Castium Revelio: Stranger Things Have Happened!

Stranger Things used to be a pretty intriguing title for a show. But has 2020 eliminated our ability to find anything strange? Granted, that one monster that looks like a Venus flytrap on steroids is still pretty disturbing, so perhaps there’s a little mystery left in the world after all. And if you’re a fan of the Netflix series, you’ll definitely want to know who’s joining the Season 4 cast. Spoiler alert: It’s Jamie Campbell Bower. We feel confident that you’ll still click the Harry Potter toggle even after learning that because there’s a photo of him down there.

Elsewhere, filming for Season 2 of The Witcher is underway, and we’re hoping for more from Anna Shaffer‘s character this time around. Also, there’s a new film project on the horizon for Helena Bonham Carter, Chris Columbus weighs in on four different films (find out which one he says he took as seriously as the Harry Potter series!), and Warwick Davis talks Master Moley and Willow in this week’s Casting News. There are no trolls in our dungeons – just the latest updates on all your Wizarding World favorites! Castium Revelio!

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Harry Potter Cast & Crew

We were sad earlier this month to learn that Jamie Campbell Bower's (young Gellert Grindelwald) band, Counterfeit, was calling it quits, but there's still good news to share on the Campbell Bower front. Firstly, he's going to continue his musical career as a solo artist, and secondly, it was announced late last week that the actor would be joining the Season 4 cast of Stranger Things!

We already have some information about his character as well: Peter Ballard is described as a kindly orderly at a psychiatric hospital who may finally take a stand against the mistreatment he witnesses each day. Here's a bonus upside-down photo from the official Stranger Things Twitter account!

 

Jamie Campbell Bower appears in a promotional photo for Season 4 of "Stranger Things."

 

Mank, starring Gary Oldman (Sirius Black) and Tom Burke (Cormoran Strike, C.B. Strike), is coming up on its December 4 Netflix release date, and Oldman sat down this week with USA Today to talk about his role as screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz and how he considers it to have been his most challenging to date.

[Director] David [Fincher] said, 'I want you as absolutely naked as you've ever been. There's no wig, there's no teeth, there's no forced noses. Just you. I do like the odd disguise to hide behind. But above and beyond that, you're playing a man who has self self-loathing. [...]

You've got this character who comes to Hollywood, and he has such contempt and disdain for the quality of what was being put out. As an artist friend of mine used to say, it's 99% crap and then there's that 1% where excellence lives and that's what you're striving for. That became like an Everest for Mank. The peak got further and further away, and he realized he wasn't going to write that great play [or] novel, that he was in trouble with alcohol and gambling. [...]

Orson Welles said he was one of the sweetest, funniest people he'd ever met. If you were on the [other] end of that bitterness and vitriol, God help you. But when you were in Mank's company and it was directed at other people, he was the funniest guy around. That's all a very sort of interesting cocktail to play.

Considering how well Oldman brought to life another man pretty full of self-loathing – long hair, snazzy dresser, part-time canine – we have no doubt he's nailed this. Tune in next Friday!

A new rom-com is in the works, and its title sadly reflects our most frequent thoughts on romance: Not Bloody Likely. The movie will center on the true story behind the 1914 West End production of Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw – a play that was later adapted into the Oscar-winning movie musical My Fair Lady – and Variety has announced that Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange) will be starring alongside Pierce Brosnan.

Ireland marked the centenary of the Bloody Sunday massacre last weekend with a moving ceremony at Croke Park in Dublin, and Brendan Gleeson (Mad-Eye Moody) was on hand to deliver a poignant speech, the Independent reports. You can view an excerpt and photo of Gleeson at the ceremony below.

Tonight we remember each victim and honour the grief carried by their families down through the decades. We hold the memory of their loved ones close, giving them life again through the sharing of their stories. [...] They are our family, our friends, our people.

 

Brendan Gleeson delivers a stirring speech during a ceremony in Dublin, Ireland, marking the centenary of Bloody Sunday.

