During this time of social distancing, major figures in the entertainment world are doing what they can to keep us distracted. Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has stepped it up by launching the Harry Potter at Home hub, which allows fans of all ages to access to access lots of Harry Potter-themed goodies, including the digital version of the first book in the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (or Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, if you grew up in the US). Good on Rowling for helping to keep us all sane as the crisis continues.
And now, Rowling and company have taken it a step further. Several big names associated with Harry Potter are getting together to read Philosopher’s Stone online for our amusement. You’ve got Eddie Redmayne, who plays lead character Newt Scamander in the Fantastic Beasts movies. There’s Noma Dumezweni, who played Hermione Granger onstage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Stephen Fry, who did some Harry Potter audiobooks, is here, as are Dakota Fanning and David Beckham, because…wait, were those two associated with Harry Potter before this? Whatever, they’re here now. And there will be other guests announced later.
But easily the biggest get is the Boy Who Lived himself: Daniel Radcliffe. Watch him and some of the other guests start things up below:
This is probably the closest we’ll ever get to seeing Radcliffe return to the role of Harry Potter, at least for a while. “I don’t like say no to things, but it’s not something that I’m rushing to do,” he previously said of possibly playing the character again. “I feel like those films have moved on and they’re doing just fine without us. I’m happy to keep it that way. I like what my life is now. I’m not saying that I’ll never go back into any franchise, but I like the flexibility that I have with my career now. And I don’t want to get into a situation where I’m signed up for one series for years in advance.”
Fair enough. And like he said, he’s not ruling out ever returning to the franchise. Maybe this is him dipping his toe in the water again? And I think everyone, Radcliffe included, expects to see the story rebooted sooner or later. There’ll be a place for him if he wants it.
You can see Radcliffe and the rest of the crew read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone now at HarryPotterAtHome.com.