MuggleCast 275 Transcript
[Show music begins]
Andrew: The final episode of MuggleCast for 2014 is brought to you by Audible.com. Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks with more than 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 275. A nice… not exactly round number, but it falls on one of those quarter sections, you know what I’m saying?
Eric: It’s a Quarter Quell.
Andrew: [laughs] It’s a Quarter Quell, right.
Andrew: Good, we’ve already got the show title. The episode is finished.
Eric: Oh, great.
Andrew: That’s the only reason we ever record it for so long. We were always just looking for a show title.
Eric: Goodbye, everybody.
Micah: And Eric, for the first time ever, got in the first, what, ten seconds of recording?
Eric: Something like that.
Andrew: Pretty good record. So we’re here for a nice little holiday episode, I guess you could say, even though Christmas and Hanukkah and most of the holidays have passed through December. We’ve reached another end of the year, and we’re going to do a lot of things today. We’re going to look back at the biggest Harry Potter stories of the year, we’re going to complain about… I mean…
Andrew: … we’re going to talk about the new Pottermore material, we’ve got some Fantastic Beasts news to talk about, I have a big question for Micah, we’re going to predict 2015, and then we have a big, big announcement. Maybe not that big, but big. I always hate raising people’s expectations because they will think we’re about to announce something like J.K. Rowling is coming on the podcast or something like this. I’m actually glad that J.K. Rowling has never been on the podcast. Do you know why?
Selina: Oh, yeah? Why? [laughs]
Eric: Because how would we ever top it?
Micah: Well, I think it’s because you can just keep talking about the fact that she’s never been on the podcast.
Andrew: Yes. That’s fun to do.
Eric: Well, it’s more air time.
Andrew: But I like trolling her on Twitter.
Andrew: I like keeping myself distant from her so I can troll her on Twitter. Like recently, I @-replied her. All I said was, “Please come to Brazil.”
Andrew: It got like a hundred favorites. I was shocked.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Selina: It’s hilarious.
Andrew: [laughs] I was like, “What? People really liked that tweet!”
Micah: You should just keep doing that each week, pick a different country and see how it does.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.
Selina: But Brazil is like the one that people always ask celebrities to go to, [laughs] so that’s why…
Andrew: Yeah. I sent her a tweet that says, “Congrats on 400 tweets.” That got nineteen favorites. People… there’s a demand for this, I think. So people like…
Eric: I think they expect you to follow in Micah’s shoes, too, with trolling her the way that he does…
Eric: … on Twitter all the time.
Andrew: I mean, Micah trolls her by just protesting her.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. It’s really negative. It’s really… yeah, not positive.
Micah: It’s not negative!
Andrew: Well, I think J.K. Rowling said something on Twitter a couple of weeks ago that should seal the deal for Micah…
Andrew: … following her on Twitter. You don’t follow her yet, right?
Micah: I do not.
Andrew: Okay. If this tweet doesn’t do it, I don’t know what will. But we’ll talk about that in a little bit.
Recap: Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Parks
Andrew: First, let’s talk about the biggest stories of the year. We’re just going to jump around. I just wanted to kind of recap 2014 for Harry Potter fans. First of all, Diagon Alley opened.
Andrew: I know Micah, Eric, and I have all been there at this point. Really wonderful, right? They did such a great job.
Selina: I’m sure it’s just amazing…
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Selina: … and the best thing ever, [laughs] and if you can’t go, then your life is over.
Andrew: Yeah. I’m sorry you haven’t been.
Selina: Whatever. I don’t want Butterbeer anyway.
Andrew: Well, you can go to the Studio Tour for that! You got Butterbeer there, didn’t you?
Selina: That’s true. Yeah, I did.
Andrew: It’s not the same, though.
Andrew: It’s just not the same.
Eric: No. But Diagon Alley is really impressive detail-wise. It’s more detailed. There’s more to see…
Eric: … than in the Hogsmeade part of the park, and that is what makes it cool. And…
Selina: Can you go into the shops?
Eric: You can! Yeah, in fact…
Eric: … most of them. More of them… because Hogsmeade had it where there was a couple of shops, but then most of them were storefronts, which were cool. I think Diagon Alley, they strived to actually make more shops so that you can enter them. Like real shops.
Selina: Can you buy stuff?
Eric: Uh-huh! That’s pretty much all you can do.
Micah: Or you can wait four hours in line to go on Gringotts.
Eric: Or you can wait four hours for Gringotts. But Gringotts was pretty cool.
Andrew: Here’s kind of a good year-in-review statement about Diagon Alley. People were… there [were] concerns about how busy it would be there after the park opened, and now I think the lines are actually really manageable.
Andrew: I haven’t seen any complaints about long lines, even for the Hogwarts Express. That thing, I remember going through it for the first time and seeing the queue. The line… it wasn’t full when I walked through it, but they had built so much queue…
Andrew: … in anticipation, and it just doesn’t fill up, and I don’t think… I don’t say that in a bad way that they’re not getting as many people that they wanted. I just think that the trains – there’s two of them – run really efficiently. So I think they did a great job, and I’m glad to see that the lines aren’t as crazy. So if you are thinking of going, I’d say go whenever. Maybe not summer, but go whenever. There’s not a huge rush right now.
Micah: Well, this time of year I’d think would be pretty busy down there, with everybody on vacation from school…
Andrew: Probably, yeah.
Eric: It’s actually…
Micah: People take off work.
Eric: The month of November I heard was when the locals go because it’s just quieting down. It’s like a dull period where the rest of the nation is cold, but nobody has quite hit vacation yet.
Andrew: And it’s right after Universal’s Halloween stuff and right before Christmas.
Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So that’s really when I think the locals go. But yeah, you could go down there now and find probably some not very long wait times.
Andrew: In other Wizarding World news, the Wizarding World Japan opened up over the summer. Very similar to Hogsmeade. There’s no Diagon Alley. But they have the Black Lake there, kind of sitting near Hogwarts, which I think people really liked. And apparently the Hollywood one is going to have some special features like this as well, that are unique to the Hollywood land, so…
Micah: They should, though.
Selina: Mhm. Yeah.
Micah: I think that provides interest from people to go to those parks, because let’s say you’re on the East Coast of the US and you’ve been to Orlando and you know what that’s all about. I would think if you’re a fan and maybe you’re taking a trip out to California, you’d want to explore. And not to say that Potter fans wouldn’t go anyway, but to have that added interest and know that there’s something different about the park. Because if they’re all the same, what makes them unique?
Selina: Yeah, exactly. It’s not an IKEA.
Selina: Or a Walmart, to speak in your terms. [laughs] You’re supposed to go for a unique experience.
Andrew: Well, what makes it unique to me, as somebody who lives in the LA area, is that I can actually drive there…
Andrew: … get drunk in the Hog’s Head…
Andrew: … then take a taxi home.
Andrew: I can’t say that anywhere else.
Recap: David Legeno Passes Away at 50
Andrew: Some sadder news happened this year. David Legeno, who played Fenrir Greyback, he died while hiking in Death Valley over the summer. That was a really sad story.
Andrew: But the rest of the year was lighter news. Well, except for the Ron and Hermione drama.
Eric: Oh, did that make this year in review?
Selina: Which I was personally very affected by.
Recap: J.K. Rowling Writes About Quidditch World Cup on Pottermore
Andrew: J.K. Rowling wrote a story about the trio at the World Cup. That was one of the bigger things on Pottermore this year, I think.
Andrew: That legitimately lived up to the excitement because we got some tidbits about where they all are now, so that was really cool.
Micah: It was another one of those new stories, right? That J.K. Rowling wrote this year.
Andrew: Right. A new story. And that could kind of pass as a “new story,” but this Twelve Days of Christmas thing that they did earlier this month, where a lot of media outlets were saying, “J.K. Rowling to write twelve new Harry Potter stories, oh my God!” It was just… it was ridiculous.
Micah: It was funny. I forget… somebody asked me about that. I think it might have been at work. It just came up about how apparently she was writing all these new stories that were going to be released, and I actually had to explain to the person that they weren’t new.
Micah: Well, sorry, they are new. But they’re not…
Andrew: They’re not stories.
Micah: They’re supplemental content.
Andrew: Well, right. But some of them were just potions. They weren’t even… it wasn’t even new J.K. Rowling writing.
Eric: Were they this time?
