30 November, 2023:
It is intended that the news will be upgraded shortly. Meanwhile, please feel free to reminisc with the news from past times below:
The running time of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie is reported to be 2 hours and 15 minutes. This is the shortest time of the three movies made so far - slightly odd, seeing as it's the longest book of the three. Chris Columbus has said that, with the first two films having set the stage, new director, Alfonso Cuaron was able to leap right into the action for the third. (Added 8 May 2004)
Numerous sources including the BBC and Hello magazine have reported that John Malkovich will play Lord Voldemort in the fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Film bosses have, however denied the rumours. Malkovich, born December 9, 1953, was part of the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago in 1976. His movie debut was in 1984, playing a blind lodger in Places in The Heart. Other films he has starred in include The Killing Fields (1984), and Being John Malkovich (1999). He earned Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for In The Line of Fire (1993). (Added 5 May 2004)
An newly discovered, rare jungle flower has been named after a Harry Potter spell. The new species, Macrocarpaea apparata, is named after the term, to "apparate", used in J.K. Rowling's books. Lena Struwe, assistant professor of ecology, evolution and natural resources at Rutgers' Cook College is a fan of the Harry Potter series, and has been exploring Andes region in southern Ecuador with Jason Grant of the Université de Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The plant belongs to the Macrocarpaea genus of the gentian family of plants. Whilst driving through misty mountains and lush vegetation, Struwe and Grant suddenly spotted strange plants growing by the roadside, which, whilst looking like they were Macrocarpaea, had none of the usual characteristic of gentians. In order to confirm that it was a gentian, they needed to find a plant with flowers. Struwe explained that as night approached, the botanists were on the verge of giving up, when finally the found what they were seeking. "At the very last moment, a tall flowering plant suddenly, almost magically appeared in front on us," she said. Grant explained that "It was a small tree, 12-15 feet tall, full with yellowish-white, bell-shaped flowers adapted to nocturnal pollination by bats and moths". The flowers emerged only as darkness fell, almost as if they were an apparition. Inspired by this, Struwe and Grant decided on the species name, "apparata". Their research is described in the June 27 2003 issue of Harvard Papers in Botany [8(1): 61-81, 2003].
The word muggle is to become a dictionary word and will appear in the next edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The dictionary is being updated for only the third ever time in its 146 year history, at a cost of £34 million UK pounds. Inclusion of a word from a living author of fiction is very rare. Other writers such as JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis had died before words such as Hobbit and Jabberwocky were included. A spokesperson for the Oxford English Dictionary said "The worldwide popularity of JK Rowling's fiction led to the word gaining a wide currency with English users throughout the world", and stated "It normally takes some time before a word starts to be used outside of its fictional context but with muggle this seemed to happen quite quickly." The entry will read: "Muggle (noun): In the fiction of JK Rowling, a person who possesses no magical powers. Hence in allusive and extended uses, a person who lacks a particular skill or skills, or who is regarded as inferior in some way."
Many congratulations to JK Rowing and husband, Dr Neil Murray on the birth of their new baby on 23 March 2003. Their new son, named David Gordon Rowling, was born in Edinburgh, and weighed over 8 pounds. JKR has indicated that she may take some time off after giving birth.
The Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie is intended to be released in Summer of 2004. A huge fire during the weekend of 22nd and 23rd February 2002, near a railroad bridge in Scotland where some of the movie scenes are being filmed, delayed production a little. The film is scheduled for Summer 2004 film release. The fire affected nearly 100 acres of scrub near the Glenfinnan Viaduct in north west Scotland. Filming was being done of the Hogwarts Express steam train making its way to Hogwarts School for Witches and Wizardry on the railroad bridge near the Viaduct, which was also the setting for one of the flying-car scenes in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets movie.
Source:eonline 24 February 2003.
It's been announced - the official release date for book 5, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix will be 21st June 2003. Prepare for the big rush!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets has been released in the movie theatres on 15 November 2002. Including Dobby, Aragog and the Whomping Willow amongst many other magical characters from the second book, it's a winner wth fans of all ages. Here's a tip from our forum - don't leave the cinema until the very end - there's a special extra scene after the credits featuring Gilderoy Lockhart!
The Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets movie had its London premiere on 4th November 2002. Many of those lucky enough to have seen the film so far have said that it is even better than the first movie. Worldwide release is set for November 15th 2002.
Actor Richard Harris who played Albus Dumbledor in the first two HP movies sadly died on 25 October 2002. He had been receiving treatment for Hodgkin's Disease, a type of lymphatic cancer, since earlier in the year, and died peacefully at University College Hospital in London at the age of 72. He starred in over 72 films, including playing King Arthur in Camelot. He will be sady missed by young and old alike, having gained a new fan base recently with his excellent portrayal as Albus Dumbledore. At the British Independent Film Awards on October 30th, a few days after his death, he was posthumously awarded a special prize for Outstanding Contribution by an Actor in remembrance of his long movie career. BroomsticksAndOwls share in the sadness of the loss of such a great actor.
It's official - rumours of an 8th book are unfortunately untrue. Fans had been hoping that an 8th book might be a possibility when it was found that 3 more titles (as well as the forthcoming 5th book, Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix have been registered by Warner Bros as trademarks at the UK Patent Office. However, JK Rowling's literary agent, Neil Blair, has confirmed that the plan is to only have seven books in the series and that there is no truth in the rumours of a book 8. Following this news it is thought, therefore, that the three titles may simply be alternatives for the final two books, with one of the titles being a spare. The three titles which have been trademarked are Harry Potter and the Alchemist's Cell, Harry Potter and the Chariots of Light and Harry Potter and the Pyramids of Furmat.
Previous news headlines and information can be found at our Harry Potter News Archive.