The Harry Potter cast will reunite for HBO Max's 'Return to Hogwarts' special

The HBO Max: 'Harry Potter' special will celebrate a milestone anniversary, and we finally have photos and a trailer!

Actor Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe attend the 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' Premiere in Trafalgar Square on July 07, 2011 in London
(Image credit: Anthony Harvey / Getty)

Accio excitement: a dose of wizardry is coming to HBO Max! Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere in a few short weeks to celebrate the fantasy world of witchcraft we've been joyfully living in for the past two decades. 

Series stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint—an iconic trio if ever there was one—will join forces once again to take a look back at how it all began. Now that Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone just turned a whopping 2-0, there's a lot to unpack. In fact, it's almost impossible to think about a life pre-Hogwarts.

"It has been an incredible journey since the debut of the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone film, and witnessing how it has evolved into this remarkable interconnected universe has been magical to say the least,” Tom Ascheim, president of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, said in a statement.

Grab yourself a butterbeer, assemble an outdoor movie theater sporting gear from your favorite Hogwarts house (do you agree with Timothée Chalamet's Slytherin pick?) and get ready to dive in! We'll tell you everything wizards and muggles need to know about the special. 

Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe in HBO Max Return to Howarts special

(Image credit: HBO Max)

How to watch the HBO Max 'Harry Potter' special

You'll want to kick 2022 off on the right foot, and there's no better way to do so than with Hogwarts' most notable students: Harry, Hermione and Ron. Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere on HBO Max on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2022. Cue the fireworks!

You can sign up for a subscription below. Monthly fees are $9.99, but you can opt out of commercials for $14.99 per month. Information about the international release is forthcoming, according to HBO Max.

Watch the 'Return to Hogwarts' trailer: 

What is 'Return to Hogwarts' about?

Get ready for a time warp: you're going to relive the best parts of J.K. Rowling's magical world. 

"This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon—from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later," Ascheim added. 

Who will appear in the 'Return to Hogwarts' special?

In addition to our leading trio, viewers can also expect appearances from the following: 

  • Helena Bonham Carter
  • Robbie Coltrane
  • Ralph Fiennes
  • Jason Isaacs
  • Gary Oldman
  • Imelda Staunton
  • Tom Felton
  • James Phelps 
  • Oliver Phelps
  • Mark Williams
  • Bonnie Wright
  • Alfred Enoch
  • Matthew Lewis
  • Evanna Lynch
  • Chris Columbus

Even better? Helen Mirren will do the hosting honors on Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses, a four-part series set to include Hogwarts alumni who will compete for the Tournament of Houses championship trophy, which will premiere on HBO Max on January 1 alongside the special. 

Meet us at Platform 9 3/4: the train to Hogwarts is leaving shortly, and you cannot miss it!

What about J.K. Rowling?

Although this entire world would not exist without author J.K. Rowling's imagination, she won't be joining the film's stars for the HBO Max special in 2022. However, several sources confirmed that the writer will be appearing in archival footage. There isn't a particular reason why she hasn't been included, but fans suspect her absence is a direct result of the author's recent controversies. 

In 2019, Rowling tweeted her support for researcher Maya Forstater, who made controversial statements about gender. Rowling then penned an essay on her website to back her claims, which stirred even more turmoil. In response, Radcliffe, Watson and Grint released their own statements and spoke with various publications to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.  

A year later, Rowling tweeted about gender identity once again, mocking a line in an article that read "people who menstruate," which caused a severe backlash on the social media platform. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.