June 05, 2004

PoA Opens Big In Mexico

Thanks to Ramiro Salinas V. for translating this from mural.com:

POA in its opening day made $15 millions of pesos in Mexico ,the movie was saw by half a million of people, said the office Warner Bros in Mexico

During a conference, made this Saturday in a hotel of Mexico City, Cuarón showed its joy to have reached these numbers. "sorry to begin the conference to late, but all the morning I had been receiving telephone dispatches where they informed me about the opening of the movie", it commented.

Posted by Jasen at 07:04 PM

Last Site Poll Results

Well, here are the results for the last Ministry Census Poll (be sure to vote in the newest one!):

If you could meet J.K. Rowling, what would you say or ask? [5073 votes total]

"Oh my goodness--Mrs. Rowling! Mrs. Rowling! Can I live with you?!?!?" (641) 13%

"Oh my--somebody get the camera, QUICK!!" (801) 16%

"I'm your BIGGEST fan! And I know *everyone* tells you that already, but..." (776) 15%

"Uhh..uhhh.." (339) 7%

I wouldn't know what to say. (823) 16%

I'd run away. (74) 1%

Other (1619) 32%

Posted by Jasen at 04:41 PM

New Video From London Premiere

Fran informs us:

Some hours ago, Mexican TV Channel TV Azteca aired a couple of interviews with Alfonso Cuarón and known information about PoA. They also showed Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman and Emma Watson being interviewed (actually, answering one question) by mexican reporter Rafa Sarmiento, who traveled to London for the Premiere.

There're a high and low WMV versions, and a med and low RM versions.

Posted by Jasen at 01:27 PM

Tom Felton's Official Website Updates

Felton's added a new picture gallery to accompany his report from the PoA London premiere last weekend.

Posted by Jasen at 01:26 PM

Chris Rankin Talks About Changes In PoA

BBC had a chance to speak with Rankin (Percy Weasley) about the new film:

Why has it taken so long to make the POA?

It's seems like a very long time ago that we started, around February 2003. I've been shooting bits and bobs all over the place, so it's been very periodical.

It's a bit bizarre as I think, as people, we've grown up a lot since we started making this film. I certainly feel I'm a completely different person to the person I was in January 2003.

Certainly Daniel, Emma and Rupert have grown a lot. They're learning very quickly and are growing up faster than we're getting the films out at the moment.

Posted by Jasen at 01:22 PM

PoA Opens To Big Box Office

According to ShowBIZ Data:

Warner Bros. Pictures' Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban broke the opening day record set by Spider-Man on May 3, 2002. The third installment in the popular "Harry Potter" franchise pulled in an estimated $41.2 million from 3,855 theaters on Friday, surpassing Spidey's take of $39.4 million from 3,615 theaters. It is also on its way to beat Spidey's opening weekend figure of $114.8 million. "Prisoner of Azkaban" carried a production budget of $130 million.

Posted by Jasen at 01:18 PM

New PoA LEGOs Available!

For all you Harry Potter LEGO fans, your lucky day has come--check out their site to see the latest collection!

Posted by Jasen at 01:17 PM

June 04, 2004

Video of MSNBC Interviews With Potter Cast Online

The headline says it all--head on over here to see them! On a little side note, notice how Gary Oldman still has long hair and is now sporting a beard... Methinks he may be prepping for The Goblet of Fire :)

Posted by Jasen at 06:44 PM

Harry Potter On Entertainment Weekly Front Cover

HPANA has up some scans from the latest issue of EW mag, which has a feature on PoA, including some interesting tidbits:

The franchise's screenwriter Steve Kloves may not return, and there's uncertainty with the kids, too. Where once Warner Bros. seemed willing to replace them the second they outgrew their roles or puberty hit them with an ugly stick, the studio now seems eager to keep the trio intact; it realizes that an identification has been made. According to one source, Warner Bros. president Alan Horn even made a personal appeal to Watson to return for Goblet. All are taking it one film at a time, but Watson is said to be the one who deliberates the most carefully. "It's only just now hit me how big this is. I don't know why," says Watson. "Sometimes, it's flattering. Other times, it's [big sigh]."

