Castium Revelio: Returns for John Williams and “Fawlty Towers”

Welcome to February’s edition of MuggleNet’s Casting News! After January’s awards, we’ve had new projects for Helena Bonham Carter, Dan Fogler, and many more Wizarding World alums throughout this month, as well as an honorary fellowship for Jack Thorne and a reboot starring John Cleese. Castium Revelio!



Harry Potter Cast and Crew

Our first story of the month features Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour). He's been cast alongside Jeremy Swift (Ted Lasso), Simone Ashley (Sex Education), and singer Zayn Malik in an upcoming animated comedy, 10 Lives. The film will follow a privileged cat called Beckett whose wish for a tenth life after using up his original nine is granted, but he finds the grant comes with certain rules that he must stick to.

Nighy also received the Icon Award at the Newport Beach Film Festival UK Honors 2022, which took place on February 16. The award is the highest accolade available at the ceremony, which also celebrated Toby Jones (voice of Dobby) and Gemma Chan (Madam Ya Zhou, Fantastic Beasts) in the Artist of Distinction category. Congratulations to all who received titles at the ceremony!

We've got two new projects for Dame Emma Thompson (Professor Trelawney) that were announced at the start of the month to share with you next. She's set to narrate a feature documentary about Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers and other classified nuclear documents, and whom President Richard Nixon named "the most dangerous man in the US" at the time of the incident. The documentary is called How to Stop a Nuclear War and is currently in production.

Our second Thompson film this month is called The Fisherwoman. The action-thriller will see Thompson take on the role of a widowed fisherwoman who becomes the only hope of a teenager when she interrupts their kidnapping while walking through a blizzard. Thompson will also act as an executive producer on the project.

We've also got two new projects for Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange). The first is an Irish romance film called Four Letters of Love, in which she will star alongside Pierce Brosnan (Black Adam) and Gabriel Byrne (Hereditary). Bonham Carter and Brosnan will team up to play the parents of two fated lovers who are being pulled together and apart by different aspects of their lives.

Bonham Carter's second project this month will see her playing a foul-mouthed recluse called Dulcie in The Offing, a period drama set in post-war north England that will follow the relationship between her character and a teenage boy. Bonham Carter will also be an executive producer on the film, with shooting set to begin later this year.

Ralph Ineson (Amycus Carrow) has been cast in a new project this month. He's turning to the depths of hell to voice a demon in the upcoming horror film The Pope's Exorcist. Fantastic Beasts's Cornell S. John (Arnold Guzman) will also star in the film, which features Franco Nero (Django) as the titular pope.

Toby Regbo (young Albus Dumbledore) will star alongside Jasmine Jobson (Top Boy) in a new psychological drama series for ITVX called Platform 7. The series has been shooting in northern England for a few months and centers around a young woman (played by Jobson) who comes to terms with events in her own life after witnessing an event at a train platform.

Sky announced an early Christmas treat earlier this month. Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew) will star alongside James Nesbitt (Bloodlands) in a festive comedy special, with both playing their own renditions of Santa Claus himself. Nesbitt's Santa has just robbed a bank, while Spall's has just fallen out of his sleigh. The comedy will be shot in Belfast later this year. Spall described how he is "delighted to be involved with this unique festive adventure." He continued, "It’s a rare thing that a story has the perfect mixture of social commentary grit, suspense, emotional bite, and original comedy, plus a myriad of Santas (one of them possibly the real one)."

We've also got news about producer David Heyman's limited Peacock series Apples Never Fall. Annette Bening (Death on the Nile) was announced earlier this month as the show's lead, with Sam Neil (Peaky Blinders), Jake Lacy (The White Lotus), and Alison Brie (Somebody I Used to Know) starring alongside her. Heyman is an executive producer for the show, which is based on Liane Moriarty's book of the same name.

Stephen Fry (narrator of the UK Harry Potter audiobooks) will feature alongside Lena Dunham (Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood) in the upcoming comedy film Iron Box. The film will center on a New York businesswoman who returns to her family's home country of Poland in an attempt to reconnect with her roots. Fry described, "The moment I read it, I knew I had to be involved.... I think, in its brilliant depiction of a tricky, funny, and spiky father-daughter relationship, it will chime with just about everyone."

Hero Fiennes Tiffin (11-year-old Tom Riddle) was announced as part of the cast of The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare ahead of its February 13 release date in Turkey. The film tells the true story of Winston Churchill and Ian Fleming's secret combat organizations during World War II, which provided foundations for the modern Black Ops unit.

We've got exciting news next for any Fawlty Towers fans. John Cleese (Nearly Headless Nick) played Basil Fawlty in the original sitcom, which had two seasons through the 1970s. He and his daughter announced earlier this month that they would be rebooting the show for another season this year! Cleese will write the upcoming series while also returning as Basil, but we don't currently have extra cast members or any news if other actors are returning.

While Cleese is returning to old projects, Christian Coulson (16-year-old Tom Riddle, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) is turning to a new one. He's been cast in The XIXth, a play based on the true events of the 19th Olympic Games in 1968 and the Olympic champion who risked everything to speak out. The play will run between March 17 and April 23 at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, California. Tickets for the show's entire run are currently available.



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To finish up this section of this month's Casting News, we've got a video of composer John Williams as part of an orchestra recording a tribute to fellow legendary composer Henry Mancini. The recording was filmed last October but debuted on CBS Sunday Morning earlier this month. It shows Williams reprising his pianist role in "Theme from Peter Gunn," which he recorded the piano for in the original 1958 version. The recording will be featured in a new album to commemorate Mancini's work.



Fantastic Beasts Cast and Crew

Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) has been busy this month. He's been cast alongside Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter) in Verona, the first of a trilogy of pop musical films based around the original, true 1301 story that inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The film has been shooting in Verona, Italy, ahead of an expected theater release this Christmas.

Fogler is also set for a role on an upcoming Netflix show. The show, which is called Eric, tells the story of a grief-stricken puppeteer in 1980s Manhattan who becomes friends with the monster under his son's bed after his son goes missing. The six-part show will be led by Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock), with Gaby Hoffman (C'mon C'mon) and Phoebe Nicholls (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain) among those joining Fogler and Cumberbatch.

Katherine Waterston (Tina Goldstein) will be featured in Floodplain, a film that will follow the journey of a man who must return to his hometown to prevent a flood, but in doing so, he finds himself confronting his past mistakes. The film is set to enter production later this spring.

Cursed Child Cast and Crew

Last but not least this week is a special accolade for Cursed Child co-writer Jack Thorne. It was announced this month that he will be given this year's honorary fellowship to the National Film and Television School in the UK in a ceremony on March 3. The fellowship honors his work in both screenwriting and television creation, as well as his work behind the scenes campaigning for accessibility rights on film sets.

Thorne said, "The National Film and Television School is going through a profound change. At a time when disabled creatives see doors routinely closed to them, it is beautiful and important to see the NFTS open its doors in a new and more accessible way. I’m so thrilled to accept this honor, and delighted with the changes the NFTS are making." 

That’s a wrap on this month’s Casting News! Congratulations again to those who have received accolades this month. Which of these new projects are you most excited to see? Let us know in the comments below.

Neave Williamson

I've been a proud Slytherin for as long as I can remember, and love taking inspiration from the Wizarding World for short films.