 of The Crown – starring Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) – is coming up on its November 15 debut, and Netflix released a new teaser and set of character posters last week. You can view the teaser and Bonham Carter's poster below. The Independent also asked the series's current Queen Elizabeth, Olivia Colman, whether she had any advice for incoming Queen Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge). She kept it short and sweet: "Good luck... the wig's itchy."

 

 

Helena Bonham Carter is featured on a character poster for Season 4 of "The Crown".

 

The Belfast Media Festival in Belfast, Ireland, is going virtual this year and will host a special online conversation with Sir Kenneth Branagh (Gilderoy Lockhart) on November 12. Branagh will discuss his career to date, both as an actor and a director/producer, and you can learn more on the festival's official website. Branagh says he's looking forward to taking part:

I am delighted to be part of the Belfast Media Festival in these difficult times. With a workforce that is mainly freelance and productions and cinemas having to close, it has often looked bleak for our industry. However, there is innovation and resilience, and I want to celebrate the achievements of the film and television industry here in Northern Ireland.

Audible is giving Jane Austen fans a new twist on the author's works, releasing audiobooks that will be a mix of narration and full-cast dramatization. Six novels will be released on November 5, and Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney) will be reading – wait for it – Emma, along with Northanger Abbey. You can preorder the audiobooks on Audible's website.

Thompson has also joined Manchester United star Marcus Rashford in calling on Britain's government to do more for hungry children. The pair is urging people to sign a petition asking Parliament to expand access to free school meals, provide meals and activities during holidays, and increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme. You can add your name to the petition here.

The November 13 theater release of Ammonite, featuring Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley) and Gemma Jones, is coming up as the movie continues to travel the film festival circuit, and a new trailer was released last week.

 

 

The first two seasons of Stephen King's Mr. Mercedes, starring Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody), have arrived on Peacock just in time for All Hallow's Eve, and to celebrate, King has treated us to a new behind-the-scenes featurette.

 

 

Shooting has just begun in the United Kingdom on a new dramedy titled The Fantastic Flitcrofts, and Deadline Hollywood reports that Rhys Ifans (Xenophilius Lovegood), Sally Hawkins (Eternal Beauty), and Mark Rylance (Dunkirk) are set to star. Ifans is tabbed to play Lambert in the true story of Maurice Flitcroft (Rylance), a "dreamer and unrelenting optimist" who managed to qualify for the British Open golf tournament in 1976 but became a folk hero by shooting the worst round in the tournament's history. The movie is anticipated to hit theaters in 2021 in the UK.

At the start of what we had no idea would be one of the worst years in history, things that made us nervous included rumors that a Disney+ series adaptation of Willow might not happen. Ah, to be so carefree again. Anyway, it is now officially happening, per the Hollywood Reporter, with Warwick Davis (Griphook/Filius Flitwick) reprising his role as Willow Ufgood. The series will reportedly be set years after the events of the 1988 film and will introduce a host of new characters. Davis says he's honored to continue the story.

So many fans have asked me over the years if Willow will make a return, and now I'm thrilled to tell them that he will indeed. Many have told me they grew up with 'Willow' and that the film has influenced how they view heroism in our own world. If Willow Ufgood can represent the heroic potential in all of us, then he is a character I am extremely honored to reprise.

Davis also has Master Moley by Royal Invitation, which we let you know about last month, coming up on its November 28 premiere on Boomerang, and the actor shared a meet-the-cast video last week on Twitter. The animated movie also stars Dame Julie Walters as Mrs Moley.

 

 

We announced the casting of Freddie Stroma (Cormac McLaggen) in Netflix's new Regency series, Bridgerton, last year, and the show now has a release date. Described by Netflix as "a romantic, scandalous, and quick-witted series that celebrates the timelessness of enduring friendships, families finding their way, and the search for a love that conquers all," Bridgerton will hit the streaming service worldwide on Christmas Day. Stroma will portray Prince Friederich, with whom all the ladies wouldn't mind getting on a first-name basis.

Maze Theory has announced the impending release of a new video game starring the most popular and most recent incarnations of the universe's favorite doctor. Doctor Who: The Edge of Reality will feature the vocal talents of David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr.) and Jodie Whittaker and is set for a 2021 debut on console and PC. You can check out the first teaser below.

 

 

Elsewhere, Tennant's Des – in which he portrays British serial killer Dennis Nilsen – is available on Sundance Now, and his much-lauded performance caught the attention of the New York Times. You can check out the full interview and read an excerpt below.

Telling these stories is an attempt to understand them, to possibly exorcise the demons of them. And it's also to memorialize those victims. There were people who really slipped through the cracks in society – that's who he preyed on – people who didn't have the means or ability to look after themselves. It's an interesting time to be doing this, in a way, as we're entering another phase of economic turmoil where you sense the number of people who aren't supported by society is growing again.