Posted by Jasen at 06:40 PM

Emma Watson Is Star of the Week

On Moviefone.com:

Emma Watson is often asked how much she has in common with her on-screen counterpart, Hermione Granger. The 14-year-old actress insists she is not a "book worm" like Granger (Watson prefers art and sports), nor does she possess Granger’s serious demeanor. Yet, the as the 'Harry Potter' series progresses, Granger and Watson are growing and blossoming into strangely similar strong, sophisticated young women.

Posted by Jasen at 06:34 PM

A Sit-Down With Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint

BBC has up a great new interview with the trio:

This time around we see you in jeans, more ordinary clothes. Were you relieved to be out of the school uniforms?

EW: I think it made things more normal, more comfortable. It made it easier to do the stunts as well, and it lets you see a different side to all of the characters. Plus, we're teenagers now, and I think that that has more of an influence on it. It feels more personal when you are in your own clothes.

DR: Also, more of the story this time takes place in the holidays between terms, so it was quite natural - I don't think that any child anywhere in the world actually wants to wear their school uniform. Apart from Hermione...

RG: Unfortunately Ron still gets his hand-me-down Weasley sweaters, so I never got to experience the normal clothes.

Posted by Jasen at 02:07 PM

An Interview With David Thewlis

The Washington Post recently sat down with the actor:

Why did they offer you this role?

I don't really know. I had been considered for the role of Professor Quirrell [which Ian Hart played in the first movie, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"], so I suppose somebody obviously likes me. I felt an enormous responsibility because internationally there's a real passion among kiddies for these books. When I went online to do research about werewolves and stuff, I found all this e-mail chat saying things like, "Who is this person playing Professor Lupin? We want someone good-looking, like Jude Law!"

Much more at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 02:02 PM

Harry Potter Live Chat Next Friday!

Newsround's Lizo will be hosting a live online chat next Friday, the 11th, where readers can send in their questions, to which certain "Harry Potter guests" may answer! Click here for more info!

Posted by Jasen at 02:01 PM

UPICK Video Online!

DanRadcliffe.com has up a new Windows Media Player video from Dan and Emma's appearance on Nickelodeon's UPICK yesterday, which you can check out at the link.

Posted by Jasen at 01:58 PM

Parents Dispute Over PoA Fundraiser Screening

LIVERMORE -- It's the kind of dispute that would vex even the celebrated Albus Dumbledore.

Parents in Livermore had threatened to boycott and even picket a showing of the new motion picture "Harry Potter and the Prisoner Azkaban" which features the boy wizard and Dumbledore, the wise headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It wasn't the witchcraft and wizardry that parents were upset by, though -- it was that a showing of the movie at Livermore's Vine Cinema would benefit a program in the Pleasanton school district.

The fund-raiser will feature a showing of the third Harry Potter movie at 10:15 a.m. Saturday, where attendees pay $25 for a benefit package that includes the movie, a soft drink and box of popcorn.

Proceeds will go to the Barton Reading and Spelling System program in place at Pleasanton's Valley View Elementary School, Hart Middle School and Foothill High School.

Tri-Valley Herald has the rest.

Posted by Jasen at 01:55 PM

Local Children Starred In PoA

HORDES of local children are playground celebrities since starring in Harry Potter.

Hundreds of young stars from Redroofs stage school, in Maidenhead, were chosen as extras in the blockbuster, which is based on JK Rowling's best-selling series.

Fans would give anything to switch places with this youngster, who goes to Desborough School in Maidenhead, and starred in several scenes with Harry and his pals.

Read on at Bucks Free Press!

Posted by Jasen at 01:53 PM

Premiere Poses The Question

The website for Premiere magazine has a new poll asking: "With Harry Potter returning to theaters we just had to ask, which is the best movie wizard?" Gandalf is currently in the lead with 54% while Harry is at 24%. C'mon everyone, send your votes Harry's way at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 01:51 PM

Merchants Hoping PoA Movie Will Help Book Sales

Howell merchants are hoping for more Harry Potter mania as they plan a party next week celebrating the release of the movie "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban."

Again, the life of the party is Aria Booksellers owner Mary Ellen Ahmad. She planned the last Howell Harry party that drew 4,000 people downtown. This year's event is from 6-10 p.m. on June 11.

Ann Arbor News has the rest.

Posted by Jasen at 01:48 PM

Power Cut Off From Local Theater

A POWERCUT spelled misery for hundreds of youngsters watching the new Harry Potter film at the newly opened Cineworld in Cambridge.