Eric: Because I saw a lot of stories now this time…
Andrew: They were, but not all of them.
Eric: I was thinking too, there’s going to be, like, potions. One day you’re just going to get to do an extra potion on Pottermore.
Andrew: Yeah. It was a mess. Even the Pottermore Insider blog released a post saying, “Yeah, no, remember it’s not new J.K. Rowling Harry Potter stories.”ù
Andrew: [laughs] I was like…
Eric: Yeah, the media… it’s funny because how many years are we in now? If you count from ’97, we’re seventeen years into the Harry Potter books being a thing. And the news still can’t…
Eric: … handle itself. Or they don’t know exactly how to not blow this out of proportion.
Selina: It’s gotten worse, hasn’t it?
Andrew: It’s gotten worse.
Selina: Because it’s all clickbait now.
Andrew: This year, it really got bad. But I’m hoping that people kind of… now they’re understanding that they’re being played, so they’ll stop clicking on them and then people will stop writing that nonsense.
Recap: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Series
Andrew: Anyway, Fantastic Beasts. It was a big year for Fantastic Beasts. We found out that it will be a trilogy.
Andrew: That was a big deal. And then later in the year, we found out the release dates: November 2016, November 2018, and November 2020.
Micah: Until the last one is split into two.
Eric: Due to content.
Andrew: Well, yeah, remember they said it will be at least a trilogy.
Andrew: So maybe you’re right, Micah. Maybe it’s not that J.K. Rowling may write five movies or six movies, but they’re just leaving the possibility open to split that last one.
Andrew: Because that’s kind of what they’re doing with the Avengers. Marvel announced that Avengers: Infinity War is going to be Avengers – Part 1… sorry, Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1.
Selina: Which is just bizarre, isn’t it?
Andrew: It is.
Selina: Because it’s not like it’s…
Andrew: It’s not a book.
Selina: … an adaptation.
Selina: Yeah. It’s a unique story.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, that’s why I thought the Avengers were going to be… the Avengers as we know them are going to end at Infinity War, but at least one person told me, “I don’t think so.” Who knows?
Eric: I think they’re probably just trying to be like comic books, too, which always are about serialization and continuations and stuff.
Eric: So it’s like they’re making movies – these huge, huge budget movies – like comic books, where you have to get the second issue to read the full story.
Micah: What’s somewhat ironic about that, though, is that it’s really Harry Potter that started this trend of splitting the final…
Eric: Well, Harry Potter, to the studios, proved that it could be done, I think, right? And there may have been one or two films before it. There were films certainly that…
Micah: Well, I think in terms of major book-to-film adaptations that were significant…
Micah: … in length beyond just a couple of films…
Micah: … like Potter, we’ve seen it now really with everything, from Hunger Games… I’m sure there [are] plenty of others I’m missing here, but The Hobbit, right?
Selina: The Hobbit.
Micah: The Hobbit turned into three. Twilight.
Andrew: Now, also, Divergent coming up.
Selina: [laughs] Oh, yeah.
Micah: Mhm, exactly. So it’s…
Andrew: That’s the thing to do.
Micah: It’s the cool thing to do. Make more money. Rake in those dollars.
Andrew: [laughs] But we, as fans, can’t really complain, as much as I…
Micah: No, of course not.
Andrew: As much as I despise it, just like anyone else. Obviously, for websites it’s a good thing. For the fans it’s a good thing. For the most part.
Eric: At least with Fantastic Beasts, we know that it’s not being adapted. JKR is writing the screenplay for each film, so it won’t be like they’re stretching any kind of content. These films are being written for the screen. It’ll be really exciting to see how her voice directly translates to the movie.
Selina: I’m really excited.
Andrew: It makes me wonder if this whole book-splitting trend was a thing ten years prior, maybe thanks to another film, would Goblet of Fire have been split into two, definitely? Would Order of the Phoenix?
Eric: Yeah, I wonder.
Andrew: Or is it just… are studios…
Micah: It’s just the finales.
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: That’s the thing. But when is that trend going to break? It seems inevitable.
Micah: It should have, though. It should have broken way before because I think that you could have justified other books in the Potter series, in particular, being broken into two movies. I know we’ve discussed this…
Micah: … on prior shows, but as early as Goblet of Fire, definitely if not then, then Order of the Phoenix, for sure.
Andrew: I mean, Order of the Phoenix… yeah. Well, we don’t need to get into that.
Micah: So much was left out of there.
Andrew: I know.
Eric: I still love that film, though. It’s weird.
Andrew: It’s my least favorite.
Andrew: Because it was my favorite book.
Selina: Yeah, me too.
Andrew: Okay, we’re going to continue with today’s show in just a moment, but first, it’s time to remind everybody that today’s episode is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks, and that is no joke. They have more than 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including audio versions of many New York Times Best Sellers. And for listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free book to give you a chance to try out their great service. Today, I am going to recommend a book-to-film adaptation. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It is easily one of the best movies of the year. It is Gone Girl. Now, this is a book by Gillian Flynn. It is a fantastic book and a great movie. In the case of Gone Girl, it’s hard to say whether the book or the film was better; both are so beloved. I highly recommend reading and watching the story, because it really is just one of the best movies of the year. You can grab this one for absolutely free by visiting AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. If that’s not the type of book for you, maybe try The Fault in Our Stars, the book by John Green. Grab The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling. Grab The Cuckoo’s Calling or The Silkworm, also by J.K. Rowling/Robert Galbraith. You can get any of these books for free: AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. Try listening to a book instead of reading it. You’re really going to enjoy it, I think. You’ll listen to it just like you do this podcast. AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast to get an audiobook for absolutely free, and we thank Audible for their support of the show.
Micah: Just going back to Fantastic Beasts for a second, talking about a big year for that, how about – and don’t get shocked here that I’m bringing this up – J.K. Rowling’s tweet, the anagram that…
Andrew: Oh, right.
Micah: … basically set off the Twitter world…
Micah: … trying to figure that thing out.
Selina: Oh, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. That was such a big deal because I think… that arguably is one of the most exciting things that happened on Twitter – or not on Twitter; in the Harry Potter fandom – this year because everybody kind of knew it wasn’t going to be some gigantic reveal, and yet it was so exciting because we all remember the riddles on J.K. Rowling’s old website.
Andrew: So having her give us a new riddle was just huge. And it was just so simple for her to do, and it seemed to come up spontaneously, when somebody asked her to do a riddle and then the next morning she did it. It was really cool.
Selina: It was very in the spirit of her, wasn’t it?
Eric: Yeah, and you could tell she was having a blast doing it.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. This was… I think 2014 will go down as the year that J.K. Rowling…
Selina: Embraced Twitter?
Andrew: Yes, yes.
Andrew: Absolutely, that is probably one of the most exciting things this year.
Recap: J.K. Rowling on Twitter
Andrew: And yeah, speaking of that, I think one of the things that kicked off this whole Twitter extravaganza for J.K. Rowling was when she spoke about the sixteenth anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts back in May. This is one of her first tweets, and it was… first tweets that wasn’t like, “Pen and paper are my priority at the moment.”
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Andrew: Then after that, she started answering a couple of other questions. But you had to go and look at her tweets. They weren’t showing up in your feed because she was directly replying to people. But then she learned that trick where you put a period in front of the usernames.
Selina: [laughs] She’s been doing that a lot.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Micah: Her assistant told her, yeah.
Selina: So funny.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: So yeah, I think in May was when that really all started, and now it’s a whole big thing.
Selina: It’s very refreshing, too, to see the way she’s interacting with people.
Andrew: It is.
Selina: Because she slams people down, and she’s really personal, both in good and bad. When people try to make a complaint to her, she slams them right back. It’s really cool.
Andrew: She slams them down, but she’s really classy about it.
Selina: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: She’s never mean about it or anything. It doesn’t even come off mean-spirited.
Selina: She always has the upper hand.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Recap: J.K. Rowling’s Wonderland Interview
Andrew: Of course, there was that whole big J.K. Rowling’s comments about Ron and Hermione that got twisted by the Sunday Times. I can’t remember what their headline was, but it started a whole brouhaha. That was, I would say, the low point [laughs] of 2014 in terms of Harry Potter fans.
Andrew: Because everybody was so shocked by that.