 

Looking to get in a holiday mood? How about watching a featurette for a terrifying horror movie? Okay, so perhaps that's not the best suggestion, but you'll still want to explore the below video on Black Narcissus, starring Jim Broadbent (Horace Slughorn) as Father Roberts. The three-part series is out now on Hulu and will air next month on BBC One in the United Kingdom.

 

 

As MuggleNet let you know last time, a series reboot of the 1988 film Willow, starring Warwick Davis (Griphook/Filius Flitwick) is on its way to Disney+, and the Radio Times spoke with Davis recently about the iconic role.

Davis said the seed was planted on the set of Solo: A Star Wars Story, where he, screenwriter John Kasdan, and director Ron Howard began talking about the possibility of resurrecting the story. Davis is confident he'll be able to ease back into the role "just like riding a bike" and shared some of his hopes for the series. Production is slated to begin next year.

I'm hoping that we establish Willow as a very accomplished sorcerer now. I hope he's been practicing and we get to see him do some real magic, which would be fabulous. And also I'm hoping that we can reunite with Val Kilmer and Joanne Whalley as well! [...] I think you've got to acknowledge the spirit and, especially with something like 'Willow,' the humour. Because you forget that the movie had a lot of humour in it so it's important that the series has that humour and doesn't take itself too seriously.

Davis also imparted that he's been hard at work voicing Master Moley for the upcoming Boomerang series The Misadventures of Master Moley, which also stars Dame Julie Walters (Molly Weasley). That 52-episode project will air next year, but before that, we'll be able to enjoy the special Master Moley by Royal Invitation on November 28! You can peep a sneak peek below.

Davis told the Radio Times he feels lucky to have accomplished a wide variety of goals over the course of his life – though he still hopes to do a film with Will Ferrell at some point – but has no intention of slowing down.

Kids now go on computer games and they experience virtually what it's like to fight a stormtrooper. And I got to do it for real as an 11-year-old! I'm really lucky; I consider myself lucky. [...] It's not something that I find easy to work at, and I work very hard to achieve it, but that's part of living life and having a career – actually challenging yourself each day to do something outside of your comfort zone. And that's what I hope to keep doing with all of these different projects.

 

 

Remember Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, starring Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley)? We thought for a second that we did too, but it turns out it was never released. The film became a cotton-tailed victim of 2020 instead, but rather than being shunted off to a streaming service like so many others, it's holding on for a theater release. The new date for that is April 4, 2021, and we will cross our fingers as we cheer on Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca!

David Tennant (Barty Crouch Jr.) fans will want to tune in to The Graham Norton Show on December 18, as the actor will be appearing alongside his Good Omens and Staged costar, Michael Sheen. Joining them will be some much-less-famous guy named George Clooney, along with Viola Davis and Vanessa Kirby.

Meanwhile on DuckTales, Tennant had a Doctor Who–themed reunion of sorts on Monday with Michelle Gomez, better known to Whovians as Missy (a.k.a. the Master). Gomez lent her voice to Matilda McDuck in that character's first-ever appearance, and if you didn't catch it Monday, you can watch the sneak peek below while you wait for a rerun to come around.

 

 

Season 6 of BBC police drama Line of Duty may have had a rocky road due to the pandemic, but Deadline Hollywood reports that the series has finally wrapped on an 82-day shoot. Kelly Macdonald (Helena Ravenclaw) joins the cast this season as DCI Joanne Davidson, and a premiere is set for March 2021.

Filming on Season 2 of Netflix's The Witcher, featuring Anna Shaffer (Romilda Vane), has resumed at Arborfield Studios in Wokingham, England, and as ComicBook.com points out, that studio contains sets for Geralt of Rivia's home away from home, Kaer Morhen. Shaffer's character, Triss Merigold, wasn't seen there in Season 1, so we're looking forward to more from her this time around!