Gone Potty: Harry fans hit by blackout
Workmen cut a cable leading to the new cinema at the Cattlemarket which has been open for a week. Around 600 people were inside at the time, many were school children on half term watching the latest release, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Cambridge News has more.

Posted by Jasen at 01:47 PM

EA Ships PoA Game!

GamePro reports that the developer has now begun to ship the game to retailers across the country!

Posted by Jasen at 01:45 PM

PoA in theaters NOW.

After a long year and a half the day has finally arrived. The Prisoner of Azkaban hits theaters now! Gosh, seems like time flew by so quickly or to some slowly.

Note/Reminder: I will be at the New York City's Imax Event this coming Saturday, reporting the event just for here!! So stay tuned for my review[With permission from Jasen ^^] and possibly pictures. :)

Posted by xAmarisx at 03:47 AM


I just got back from the midnight screening of PoA, and my headline says it all. I absolutely loved this movie, even though I went in with heavy fears it wouldn't live up to my expectations (PoA was my favorite book of the series). You can expect an editorialized review by me sometime over the weekend, provided Jasen sees it as appropriate to publish. It will involve some adult themes and may not be appropriate for younger readers. But now i'm off to bed. I have to be at work in 4 hours! ACK!!

Posted by Scott at 01:13 AM

June 03, 2004

PoA Film Quiz

For those of you who have already watched PoA, test your knowledge by playing the CBBC PoA film quiz.

Victor Krum Cast!!

After months of silence and controversy concerning the nationality of the future Potter star, Warner Bros. has reportedly decided that Stanislav Yanevski, a Bulgarian boy living and studying in London, will play Viktor Krum in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The decision was relayed to producer Victor Bozhinov, who was in charge of carrying out the Bulgarian casting for Krum at the end of February.

Thanks to Wizard News.

Posted by Vickie at 05:40 PM

CBBC Live Chat

CBBC's Newsround is having an interactive programme about PoA.

Newsround is having a special interactive programme all about the third Potter film from 5.45-6.15pm on Friday 11 June. And we want YOU to take part.

We want your questions and comments on Azkaban to put to Lizo and some special Potter guests LIVE during the show.

Get the full details here.

Posted by Vickie at 05:28 PM

The Mumbai PoA Premiere

The premiere show of HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN at not one but three screens of Fame Adlabs, Mumbai on June 1 was truly an affair to remember.

Organized by Warner Bros. and Fame Adlabs, the celebrity turnout at the premiere was simply remarkable.

For, not only did the Bollywood stars turn up to watch the magic unfold on the screen, they were accompanied by their kids, which is rare considering that most stars like to keep their kids away from the limelight till a certain age.

Sify has the rest.

Posted by Jasen at 02:38 PM

New Editions This Summer!

CNW reports:

VANCOUVER, June 2 /CNW/ - The summer of 2004 will see the world's best-selling books reaching new audiences. Recognized jointly by Amazon and the Economist as the best-selling books worldwide, the Harry Potter series has truly become a global phenomenon. In Canada, Raincoast Books has sold over 7 million copies. Now with five of the seven books in the series published, Raincoast is happy to announce new plans for the summer to target new fans of
the boy wizard.

- May 3: Raincoast releases Harry Potter Magic Editions in paperback, boasting fun and appealing cover designs and economical prices.

- July 8: prepare for the release of the first four books of the Harry Potter series in new adult format paperbacks. The packaging and covers for these books will target a more mature audience.

- August 10: the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in paperback!

Posted by Jasen at 02:33 PM

Spanish PoA Rating

El Cronista de Salem writes:


‘Harry Potter y el Prisionero de Azkaban’, which will be released the next 18 of june, is rated for more than 8 years, as warner brothers has informed exclusively for www.harrylatino.com

The film has had discussions about the Ron’s voice, which didn’t was really... good (awful is the world( in the last movie. This time Cavid Carillo, famous presentator of Disney Channel, will give his voice to the character.

You can see all the people who give their voice here

In latinoamerica, the translation okf the films has had a lot of troubles too. It wasnt very good; for these reason, Alfonso Cuarón tried to help with the work, but the problems continued, because he couldn’t change the actors and he hadn’t much time. For these reason, latinamerican fans preffer watch the movie with subtitles and in english.

Spain is a different version than latinamerica. In spain the movies are ALWAYS translated, but in latinamerica people often preffer watch them in the original version... but maybe is because for not-mexican fans, is very strange heard the movie with mexican accent.