Selina: Well, everyone was so upset because even the people that wanted Harry and Hermione to get together at the time… I mean, we’ve all moved on. We’ve all grown up to some extent. We’ve all sort of made our peace with it. And suddenly, it appeared that everything we thought we knew was wrong, and it was like, “Ahh!” [laughs]
Selina: And I probably made it a bigger deal out of it than I should have.
Selina: [clears throat] But [laughs] it was funny.
Andrew: Yeah, eventually we learned that her comments were misconstrued.
Andrew: But she was still reconsidering Ron and Hermione. That’s the best way to put it.
Eric: Yeah. Well, they released… what was it? Wonderland released a promo before releasing the actual article, and it was going to be a month or something ridiculous before the actual words came out.
Andrew: That’s the thing. Wonderland was kind of blame, too, because they released this interview in advance to the Sunday Times. And then the Sunday Times…
Eric: Yeah, the Sunday Times did their preview or whatever…
Eric: … and they had misconstrued the… like shoddy journalism, and then it was a long time before we could realize that JKR didn’t exactly say exactly…
Andrew: Funnily enough, it was only six days. I was just looking at this.
Eric: Oh. Well, it felt like thirty days. [laughs]
Andrew: But it truly felt like thirty days. [laughs] Truly. That’s why I say…
Selina: But you know what’s funny about it is… we don’t need to spend a lot of time on it, but what’s funny… seeing her actual comments that she was reconsidering Ron and Hermione, I think you can really tell that from the final couple of books because Harry and Hermione were so close friends. And as she said herself, just after the seventh book came out, there were a few moments when it could have gone the other way.
Selina: And I like it because it’s realistic. It’s not like she made this choice, Ron and Hermione, and she was going to [makes sound like forcing two things together] them together.
Eric: Try to fit a square peg through a round hole.
Selina: Yeah, exactly.
Selina: She let the characters go where the characters wanted to go.
Selina: And I like that.
Eric: And it was a step up back from… or a step forward, because the only comment that I can recall her previously talking about that pairing was the “delusional.”
Selina: Oh, yeah.
Eric: The infamous “delusional” in the Melissa Anelli/Emerson Spartz interview back when I guess Book 6 came out.
Eric: So that was a big blow to Ron and… or Harry and Hermione…
Selina: Harry and Hermione. Yeah, that’s right.
Eric: … shippers everywhere. But this kind of reopened a lot of those same feelings and, I think, took it into a more mature realm.
Micah: So she retracted the “delusional” comment, because she can’t really…
Selina: She didn’t.
Micah: No, I know she didn’t. But she can’t really call those people delusional if, in her own mind, this was a possibility.
Selina: She is delusional
Micah: Yes. And now she’s never coming on the show.
Micah: But shoddy journalism seems to be a running trend though, at least as it relates to the series…
Eric: That’s true.
Micah: … so many years later.
Micah: No matter what it is, whether it’s about Pottermore, which I know we’ll talk about very shortly here, or even with something along these lines. It’s great that even however many years we are after the fact – what, over seven years after Deathly Hallows was released – that the series is still relevant, the author is still relevant, the characters are still relevant enough that these news outlets – and I say that somewhat liberally, referring to them as news outlets…
Micah: … because most them aren’t, even though… actually, I will say I saw quite a few run with the “Twelve New Stories by J.K. Rowling.”
Micah: Just that they’re interested and that they’re willing to still write about it all these years later.
Andrew: Well… and I just can’t believe that people fall for this every time. I mean, this has happened so many times this year. If you want to summarize 2014 in the Harry Potter fandom, it was misleading headlines about things that J.K. Rowling is doing or saying and this Fantastic Beasts news. Plus… maybe part of the reason J.K. Rowling has been on Twitter more is so she can have a direct line of communication with the fans…
Andrew: … instead of having the media reconstruct her words into things that just aren’t true or entirely accurate.
Eric: Or wait six or seven days to release them. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
MuggleCast 275 Transcript (continued)
Recap: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Series (Continued)
Andrew: So there was one other big story and that relates to Fantastic Beasts. Let’s do that first, since we’re talking about big stories. Warner Bros. announced in October – about a week after we had recorded our last episode, naturally – that David Yates is going to direct Fantastic Beasts. This is when we also found out that the series is going to be at least a trilogy. So this is the first time we’re talking about these two things here on MuggleCast. The “at least a trilogy” comments… we had known that David Yates was rumored to direct Fantastic Beasts. There was a report that had come out a month or two prior, and apparently that had been in the works for months. So now one question that still lingers is, will David Yates be returning for all three movies? And if you read the Warner Bros. statement, it doesn’t sound like it. However, if you went on J.K. Rowling’s page when she shared the announcement, the wording of it very strongly sounded like he is going to direct all three. And I actually tried to get some clarification from Warner Bros. about this, and they were not [laughs] willing to give me any information.
Eric: Oh, okay.
Andrew: Yeah. They left it open-ended, let’s say. But here’s what J.K. Rowling said on Facebook, and this statement is loosely like what was released in the press release but there is a key difference. I’m going to take one line from it.
This is from J.K. Rowling.
“The studio has also confirmed that the films…”
[emphasises the word] Films.
“… set in the wizarding world but predating Harry Potter himself, will be directed by David Yates and will reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.”
Eric: There you go.
Andrew: So… but this is not what it says in the other release, so that’s why I think he is back for all three. Or he’s maybe not officially, but that’s the plan right now unless he’s like [laughs] sick of it.
Eric: “I hate this so much.”
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
Eric: “Get me out of here!” [laughs]
Selina: You know what I’m thinking about this is that… because we’ve all got our own opinions on David Yates and stuff, but [laughs] remember The Hobbit, like you haven’t just seen it.
Micah: I was going to say the same thing.
Selina: Yeah, that was meant to be directed by Guillermo del Toro, who incidentally was also meant to direct Harry Potter at one point or in rumors or something. And when that was first released, I remember lots of people were like, “No, no, get Peter Jackson back. Let’s get the original feel of the Lord of the Rings.” And then now we’ve seen the movies…
Selina: … and I’m thinking that a lot of people are probably wishing that del Toro would have stepped in and shaken up the universe a bit because treading water can only get you so far, and that’s what I’m worried about with this. It’s not that I don’t like David Yates’s directing style. It’s that I don’t… I mean, Fantastic Beasts is never going to be Harry Potter and trying to make it seem like the same I think you lose a lot of potential. I’m not… I mean, he might do a fantastic job…
Selina: No pun intended. But… wow, so many headlines. Anyway, I don’t know. I was hoping for someone different.
Andrew: I don’t… I get why he should return for the first movie because they want to carry that feel. David Yates is obviously very connected with the group already, with the producer David Heyman. Obviously, they all worked on Leavesden Studios where they’re going to be working again for Fantastic Beasts. But I don’t understand the reason to bring him back for all three.
Andrew: Why do you need that?
Micah: I actually… when Selina brought up The Hobbit, what I thought she was going to say is what happens if this is all shot at the same time?
Selina: [laughs] Oh.
Micah: And so it… he really only has to be there for the filming of what would be one movie, even though they’re shooting it all at one time. But…
Andrew: I don’t think that’s going to happen for this.
Andrew: Because it’s three…
Eric: These should be three separate stories set years apart?
Andrew: … I just mean the difference with The Hobbit was that it was originally two, and then when they announced a third they went back and filmed more.
Micah: Oh, okay.
Andrew: So, yeah.
Micah: Well, I think all the points you raised are valid and they’re reasons why they would bring David Yates back. The familiarity that he has with the series; even though it isn’t Potter, it’s still within that same world. He is familiar with J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves, the list goes on.
Eric: Works well on the team.
Micah: Yeah. And at some point, I would assume… there are going to be brand new characters, but we would potentially see characters that we know, that could make these cameo appearances as we get later on into Newt’s story. But I kind of… I don’t know. It’s almost like, let’s see how he does with this first film.
Micah: And then make the judgment if it was right or wrong to bring him back.
Andrew: Yeah, for sure.
Micah: I think he’s worked, what, since Order of the Phoenix?
Micah: On the series. And I think it’s about that… and you don’t know. Maybe part of J.K. Rowling’s agreement in doing this was that certain people come back that she’s entrusted with her work, like Heyman and Kloves and now David Yates, because clearly she’s built these long-lasting relationships. She entrusted Heyman very early on with the series, and he’s been there the whole time, and so you never know kind of what goes on behind the scenes. She ultimately has to feel comfortable with the person responsible for directing this, and Yates has been there pretty much since…
Eric: Day one?