David Tennant wouldn't be David Tennant if he didn't have about 47 different irons in the fire, so our update continues with an episode of his popular David Tennant Does a Podcast With... podcast that Whovians won't want to miss. Billie Piper, widely known as the Doctor's most complicated companion, Rose Tyler, joined Tennant on October 20, and you can listen to their interview now. BBC One has also announced that Staged, the lockdown comedy featuring Tennant and Good Omens costar Michael Sheen, has been renewed for a second season. Staged features the pair as exaggerated versions of themselves, bickering over Zoom as they rehearse for a fictional West End play. Enjoy a few clips below.

 

 

 

Photographer Ray Burmiston has launched a virtual portrait gallery featuring a variety of celebrities taking a moment to close their eyes and relax, and for the price of a donation to the UK mental health charity Mind, you can join them. The #TakeAMoment4Mind campaign also allows you to purchase exclusive prints from the exhibition, along with prints of a selection of portraits, including your photo. You can view the gallery and upload your moment at takeamoment.uk, and you can see Tennant's, Helena Bonham Carter's, Miriam Margolyes's (Pomona Sprout), David Bradley's (Argus Filch), Victoria Yeates's (Bunty, Fantastic Beasts), Guy Henry's (Pius Thicknesse), and Stephen Fry's (narrator, UK Harry Potter audiobooks) contributions below.

 

 

And finally, if you'd like to cuddle up during the coming cold months with a bear-y adorable version of Tennant's Tenth Doctor, the BBC is selling a limited-edition Pudsey to benefit its Children in Need program. The bears are £20 each and will be available only through November 30, so pick yours up today.

MuggleNet let you know last month about Robbie Coltrane's (Rubeus Hagrid) casting as Orson Welles in an episode of Sky's Urban Myths, titled "Orson Welles in Norwich." The episode is set to air Wednesday, and you'll definitely want to tune in to see Coltrane alongside yet another Harry Potter alumnus: Sean Biggerstaff (Oliver Wood)! Biggerstaff will portray Billy, an extremely attractive television crew member. Okay, so we added the "extremely attractive" part, but it's all still accurate.

 

Robbie Coltrane is pictured as Orson Welles in "Urban Myths".

 

The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee, which had its planned April debut called off due to the pandemic, is now headed to video on demand. Featuring John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) and starring, of course, the legendary Paul Hogan, the movie will be available for purchase beginning December 11, and you can enjoy the very excellent trailer below.

 

 

Considering Halloween is coming up Saturday, we'll continue with the actors behind the Hogwarts ghosts! Filming is still underway for Season 6 of Line of Duty, which will feature Kelly Macdonald (Helena Ravenclaw), and the actress was spotted recently in a few behind-the-scenes photos. You can view them in the gallery below.

 

 

An English-language adaptation of the 1952 novel Ikiru is in development, with Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) set to star, Deadline Hollywood reports. Living is expected to begin shooting in the spring of 2021 in the UK. You can check out a synopsis below.

Set in 1952 London, the film will follow Williams, a veteran civil servant, who has become a small cog in the bureaucracy of rebuilding post-WWII England. As endless paperwork piles up on his desk, he learns he has a fatal illness. Thus begins his quest to find some meaning to his seemingly grey, monotonous life before it slips away. He first attempts, with limited success, to throw himself into debauchery during a wild night in Brighton in the company of a bohemian writer he befriends there. Then, arriving back in London, he ignores family and work responsibilities for days on end. But soon he becomes intrigued by Margaret, a young co-worker in his office, who appears to exemplify exactly what life and living is – and what may so far have passed him by. As their friendship grows, she – inadvertently – shows him a way to face down his mortality; how to harness his years of experience and dedication into a final supreme effort to push through, against all odds, a modest, much-delayed project for children in a poor district of East London.

Classical singer Katherine Jenkins is not letting the pandemic interrupt her tradition of holiday concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, and has announced that she will release this year's concert as a feature film that will air in theaters beginning December 1. Joining her will be Nighy, Vanessa Redgrave, and others. You can locate a theater near you that will be screening the film at katherinejenkins.film.

Nighy has also signed on to narrate the new comedic puzzle adventure game Kosmokrats, which challenges players to use a drone to assemble spaceships in orbit, meet interesting characters, and see the solar system. You can enjoy the trailer below and look for the game beginning November 5 on Steam.

 

 

The film adaptation of the West End musical Everybody's Talking About Jamie – which we told you about in February and which saw its original theater release date of October 23 bumped – is now planning a February 26, 2021, debut in the United States. The movie features Ralph Ineson (Amycus Carrow) as Wayne New, and you can check out the official trailer below.

 

 

An archive recording of the West End play Emilia is being made available to stream online for a limited time beginning November 10. The Vaudeville Theatre performance features Carolyn Pickles (Charity Burbage), and you can purchase tickets online.