Posted by Jasen at 02:32 PM

Hairy Woes For Coltrane

Hmm...that headline needs a little work.

From WebIndia123:

Robbie Coltrane detests the hours of make-up he has to go through to turn himself into hairy Rubeus Hagrid, the giant Hogwarts caretaker in new movie Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

"It's revolting having your face covered in glue. It's a horrible, horrible thing and the only downside of these wonderful films for me," The Sun quoted him as saying.

"It also means that kids never recognise me. They just know Hagrid - and I am buried under tons of make-up, beard and costume," the Harry Potter star added. (ANI)

Posted by Jasen at 02:25 PM

Another Spew of Reviews

Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun Times gives PoA 3.5 stars:

The actors playing Harry, Ron and Hermione have outgrown their childhoods in this movie, and by the next film will have to be dealt with as teenagers, or replaced by younger actors. If they continue to grow up, I'm afraid the series may begin to tilt toward less whimsical forms of special effects violence, but on the other hand I like Radcliffe, Grint and Watson, and especially the way Watson's Hermione has of shouldering herself into the center of scenes and taking charge. Although the series is named for Harry, he's often an onlooker, and it's Hermione who delivers a long-delayed uppercut to the jaw of Draco Malfoy.

You can read more here.

A few more reviews:
The Marion Star
Romantic Movies - About.com
The Press Democrat

And stay tuned for our own iHP staff reviews!

Posted by Jasen at 02:23 PM

Will PoA's Box Office Success Help Scholastic?

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -- If Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort were an investor, he'd probably be a short seller.

And if You-Know-Who shorted Scholastic this year, the publisher of the Harry Potter books in the U.S., he and his loyal Death Eaters would have a lot of money to finance their evil crusade against Harry and the rest of his Hogwarts crew. Shares of Scholastic (SCHL: Research, Estimates) have tumbled more than 17 percent year-to-date due to disappointing sales and earnings.

Read on.

Posted by Jasen at 02:22 PM

School Rotary Club To Show PoA

On Jun 5, the Hollis-Brookline Rotary Club will be hosting a gala premiere showing of the eagerly anticipated new family film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, during the film's opening weekend.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the FIRST Robotics team of Hollis-Brookline High School.

The details here.

Posted by Jasen at 02:20 PM

An Interview With Alfonso Cuaron

ClickOnDetroit talks to the director:

Anybody who's a fan of Cuarón's work (which also includes the adaptations of the literary classics "A Little Princess" and "Great Expectations") knows his films are breathtakingly atmospheric -- so you shouldn't be surprised that "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" delivers that wonderful quality of escapism again.

But while his keen sense of establishing atmosphere helped him capture the dark tone of the book, Cuarón told me it was never his intention to give the film series a kick in the Azkaban.

"It's amazing source material in terms of themes and how archetypical things are -- like the great fairy tales and fables of our time," Cuarón enthused. "Guillermo Del Toro (the filmmaker who recently adapted the graphic novel 'Hellboy' for the big screen) told me, 'If you do the film, serve the material. Don't try to do your own thing, just serve the material. If you do that honestly, you'll make your best film ever.'"

Much more at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 02:15 PM

Harry Potter Film not for Kids?

It seems that the Austrailian Office of Film and Liturature Classification ( OFLC ) have given the film a M15+ rating. This rating of M15+ was given because of some scenes that seem to have "horror elements".

Those scenes feature Ron being attacked by a werewolf and a fight between a werewolf and Professor Snape. Both previous Harry Potter movies had a rating of PG in Australia.

The OFLC board stated:

"The classifiable elements are themes involving horror ... that are moderate in impact -- several of which are inextricably linked to violence -- and do not exceed a moderate level of menace or threat."

The Prisoner of Azkaban opens on June 10th in Australia.

Source: Yahoo!News

Posted by xAmarisx at 07:53 AM

Fans spot mistakes

According to fans in Great Britain, they have already spotted some mistakes in the upcoming film. Which comes out tommrow! Thanks to CBBC for pointing that out!

Posted by xAmarisx at 07:42 AM


There is apparently a computer virus that has made a resurgence by disguising itself as a Harry Potter game. Here's the story from BBC News:

A pesky computer virus is trying to cash in on the excitement surrounding the latest Harry Potter film.