Micah: Yeah… minus four films, yes. But…
Eric: Yeah, they optioned the film really early on in the book process.
Micah: Well, when was Order of the Phoenix released? ’05?
Selina: Seven, yeah. Since the final book.
Andrew: Wait, the book or movie?
Micah: The movie. The movie, sorry.
Micah: So he’s been there seven… or he was there, what, four or five years? So I mean…
Micah: … he’s got a good sense for what this is all about. So we’ll see.
Eric: Yeah, I still stand with… I agree with what Selina said, too. You kind of want it to be completely different.
Selina: Yeah. You want a change, I guess. But you’re absolutely right as well, Micah. I think that we can… I mean, this is a different story and he’s… David Yates, I’m sure, is capable of breathing new life into it. I think I’m just…
Eric: Well, I’m going to see his take on Tarzan first to kind of…
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Selina: Yeah, okay.
Eric: Well, that’s another story. It’s like, well, you want to see him do something different to prove that he can do something different.
Micah: I agree with Selina too, though. I like the point that she made, and I think that having somebody new would be great because one of the problems that a lot of people had with the Potter films was that there wasn’t that continuity, right?
Micah: It broke so many times. Well, no. I mean yes, there were people who liked the fact that there were different directors along the way, but going through four different directors in an eight-film span, a lot of people didn’t like that because there wasn’t a level of consistency throughout all the films. Whereas here, why bring in somebody who has worked on those films? Why not give somebody else a chance? I think there is a lot of validity to that as well.
Andrew: And just from a visual sense, there could be a great opportunity here to really shake this series up in a visual way, and with David Yates, I don’t think that’s going to happen because I think a lot of what we found in the Harry Potter films will be carrying over, what we saw in the Harry Potter films. Who knows? Still excited for it, of course.
Eric: Yeah, definitely.
Selina: Of course.
Andrew: [in a sarcastic tone] I guess.
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Micah: We’re going to see it no matter who directs it anyway, so…
Andrew: Oh, yeah. It doesn’t matter.
Micah: It’s just topic of conversation.
Andrew: But Micah will not follow David Yates on Twitter. I know that much.
Micah: If David Yates was on Twitter, I’d follow him.
Andrew: Yeah, I don’t get that.
Micah: Why not?
Eric: He gets a free pass, and J.K. Rowling doesn’t?
Micah: Well, it depends if he actually used his Twitter account.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Eric: But J.K. Rowling uses her Twitter account.
Micah: Yeah, after the fact.
Eric: After you unfollowed her for not using her Twitter account?
Andrew: Well, there’s… I think we’ll have Micah convinced in a little bit.
Recap: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Pottermore
Andrew: So let’s talk about Pottermore now. They released Half-Blood Prince. It’s out.
Andrew: [laughs] Hooray.
Eric: All of it?
Andrew: So this… all of it. This was the twelve days thing. They released… really, over the twelve days they released the best of Half-Blood Prince, and then a couple of days ago, they released the remainder. And I looked through it; there wasn’t really anything else other than what we received during these twelve days things that was interesting. Not… there wasn’t any other additional tidbits penned by J.K. Rowling herself, but we learned a few things. These were actually pretty interesting, I thought. Snape… she addressed the whole “Is Snape a vampire?” thing. She said no, but…
Andrew: … at one point in her very, very early notes, she had a vampire wizard named Trocar – T-R-O-C-A-R – who was going to be a professor at Hogwarts, but she doesn’t know how. It was just a very early draft.
Selina: Isn’t it amazing how drafts change?
Selina: It’s… wow. [laughs]
Eric: And it’s a perfect name. It’s right up there with Remus Lupin. She describes in the doc. She describes:
“A Trocar is [a] sharply pointed shaft inserted into arteries or cavities to extract bodily fluids.”
So it’s totally a perfect name for a vampire character.
Selina: Wow. Little on the nose.
Andrew: We also found out why… J.K. Rowling explained why Snape was the Hogwarts Potions professor. Some people said this wasn’t new, but on Pottermore it was new writing from J.K. Rowling. She said:
“Chemistry was my least favorite subject at school, and I gave it up as soon as I could. Naturally, when I was trying to decide which subject Harry’s arch enemy, Severus Snape, should teach, it had to be the wizarding equivalent.”
So that wasn’t, I guess, big news, but I don’t know.
Eric: That’s funny. That made me laugh. I’m happy to know that.
Andrew: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is she revealed a ghost plot in Half-Blood Prince, meaning kind of…
Andrew: … something she had planned and then changed her mind on. She said that Florean Fortescue – whose ice cream you can purchase in the Wizarding World Diagon Alley…
Andrew: … was almost a major player.
Micah: Get the Butterbeer.
Andrew: Yeah, the Butterbeer ice cream. That’s a good one.
Eric: [in a high-pitched voice] Get the Butterbeer.
Andrew: He was almost a major player in Deathly Hallows and…
Selina: I knew it!
Andrew: Did you really?
Selina: When I read this…
Selina: Yes! Because… well, I didn’t know that, but [laughs] it was one of those things that I remember people talking about after the seventh book came out. I’m like, “Ah, there were all these clues to Florean Fortescue and it never came to anything.”
Selina: So it was cool to hear that she thought about it.
Andrew: Oh, that’s interesting. Well… so yeah, she was going to have Florean present Harry some information about the Hallows in Deathly Hallows.
Selina: [laughs] Some Hallows.
Andrew: “Here they are!”
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Andrew: Crime solved.
Eric: Ollivander is such an important role in that book, and then his next-door neighbor Florean would have also been this huge important guy.
Eric: So I understand if that was any… had anything to do with why she didn’t do it because she’d already done it, or chosen to do it, with Ollivander.
Andrew: And so this Deathly Hallows information was why Harry met Florean in Prisoner of Azkaban, but then she changed her mind when… because “Phineas Black was a much more satisfactory means of conveying clues,” she said.
Selina: And there’s only so many people you can have walk in and give you information and then leave.
Andrew: Right, right.
Eric: It’s like, “Oh, hey, you helped me with my homework in year three that week I spent in Diagon Alley. What can you bring to the table now?”
Eric: He’s still going to be, though, this really nice guy who helped Harry with his homework. [laughs]
Eric: And gave him free ice cream. He’s probably still one of my favorite characters, even though he never played that big a role.
Selina: Wow. How much do you hate the other characters? [laughs]
Eric: Well, there is Eric, the security wizard. I also like him a lot.
Selina: That’s true.
Andrew: And the icing on the cake with this was that she said she feels guilty about killing him because she never used the knowledge she gave him to benefit Harry. So it was interesting what character does she feel guilty…
Andrew: … or regrets… even that word is taboo now in the fandom.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: Regrets killing. It seems like this is the one. The only one.
Micah: I think that… what did I tweet you a picture of? Snorlax? When…
Andrew: Oh, you thought this was boring?
Micah: No, I…
Eric: That’s what I read it as.
Micah: Well, I don’t think it’s all boring. I just… I don’t think that it blows you away.
Micah: I don’t think that there’s any information that got released in these twelve days leading up to Christmas that was that shocking, and I understand…
Selina: Yeah, no one was gay or anything.
Micah: They didn’t… I don’t know. There was a part that talked about cauldrons and their purpose. Really? Does anybody honestly want to read that?
Eric: I do.
Micah: Well, you do, of course.
Andrew: You know what that’s from…
Eric: What does that mean, of course? What does that mean?
Micah: It just means that you’d want to read it.
Andrew: You consume everything Harry Potter.
Micah: Yes, exactly.
Micah: Even though you don’t go to Pottermore.
Eric: Well, I did go to Pottermore, actually. I remembered my password, which had been kicking me out, and then I got in.
Micah: You could reset it, you know.
Andrew: Eric, would you read a section on the toilet paper that is used at Hogwarts?
Eric: Probably because any article that talks about toilet paper is going to talk about the bathroom problem of Harry Potter, which is that none of the characters go to the bathroom unless there’s an action scene in there.
Eric: So yeah, I’m a little interested, honestly, in where the Hogwarts students do their business. But…
Andrew: “One of the most common complaints I received in the Harry Potter novels is that they don’t go to the bathroom too much.”