Additional casting has been announced for NENT Studios UK's upcoming drama series Close to Me, which is currently in production, Variety has announced. Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, the show will star Connie Nielsen (Gladiator), Christopher Eccleston (Doctor Who), and Ray Fearon (Firenze) in the tale of a woman recovering from a year-long blackout who begins to realize things in her family aren't as idyllic as she remembers.

The November 25 Netflix release of The Christmas Chronicles 2, directed by Chris Columbus (director/producer), is coming up, and the first official trailer has arrived. Starring Kurt Russell as Santa Claus and Goldie Hawn as Mrs. Claus, the movie follows siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy (Judah Lewis) as they attempt to stop the troubled Belsnickel (Julian Dennison) from destroying Christmas for good.

 

 

David Heyman (producer) has emerged victorious from a nine-way bidding war over the film and television rights to Ashley Audrain's debut novel, The Push, Deadline Hollywood reports. The book is described as "a suspenseful, visceral novel, exploring how an unspeakable act can reverberate through generations" that will "ignite discussion around the expectations of motherhood that we're taught not to question, such as the concept of nature vs. nurture and the notion of unconditional love." Heyman says he "cannot recall the last time I read a novel as haunting as 'The Push'. It is challenging, moving, and thought-provoking in all the best ways."

In final Potter alumni news, Stephen Fry will be presenting a new ITV documentary titled 21st Century Firsts, which features archived footage and new interviews between Fry and experts, who will discuss life before such technological advancements (and banes) as smartphones, GPS, and selfies. The film is expected to air later this year. Fry has also thrown his support behind the construction of a new hospice in Norfolk, England, and you can donate online.

 

Fantastic Beasts Cast & Crew

The Trial of the Chicago 7, starring Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) is now streaming on Netflix, and everyone agrees that the true story couldn't have come along at a more relevant time. As Redmayne told Extra last week, "We need to learn from our history." You can watch the full interview with Redmayne and his castmates below.

 

 

When he wasn't slogging around an island in The Third Day, Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore) spent lockdown shooting short film The Hat with his son, Rafferty Law, and US streaming service Topic has picked up the piece. Variety reports the six-minute short was filmed on location in the UK and shot entirely on an iPhone. Plans are in place to expand the project into a 20-minute version, possibly followed by a full-length feature. The story centers around a young man who wanders into the middle of a barren field, where he encounters and is chased by a mystery assailant. The Hat, which also features an original score by the Who's Pete Townsend, will premiere November 6 at the Raindance Film Festival in London, where it is nominated for Best UK Short. You can view the trailer (are trailers for six-minute movies basically the entire movie?) on the festival's official site.

Law's Skywatch and Luke Youngblood's (Lee Jordan) In Hollywoodland will also screen November 9–15 at the HollyShorts Film Festival in Los Angeles, California.

Meanwhile, casting continues for Disney's live-action Peter Pan, which will star Law as Captain Hook. Alyssa Wapanatâhk will portray Tiger Lily in the film. Yara Shahidi, Ever Anderson, and Alexander Molony were previously announced as Tinkerbell, Wendy, and Peter Pan, respectively. In final Law news, we're disappointed to report that Sherlock Holmes 3 director Dexter Fletcher stated recently on the Celebrity Catch Up podcast that the film is "on the back burner" due to pandemic complications. Fletcher said the project will remain on hold "until it becomes clear where the world is at and what's going to happen." *shakes fist yet again at 2020*

MuggleNet let you know back in April about Ólafur Darri Ólafsson's (Skender) new Icelandic political drama, The Minister, and Variety says the eight-part series has had its rights purchased in the US, Canada, Australia, and Southern Europe. Streaming service Topic has the North American rights, and we'll keep an eye out for a release date.

Cursed Child Cast & Crew

Season 2 of HBO and BBC's His Dark Materials – screenwritten by Jack Thorne (playwright) – finally has a release date. The series will resume November 16 on HBO and HBO Max. It'll be available for streaming a bit earlier on November 8 for BBC iPlayer users. You can view the new trailer below.

 

 

Meanwhile, Thorne's adaptation of A Christmas Carol will return to Broadway in 2021 and will also be touring the US, with stops in Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Nevada, confirmed. We'll keep you posted on that, as situations continue to evolve. It's been a rough year altogether for the theater industry, which announced the 2020 Tony Awards nominees recently in a digital ceremony, with only 18 productions eligible for awards. A Christmas Carol is among those up for Best Play, Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre, Best Scenic Design of a Play, Best Costume Design of a Play, Best Lighting Design of a Play, and Best Sound Design of a Play. A date has not yet been set for this year's virtual Tonys, but it's anticipated they will take place in December.

Were you able to recognize all the alumni?! We sure hope so, and be sure to check back next week for more updates on your Wizarding World faves. Stay safe out there!

 

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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.