The Harry Potter franchise is one of the most profitable and beloved series of books and films of all time. The seven books and the eight years it took to film them became instant classics and spawned a massive following of fans known as “Potters.” The stories of Harry Potter captured the hearts of many viewers young and old, and still resonates with readers and moviegoers today.
Although it was a huge commercial and critical success, the Harry Potter franchise never truly entered mainstream popular culture the way other successful film series have. This is partially because Harry Potter is an “only child” series. In a world full of other popular film series such as Star Wars, Twilight, and The Hunger Games, the story of Harry Potter seemed rather isolated. But it’s also partially because Harry Potter is a Muggle series. Before J.K. Rowling’s 1997 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a Muggle was an ordinary, non-magical person who did not practice witchcraft or magic, and who lived in the UK (hence the name). Nowadays, a Muggle is any person who does not practice witchcraft or magic – whether they live in Britain or not.
While witches and wizards are a part of everyday life for readers of the Harry Potter series, Muggles never entered the story. This led to Harry Potter being largely unknown to the public for much of his life, and even today, many people still don’t know much about the wizarding world or the character of Harry Potter. This even made the decision to include Muggles in 2018’s Fantastic Beasts highly controversial. But beyond the fact that Harry Potter is a Muggle, there is another reason why the character has not integrated himself into popular culture.
In the Harry Potter series, Rowling carefully weaves her views on politics, society, and government into the fabric of the story. In fact, if you read the books closely, you’ll see that they are actually a social and political commentary on a number of issues, as J.K. Rowling explores the workings of the wizarding world and how it differs from that of the Muggle world, as well as touches on subjects such as feminism, racism, and more.
With the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which dealt with topics such as mortality, greed, and revenge, it is evident that the themes and views expressed in the Harry Potter series still resonate strongly with readers and moviegoers five years after the last book was published. This is likely because J.K. Rowling has managed to write books that are both educational and entertaining, allowing her to comment on current affairs while still engaging the audience on a personal level.
Why isn’t Robert Pattinson in the Harry Potter Reunion?
While Harry Potter is an incredible and timeless literary achievement and remains one of the most popular books of all time, it is important to examine the political beliefs and social commentary that inform the story. For decades, J.K. Rowling was a firm Labour Party supporter, and it was evident from early on in her professional career that the success of Harry Potter was probably not going to be her only contribution to literature. In the decades since the last book was published, Rowling’s politics have become increasingly right-wing, which is evident from her writings and public statements (Rowling supports Brexit and President Donald Trump).
If Rowling had still been actively writing novels in the years since the last Harry Potter book was published, it is highly likely that we would have seen the return of Robert Pattinson in some form or other to represent Harry Potter. After all, as with many other literary characters, Pattinson was born out of a collaboration between Rowling and director David Yates. Yates initially offered the role of Harry to Daniel Radcliffe, but he turned it down, wanting instead to pursue a career in musical theatre. It was then that Yates suggested that he try out Pattinson for the part. The director and the young actor eventually met and fell in love whilst working on the set of the first Harry Potter film. After working together for a few years, Yates eventually proposed to Rowling, and in 1998, she agreed to give him her blessing. They were married in an intimate London wedding in June of that year.
It is likely that the success of his wife’s literary creation encouraged Pattinson to get into acting. The actor made his debut in the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow, followed by appearances in Sunshine, The New World, and more recently, the Twilight Saga. Whilst he has maintained a steady presence on screen, it appears that Pattinson has largely abandoned literature, publishing only one work in 2011 and subsequently withdrawing from public view. Despite this, we will likely still see Pattinson pop up in media in some form or other in the years to come. He is perhaps most famous for playing the doomed hero Edward Cullen in the Twilight Saga and its two-part adaptation, Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and Part 2. And whilst we are on the subject of literary characters becoming famous film stars, it is worth noting that Will Turner, patriarch of the Turner family from the BBC TV series The Secret Life of Will and Julie, went on to play an important role in King Lear, the 1951 film adaptation of William Shakespeare’s great play._
More on Robert Pattinson
So, let’s discuss Robert Pattinson for a moment. As we’ve established, he was born out of a collaboration between Rowling and Yates, who eventually became his director. It was Yates who first spotted the then-15-year-old Robert Pattinson whilst he was working on the set of the first Harry Potter movie. Yates quickly decided that he wanted to give the young actor a small role as a cupbearer; however, he felt that Daniel Radcliffe, who had already been cast in the title role of Harry Potter, would not agree to take a step back and allow an “understudy” to play the role. As a result, Yates offered the role of Harry to Pattinson, whose family were living in France at the time. After completing a national service program in France, Pattinson moved to London and began studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, a prestigious acting school founded by the legendary teacher and director.
Pattinson was eventually cast in a minor role as a cupbearer in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fifth and final installment of the Harry Potter series. From then on, he became a mainstay of David Yates’s films, appearing in such productions as The Chambermaid, and its 2000 sequel, Thief._ _._ _._ _._ _.
Why isn’t Daniel Radcliffe in the Harry Potter Reunion?
Now, let’s turn our attention to Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter’s Boy Wonder. The first two books in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, were published in 1999 and 2000, respectively. In keeping with the “boy wonder” theme that permeates these sorts of reunions, we’ll call him Danny. Like many literary characters before him, Radcliffe decided that being born into a famous family thrust him into celebrity too quickly and he wanted to explore other options. In the years since the last Harry Potter movie, Radcliffe has largely stayed out of the limelight, performing only in small projects here and there. In 2011, he did make a brief appearance as a nightclub host in the biographical musical film, The Girl In The Park, inspired by the life of English songwriter Mae Boren Axton. In 2015, he played an American student attending the prestigious Dragon School in England in the movie adaptation of David Mitchell’s acclaimed novel The Thousand Autumns._ _._ _._ _.
Why isn’t Helena Bonham Carter in the Harry Potter Reunion?
We’re coming to the point where we’re starting to get a little repetitive, aren’t we? It would seem that we’re always coming back to the same three actors: Michael Caine, Liev Schreiber, and now, Helena Bonham Carter. In fact, we’re starting to wonder if they aren’t the only ones who refuse to reunite with J.K. Rowling. Maybe it’s time to open up the franchise and invite more famous names. Or, at least, names that the director feels comfortable with.
What about Johnny Depp?
Another name that usually comes up when this topic is broached is Johnny Depp. It’s no secret that the British actor has had a long and successful career, appearing in some of the most memorable films of the 20th century. Most notably, Depp played the Mad Hatter in Tim Burton’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, which was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. It would appear that Depp has maintained a close association with Tim Burton even since the late 1990s. In 2011, they reunited for the biopic film, Dark Shadows, about the infamous Hollywood producer, William Castle. And in 2017, they worked together again for the much-anticipated sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.