Eric: [laughs] It’s a standard in story writing.
Micah: You should tweet her, actually. I’m sure she would answer that question.
Eric: Nobody wants to read about the Hogwarts students going to the bathroom.
Micah: Eric, please, right now, tweet her. Do Hogwarts students use the bathroom?
Selina: Hermione did go to the bathroom at some point in one of the early novels. I distinctly remember…
Eric: No, she said it’s difficult to go to the bathroom. She said it’s difficult with Moaning Myrtle there in the bathroom.
Micah: Eric, please tweet her that.
Andrew: So they only go to the bathroom…
Eric: I’m not going to tweet her that.
Andrew: You’re not going to tweet her that?
Micah: I think it would be a great question.
Eric: I won’t tweet her that for Micah’s enjoyment if he doesn’t follow her on Twitter.
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Eric: I’m not going to do it. He won’t see her response unless I retweet it, and I’m not going to do that.
Micah: I’ll see it. I retweeted her, what, last week?
Eric: Yeah, the Anthony Goldstein tweet.
Selina: Wow. [laughs] She was so excited.
Eric: Somehow you still saw that even though you don’t follow her.
Micah: Somehow, some way. But one thing I did think was actually interesting was she talked about the Inferi as well. She gave a little bit of background on them in that chapter on Pottermore. But I don’t know, I think at this point I’m just over Pottermore. I think it’s a great resource for people who are still looking for information on the series, who want to go through it again, for people maybe who haven’t read it before, and this kind of provides them a companion. But these bits of information, they just… they don’t hit home. I think we’re looking for some really big news about characters or additional plot lines that just… they’re not there.
Eric: I disagree. I think that… I mean, clearly anything major enough made it into the books. But I’m interested in these ghost plots that are coming to light, and I’m interested in knowing that…
Eric: Specifically where that Railview inn was that they stayed in in the first book happened to be in Lily’s hometown. Lily and Petunia’s hometown of Cokeworth. Whatever, just random stuff. And as Deathly Hallows comes around, we’re going to find a lot of what I’m looking for, which is what could have been, or a lot of what didn’t make it, because I don’t even… I don’t love… it’s no secret. I don’t love the seventh Harry Potter book, so I really want to know… this is the opportune time to get any kind of what could have been, what should have been, what almost was type stuff into the mix. So I’m actually more excited for…
Micah: Well, it’s also the last chance, really, for that, right?
Eric: Yeah, for anything in general.
Micah: Because you’d think that she’s put the most important bits into the books that have already been released on Pottermore. At least you’d hope that that’s what she’s done, even though we know that she has a ton of information stored away in boxes and in her mind somewhere [that] she can release at any point. But…
Selina: [clears throat] Encyclopedia.
Micah: Yeah, exactly. So…
Micah: Go ahead.
Selina: See, that’s what I want. I don’t want… oh, sorry. I don’t want Pottermore info. I want encyclopedia info! I’m like, “Urgh!”
Andrew: Okay, so Micah mentioned, why is there cauldron stuff? And this goes… kind of relates… I think that this is probably a sample from the encyclopedia. Here is my theory. Everybody listen because it’s now…
Eric: Andrew’s grand theory…
Andrew: Grand theory…
Eric: … of the J.K. Rowling encyclopedia.
Andrew: This is now or never. This is it.
Andrew: So Half-Blood Prince, just published here at the end of the year on Pottermore, okay? That leaves an entire year wide open for them to finish up Pottermore in 2015. They’re going to publish Deathly Hallows, obviously. Maybe they’ll, I don’t know, go back and release some other things J.K. Rowling promised at one point on Twitter a month ago, that there’s going to be a Patronus quiz. So stuff like that. Maybe they’re going to get that out of the way. And then, now that Pottermore has finished – I’ve been saying this for years – they’re going to open up… that is when we’re going to get the encyclopedia. Once Pottermore has finished releasing all seven Harry Potter books. Now, if they finish Pottermore in 2015, that means the encyclopedia can come out in 2016. What else is in 2016? First Fantastic Beasts movie. They release the encyclopedia around the summertime, summer 2016. All the Harry Potter fans lose themselves in excitement.
Eric: Lose all bowel control.
Andrew: Micah refollows J.K. Rowling on Twitter.
Andrew: Eric gets to learn about Hogwarts toilet paper.
Andrew: The fans are lining up at midnight again. And then everybody is reinvigorated, and they’re excited for Fantastic Beasts a couple of months later. So I think the encyclopedia is coming out in 2016; Pottermore will be finished. We remember, going back years ago, when J.K. Rowling said on her Q&A, Micah found, I think – I don’t know who found it – that little…
Micah: I think it was me.
Andrew: It was you. Micah is a sleuth!
Micah: I’ll take credit. [laughs]
Andrew: He may not follow her on Twitter, but he does go through her website.
Micah: Yeah, there was something on her website. Yeah.
Andrew: That said she is working on the encyclopedia, and then…
Andrew: … people noticed. And we started writing about it, and then that got deleted.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: And then that same area said, “I am…”
Eric: “Thrilled to be part of Pottermore.”
Andrew: Right. “I am thrilled to be part of Pottermore. I have no plans for the encyclopedia.” [laughs]
Andrew: Right after she said, “I am at work on this now.” I think Pottermore got pissed because…
Eric: It’s part of their…
Andrew: … they need the attention.
Selina: Yeah, who’s going to want to read that?
Andrew: So… right, and that’s the thing. Nobody is going to give two flying pieces of you know what about Pottermore once the encyclopedia is out.
Andrew: No one is going to care.
Andrew: So I think 2016…
Eric: Well, they have an opportunity as a new… as new media, multimodal presentation that is Pottermore to give us…
Eric: … this information now over the next couple of years. I think you’re right, though, Andrew. I think the encyclopedia was just delayed. They ventured into this agreement so that they can present this information in this really cool, unique way, but…
Selina: Unless they’re just going to release Pottermore: The Book.
Selina: In which case… [laughs]
Andrew: Right. Well, I’m working on Hypable, an article, “10 Headlines We’re Dreading Reading in 2015,”…
Selina: [laughs] Yeah.
Andrew: … and one of them is “J.K. Rowling announces Harry Potter, the Encyclopedia… but it’s only on Pottermore.”
Andrew: That’s what I’m afraid of.
Andrew: It’s going to be some digital only release. But I don’t think they actually will do that.
Andrew: So there we go. That’s… we’ll talk more about 2015 in a moment, but finally… we’ve talked about J.K. Rowling on Twitter a lot today, so maybe we don’t want to get into this more, but she…
Micah: I actually found the quote… sorry, I was looking it up. But…
Andrew: Go ahead.
Micah: Let’s see here. It started off… well, somebody, I guess, asked her, “Will there ever be a printed encyclopedia?” And this is what she said in June of – hold on – I’m assuming it was last year, or it could have even been 2013.
Andrew: Was this on Twitter? What do you…
Eric: Last year was 2013.
Micah: That’s a good point.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Micah: Almost. Almost! [laughs]
“Will there ever be a book? I don’t know at the moment. The world has kind of outstripped me in the sense that back in 1998 I generated a lot more material than would ever be put in the books. It was simply ridiculous that anyone – to me at the time, I thought, ‘Who would ever want to know the significance of these types of wand woods?'”
“Will there ever be an encyclopedia?”
And she said:
And now we flash forward, and this was what I think was on her website when it relaunched:
“For a long time I have been promising an encyclopedia of Harry’s world, and I have started work on this – some of it forms the new content on Pottermore. It is likely to be a time-consuming job…”
Eric: See, there it is. That “some of this will become Pottermore,” meaning some of it won’t be.
“… but when finished I shall donate all royalties to charity.”
So… and then, of course, that changed. So the difference… I’m just reading one of our transcripts. This was Episode 252. So the difference between June and this past week is that she went from “possibly there’s going to be an encyclopedia” to “I am working on this now,” and then, of course, as Andrew mentioned, that disappeared from the website. [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] Well… and that was back in 2012, I believe, that that happened, right?
Eric: Must have been.
Andrew: So she said it’s going to be a time-consuming project. If that were to come out in 2016, that’s four years.
Micah: It was April 23, 2012.
Eric: That’s my birthday.
