May 31, 2004

Rockstar Dan Radcliffe?

Teen Hollywood has this article on another potential actor-turned-rockstar:

'Harry Potter' star Daniel Radcliffe wants to start his own rock band.

The teenage actor, who plays the young wizard, is currently learning to play the bass guitar, but would also like to be the lead singer.

Daniel, who is a fan of the Sex Pistols, The Strokes and The Libertines, revealed: "I'd like to be in a band. I know that's probably sounds really weird, but I'd really like to do it. I'd like to sing, but I play a bit of bass as well. My voice is ok."

Posted by Scott at 09:32 PM

TIME Says PoA is Smarter and Darker

Richard Corliss of TIME reviews the film:

Seems ages ago — but it was less than 2 1/2 years — that folks were seriously debating whether The Lord of the Rings or the Harry Potter films would make the more enthralling adaptation of fantasy literature. That competition was over — declared a forfeit, really — as soon as the respective first installments appeared: the Gandalf wizard movie vanquished the Harry wizard movie in thrills and technical splendor, artistry and maturity. But in the values Hollywood understands, worldwide box-office income, the first two films from the J.K. Rowling books outperformed the first two Tolkien films, $1.84 billion to $1.78 billion. Reason enough to continue with the education of Harry Potter.

There's another reason. As the new Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban proves, these can be smart, enjoyable films if the stars are properly aligned. It helps that Azkaban has one of the strongest plots in the canon thus far. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), now 13 and in his third year at Hogwarts' School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is challenged by the escape of the notorious Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) from Azkaban, the Alcatraz of the wizardly world. With a new danger, a new protector: Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor Lupin (David Thewlis), a wise, kindly gent with the habit of disappearing every few weeks, then returning with unseemly scratches on his face. Aided by his school chums Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), Harry must discern protective friend from mortal foe at the risk of his life — and of learning astonishing things about himself.

He caught his three young leads at the right time. Uncertain in their first films, they are comfortable with the camera now, and have grown into their roles as into their maturing bodies. That is appropriate, for this episode is a parable of puberty — of boys bursting into young manhood, when the sprouting of hair and the deepening of voices are exciting and threatening. No lad is fully prepared for this convulsive rite of passage, not even a Hogwarts wizard — of Harry's generation or the one before.

Read the full at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 12:25 PM

More On The London Premiere

From The AP:

LONDON — The screams of young fans greeted the stars from the latest Harry Potter film at the British premiere Sunday of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Author J.K. Rowling also appeared before the hundreds of excited fans outside a Leicester Square cinema for the screening of the third film about the boy wizard.

"I love it; it's just such fun," Rowling said of the premiere. She added that work on the sixth Potter book was "well under way" but didn't give a date for its completion.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Potter, signed autographs for adoring fans before entering the cinema.

"It's so brilliant, it's so exciting to be here. It's bigger than New York and I didn't think that could be possible," the 14-year-old said, referring to the film's U.S. premiere a week ago at Radio City Music Hall.

Asked how he felt about being a heart throb, Radcliffe said: "It's great, I have no problems with it so far."

Read on at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 11:43 AM

The PoA Premiere in Singapore

Channel News Asia reports:

The third instalment of J.K. Rowling's magical tale - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - premiered at Cineleisure on Monday.

Adding to the hype was a purple triple-decker replica of the Knight Bus - the magical shape-shifting bus that whisks Potter through the streets of London as he escapes from the Ministry of Magic.

Potter fans in Singapore can hop on the bus at the National Youth Park at Grange Road for a 30-minute ride through the Orchard area.

And the premiere in Dundee (UK).

Posted by Jasen at 11:37 AM

Watson's Paychecks Stay In Gringotts

From Contact Music:

The parents of the 14-year-old British star, who plays HERMIONE GRANGER in the Potter film, have locked the actress' movie money away to make sure she doesn't waste it.

Watson says, "All of my money is locked away in a bank until I'm 25 and I'm never going to see it until then!

"I have good friends and family who keep my feet on the ground and keep it real."

Posted by Jasen at 11:36 AM

Producer David Heyman Talks PoA and GoF

The producer tells Sci Fi Wire:

Heyman added that the turnout at the New York City premiere of the third film in the series, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, on May 23 also greatly encouraged him. "Judging by the response outside of Radio City Music Hall, it was alive and well," Heyman said. "It was amazing. So it's hard to tell. I hope that it's alive and well. I think that it is. You see and hear the enthusiasm from friends second-hand and third-hand. I see the response of the fans in the street [at the premiere], and so it seems pretty good."

Heyman is already deep into work on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the next movie in the franchise, based on the fourth book in J.K. Rowling's series about a teen wizard and his experiences at a school of wizardry and witchcraft. Asked what aspect of Goblet of Fire he was most excited to see realized on-screen, Heyman replied, "Well, there's a lot involved. I look forward to the 'three tasks,' and I'm particularly looking forward to the 'unexpected task.' I think that this is a film where boys and girls begin to interact in a much more concrete way. I'm looking forward to seeing that come to life. I think that it'll be a really funny film. I think that it'll also work as a thriller, because it is a thriller. And Lord Voldemort is back." Prisoner of Azkaban opens June 4. Warner Brothers is targeting a Nov. 18, 2005, release date for Goblet of Fire.

Posted by Jasen at 11:33 AM

Win A Divination Tea Set!

NBC 11 in San Francisco, CA, will be giving away a Divination tea set to a lucky, random winner! Five first-prize winners will receive one of a variety of hats; and fifteen runners-up will get either a Time Turner, a poster, or T-shirt.

All very nice ;)

Posted by Jasen at 11:27 AM

Another Year, An Older Cast

"The way I see it, the older the characters get in the book, the easier they are to play them," adds Dan Jolin, Features Editor of Total Film.

"The actors are at that age where they can play slightly older rather than younger, and I think the producers would prefer to keep the same actors as they've become so recognisable."

"Whether they want to carry on playing the parts is another matter."

BBC has the rest!

Posted by Jasen at 11:22 AM

Outdone by the Brits!