Shaffer is also throwing her support behind MOJO Dementia's #momentsofjoy campaign, and you can learn more about that on the organization's official site.

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Anna Shaffer (@annashafffer)

 

It's been a few years since we first heard that popular video game series Five Nights at Freddy's was on tap for a film adaptation, but it seems as if that project is finally about to gain some traction. Chris Columbus (director/producer) was tabbed in 2018 to direct, and as far as anyone knows, he's still attached to the movie. We'll keep an eye on this, but as you can see in the below tweet from Blumhouse Productions, filming is expected to begin in the spring.

 

 

Meanwhile, people have actually still been talking about continuing the Gremlins franchise with a third film, and Columbus spoke this week with Collider about the potential.

I would love to do it. I wrote a script, so there is an existing script. We're working out some rights issues right now, so we're just trying to figure out when the best time to make that film would be. [...] I would still do it the same way – I would do it as tangible puppets, not CGI.

And speaking of tangible, we at least know that The Christmas Chronicles 2 actually exists, and Columbus sat down with Insider to chat about the holiday sequel – starring Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn – that is now available on Netflix.

I took this as seriously as the world of 'Potter.' [...] Santa's village is the biggest set that's been built for one of my films. Even bigger than the Great Hall on 'Potter,' which was the biggest set on those movies at the time.

We just thought those quotes needed to stand alone for posterity. Moving on, Columbus imparted that if there was anyone who took the film even more seriously than he did, it was Russell.

Kurt takes this role incredibly seriously. It may sound silly to some people, but Kurt approaches Santa Claus as if he were a method actor. Kurt wrote probably 175 to 200 written pages about Santa's history. He just went and did that on his own. He's just committed to the role in such a major way.

Columbus also said that he strove to ensure the sequel wasn't similar to the original, wanting instead for "people to immerse themselves with the world of Christmas in a way they have never had the opportunity before."

Believe it or not, that's not all the Columbus news we have to share this week! A prolific director of holiday films, he's in high demand this time of year, and Columbus spoke last week with Today about Home Alone.

 

 

John Williams (composer, first three Harry Potter films) recently appeared alongside fellow stars such as Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), Josh Groban, and Stephen Sondheim during a virtual gala presented by the New York Philharmonic. You can enjoy the gala below – just make sure to put on a gown or something! And since it's 2020, we totally mean a nightgown.

 

 

The 2020 Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards are set to stream on World Aids Day – Tuesday, December 1 – on YouTube, and among this year's featured guests will be Stephen Fry (narrator, UK Harry Potter audiobooks). You can check out the trailer below to see which other stars will join him.

 

Fantastic Beasts Cast & Crew

Writer/director Adam McKay has put together an all-star cast for his new satire, Don't Look Up, and among a list that includes Leonardo DiCaprio, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Timothée Chalamet, Himesh Patel, Cate Blanchett, and Jennifer Lawrence is our very own Gnarlak, Ron Perlman. The Hollywood Reporter says character details have not yet been released for the movie – which is set to begin shooting this week in Boston and is down for a tentative 2021 premiere – but you can check out a synopsis below. For some reason, it sounds infuriatingly familiar.

Two low-level scientists (DiCaprio and Lawrence), upon discovering that a meteor will strike the Earth in six months, go on a media tour to try to warn the world but find an unreceptive and unbelieving populace.

Meanwhile, since this is just speculation at this point, we're burying it at the bottom and hoping it goes away: Deadline Hollywood has reported that there is talk of Disney moving some of its upcoming titles straight to Disney+ rather than waiting for a theater release.

Those films could include Cruella, starring Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney, Harry Potter) and Emma Stone, and the new Peter Pan remake that is set to feature Jude Law (Albus Dumbledore) as Captain Hook. We'd rather wait, if it's all the same to you, Disney.

That’s it for another edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News. Will we be back soon for more updates? Stranger things have happened! Until then, stay safe, and let us know in the comments which projects you’re most looking forward to.

 

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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.