Andrew: I remember I was in Disney World and I pulled out my laptop. I was like, “Micah, how the heck?”
Micah: It was just… we found it and it was probably something that, as you said, Pottermore just didn’t want out there. J.K. Rowling felt comfortable enough to publish it on her site, and then I think because, in essence, it takes away from Pottermore.
Andrew: It absolutely does.
Micah: If you know… to your point, Andrew, let’s say we know Deathly Hallows will be released next year, and Pottermore will wrap up. We don’t know what purpose it’s going to serve beyond all the books being released.
Micah: And so, if she has said publicly that she’s working on an encyclopedia in addition to Pottermore, and that some of the content that she’s working on does, in fact… part of the content is going into Pottermore, but she still has more that she’s using for this encyclopedia, then we should anticipate that one is actually going to be released at some point in the future.
MuggleCast 275 Transcript (continued)
Recap: J.K. Rowling on Twitter (Continued)
Andrew: Now, turning to J.K. Rowling on Twitter one more time today. We talk about it a lot, but that’s where all the excitement is with J.K. Rowling these days. It’s pretty cool. I teased earlier that there was a tweet that if this doesn’t make Micah refollow J.K. Rowling, I don’t know what will. So somebody tweeted her:
“My wife said there are no Jews at Hogwarts.”
“I’m a Jew, so I assume she said it to be the only magical one in the family. Thoughts?”
“Anthony Goldstein, Ravenclaw, Jewish wizard.”
That’s it. Now, this, it turns out, was one of the original forty Harry Potter characters that she came up with in Harry’s class. [laughs] Some people were like, “Oh, of course she picks Goldstein for the one Jewish person at Hogwarts.”
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Andrew: But remember, this was back in the ’90s when it wasn’t some huge thing. And she said that was… I think she said that was one of the names of her friends, right? When she was slamming somebody on Twitter?
Selina: Yeah, yeah.
Selina: Yes. [laughs]
Micah: Jo slamming…
Selina: One of her slams.
Andrew: [laughs] And then she said:
“OK, let me clarify that!”
The next day because, of course, people were like, “Oh my God, there’s just one Jewish person?”
Andrew: This must make her want to leave Twitter when she has to…
Selina: I know. People are so dumb.
Micah: One special Jewish boy that goes to Hogwarts.
Andrew: Yeah. She said:
“OK, let me clarify that! Anthony isn’t the first Jewish student, nor is he the only one. I just have reasons for knowing most about him!”
That’s because he was one of the originals.
Micah: That makes sense.
Selina: He was one of the OGs.
Andrew: So Micah, does this not make you want to refollow her?
Micah: I think she’s really been active. That’s clear over the last couple of months on Twitter, and I think that as she continues to be more active and do more things… I mentioned the anagram earlier, and certainly once I heard about that I went to check it out. But I think at some point, I’ll follow her again.
Micah: I think it’s possible.
Andrew: I have another proposal.
Micah: 2015 is a new year.
Andrew: Okay. Yeah, I have another proposal we’ll get to with our big announcement.
Andrew: [laughs] That’s our big announcement: Micah is following J.K. Rowling.
Micah: Well, I’ve got to get her to reply. I think between the four of us here, we can come up with some questions that we can get her to reply to.
Andrew: Yeah, come to Brazil.
Eric: That’s it. You want special service. You want exactly for her to answer your question the way she’s answering all these other people’s questions like Ingrid Fonseca, who said:
“If you have a Horcrux, what [would it] be? #brazil.”
There’s Brazil again, by the way.
Andrew: [laughs] Right.
Micah: Brazil is its own trend, it seems like.
Eric: J.K. Rowling said:
“I would never have a Horcrux! They are evil objects created by murder!”
She’s answering fans’ questions, which…
Micah: That’s a cop out. Total cop out.
Eric: No, it’s not. It’s not. That’s why we never… she told us early on we’d never learn the process that was involved, because somebody is stupid enough in the world to go out and do it and be like, “Hey, I have a Horcrux now.”
Selina: “I killed this person. What now?”
Eric: Yeah, exactly. JKR…
Micah: Well, hold on a second. I don’t think they need to learn the process in order to, unfortunately, do something like that and claim an item they’re holding in their hand is a Horcrux. I think there are people out there that are stupid enough to do that anyway.
Eric: Yeah. But no, she was asked also… she’s just answering fan questions, which is beautiful.
Micah: I think it’s great. And look, when she first came on Twitter, it seemed as if it was done purely for publicity and to just be on Twitter.
Micah: Because everybody else was on Twitter. People were impersonating her, I’m sure.
Eric: Well, that’s what it is, yeah. She needed to create one just so that other people didn’t.
Micah: Well, I think it’s fair to say though that if you’re going to be on Twitter, you should embrace it; you should be active with it. That’s the whole point of it, and that’s why people follow you. They don’t follow you so your account sits idle for a couple of months, or you only tweet sparingly and you tweet the same thing over and over again.
Eric: So the entire foundation of why you left, why you stopped following her, is gone now.
Micah: It is…
Eric: Because she’s so active.
Micah: She finally listened to me.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Micah: And she became more active.
Eric: So now you want to stretch it further. Until she answers one of your specific questions, you won’t follow her back?
Micah: Of course.
Andrew: I think Eric has grown like actually angry that Micah doesn’t follow her.
Selina: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: Yeah, I find it to be pretty funny. She tweeted – this is eleven days ago:
“Seven minutes to midnight… time for bed.”
This is after this whole question and answer session. She [was] asked about what her favorite quote is and all this other stuff. She says:
“… time for bed. You people never run out of great questions. Sleep well/have a great day!”
And this is J.K. Rowling, the author of these books, who has got so many projects up in the air. She’s taken the time to answer these really cool questions for fans!
Andrew: Yeah. Well, you know what I think it is? I think at some point earlier this year, she realized how easy it is to use. It may not have been her at the very beginning. And then at some point, she downloaded the app on her phone…
Andrew: … and then she can sit there… Eric just referenced that “time for bed” tweet.
Selina: She was playing Candy Crush and she was like, “What am I going to do?”
Andrew: Right, yeah. So she’s in bed, her luxurious California king bed, and she’s got a nice glass of wine next to her table, and she’s like, “Let me see what’s doing on Twitter.” And it’s just so easy, and obviously it’s a lot of fun for her as well to interact with the fans. Like Pottermore… Potter more should be embracing this and have a “Tweets by J.K. Rowling” section and…
Andrew: Anyway, so…
Micah: No, you’re right. I’m not disagreeing with you. I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome that she’s actively tweeting and she’s responding to fans. Clearly, people are interested still in all these different things, and the fact that she’s willing and able to reply is awesome.
Looking Ahead to 2015
Andrew: So let’s move on now to what 2015 has in store for Harry Potter fans. I just shared my encyclopedia theory.
Micah: J.K. Rowling on Snapchat.
Andrew: That’s the next thing.
Selina: Sending random Snaps to fans. [laughs]
Andrew: “Here’s the pen I’m using to write right now.”
Andrew: I don’t think there’s any doubt, if there’s one thing we know… there’s two things… or maybe three. There’s three things we know for sure. Potter more is going to be completed in 2015 – certainly through Deathly Hallows; that’s definite. Fantastic Beasts casting news – they are going to start filming Fantastic Beasts in 2015, which is crazy to think that this is actually happening in 2015. That means we’re going to learn who’s playing Newt. And the more exciting part – in my opinion, I think – is we’re finally going to learn more about the story because we’re going to hear about these people getting cast and it’s going to be our introduction into Fantastic Beasts. We have no clue what other characters are appearing at this point, and a lot of them are probably going to be new – best friend of Newt, the bird that sits on his shoulder…
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Andrew: The little dragon that sits on his shoulder. We’re going to be learning a lot about Fantastic Beasts in 2015. And that’s cool, right?
Selina: It is. It really is.
Eric: That’s very cool.
Andrew: But who knows how much Warner Bros. is going to release. I mean, the casting stuff may be our best bet at learning more in 2015 because remember, it’s November 2016…
Selina: Yeah, character names and… it’s going to be like Star Wars.
Selina: We’re going to learn character names and character costume designs and stuff.
Eric: And then will come the fan posters with using the actors’ likeness and stuff.