According to Daniel Radcliffe, anyway. At the premiere in Leicester Square in London, he said that the London Premiere was "bigger than New York and I didn't think that could be possible." Here's the story from Canada.com:

Teen screams filled the air Sunday as stars of the latest Harry Potter film attended the movie's British premiere in central London.

Author J. K. Rowling also appeared before the hundreds of excited fans gathered outside a Leicester Square cinema for the screening of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. "I love it, it's just such fun," Rowling said of the atmosphere at the premiere. She added that work on the sixth Potter book was "well under way" but didn't give a date for its completion.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the boy wizard, signed autographs for fans before entering the cinema.

"It's so brilliant, it's so exciting to be here. It's bigger than New York and I didn't think that could be possible," the 14-year-old said, referring to the film's U.S. premiere a week ago at Radio City Music Hall.

Asked how he felt about being a heartthrob, Radcliffe said: "It's great, I have no problems with it so far."

Radcliffe and Emma Watson, who plays Hermione, held hands during a photo call. Watson said the crowd's enthusiasm was "crazy," adding that it was "very flattering more than anything else."

Alfonso Cuaron - director of the Mexican hit Y Tu Mama Tambien - took over as director for Prisoner of Azkaban. Watson said the result was "a bit darker" than previous Potter films. "It has a much colder, eerier feel to it."

Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid, said the premiere was "insane. . . . I thought New York was wild, but this is even bigger."

Other celebrities attending the premiere included model Claudia Schiffer and pop singer Natalie Imbruglia.

The film opens to general audiences in Britain on Monday.

Posted by Scott at 07:12 AM

A Scot for Krum?

Novinite.com, a Bulgarian news website, is reporting that a Scotsman was chosen for Victor Krum.

The Viktor Krum part in the next Harry Potter movie will be assigned to a Scottish boy, media said. The surprising news came after months of searching a Bulgarian actor for the role.

A special casting took place in Sofia in the beginning of the year, and 56 Krum wannabes were spotted by the directors. The taped performances were sent to London, for a jury to make the final decision.

The news about the Scottish elect was broken by Bulgarian media citing The Seattle Times.

Posted by Scott at 07:06 AM

Preventing Potter Piracy

BBC.com has an article how one theatre chain is doing its best to prevent Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban from being pirated by audience members....and it would do the Army proud, hehe.

A leading cinema chain has equipped its employees with night vision goggles to prevent the latest Harry Potter film being illegally recorded.
Vue Cinemas - formerly Warner Village - have asked staff to check that audience members do not use video cameras to make pirate copies of the film.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opens in the UK on Monday.

Hundreds of Potter fans turned out for Sunday night's premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in central London.

Jamie Graham, manager of the Vue complex in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, said the monocle devices had been sent to outlets because of the extraordinary popularity of the film.

I have been working in the cinema industry for 10 years and I have never heard of anything like this before," he said.

"Our ushers are using the goggles in every screening to check nobody is making any illegal recordings.

"If anybody is caught then they will be reported to the police."

Poor quality copies of the first two movies were freely available on the black market.

Using codes imprinted on the films as a security device, distributor Warner Brothers were able to trace some pirate DVD versions to Britain.

Three times as many fans watched the stars arrive at Sunday's screening as had turned out for the US premiere eight days earlier.

"It's bigger than New York and I didn't think that could be possible," said Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe.

"I love it, it's just such fun," said Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who is estimated to have earned £435m from her creation.

Rowling was full of praise for Radcliffe and his young co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint.

"You could not meet a nicer, saner bunch of people," she told reporters.

Posted by Scott at 07:00 AM

May 30, 2004

PoA Game

PoA game given a poor review by Damon on mugglenet .com

Posted by Deb at 11:20 PM

Chris Columbus May Return For Another

Thanks to Lily for this from Teletext:

Chris Columbus has hinted that he may return to direct another Harry Potter movie.

The director of the first two films left the franchise so he could "have dinner with his kids".

But at a press conference to promote the third boy wizard movie he said: "The kids have become so good as actors, they've grown so much. That's the only thing that may make me come back for a sixth or seventh film."

Columbus would not return, however, if they were to leave. That could happen if Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint become too old to play the characters.

Producer David Heyman said: "There may come a point we are unable to keep up with the ages of the characters or they may decide to move on. When that time comes they go with all our blessings."

Posted by Jasen at 03:53 PM

The Premiere In London!

London has already seen two Harry Potter premieres since the immeasurably popular children's books made their way to the screen, but if the public lust for all things magical has diminished any in the meantime, there was certainly no evidence of it in Leicester Square on Sunday. Fans young and old lined the red carpet as far as the eye could see for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, turning out in numbers that might even have put the event on par with last year's Return of the King premiere.

Empire Online has the rest, complete with a gallery!

Yahoo!/Reuters also has some more pics from the event.

Posted by Jasen at 02:03 PM

New PoA Videogame Footage!

IGN has up three new videos from the upcoming PoA videogame, available in Windows Media Player and Quicktime formats.

Posted by Jasen at 02:01 PM

PoA Was A Learning Process For Director

Zap2it has this:

"I was completely ignorant about the 'Harry Potter' universe - I knew it existed but I didn't know what it was about, I hadn't read the books or seen the films," Cuaron admits to Zap2it.com. "I wasn't even curious."

All that changed when producer David Heyman called him and sent him the script and said he was interested in Cuaron directing the film.

"I thought I'd read 20 pages and tell him that it's not for me, and I just got hooked on the script," the director laughs. He then asked Heyman if he could read the book before giving his answer. "The moment I read the book, I said, 'I have to do this.'"

Learning the "Harry Potter" universe wasn't the only thing Cuaron had to pick up for "Azkaban." The director also had to steep himself in the latest in special effects and CGI techniques, and that had the director feeling a little out of his element.

"It's such a technical process and I'm not very technical," he admits. "It's fun when things start coming together, but it's just the process is a little tedious"

Yet, the film also gave Cuaron the chance to work with one of his favorite actors, Gary Oldman. Cuaron personally wooed the actor for the part by sending him a letter asking him to consider the role even though it's not a large one in the film.