The Netsky.P worm is enjoying a resurgence by disguising itself as a Potter game, say anti-virus experts.

The virus, which first appeared towards the end of March, spreads by e-mail and via file-sharing services.

The third film about the adventures of the boy wizard, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was released on Monday, making £5m in one day.

Here are the infected file names:

Harry Potter 1-6 book.txt.exe
Harry Potter 5.mpg.exe
Harry Potter all e.book.doc.exe
Harry Potter e book.doc.exe
Harry Potter game.exe
Harry Potter.doc.exe

According to anti-virus firm Sophos, Netsky.P was the second most common virus in May, topped only by the infamous Sasser worm.

It now seems to be picking up steam again, with Sophos saying it had spotted thousands of copies of it in the last few days.

Netsky.P relies on tricking a computer user into clicking on an infected file.

Virus writers have increasing used the names of celebrities to try to make people open an e-mail and unleash its malicious payload.

Past copies of Netsky.P have masqueraded as nude photos of Britney Spears, Eminem MP3 music files and illegal software.

"Echoing a technique used in 2000 by the Pikachu worm, Netsky.P targets young computer users by sometimes posing as content connected with the Harry Potter books and movie franchise," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos.

"Parents need to educate their children against the threats of viruses, to ensure the popularity of Potter doesn't cast a nasty spell on their computer systems."

"It's not just e-mail users who should be on their guard," said Mr Cluley.

"Users of file-sharing systems who download content should equally be cautious that what they are downloading does not contain an unpleasant surprise."

Posted by Scott at 05:32 AM

PoA Segment on EXTRA!

It seems that Extra! has a new video and story on the upcoming release of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

"The characters have grown up," Radcliffe told us. "I think it is darker and it is scarier, but I think at the heart of this film, it's about kids becoming teenagers."

Posted by xAmarisx at 04:20 AM

June 02, 2004

New member of Staff

I know some of you who were reading earlier thought: "Who is this?" Well My name is Amaris. I'm 18 yrs old and in love with the Harry Potter Universe. Im going to be a news poster on this great site and I hope you continue to enjoy the news bought to you here. :)

Posted by xAmarisx at 07:21 PM

Likin' The PoA Videogame

BlueSmoke.net has a new review and some nice screenshots as well.

Posted by Jasen at 06:59 PM

Fame and Fortune Aren't Everything

Playing Harry Potter and Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" films, not only do they get to be worldwide stars in a blockbuster franchise, but they also work with some of the best actors in the business, including Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and the late Richard Harris, for starters. Yet, the experience has hardly gone to their heads and both young actors are what you'd least expect - normal 14-year-old kids.

"I'm just going through what every other teenager goes through - but, with posters," Radcliffe said, referring to the posters for the film pasted in every metropolitan city around the world. "It's not as different as people would expect, I think."

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," the third film in what will be a seven-film franchise, was challenging for the actors partly because of the fact that it was helmed by a new director, Alfonso Cuaron. Chris Columbus directed the first two films and remained as a producer for this one.

"I think everything we learned with Chris we were now able to put into practice with a different director," said Radcliffe. "And it is harder and more challenging, which is good because if we're getting older and we're not being challenged, there's really no point in doing it."

Watson added, "You get more confident every time, really."

Grand Forks Herald has the rest.

Posted by Jasen at 06:58 PM

An Interview With Dan Radcliffe

The Associated Press has this:

Q: Are you the next teen heartthrob?

A: (Laughs and blushes) I don't think of myself as the next teen heartthrob. It's flattering, it's really nice, but I can't understand it.

Q: What has been your reaction to all the hype surrounding the movie? Can you go out of your house without being recognized?

A: You never really get used to it, but it's really not that bad at all. I get recognized sometimes, but I just wear a baseball cap, and it's a lot less. Of course, now people are going to be going out looking for a kid wearing a baseball cap.

Q: Is this movie too scary for children?

A: This one is scarier. ... It's more a psychological thriller, which 8-year-old kids don't really connect with in the same way adults do. When I watch the film with adults, many of the adults get more scared than their kids.

Q: Harry is a little awkward, dare I say a bit dorky. Do you see any of yourself in him?

A: Absolutely. I've never been one of the cool people at school, but then again, I don't get the people who are cool. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that they don't interest me.

Q: Harry grows up a lot during the three movies, especially in this one, with the internal conflicts over his parents' death. Was that difficult for you?