Selina: Yeah. And the teaser trailer with a Nimbus flying across the screen.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Selina: Newt in the desert. It’s going to be great.
Andrew: The teaser trailer should just be that riddle that J.K. Rowling posted on Twitter.
Andrew: Just that line.
Eric: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a couple of hours,” something like that?
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Andrew: We will probably find out more about – well, this isn’t so certain – something about the Wizarding World theme parks. I mean, Japan opened this year.
Andrew: Hollywood is opening in 2016.
Eric: 2016, okay.
Selina: England, please?
Eric: [imitating Selina] England!
Eric: You have the Studio Tour! Come on.
Selina: Oh yeah, and that’s just as good.
Eric: Is it not?
Andrew: I was thinking more we would find out something about a third expansion to the Wizarding World in Orlando because that one is obviously the bread and butter.
Selina: Oh, you have enough.
Micah: What would be next though, if you’re talking expansion to the Wizarding World? I’m sure you’ve written an article on this, Andrew, but what would be next?
Selina: How about a bigger Hogwarts?
Eric: Yeah. One you can stay in.
Andrew: How about a Great Hall to eat in? Oh, I know. People want a Hogwarts hotel. Hotel Hogwarts.
Micah: [laughs] Somebody mentioned the Ministry, right?
Andrew: Oh yeah, that would be a big one.
Eric: Yeah, but I’d go for Hotel Hogwarts.
Selina: Yeah, Hogwarts for sure. Could you imagine?
Selina: And you could choose to… there would be wings for Hufflepuff and Gryffindor and stuff.
Eric: And different classes you could attend that you could sit in on.
Eric: I think that’s what we all wanted all along.
Selina: Yeah! It’s just one big Hogwarts where we can go…
Eric: Roller coasters are fine.
Micah: They should do it in England, though. Right, Selina?
Selina: For sure. Scotland, yeah. That would be okay.
Andrew: And each wing would be a different Hogwarts house.
Eric: And Dumbledore’s office would be the secret J.K. Rowling suite, like the penthouse. [laughs]
Selina: [laughs] Oh, yeah.
Eric: When JKR comes, she gets to stay in Dumbledore’s office.
Selina: And the Chamber of Secrets is like a giant swimming pool or something.
Eric: Oh, cool! Yeah, that’s cool.
Selina: We should design it.
Andrew: This isn’t strictly Harry Potter related, but it is J.K. Rowling related. The Casual Vacancy television series will be premiering on the BBC in early 2015.
Selina: Oh, yeah!
Andrew: And I’ll finally know what happens in that story now.
Eric: [laughs] Yeah, me too.
Andrew: It’s very exciting.
Selina: Not that exciting.
Eric: Presuming they don’t change the ending for TV.
Andrew: Right, right.
Micah: That was a tough book to get through.
Selina: Yeah, it was.
Andrew: Yeah, I didn’t finish.
Eric: Me neither.
Andrew: Eric and I did not finish. And we’ll also be hearing more about the Cormoran Strike television series; this is something we haven’t touched on yet. The BBC and J.K. Rowling announced that they are turning the Cormoran Strike novels – so that’s The Cuckoo’s Calling and The Silkworm – into a drama for BBC One, which I think is really cool. There were talks… there were rumors when The Cuckoo’s Calling first was unveiled as being J.K. Rowling’s that there were studios trying to get it – movie studios. But I think it’s better as a television series because now we know… J.K. Rowling said this year there’s going to be six or seven more of these Cormoran Strike books.
Andrew: So this could be a long-running series on BBC One…
Andrew: … and I’m really excited about that because I love these books.
Micah: Do we get that in the US?
Andrew: BBC One? No… well, we get BBC America.
Eric: Oh, right.
Andrew: The Casual Vacancy is going to be on HBO – we don’t know when, but it’s going to be – so hopefully Cormoran Strike is going to maybe be on HBO as well.
Micah: That would be cool.
Andrew: It’s the Internet. We’ll have ways of watching it.
[Micah and Selina laugh]
Micah: And then book-wise though, did she say she’s starting to write the fourth one? I thought I read that somewhere.
Micah: I thought the third was already almost finished.
Andrew: Right. She said [that] she was halfway through writing the third one. But yeah, presumably she’ll be writing the fourth one in 2015, I guess. Yeah.
Micah: So we can expect probably a release for 2015 for the third book?
Andrew: Yeah, I’m hoping so.
Selina: Oh Jesus Christ, I’m only like three chapters into the first one.
Andrew: Get reading!
Selina: I know! There’s so much and she writes all this stuff and I’m having trouble just reading it. [sighs] I’m a bad fan.
Announcement: MuggleCast Returns to Monthly Episodes
Andrew: And this gets into our announcement for 2015. We’ve done a few episodes… of course, MuggleCast was always a weekly show when we started in 2005. And then after the final movie came out, we pulled it back to monthly. And then we stopped doing regular episodes because it was just time. There was no spinoff series. J.K. Rowling was barely on Twitter. Micah was barely on Twitter at that time.
Andrew: It was a different time.
Eric: That’s why we really ended it.
Eric: Because Micah had no interest in Twitter.
Micah: That’s right.
Andrew: And after doing it for so long, MuggleCast had run its course for what we… it served its purpose. And now that… [laughs] believe it or not, this was a factor, in my opinion. Now that J.K. Rowling is on Twitter more…
Andrew: … now that Fantastic Beasts is under two years away, we have decided ≠ drumroll, please…
[Eric makes a drumroll sound]
Andrew: … that we are going to…
Selina: To end it.
Andrew: We are going to end it entirely. No.
[Andrew and Selina laugh]
Andrew: That we are going to do monthly episodes…
Andrew: … beginning again in March.
Eric: Bang! Boom!
Andrew: Bing, bang!
Selina: Happy New Year!
Andrew: Selina, I’m not even sure we told you this yet, did I? So surprise!
Andrew: So Harry Potter is still beloved by everybody. Everybody still loves Harry Potter. Everybody I meet where I live now, Harry Potter comes up at some point. And I’m like, “Did you know MuggleNet?” And they always say yes. And everybody is still obsessed with what J.K. Rowling says on Twitter. These are normal people, not even the people who listen to MuggleCast, not even those crazies. Everybody is just so excited about Fantastic Beasts, about what J.K. Rowling is saying on Twitter, this new Pottermore stuff ≠ believe it or not, Micah…
Micah: What? Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Andrew: We just feel like it’s time. So beginning in March, we will resume monthly episodes. That’s a new episode of MuggleCast every month.
Eric: For a nominal fee.
Andrew: For $3.99 a month. No, it’s going to be free. And we’re all really excited, I think, to start it back up again.
Micah: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I know we’ve been dropping clues… speaking of Twitter, we’ve dropped a few. I tried out my Photoshop skills [laughs] on the most recent one.
Andrew: Yeah, they caused people to unfollow us on Twitter. They were that bad.
Micah: Oh, did it? Okay.
Andrew: I’m kidding.
Micah: You have, what, a ridiculous following on that account now, so a few here or there don’t hurt at the end.
Andrew: I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding. Yeah, I mean, it’s interesting actually. When we ended monthly episodes of MuggleCast, the Facebook page had 35,000 likes. Now we’re up to 77,000 likes, [laughs] which is just crazy.
Eric: We’ve upped our value [laughs] by doing less.
Micah: More than doubled it.
Andrew: Yeah, and part of the reason… well, a large part of the reason is that I post Harry Potter stories from Hypable on there. And I think people see this page and they’re like, “Oh wow, there’s still Harry Potter news. Cool, I’ll ‘like’ it.” So it’s grown that way. But it just also shows you that there’s still a demand for Harry Potter content.
Andrew: People are still as passionate as ever about it.
Selina: That’s so exciting.
Eric: And we would not have anyone else do a Harry Potter podcast. Why not just have it be us?
Andrew: Right, right. I hate to brag about this, but we were the first Harry Potter podcast, so…
[Eric and Micah laugh]
Andrew: We were!
Micah: We were. No, definitely we were.
Andrew: So it feels right that we’re going to…
Micah: Come back?
Andrew: … lead the charge on a resurgence here. Maybe in the fandom, we’ll see. We’re going to be all about it.
Micah: We get to celebrate ten years.
Eric: Next August.
Selina: Oh, you guys. That’s awesome.