"In the letter, I was clarifying that it's not unlike Orson Welles in 'The Third Man,'" Cuaron explains, referring to how Welles' character reveals knowledge in the film that must be kept a mystery until the end for the story to work. "I'm so thankful to Gary because I think he crafted it beautifully."

It's one thing to agree to come aboard a franchise already in existence, but it's another to do so with the director of the first two films looking over your shoulder. " Azkaban" is the third movie in the "Harry Potter" series and the first not directed by Columbus. Yet, he did stay involved in the project as the film's producer.

"We've now set up a world where a director can come in and play and have a great time and not worry about casting, and yet at the same time have a tremendous amount of freedom in terms of how they make the movie," Columbus says of the collaboration with Cuaron.

"I think it's very smart what they are doing," Cuaron says of the idea to bring in different directors to helm Rowling's seven stories. "They are keeping this franchise alive and refreshing the thing all the time."

In fact, Cuaron has already talked to director Mike Newell ("Mona Lisa Smile," "Four Weddings and a Funeral"), who is already working on the fourth movie, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," and offered him full use of his editing room as he was putting together "Azkaban."

Cuaron says he'd love to come back and direct another film in the franchise before it's over - however, it's not likely to be the fifth film.

"I think I need to take a couple years of not doing visual effects," he laughs. "They should do four and five and then I'll jump in."

Posted by Jasen at 11:11 AM

The Radio City Hall Premiere

thestar.com has up an account of Friday's PoA premiere at Radio City Hall, in New York City.

Posted by Jasen at 11:06 AM

Jason Issacs Is Back In GoF!

From The Sun:

"I make a tiny cameo appearance in the fourth film, to remind people that I still exist as I have a bit more to do in the fifth one," he says. "To be honest I thought I wouldn't get to be in the fourth film at all, but it will be nice to get the wig out of mothballs and start the slow warm-up for number five where I have some rather juicy and lovely stuff."

Posted by Jasen at 11:04 AM

More Reviews

Check out what the Hollywood Reporter thinks; meanwhile, Guardian Unlimited gives the movie 3 out of a possible 5 stars.

Posted by Jasen at 10:59 AM

GoF Casting: Cho Chang, At Last!

From sunday mirror:

THIS is the schoolgirl set for movie stardom - as Harry Potter's first girlfriend.

Katie Leung, 16, has scooped the prized role of Cho Chang, the Chinese girl who wins the heart of the boy wizard.

And the youngster gets to kiss Harry - played by 15-year-old Daniel Radcliffe - when Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire starts filming later this year.

Last night a movie insider said: "Harry develops a crush on Cho in the Goblet of Fire. It is fair to say that she becomes his first- ever girlfriend, so it's an import- ant part.

"The film producers and author J. K. Rowling were keen to get a complete unknown for the part of Cho Chang and Katie's absolutely perfect. She's pretty, bright and one can see why Harry would have a crush on her. She has a glittering career ahead of her."

And this related piece of news, too, from Newsround:

Peter Leung told the Daily Record newspaper that Katie, 16, was still coming to terms with the news.

He's also reported as saying that: "It's obviously a great part to get and it's a happy time for all the family."

He added: "Katie is coming back up next week and she's supposed to be getting a press officer and things like that."

One of her neighbours, James Gibson, also told the paper: "She is level-headed and I'm sure the fame won't go to her head. She's a nice looking girl and parts don't get much bigger than a Harry Potter role."

Posted by Jasen at 10:53 AM

GoF Casting: Madame Maxine and Mad-Eye!

For months there's been speculation about who will be playing which parts.

And finally, producer, David Heyman exclusively told Newsround Online who will be playing some of the roles.

Madame Maxime, headmistress of Beauxbatons, will be played by 1970s sitcom star Frances de la Tour.

She's most famous for her role in the classic British comedy Rising Damp.

And Brendan Gleeson will play Defence Against The Dark Arts Teacher Mad-Eye Moody.

He's most recently been seen playing Menelaus in Troy, the King who has his wife stolen from him by Orlando Bloom.

Okay, this is a week old, but we gotta archive it sometime!

Posted by Jasen at 10:46 AM

Waiting For The Leicester Premiere

Thousands of fans are expected at London's Leicester Square where most of the film's big stars will be.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are all expected to be there, posing for pictures and signing autographs - if you're lucky!

The premiere itself starts at 6pm, but the stars are expected to arrive in Leicester Square a few hours before that.

More at Newsround.

Posted by Jasen at 10:42 AM

New Life To The Movies

Here's another positive PoA review in advance, this time from Independent.co.uk.

In fact, Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban turns out to be entirely chaste - implausibly chaste; given what else goes on in Hogwarts you'd think the magic of romance would tickle at least one or two of these teenage wizards. So far we haven't seen so much as a peck on the cheek. Cuaron does, however, import something different into a series whose blandness under Columbus had become crowd-pleasing to the point of suffocation. He and his cinematographer Michael Seresin have darkened the Potter palette to a medley of blue-blacks, gunmetals and sickly greens, and fitted out the Gothic interiors with a disquieting touch of noir: mirrors, shadows and flickering lights are significantly featured.

Read on at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 10:37 AM

JKR Updates Book 6!

Thanks to Mugglenet for the following question by an anonymous reporter and Jo's answer at the Premiere of Prisoner of Azkaban:

Reporter: "So when's the next book coming out?"
J.K. Rowling: "Ohh, not too long... but I don't like to give deadlines because then I'll miss it and everyone will get upset."

I'm crossing my fingers, as I'm sure the rest of you are that it's sometime in the next year.

Posted by Scott at 10:13 AM

Harry Potter...Too Hard?

The Chicago Sun Times has an interesting take on why children shouldn't read the Harry Potter books:

I know that young audiences are being charmed by screenings of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban." The tots are entertained, adolescence never looked so appealing, good has temporarily triumphed over evil and all that.

But parents, about these books: Do you really know what your kids are reading?

