Harry Potter's Return To Hogwarts special casts the spell of nostalgia in new teaser

Still image from Return to Hogwarts
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Studios)

Potter fans, brace yourself: the first look teaser for Harry Potter’s 20th anniversary special, Return to Hogwarts, has arrived. 

As per Warner Bros’ official synopsis, the one-off reunion will tell “an enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time.”

It’s set to air on HBO Max, Sky and NOW TV on New Year’s Day, and arrives 20 years after the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (styled as the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US).

You can check out the first official teaser below. 

Harry Potter and the Celebrity Appearances

The short clip shows actors Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Matthew Lewis (Neville) and Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley) receiving their invitations to the reunion, before a deliberately obscured Emma Watson (Hermione) is seen walking across platform 9¾. 

They won’t be the only cast members to feature, though. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter, obviously) and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) will also be returning to complete the beloved trio, while the likes of Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Ralph Fiennes (Lord Voldemort), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge) and many more will be on hand to cast nostalgic spells of their own. 

Director of the first two movies, Chris Columbus, will join proceedings, too, which were all filmed earlier this year in the familiar environment of London’s Warner Bros. Studios.

As for what fans can actually expect to see from the special, the above synopsis suggests we’ll be treated to a series of anecdotal conversations between cast members and behind-the-scenes footage revealing how the magic of the franchise was brought to life.

It’s been confirmed that J. K. Rowling won’t be making a personal appearance in the special – presumably in light of the ongoing controversy surrounding comments she made about transgender individuals back in 2019 – though she will be shown in archival footage.

Incidentally, Return to Hogwarts won’t be the first reunion special to land on HBO Max, either. It’s unlikely you’ll need a time turner to remember that Friends: The Reunion released on the platform earlier this year, so it’s a safe bet to assume we can expect a similar format from the Harry Potter equivalent come New Year’s Day. 

Let's just hope the awkward celebrity appearances are left out this time around.

Axel Metz
Senior Staff Writer

Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.