A: It was difficult, because I've obviously never experienced any of the situations Harry's been in. It was interesting to play ... but it was good. I tend to be really bad at anything that doesn't challenge me. Anything that should be easy, I don't do particularly well.

Q: Not only has Harry grown up, you've been growing up, too. What was it like to grow up before the world's eyes?

A: I don't pay that much attention to what the rest of the world is saying. I never read the articles or read what people are saying about me on the Internet. If you read all that, you just become so self-conscious.

Q: Have you gone back and watched the past films?

A: No, never. I don't ever want to do that. I don't think I'll ever be able to watch the first ones again. Give it two years, and I'll never be able to watch this one again.

Much more at the above link!

Posted by Jasen at 06:55 PM

Emma Watson Reveals Cut PoA Scenes!

Killer News reports:

She also revealed some of the scenes that were cut from the movie. "There were a couple of fights with Ron [Rupert Grint] that were cut." Watson also said that a scene in which Hermione and Ron hug was also cut. "There was an awkward hug with Ron, but it did get cut," she said. The reason? "Well, just on the exterior, I think," she said. "Hermione and Ron spend the whole film arguing with each other. Ron is convinced that Hermione's cat, Crookshanks, has eaten his rat, [Scabbers]. But I think that's a bit of a cover-up, really, because they have a bit of a soft spot for each other. It's a classic love-hate relationship. You always tease the ones you like."

Posted by Jasen at 06:53 PM

Watson Gets Punk'd!

Okay, not really. Pranked's more of the word.

From Teen Hollywood:

A cheeky British kids TV host played a practical joke on Harry Potter star Emma Watson at the UK premiere of the latest movie, after asking her recreate one of her fight scenes from the film.

Ministry of Mayhem host Stephen Mulhern asked the 14-year old actress to reenact the moment in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when she punches Harry's enemy Draco Malfoy, at Monday's bash in Leicester Square, London.

But Mulhern sneakily stashed fake blood capsules in his mouth, so when Emma whacked him, he started to bleed.

The horrified actress apologized profusely, until she caught on to the scam.

Posted by Jasen at 06:50 PM

Ohhh That Scabbers

LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) - Although the "Harry Potter" filmmakers have been careful to feature British actors in the films' major roles, they had to extend their search to Germany to cast one diminutive star.

The West African rodent that plays the rat Scabbers hails from the Berlin Zoo and found his way into movies through an animal casting agency, reports the AFP.

Zap2it has more.

Posted by Jasen at 06:48 PM

PoA's More Than A Dark, New Film

New Times Broward-Palm Beach has this:

Cuaron's mandate appears to have been "Make it darker!" So tonally and visually, more darkness is what we get -- some scenes look almost like frames from a silent film. In conjunction with regular big-screen Potter adapter Steve Kloves, Cuaron has also taken more narrative liberties than Columbus did, and all of them are good, restructuring the film's chronology for increased dramatic impact; an added scene with Harry chasing an apparent phantom through pitch-black corridors at night is a standout and conveys necessary plot information more effectively than Rowling managed.

Read the full at the link above!

Posted by Jasen at 06:46 PM

The New York City IMAX Event

As the week draws to an end, the anticipation of The Prisoner of Azkaban movie is growing each minute. Already the movie is getting great reviews and it will obtain more this upcoming Saturday! That is when crowds will gather downtown NYC for the PoA Imax Event!

Organized by Heidi of The Leaky Cauldron About 600 people are going to go, some coming from all over the USA. Currently tickets are no longer being sold but some will be sold at the theater itself. For more information please head over here: POA_NYC

Note: I was able to get tickets before the stopped selling them so I will there, on assignment for this site! Hope to see you guys there!

Posted by xAmarisx at 04:42 PM

Tom, Not so single?

Is Tom Felton protesting too much? All right, I admit I'm contributing more to rumor as opposed to actual reporting here. Still I have to wonder at Tom Felton's assertions that he's completely without female companionship. Thanks Sara for the scoop!

Check out the recent interview with The Sun, where he manages to sound all woebegone about it.
At the London premieres of POA and Scooby Doo 2 he is seen with the same statuesque beauty. The photographer at the POA event specifies that she is his date.

Another possible hint is that on his official web site's FAQ page, he lists his favorite coloring for girls as "olive skin, brown hair." This gal certainly matches the description.

