MuggleNet 2022 Year in Review
The year is coming to an end, and it’s certainly been a busy one for the Wizarding World. Let’s take a look back at some of the top stories from 2022.
The year started with a nostalgic and emotional trip down memory lane with the release of Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. But we weren’t looking backward for too long. A new still from Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was released, and the anticipated Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Tokyo production announced that there would be multiple cast members playing principal characters. In the world of movies, Daniel Radcliffe was cast as “Weird Al” Yankovic in the biopic Weird: The Al Yankovic Story, and on the small screen, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses was nominated for a Producers Guild of America award. Here at MuggleNet, we welcomed the new year by celebrating the success of Fandom Games for Good, which raised $2,000 for charities that are important to our community. On January 31, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite officially closed.
In February, MuggleNet exclusively revealed that scenes with Ariana Dumbledore had been filmed for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. A staggering 18 new character posters were released for Secrets of Dumbledore, and the first trailer debuted, prompting speculation from fans about what the movie had in store for Newt and his friends. Elsewhere in the franchise, Wizarding World Digital announced that a new documentary tied to the Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature exhibition would be released, and Portkey Games announced that Harry Potter: Magic Awakened would be released globally later this year.
March gave us our first look at gameplay from Hogwarts Legacy and a world premiere date for Secrets of Dumbledore. To celebrate the movie making it to the big screen, the Wizarding World giant wand installation embarked on a tour around the United Kingdom. A release date for the Secrets of Dumbledore screenplay was also announced, and it was the first in the series not to feature a cover design from MinaLima. In the Muggle world, Chester Zoo made the headlines with an aardvark named Dobby.
April was all about Secrets of Dumbledore. We got a final trailer, new movie stills, and the soundtrack, and of course, the movie itself hit the big screen. But that wasn’t the only magical thing happening this month. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter announced an expansion that Professor Sprout would love, Cursed Child Melbourne broke records, and we got a first look inside MinaLima’s book exploring 20 years of magical graphic design. Finally, several Potter alumni shared their efforts supporting the people of Ukraine.
May was a good month for video game fans. Trailers were released for the long-awaited Hogwarts Legacy and the highly anticipated mobile game Harry Potter: Magic Awakened. For book lovers, Pottermore Published revealed new covers for the Potter e-books and audiobooks, and Tom Felton announced his memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard. Ukrainian translations of the Harry Potter series were made available as free e-books thanks to a collaboration between Pottermore and Ukrainian publisher A-ba-ba-ha-la-ma-ha that aimed to support readers affected by the current conflict in the country.
We revisited the book that started it all in June, with the celebration of 25 years of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK. Wizarding World Digital teased a new venture called Harry Potter: Magic at Play, which got fans speculating about what could be in store. The first-ever Chinese-language Potter audiobooks were released, and further Hogwarts Legacy hints were dropped in new teaser trailers. Elsewhere in the world, Vienna was announced as the first location outside of the United States for the reimagined Harry Potter: The Exhibition.
July saw Emmy nominations for Return to Hogwarts and a Best Actor win for Jude Law at the National Film Awards for Secrets of Dumbledore. For fans in the United States, two new Wizarding World experiences were announced. Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience was revealed to be coming to the Washington, DC, area, and Harry Potter: Magic at Play was set to wow fans in Chicago, Illinois. Elsewhere in the world, the first Wizarding World shop in mainland Europe arrived in Hamburg, Germany. Muggle quidditch governing bodies released a joint statement formally announcing the change of the name of the sport to “quadball.” Sadly, Cursed Child San Francisco announced it would be ending its run in September.
In August, there were more sneak peeks at Hogwarts Legacy, along with a release date announcement for PlayStation, Xbox, and PC. In the United Kingdom, the Royal Mint announced coins featuring Harry Potter designs to celebrate 25 years of Philosopher’s Stone. Another US location for the Forbidden Forest experience was revealed: Westchester, New York. In Canada, the Toronto production of Cursed Child received eight nominations for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. After campaigning by fans and the Protego Foundation, vegan butterbeer was made available at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
September brought with it the Back to Hogwarts celebrations, news of 13 new LEGO sets, and the announcement of a stop in Atlanta, Georgia, for Harry Potter: The Exhibition. In Cursed Child news, the Hamburg production revealed that it would be joining the US, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese productions in transitioning to a one-part play, leaving London as the only place where fans can watch the original two-part production. Outside of the Wizarding World, cast and crew members paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, and it was revealed that Potter composer John Williams was one of the last people to be awarded an honorary knighthood by the late monarch.
In October, Wizarding World fans were devasted by the news that Rubeus Hagrid actor Robbie Coltrane had passed away. Tributes poured in from Potter alumni and notable players in film and television, and many focused on a poignant statement from his appearance in Return to Hogwarts. Also this month, Jim Kay announced that he would be stepping down from working on the Potter illustrated editions to focus on his mental health, MinaLima embarked on a tour to promote The Magic of MinaLima and revealed that the graphic design house would be releasing an illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The audiobook of Madly, Deeply: The Diaries of Alan Rickman, featuring narration from Harry Potter cast members Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), and Dame Emma Thompson (Sybill Trelawney), was published this month. Finally, it was reported that Harry Potter mobile games reached a collective milestone of $1 billion in consumer spending.
November brought some more sad news with the death of Leslie Phillips, who voiced the Hogwarts Sorting Hat in the Harry Potter film series. In franchise news, we got an in-depth look at Hogwarts Legacy gameplay and the announcement of a new Harry Potter-themed land planned for Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi. Dobby’s grave, a fan memorial to the house-elf on Freshwater West Beach in Wales, was allowed to remain after concerns were raised about its impact on the local environment. There were also concerns about the environment in Belgium, where locals took issue with the impact of the newly opened Forbidden Forest experience on the local flora and fauna on the grounds of Groenenberg Castle. Unfortunately, the global release of Harry Potter: Magic Awakened was delayed to 2023, but the month ended with the good news that Potter audiobooks had surpassed one billion listening hours on Audible.
The year wrapped up with some awards for the Wizarding World and its alumni. In December, Hogwarts Tournament of Houses won in two categories at the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards, and Samantha Morton (Mary Lou Barebone) received the Richard Harris Award at the 25th British Independent Film Awards. In nomination news, Secrets of Dumbledore was short-listed in the Visual Effects category at the 95th Academy Awards. Elsewhere, the final piece of the Hogwarts Legacy puzzle was completed when the release date for Nintendo Switch was announced, and Potterheads in Paris were excited by the news that Harry Potter: The Exhibition will be heading to their city in 2023. Lastly, December closed with (K)nox: The Rob Knox Story, the documentary about Marcus Belby actor Rob Knox, being broadcast on television for the first time.
Do you have a Wizarding World highlight from 2022? What are you looking forward to in 2023?