Andrew: Yes. That’s appropriate. That’s very appropriate. Now, the reason we’re waiting until March is because Micah and I are actually going to be part of a new podcast. If you guys were into…
Micah: Yeah, Andrew, why don’t you tell them the name?
Andrew: Well, we don’t have a name yet. [laughs] But if you’re into Smart Mouths, you’re going to like this new podcast because that will be starting up in January, so… we’ll mention that on future episodes of MuggleCast here. But…
Selina: That’s so exciting!
Selina: It’s so great! And podcasts as well, they hit a bit of a lull after the initial sort of excitement, but I’m so glad you guys keep doing it and more new podcasts.
Andrew: Thank you, Selina.
Selina: Oh, I love it.
Andrew: Yeah. Well…
Selina: I’m super surprised because I had no idea. [laughs]
Andrew: Yeah, I’m so sorry I didn’t tell you. [laughs] It didn’t even dawn on me. Sorry about that.
Andrew: Yeah, so… and we’ll have Selina coming on, I’m sure. And I think one of the goals will be to have a fourth… it’ll be Eric, Micah, and I, and then we’ll have a fourth person on at least every episode. I think that’s going to be a goal. We’ll try to freshen things up in ways like that.
Micah: Yeah. And I’m looking forward to continuing to talk about Pottermore and Twitter.
Selina: [laughs] Twitter.
Eric: All of the things you…
Selina: All of the Harry Potter stuff. [laughs]
Micah: No, look, I think it’s always good to play devil’s advocate because there are people out there, I’m sure, who feel similarly about Pottermore – maybe not as much about Twitter at least now, but Pottermore in particular, I think, just… it is what it is. We’ve discussed this so many times on this show, and I think for different people it serves different purposes. But the fact that we just have it is a great thing because it provides us new information and it will continue to into the new year.
Andrew: Well… and the reason that we want to start up monthly episodes again is that Fantastic Beasts, like we mentioned, is going to really get rocking and rolling this year.
Andrew: And there’s going to be a lot to talk about with that, and there’s going to be other stuff in the Harry Potter fandom to talk about as well.
Micah: So if you had to take a guess now… looking ahead into 2015, we’ll get a lot of casting news – you mentioned that – who is going to play the role of Newt Scamander, if you had to put it on paper right now?
Andrew: Benedict Cumberbatch, obviously.
Selina: Yeah, Smaug.
Andrew: No, I don’t think it’s going to be a big person. The safe predictions are Matt Smith…
Selina: We don’t even know how old he is, though. It could be literally anyone.
Selina: It could be a woman. [laughs]
Andrew: I think he’s in his twenties. Don’t we know that?
Selina: Do we?
Eric: Early twenties, based on when he left… based on the old biography, which could be changed a little bit.
Andrew: Right. There’s going to inevitably be some adjustments. But we know the story is set in the 1920s…
Andrew: … and according to the Harry Potter Wiki he was born in 1897, so that would put him around his twenties. So…
Eric: Yeah, he basically… he leaves Hogwarts and becomes… he trains with the Ministry for a couple of years, I think, and then leaves on a big safari or quest or whatever, based on the older information.
Micah: So mid to late twenties.
Eric: Yeah, mid-twenties. Kind of our age, which is really cool because Harry Potter was our age, growing up.
Selina: And we know that it’s the beginning of his career?
Andrew: We don’t really know that either.
Eric: Not specifically. Yeah, no, not specifically.
Eric: I mean, I think… he’ll probably be pretty esteemed… this is what I’m gathering from the plot so far, is people will know him and he’s going to New York, but then this huge crisis happens, which we do know, and then he’ll be called upon to fix it. So there will be… I think he’ll have a little degree of fame, kind of like an Indiana Jones kind of guy.
Selina: Right, right, right.
Andrew: And I want to touch on something that Selina mentioned. There really is a resurgence with podcasts happening right now.
Andrew: Led largely by Serial.
Andrew: That mystery podcast. I still haven’t listened to it, but I want to; everybody is obsessed with it. But I think people are starting to… that helped people realize how convenient podcasts are. Apple now puts the Podcasts app on your phone; I think that’s very helpful to podcasters. So yeah, I just think that there really is a resurgence happening and…
Eric: Also, Welcome to Night Vale is also…
Eric: … a really cool, just really well done concept show.
Andrew: Yeah, and everybody has got their phones… one of the reasons I’ve never really believed in YouTube is because it’s not as portable as something like podcasts are. You can really take a podcast anywhere with you. No matter where you are, you can easily listen to it. Whereas YouTube, you can’t watch it anywhere… or everywhere.
Andrew: I mean, obviously YouTube is very, very, very popular, but we’re podcasters here.
[Eric and Selina laugh]
Andrew: So yeah, that’s our big announcement. Again, it’ll start up again in March.
Andrew: And hopefully the casting announcements will start after that.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: But who knows?
Micah Refollows J.K. Rowling on Twitter
Andrew: And yeah, that’s all we’ve got for today’s episode of MuggleCast. By the way… so Micah, I know… we keep bringing this up, but to kick off our resurgence, I believe in March you should refollow J.K. Rowling.
Micah: I don’t know.
Micah: You know what? Okay, look…
Selina: Hey, at this point, it’s going to have to take something really big. [laughs]
Micah: Hold on. You know what? It’s the end of the year, right? We’re heading into a brand new year. You make resolutions, right?
Eric: Okay. Where are you going with this?
Micah: Well, I’m shifting away from my microphone here for a second so that I can type on the keyboard.
Andrew: Oh my God, I’m so excited.
Andrew: I need to get into the MuggleCast Twitter right now to report the breaking news after it’s done.
Micah: All right, so I’m just making sure. This is her handle, right? @jk_rowling.
Andrew: Right. That’s right. Do it, do it.
Micah: I want to know what follower I’m going to become. She’s got 3,965,281, so I’ll become the 3,965,282nd follower.
Selina: Oh, this is so exciting. You’re so special.
Eric: Don’t pull our leg here. You’re going to do this.
Micah: It’s done! It’s done!
Eric: It’s done!
Andrew: All that. I can’t believe it. Well, this has truly been a…
Micah: She followed back!
Eric: She’s been waiting for that, Micah.
Selina: Yeah. [laughs] I was thinking poised.
Micah: She was. I knew it.
Andrew: This has truly been a remarkable landmark episode of MuggleCast. I’m glad you didn’t wait until March, Micah.
Eric: This is going up on the Hall of Fame on the MuggleCast site [laughs] just because Micah followed her.
Andrew: [laughs] Well, what a way to cap off the year.
Andrew: I’m adding that to our year in review.
Andrew: The biggest Potter stories of the year: Micah follows J.K. Rowling again.
Andrew: I don’t think you’ll regret that decision, Micah.
Eric: No. Take a screenshot.
Micah: It’s not like I don’t take a look at her feed…
Andrew: Right. Well, now you’ll be forced to.
Micah: … of what’s going on. I will, yeah. I have no choice unless I hit “Unfollow” again for some reason.
Andrew: You better not!
Eric: Is that a threat?
Selina: Watch yourself, Jo.
Andrew: Thank you, everybody, for listening. As always, you can visit the MuggleCast website to download all the episodes. Maybe you want to relisten to a few in preparation for the new era. We’ve got every single episode of MuggleCast right there on the website.
Andrew: You can also follow us on social media. If you don’t, now is definitely the time to do it: Twitter.com/MuggleCast, Facebook.com/MuggleCast. We’ve also got the MuggleCast Tumblr: MuggleCast.Tumblr.com.
Micah: Is Kevin making sure we’re getting all our traffic there?
Andrew: Yes, Kevin Steck, a Tumblr employee. Still looks like… well, it looks like the Tumblr needs some… needs to be updated. I don’t think it’s being maintained anymore.
Eric: We have to wake up those girls.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah. We’ll reach out to them.
Andrew: They can… yeah. All right. And I think that’s it. I’m Andrew Sims.
Micah: That’s it.
Eric: I’m Eric Scull.
Micah: I’m Micah Tannenbaum.
Selina: And I’m Selina Wilken.
Andrew: Selina, thank you for joining us.
Selina: Thank you for having me.
Andrew: No problem. And we’ll see everybody next time for Episode 276. Goodbye!
Eric: Goodbye, 2014!
Micah: Bye! See you in ’15!
Selina: Happy New Year!