Strangely, his site also seems a bit flirtatious regarding Emma Watson, even while denying a relationship. Perhaps this is another red herring, as I suspect the Sun article is.

I would certainly like to know the particulars about this mystery girl!

Posted by Deb at 03:01 PM

Review of PlayStation 2 PoA Game

The EyeToy games are a fun treat (even if they are just Potterized versions of wave-your-hands-in-the-air-like-you-just-don’t-care stuff gamers have already seen), and you can definitely see that the designers tried to “age up” the proceedings with a fair amount of success—for all its flaws, this is definitely a more engaging game than previous Potter platters. Azkaban is definitely a step in the right direction; here’s hoping the development team can take even bigger steps next time.

Read the full at GamePro!

Meanwhile, GameCube Europe has up some new screenshots!

Posted by Jasen at 02:29 PM

TV Watch: What's On Tonight

Just a reminder that tonight, A&E will be airing their behind-the-scenes special of PoA at 9pm eastern, while the Biography channel will air a special segment on J.K. Rowling at 8pm eastern. Set your VCRs!

Posted by Jasen at 02:25 PM

Fans Get A Sneak Peek At PoA

Moviegoers can catch an early glimpse of Harry, Hermione (Emma Watson), and Ron (Rupert Grint) at a special advance showing of this third installment late Thursday night, June 3rd at the bewitching hour of 12:01 AM. This is a very special opportunity before the regular showings begin on Friday June 4th. So don't miss the chance of an early date with everyone from Hogwarts!

Only at Crown Theatres Annapolis Mall 11, as reported by Yahoo!

Posted by Jasen at 02:22 PM

Cuaron's Own Touches In PoA

From The Associated Press:

Steve Kloves, the screenwriter who has adapted all of the "Harry Potter" movies, said the director had to balance his own wishes with the requirements of the series.

"Alfonso will tell you that he inherited a glorious world, an incredible paint box to play with. And what he did was, he chose his own colors," Kloves said. "I think the world is recognizable, it's just been given a bit of a darker cast, which reflects the story and what Harry is going through emotionally."

The last movies were big hits. Critics complained they were too literally adapted from the books, but fans generally loved the faithfulness to Rowling's stories.

Cuaron said he didn't want change for the sake of change, but felt "Harry Potter" could use some tweaks. "Every director is a different mind, and I had my own approach - for good or ill," he said.

The characters wear modern street clothes for much of the movie, instead of the flowing school-uniform robes seen so often in the previous films. But before he could make even that change, he had to consult with a higher power.

"That had to do with conversations with Jo Rowling," Cuaron said. "She said, `Yes, for me the cloaks and everything makes sense for the academic time but in personal time they would be wearing their own clothes.'"

He also made the school and its grounds look more worn and earthy - as if they'd been battered for hundreds of years by misplaced adolescent magic - and he favored an iris effect for ending scenes, with perspective dimming to a single point before opening again, to give "Azkaban" a silent-movie feel.

Cuaron stepped in after Columbus said the rapid production schedule was too much for one filmmaker to maintain as Warner Bros. raced to produce as many "Harry Potter" movies as quickly as possible before its child stars grew up.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson - who play Harry and his pals Ron and Hermione, respectively - are already at work on the fourth movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" with yet another director, "Four Weddings and Funeral" filmmaker Mike Newell.

Radcliffe, now 14, said Cuaron didn't shy away from the bleak touches that showed magic has a dangerous side. For instance, Potter fans are familiar with the Whomping Willow, the limb-swinging living tree that battered a flying car in the second movie - but are they prepared to see it whack sweet little bluebirds into puffs of falling feathers?

Read on at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 02:19 PM

PoA Smashes Box Office Records

From boxofficemojo.com
Five days prior to its U.S. premiere Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban smashed opening day records in the United Kingdom. The newest installment of the seven-part Harry Potter series was released on May 31 (Monday) to capitalize on the local holiday, which incidentally is also the first day of school half-term holidays. Azkaban grossed a colossal $9.2m (£5.03m) from 535 locations in its opening day, which was the biggest opening day and single day of all time.

Read all about it here.

Posted by Vickie at 03:24 AM

Godric's Hollow, J.K's Fansite of the Month

Well done to Godric's Hollow who are named as Fansite of the month on JK Rowling's official website.