Inspired by the release of "Azkaban," I've finally gotten through the five books in the series, and I must say I'm appalled.

It's not a question of the occult. I have no problem with the occult. Believe me, if I truly thought that witchcraft would help me smite my enemies, I'd be slaving over a hot cauldron right now.

No, the problem with these books is that they're -- how to say this? -- they're hard

Posted by Scott at 05:59 AM

Harry Potter for Dummies

The Seattle Times has an article that explains all the major characters, phrases, and places in the first three movies, with no spoilers.

The article also goes on to detail what is known about the status of Book 6 (nothing) Goblet of Fire, the movie (very little), and Order of the Phoenix, the movie (nothing). And what better way to discuss the future of Harry Potter without asking whether the cast can come back for all the movies (the article says they'll have no problem playing characters just a few years younger than they are). There's nothing new for anyone who's read the books or visits fansites, but if you want to read the article anyway, click the link.

Posted by Scott at 05:50 AM

A Day in the Life...

The New York Daily News has an article about what's going on in Emma's life right now, including what she looks for in guys.

Calling all boys with a funny side who think Emma Watson is cute.

That's Hermione to you, Harry Potter fans, and she plays a much more central role in "The Prisoner of Azkaban" than in the first two films.

While Watson has often professed an unwavering devotion to Brad Pitt (okay, and to Justin Timberlake sometimes), what she looks for in a real live boy, she says, "is someone who can make me laugh."

At 14 and very pretty indeed, as they would say back in England, she could probably have her pick. Even though she goes to an all-girls school.

We have grown up, haven't we?

But Watson's energies are mostly directed elsewhere right now, what with school - history has just segued from the American Revolution to the French - field hockey, tennis, dance classes and shopping for the kind of transatlantically trendy flounced miniskirt she's wearing today.

Already prepping for this summer's filming of "HP4," she's learned her Hollywood lessons well. At the New York premiere last week - held in the afternoon, for her fan base - she also took care how she dressed.

"I wanted something that wasn't too sexy, but fun and nice," she says.

She found a remarkably sweet-looking strapless number by Lanvin. Still, fashion designers aren't throwing clothes at her in return for publicity as they do with grown stars - "not yet."

She's happy to act her own age, actually. "Luckily, we [Watson­, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint] are growing up perfectly with our characters," she says.

Alfonso Cuaron, the director of the new Harry Potter film, has shown Watson - with his brooding, psychological take on "Prisoner­ of Azkaban" - that adolescence can be just as fascinating as magic.

"He made me see Hermione much more in depth because he made a much more personal film," she says. "He gave us a lot of freedom, really trusted us, and encouraged us to experiment. It's a more raw, real film."

Like Hermione, who transforms her anger into "this great girl power," Watson says, "I'm a teenager - I feel angst, I've got hormones, I get mad sometimes."

Though many may find their inner children even more terrified by "Prisoner of Azkaban" than the first two Potter installments, "I think young children will find it less scary," she says. "It doesn't have as many of those things that suddenly make you jump - like, 'Oooh, spiders, disgusting!'"

Watson worries that Americans "think I'm a terrible snob," because of her upper-crust English accent. "I'm not," she says.

Competitive, yes.

"You should see me play table tennis," during the long waits between takes on set. "I'm very, very competitive." She even knows the cause. "My parents, definitely."

They are divorced lawyers. Her chaperone today is her mother's beau, Jonathan, who's "an enterpreneur," Watson says proudly. He is involved in digital radio on several continents.

His role does not include scouting for boys who can make her laugh. He doesn't have to.

"Daniel and Rupert make me laugh, tremendously," Watson says. "They're just so funny, especially when they're together. They make me absolutely howl with laughter."

Posted by Scott at 05:43 AM

May 29, 2004

PoA related TV in the US

Here is a complete listing of TV regarding the greatly anticpated release of PoA. Thanks to TLC for gathering the information.

US PoA Related TV

Here’s an updated list of US TV Harry Potter related shows

*Monday May 31st NBC Today Show (7am est)
Gary Oldman scheduled to appear
*Monday May 31st Live! with Regis and Kelly (various am)
Daniel Radcliffe scheduled to appear
*(NEW) Tuesday, June 1st CBS The Early Show (8am est)
Daniel Radcliffe scheduled to appear
* Wednesday June 2nd A & E ” Biography “(8pm est)
Repeat of the J.K. Rowling biography
Wednesday, June 2nd A& E (9pm est) “MagicTouch of Harry Potter”
A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the latest Harry Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.
* Thursday, June 3rd NBC Today Show (7am est)
Emma Watson scheduled to appear
* Thursday, June 3rd E! Behind the Scenes (4:30pm est)
a look at the making of ” Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban ”
* Friday, June 4th Live! with Regis and Kelly (various am)
Emma Watson scheduled to appear

Posted by Deb at 11:05 PM

Words With Gary Oldman

scotsman.com and Times Online both have very excellent (and long) interviews with the actor.

Posted by Jasen at 10:39 PM

A Whole Spew of Cast Interviews!

Newsround has a whole bunch of new interviews with Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Gary Oldman, Michael Gambon, and director Alfonso Cuaron!

Posted by Jasen at 10:32 PM

Matthew Lewis Shares Thoughts On PoA

Newsround was able to catch up with Lewis, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom:

Have you seen the film yet?
I have hardly seen any of it at all! It will be a surprise, apart from the bits I actually filmed. I've never been to one of the US premieres before either so that's one of the reasons I'm really looking forward to it.

What's your fave bit?
The scene with Hagrid when he takes his first lesson in Care of Magical Creatures. When he first brings in the Hippogriff.

...What are you doing now?
I've started filming on the Goblet Of Fire. I started a couple of weeks ago. I've just been working on a few difficult scenes so far. But I'm off now til July. There's a lot of things to prepare for before filming really starts all the time. There's a lot of stuff to do with Dan. It seems to be getting pretty busy though once I am back in July. They have given us a schedule but I don't trust it - ha! Film schedules don't usually go to time.

