Following months of “Return to Hogwarts” fan teasers — and rampant rumors of J.K. Rowling being banned, the controversial author has finally been spotted at the “Harry Potter” 20th anniversary reunion.
The long-awaited event — set to air Jan. 1 on HBO Max was first announced in November, at a time when the billionaire writer had only just slipped off the tabloid radar, after critics first accused the billionaire writer of “transphobic” rhetoric in 2020.
Many raised concerns that Rowling, 56, was being “canceled” from the production when she didn’t appear in trailers for the televised event.
However, in a newly released preview obtained by The Independent, Rowling is said to be featured during a scene in which cast members describe how the novelist had made an an idelible impact on their lives.
“So many people were falling in love with J.K. Rowling’s writing,” said actress Bonnie Wright, 30, who played Ron Weasley’s sister Ginny in the films.
“I think it’s very easy to forget that at the time, people were talking about ‘the death of reading,’ ” Harry Potter himself, Daniel Radcliffe, 32, added in the clip.
Actor Robbie Coltrane, 71, who played the affable Hagrid and has sparked backlash by previously defending Rowling, continued the thread by saying, “One of the many reasons I admire J.K. so much is that millions now read books who would never have lifted a book up in their lives, and you suddenly realize the power of writing.”
Rowling enters the conversation, as it were, as they turn to memories from casting the titular role. Not altogether scrubbed, she is seen saying during an interview reportedly filmed in 2019, “We just couldn’t find Harry, and it was getting kind of weird, and panicky.”
“Return to Hogwarts” airs Jan. 1 on HBO Max, and stars original cast and crew including Radcliffe, Grint, Coltrane, Emma Watson, Ralph Fiennes, Helena Bonham Carter, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton and others.
The Independent’s viewing tracks with The Hollywood Reporter, who reported in November that Rowling might only be featured in the special via archival footage, according to insiders. Rather, the retrospective would focus on the making of the film, not the books.