Posted by Vickie at 03:12 AM

Rupert's Hair

CBBC Newsround have conducted a poll on fans opinions of Rupert's new hair style.

So far almost 20,000 people have had their say on the hair, with around 53% liking the new look.

You can vote on what you think about Rupert's hair and read the full story here.

Thanks to TLC for the tip.

Posted by Vickie at 03:02 AM

Interview with Robbie Coltrane

Cinema Confidential have an interview with Robbie Coltrane who plays Hagrid in the movies.

Q: Robbie, how is it doing this film the 3rd time around?

ROBBIE: Well, it's very similar in the nicest possible. It's like going back for Thanksgiving. You say, "Hi, how are you doing? What have you been doing? Blah, blah." So, it's all very nice.

Q: And how was having Alfonso [Cuaron] as a new director?

ROBBIE: A nightmare (Laughs). Talentless. No sense of humor. I don't know how he got the job. He must have slept with somebody. (Laughs). No, I adore him. I think he's a wonderfully talented man. He's exactly the way I expected him to be having seen his films. He's crazy, and rock and roll, and adolescent, but phenomenally focused about what he wants to do.

Q: Having worked with two difference directors on the Harry Potter films, what's the key thing you've noticed that's different?

ROBBIE: Well, it's kind of hard to say. I don't want to diss anyone and say that anybody is better than anybody else. Every film is a year in the life of the children. This film had to be dark and rock and roll and immediate and getting that feel of immediate through a A big budget film, if you're not careful, is a huge cumbersome beast you know. With 1500 people and the crew, it's very hard to keep that level of agility and vitality going, but I thought he did it wonderfully. He kept the camera going moving all the time. I'm sure you noticed that, which the CGI people surely hate. Every move of the camera goes into a computer, and when they start using the CGI, all those moves are used as points of view. It's mind-blowing complicated stuff and real state of the art.

Read the full interview here.

Posted by Vickie at 02:50 AM

News and Rumour Updates

The news and rumour sections on JK Rowling's official site have been updated today.

To check them out click here.

Posted by Vickie at 02:39 AM

Harry Potter Tops Children's Poll

More than half of children named a Harry Potter title in their top three favourite books in a survey.

Children's classics, such as The Lord of the Rings, books by Roald Dahl, The Jungle Book and Winnie the Pooh were also popular.

The survey, for the Prince of Wales Arts and Kids Foundation, questioned children aged between seven and 14.

Read the full story on the BBC website.

Posted by Vickie at 02:29 AM

June 01, 2004

Fans Comment On PoA

BBC is letting readers send in their thoughts about the new film, and so far, they're all good reviews =)

Posted by Jasen at 04:36 PM

Another Good Review

From Box Office Prophets:

...The best book so far has turned out to be the best movie as well. While not all of the aforementioned magic is in this adaptation, there are no missteps. The performances are all well done, especially by two of the newcomers: David Thewlis as Professor Lupin
and Gary Oldman as Sirius Black. The darker tone of The Prisoner of Azkaban novel is both seen and felt in Cuaron's adaptation. The gold and orange tones of the first two films are replaced by muted silver and gray. Death, anger and revenge become an even greater part of Harry's life. Cuaron has made an emotionally compelling and satisfying film that could stand on its own outside of the pedigree.

Keep reading at the link!

Posted by Jasen at 04:34 PM

Pics From The UK Premiere

Julez sends us this link from ic seftonandwestlancs, which has up a whole new gallery from the event.

Posted by Jasen at 04:24 PM

PoA: Supersized

Victoria Lee of lets us know:

Thought you might like to know that the Science Museum IMAX Cinema will be showing Harry Potter 3 in IMAX from 19 July. We're taking bookings now -
more information under Coming Soon at www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/imax.

Posted by Jasen at 04:21 PM

Who Uses Food AS a Bribe?

Matthew Lewis' mom admits to attempted bribery. She tried to bribe him with a burger to leave auditions way back when! Read about it here Thanks to yahoo for the fun facts.

Posted by Deb at 06:31 AM

JKR's official Site Updated

Check out the changes on JKR's official site.

Posted by Deb at 06:21 AM

Three More Days...

Yep, the big day's almost upon us. Remember when The Chamber of Secrets came out and we thought it'd be an eternity before PoA arrived? Didn't seem so long a wait, now did it?

Let out your excitement here ;)

Posted by Jasen at 12:51 AM

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