Are you looking forward to GOF?
Yes I'm really looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to playing Neville again, no specific scene, just being back there filming and back with everyone

Read on at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 10:30 PM

Reviews, And Then Some

Here's a list of sites that already have reviews online: The Scotsman, The Sun, Empire Online, Daily Post, and BBC--all, of which, have nothing but praise :)

Posted by Jasen at 10:24 PM

An Interview With Michael Gambon

But illness has not impeded his workload. He’s just finished a three-month stint in the Beckett play Endgame with Lee Evans, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of seven upcoming films.

"I only did three weeks as Dumbledore, so I’ve forgotten everything about it," he says. "I come from the generation that’s frightened not to take the jobs that are offered. It’s been bred into me, you know. All I remember was that the costume was two layers of silk and quite light. I think I’m a very physical, very visual sort of actor. My first task in rehearsal is to discover what the person looks like, what he wears, how he does his hair. And if you’re thinking the way the character thinks, your face and body will change. My Dumbledore is quite light so he capers around, he has beads because he’s a bit of a hippy, and he has an Irish accent, because Richard was Irish."

Richard Harris was the first headmaster of Hogwarts, a role Harris was hugely proud of since it gave him new credibility with his grandchildren. Even in hospital, dying of Hodgkin’s disease, he hissed to the film’s producer: "Don’t even think of f***ing recasting."

But, of course, the Potter show had to go on. The first offer went to Sir Ian McKellan, who felt that playing one bearded, white-haired authority figure in a film series was quite enough, and turned the role down. Gambon, an old drinking friend of Harris, although they had never worked together, was the next choice.

His debut as the second Dumbledore in the Harry Potter series only premiered on Thursday but already he has had letters from hundreds of children all over the world asking for signed photographs. "They won’t recognise me without the beard and wig, so I don’t think I’ll get stopped in the street much," he says. Won’t his distinctive voice rather give things away? "Then I won’t speak to ’em."

Read much more here!

Posted by Jasen at 10:21 PM

Win PoA Movie Tickets!

Enter the contest, courtesy of ic Coventry.

Posted by Jasen at 10:15 PM

'Awkward Romance' On The Set

From Teen Hollywood:

'Harry Potter' star Rupert Grint has confessed he felt "awkward" holding hands with his pretty co-star, Emma Watson.

The 15-year-old actor, who plays Harry's best friend Ron Weasley, claims he wasn't happy filming scenes of a blossoming romance between Ron and young witch Hermione Granger in 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

He admitted: "There were some awkward scenes. There was a lot of hand-holding between me and Hermione. There were hugs as well, but they got cut."

This is the first time that a potential romance between the two characters has been hinted at in the 'Harry Potter' movies.

In JK Rowling's popular novels, Ron and Hermione don't hold hands until the fourth book, 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' - the upcoming movie version of this will also star Rupert, Emma and Daniel Radcliffe as Harry.

However, Rupert has confessed he is not looking forward to any future love scenes.

He told Britain's The Sun newspaper: "It's weird doing romance. I've never been attracted to playing a romantic lead."

Meanwhile, Rupert's co-stars, Daniel and Emma, both 14, danced together at a party following the world premiere of the third 'Harry Potter' film at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

I guess holding hands is pretty big nowadays, eh?

Posted by Jasen at 10:13 PM

Reuters Speaks To Alfonso Cuaron

The story is streamlined to keep the action racing forward, and the movie's pounding pace is intensified by Cuaron's technique.

"We are in motion, constantly moving the camera as we're following Harry's point of view," Cuaron told Reuters in an interview this week in the run-up to the film's opening on June 4. "We're constantly going inside, inside, inside."

Cuaron, who took over from Chris Columbus, director of the first two Potter films, has brought a galloping style to the movie about teen wizards coming of age that is darker and deeper than the others.

Cut loose from feeling obliged to explain everything about Harry's magical world, the movie jumps off to a fast start, untethered by exposition, and hardly stops for breath along an exciting 136-minute ride.

"I think I had a great advantage," said Cuaron. "I didn't have to explain the universe. The universe was so well set up in the first two movies."

Read on!

Posted by Jasen at 10:10 PM

A PoA Experience of Sorts

From Scotland Today:

Asked what he thought was different to the look and feel of this movie compared to the other two, Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, said: "I think it's darker, but that is simply because the book is darker. The material's more kind of edgy. It's great, I really, really like the film, I am very proud of it, as is everyone who worked on it really."

...Asked what it is like in the playground for his kids, Gary Oldman said: "It's very much that 'He's Sirius Black, you're dad's Sirius Black.' They see the trailer and they go "that's Guilliver's dad".You know, you're not around it all the time and so to...you get a real sense of what it means to these kids."

Actor Michael Gambon, who plays Albus Dumbeldore has big shoes to fill in his role, he said: "If someone sits in a room and puts that wig on and puts that beard on, sticks those eyebrows on you, sticks that costume on you with slippers, what else are you going to do. You've got gold rings all over your hands so you've got to move your hands. You know you've got candles, how else will you be with that kind of thing."

More at the link.

Posted by Jasen at 10:08 PM

Australia's Courier Mail Gives Away Character Pins!

Talk about awesome--the Australian newspaper will be giving away character pins with their daily delivery while supplies last. There's 20 in all, and the promotion ends June 12.

I want one...

Posted by Jasen at 10:05 PM

Growing Up With Their Characters

Paul Fischer of filminsideout was able to sit down with a couple of the cast members:

Time waits for noone and things have changed for Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson since the first Harry Potter film burst into the public consciousness four years ago.

..."We have just been getting older and maturing", a reticent Watson begins, now waiting for her male counterpart to finish her thought. Adds Radcliffe on cue. "I think we probably have changed as actors but I'm not conscious of myself changing. I haven't watched the first film for about three years now, so I can't really compare it to the third because it's not very fresh in my mind," he says. But both admit their confidence has increased throughout the three films, Radcliffe says. "Just because we're really more experienced with different directors."

The different director Radcliffe refers too is Mexico's Alfonso Cuaron, who replaced America's Chris Columbus for the much darker Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Comparing the two, says Radcliffe, stems from what the pair learnt initially with Columbus.

"Basically I think, everything we learned with Chris, we were now able to put into practice with Alfonso", says Radcliffe. "The reason why he was able to do longer takes and more complicated shots, was because with Chris we just didn't have the experience or the focus to do that kind of stuff. And it is harder and more challenging, because we're getting older and so if we're not getting challenged there's really no point in doing it."

In Prisoner of Azkaban, Radcliffe may be the title character, but it's the blossoming Watson who ultimately dominates the fourth adventure, punching her nemesis in the nose and virtually saving the day.

"I refer to it as my kind of girl power", Watson laughingly exclaims.

Continuing on that theme of the prevalence of girl power in Prisoner of Azkaban, Emily says she hopes she did the character justice this time around, "because it's my favourite book and such a great part for her, so I hope that she's what they all thought she'd be."

She adds that Hermione "finally comes into her own in this one. I think you see a really different side to her than you had in the other two. I think her journey is much more personal and this film has really tested me."

Head on over to the link for the full!

Posted by Jasen at 10:02 PM

Harry Makes EW's 'Most Beloved and Bankable"

Thanks to all our readers who wrote in to let us know that the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine has a little feature on their list of Hollywood's most "beloved and bankable characters", with--yours truly--Harry Potter at No.1. Following, is Shrek, Spider-Man, and the Dark Lord himself (no, not Voldemort), Darth Vader.

Posted by Jasen at 09:58 PM

'Polar Express' Trailer With PoA

Zap2it reports:

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Before checking into Platform nine and three quarters at King's Cross station, young moviegoers can hop aboard "The Polar Express."
The trailer for the CGI-heavy adventure will premiere in theaters alongside "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" on Friday, June 4.

The full trailer will also be sneak previewed online on Tuesday evening (June 1) as a special feature of "The Daily Prophet," the news section of the Harry Potter site, www.harrypotter.com.

Posted by Jasen at 09:54 PM

PoA's A Darker Shade of Grey

From The New York Times:

"This is pretty much a film about identity," Cuarón said. "It's about a kid trying to come to terms with being a teenager, with being 13 and having an awareness of things. It's the moment when you realize that the monster is not under the bed or in the closet, but inside you -- and the only weapon to fight that monster also resides inside you."

Cuarón's task, however, is not only to make "Azkaban" seem fresh, but also to appeal to literal-minded Potter fans, which means remaining true to Rowling's material and making sure the film flows logically from the first two.

"Chris and I are two different minds; we have different approaches, for good or bad," Cuarón said. "But I think Chris created a very elegant universe and put together an amazing cast. It would have been not only irresponsible, but also stupid to come and say, 'OK, just for the sake of change, let's change all this stuff that is working fantastically well.' "

As it happens, he turned down the chance to direct Harry Potter No. 4; that job has gone to Mike Newell ("Mona Lisa Smile").

"The films have to develop and grow with our children," co-producer David Heyman said by phone. "One of the things that was so clear in 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' was that [Cuarón has] a real understanding of the nuances of teenage life."

Much more at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 09:52 PM

TV Watch: Dan and Emma On 'Regis'

Thanks to Theresa who informs us that Daniel Radcliffe will be on LIVE with Regis and Kelly this coming Monday; while Emma Watson will be a guest on the Thursday show. Remember to set those VCRs!

Posted by Jasen at 09:50 PM

Pottermania = Beatlemania?

The Boston Herald tackles this very question in an article in Sunday's edition:

Could the ``Harry Potter'' series spark a 21st century version of Beatlemania?

From the squeals, screams and sighs that greeted Daniel Radcliffe's red carpet appearance a week ago at the U.S. premiere, the mop-haired 14-year-old who plays Harry Potter is the hottest thing out of the British Isles since Princes William and Harry.

It's been 4 years since he was cast as the boyish English wizard with glasses and a lightning-bolt scar on his forehead, and Radcliffe's Potter has transformed from cute kid to teen idol.

On Friday, his third Potter outing, ``Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,'' arrives in theaters nationwide as Harry enters his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

As the world's gaze focuses on Harry's encounter with the escaped prisoner (played by British chameleon Gary Oldman of ``Bram Stoker's Dracula'') and the dangers of the fearsome dark-robed spirits called Dementors, Radcliffe will be busy all summer filming the fourth film, ``Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,'' due in November 2005. But can he be Harry forever? Or at least until the end of the series?

Scottish author J. K. Rowling promises there will be seven novels. Radcliffe, who earned a measly $125,000 for the first ``Potter'' (the same as his cohorts Emma Watson and Rupert Grint), is signed on a film-by-film basis, as are all the juvenile players.

Whether he remains Potter for the duration depends on the combination of how much he grows, the box office and Warner Bros.

``I don't think there's any point in lying. It would be hard to see anyone else film the part,'' Radcliffe said.

``We are getting older. There was a longer gap between the third and the fourth. I'm now 14 and kind of go to 15 in a couple of months, so I'm getting older than Harry. We can only take it one film at a time. If they do want me to do it after five, we'll have to see then, I suppose.''

In Hollywood fashion, fate seemed to cast him for the role of a lifetime. The son of a British ICM literary agent, Radcliffe had acted occasionally, most notably playing young David Copperfield on the BBC. But unlike everyone else his age, he'd been taken out of the ``Harry Potter'' pool because his parents feared the notoriety would destroy his life.

more

Posted by Scott at 08:18 PM

Review the PoA Movie Soundtrack!

Now that you bought the soundtrack and listened to it over a hundred times, share your own review of it in its official iHP review thread!

Posted by Jasen at 07:52 PM

London Premiere 14 Hours Away

BBC.com has an article about the premiere of the latest Potter film:

The European premiere of third Harry Potter film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, takes place in London on Sunday.

The film, directed by the Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron, will be shown at the Odeon Leicester Square in the capital's West End from 1800 BST.

Stars taking part will include Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson (Hermione Grainger) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley).

The premiere follows enthusiastic reviews for the film.

The film has been described as the best of the films so far, with a much darker atmosphere.

BBC News Online's review said it was "far darker in tone than its predecessors - but that still stays true to the spirit of the book, tempering its scarier moments with some of the most lavish visuals ever to grace the series."

On Friday, newspaper reviewers were universally positive, with The Times saying "you could spend weeks drooling over the artwork in a single scene".

The Daily Telegraph said "Cuaron clearly wanted to make us feel we'd experienced a proper movie. He succeeded".

The film comes after speculation that the film's teenage stars may become too old to play their characters before the end of Rowling's seven-book series.

In a press conference this week, Radcliffe said the trio were making the fourth film, The Goblet of Fire, with director Mike Newell, but things were not certain after that.

"I think it's hard for all three of us to look anywhere beyond that. Whatever happens in the future, I'm not sure yet," he said during a press conference.

He also said that he believed his character would die in the seventh book - even though Rowling has refused to divulge what happens at the end.

"I'm going to be really unpopular for saying this," he said, "but I've always had the suspicion that Harry might die."

"Harry and Voldemort have the same core in them, and the only way he could die is if Harry dies as well."

Posted by Scott at 07:36 PM

Chris Rankin Opens Fete, Eats on Hell's Kitchen

Chris Rankin (Percy Weasley) is a busy boy lately. He has opened a fete in Sheringham which is raising money to convert a minibus to carry wheelchairs and other equipment for the handicapped.

On his webiste, he announced he will be eating Monday on Hell's Kitchen, a British television program on the ITV network.

Posted by Scott at 07:24 PM

Crackdown on Piracy...

As a follow-up story to the one a few posts down, a Leamington Cinema has started to use high-tech means to crackdown on piracy, specifically of Prisoner of Azkaban... in the form of night vision goggles. More here.

Posted by M17 at 07:23 PM

Critics' Takes on the New Movie

Critics have already rated PoA based on their opinions (and they seem to like what they're seeing!)... Gary Slaymaker calls it ...definitely the best in the series so far.

Rob's verdict
Best performance: Rupert Grint is hilarious as the one-line wonder Ron Weasley - he's fast becoming the mini-Chandler of this particular group of Friends.
Best scene: Pam Ferris as Aunt Marge being inflated into a giant balloon by Harry.
Overall rating: ****

Gary Slaymaker, film critic for Box Office and S4C
AFTER a long wait (for me at least), Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban finally hits the big screen just before the European Football Championships kick-off.

And what an absolute gem it is. Having enjoyed all the novels and been blown away by the quality of the first two movie versions, The Prisoner of Azkaban is definitely the best in the series so far.

Gary's verdict
Best performance: They were all very good and the young cast have definitely improved with age. Emma Thompson had me laughing as Professor Sybil Trelawney
Best scene: The first time we come across Buckbeak - a magical half-eagle, half-horse type of creature, which is brilliant-looking. It takes Harry flying and it's a magical scene watching him go through the air.
Overall rating: *****

Source: icWales

Posted by M17 at 07:18 PM

Clips Galore!

Yahoo! Movies has just uploaded twelve new clips direct from the movie! Don't go, unless you want to be spoiled a week in advance ;)

Posted by Jasen at 07:11 PM

About the Premiere

PR Newswire has details on when you can check out the European and Worldwide premieres of the PoA movie.

Posted by Jasen at 07:08 PM

A Bit of GoF Casting

BUDDING star Kobie Hunte is about to start living every young actor's dream after scooping a part in the fourth Harry Potter film.

Kobie, 13, a pupil at McEntee School, Billet Road, Walthamstow, has won a role in the next magical movie about the young wizard, Harry Potter and the Goblets of Fire.

The Year 8 student, who also goes to the Italia-Conti acting school, shouted for joy when she found out she had got a part, but despite her excitement she can't tell anyone what it is as the film's plots are still top secret.

Kobie said: "At first I didn't want to audition because I was quite scared. However, my mum and dad and two of my teachers at school, Miss Bretterecker and Miss Parker, persuaded me to go.

The role she's apparently been casted in has not yet been announced--read the rest of the article.

Posted by Jasen at 07:06 PM

PoA Already Pirated?

In 6 days, Warner Bros. will release ``Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban" but the movie is already available through P2P networks. Among the tremendous swapped files, we have identified various qualities and versions (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian...) which now propagate at a rate of 318,592 downloads per hour (minimal values).

More.

Posted by Jasen at 07:04 PM

Robbie Coltrane On Alfonso Cuaron

KillerMovies has this:

Robbie Coltrane, who plays Hagrid in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, says he enjoyed working with director Alfonso Cuaron. "A nightmare," joked Coltrane in an interview with Sci-Fi Wire. "Dreadful. No sense of humor. I don't know how he got the job. He must have slept with somebody."

"No, I adore him." he said seriously. "I think he's a wonderfully talented man. He's exactly the way I expected him to be, having seen his other films: slightly wild and crazy, rock and roll and adolescent, but phenomenally focused about what he wants to do."

Coltrane didn't want to say much on Cuaron taking over the directors chair from Chris Columbus for the third movie. "I don't want to dis anybody or say anyone is better than anyone else," the actor said. "Every film is a year in the life of the children [Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint]. This film had to be darker and more rock and roll and immediate. A big-budget movie, if you're not careful, is a cumbersome beast. It's hard to keep a level of agility and vitality going. [Cuaron] kept the camera moving all the time, which the [visual-effects] people so hate. It's mind-blowing, complicated stuff."

Posted by Jasen at 06:57 PM

Harry Potter Goes Wireless!

The Official Site has up new details on the latest promotion for PoA.

Posted by Jasen at 06:49 PM

Official PoA Game Site Now Active

Check out the new site from the game's developer, Electronic Arts, here!

Posted by Jasen at 06:45 PM

Hogwarts Express Saves the Day

When the 'Flying Scotsman' broke down, the Hogwarts Express came to the rescue, according to this article in The Guardian Unlimited:

Rail buffs hoping to catch a glimpse of the world-famous Flying Scotsman at full steam were left disappointed Saturday after the locomotive broke down at the start of its trip to a rail festival.

Flying Scotsman was expected to draw crowds of thousands along the East Coast railway line on a journey to York in northern England to launch Railfest 2004.

But as the engine was stoked up for the run late Friday, engineers discovered a boiler tube had split and canceled the journey. The engine was towed up the line by a diesel locomotive.

Guests for the festival who were to be transported on the locomotive were instead picked up by the Olton Hall engine, which doubles as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films.

Keira Meheux, a spokeswoman for the National Railway Museum, said that Flying Scotsman will still feature at the festival but not ``under its own steam, as it were.''

Flying Scotsman, the first steam locomotive confirmed to exceed 100 miles per hour, will go on permanent display at the York museum after a last-minute fund-raising drive to keep the locomotive in Britain.

The locomotive had been put up for sale by Flying Scotsman PLC, which had lost money operating it on excursion trains. The company said it decided to sell because of delays in building a planned exhibition center in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The National Railway Museum collected a grant of $3.3 million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, $765,000 from the public and $657,000 from Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group.

The nine-day Railfest 2004, which marks 200 years of progress since the world's first steam locomotive ran in 1804, is expected to attract more than 60,000 visitors to the museum.

Posted by Scott at 06:43 PM

Chunghwa Post To Release New HP Stamps!!

The release of the latest in the Harry Potter film adaptations is being celebrated by Chunghwa Post with the release of two new souvenir sheets.

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ is released on 4th June and is the third instalment of the hugely successful series devised by English author J K Rowling. The previous two films have grossed a combined US$1.9 billion and the latest release is poised to do equally well at the box office.

The two sheets each consist of six stamps and will be released to coincide with film’s release in an attempt to stimulate interest in stamp collecting amongst younger people.


Oooo, aaaahhhh..

More details here!

Posted by Jasen at 06:37 PM

PoA = Lots o' Bucks For IMAX

Next Friday's opening of the movie Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban could be a crucial turning point for Imax Corp., the entertainment company that has shifted its focus from specialty films to Hollywood hits.

Imax is gearing its future success to having major movies released in Imax format simultaneously with their opening in conventional theatres. So expectations are high for Harry, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger when their images hit 49 of Imax's giant screens in Canada and the United States, and a handful more in Europe, next week.

Read on at The Globe and Mail!

Posted by Jasen at 06:31 PM

JKRowling.com Online!

Rowling's official website has been radically transformed into a brand-new website, complete with...well, there's no need for us to tell you--just go!

Posted by Jasen at 06:30 PM

Will Harry Die In Book 7?

Dan Radcliffe seems to think so (from Teen Hollywood:

The 14-year-old actor, who plays Harry, reckons his character will die in the seventh novel - which is yet to be written - because he is so closely linked with his evil nemesis, Lord Voldemort.

He explained: "I've always had the suspicion that Harry might die. He and Voldemort have the same core. I think the only way Voldemort can die is if Harry dies as well."

And another interesting tidbit:

It was recently revealed that Daniel could face the axe from the star role because he is ageing faster than his character.

But the actor admitted he doesn't want anyone else to take over the role.

He said: "It will be difficult to see someone else play the part. But it's a possibility."

Posted by Jasen at 06:27 PM

Robbie Coltrane, The Loveable Hagrid

As usual, Coltrane's Hagrid is in the middle of it all, like a jovial version of a backwoods oaf. Only Coltrane could pull it off, and only Coltrane would slough off the accompanying acclaim he gets for his likable portrayal. "The kids don't usually know me when I'm on the street," he admits, shrugging. "The grownups do, from other things, so I give them Brownie points for recognizing me."

Read on at Canada.com!

Posted by Jasen at 06:25 PM

Filming to Return to Scotland

The sundaymail has this...

THE team behind the new Harry Potter film yesterday revealed they will return to Scotland.

The crew on third film, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, spent 28 wet days in the Highlands.

Glencoe is the backdrop for scenes outside Hogwarts school and a crucial sequence in which Harry and pals try to rescue a creature known as a Hippogriff.

Producer Mark Radcliffe said: 'Helicopters dropped gravel every day to stop the set sliding down the hill.'

But the film-makers said it was worth the trouble.

Posted by M17 at 06:23 PM

Utah Theater To Have Midnight Screening

From The Salt Lake Tribune reports:

midnight screening of "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," to benefit the Salt Lake City Main Library, is set for early Friday morning at the Megaplex 12 at The Gateway.

The event starts with a pre-screening party featuring "fun, food and magic," with doors opening at 10 p.m. Thursday. The movie starts promptly at the witching hour.

More at the link.

Posted by Jasen at 06:23 PM

PoA Foreshadows Books 6 & 7!

This news is just a little old, but it's pretty newsworthy!

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling says that Alfonso Cuaron, who directed The Prisoner of Azkaban, which opens next Friday, inadvertently foreshadowed events that will happen in books six and seven, which she has yet to complete.

"I really got goose bumps when I saw a couple of those things, and I thought, people are going to look back on the film and think that those were put in deliberately as clues," Rowling says in an interview released by Warner Bros., which is distributing the movie.

More at USA Today!

Posted by M17 at 06:20 PM

New Cast Interviews!

The Scotsman has new interview of Gary Oldman, as well as an interview with Michael Gambon, who plays Dumbledore in Prisoner of Azkaban!

...even Professor Dumbledore, Harry Potter’s magisterial head teacher, has now been incarnated with Gambon’s sly sense of fun. The actor adores pranks, especially the ones that require a straight face and his familiar lugubrious delivery.

Read on at the links! (Thanks, Leaky)

Posted by M17 at 06:15 PM

WE'RE BACK!!!

After a month of downtime, iHP.net has finally returned!

Didn't think we'd leave you without a site before the next Harry Potter movie opened, did you? ;)

More details later, but now, it's time to catch up on the wonderful world of NEWS!

Also, the iHP Discussion Forums are back, so be sure you register to join in on all the discussion!

Posted by Jasen at 05:40 PM | Comments (1)