harry potter world building

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: the current state of J.K. Rowling’s beloved universe is…unsteady.)

Earlier this year, J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world went to shit. Literally. The Pottermore Twitter account resurfaced an innocuous piece of trivia that described the wizarding world before it had discovered indoor plumbing, in which witches and wizards would use a vanishing spell after they had, ahem, done their business. The Harry Potter fandom went wild at the prospect of wizards shitting their pants for hundreds of years. It was exactly the kind of world-building misstep for which Rowling had become infamous in recent years: constantly revising the enchanting world she had created until it felt like the entire series was just built out of trivia.

Worse yet, it’s trivia that revises her previously white, previously heterosexual world into one that feels performatively “woke” — as was the case with her most recent egregious piece of trivia: that Dumbledore and Grindelwald had an “intense” sexual relationship, which of course we’ll never get to see onscreen. It’s like if Michaelangelo had kept returning to the Sistine Chapel to layer on more inches of oil paint until his masterpiece became an unrecognizable mess.

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Harry Potter Wizards Unite Game

The mobile game Pokémon Go reignited the spark for capturing weird little monsters and making them fight each other. But Pokémon as a property isn’t for everyone. That’s why game developer Niantic Inc. is teaming up with Warner Bros. Games to bring a similar style of game play to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is a forthcoming augmented reality game that we’ve highlighted before. But official details on the gameplay haven’t been available until today. Thankfully, Niantic and WB have revealed what fans can expect from this foray into the magical world, and it will combine content and characters from both the original Harry Potter franchise and the new Fantastic Beasts series. Find out more about the Harry Potter Wizards Unite game below. Read More »

Hagrid's Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure

Attention, fans of paying money to wait in line! Uh, I mean fans of immersive theme park attractions! There’s a new featurette showing off Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike Adventure, the new roller coaster at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure theme park. The ride opens this summer, and if you just can’t wait that long to go to humid, sweaty Florida, perhaps this video will hold you over. Watch the featurette below.

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Harry Potter Wizard Chess Replica

At the end of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, one of the challenges keeping the key to the Elixir of Life safe is a giant game of wizard chess with some pretty deadly consequences for losing a piece. But now you can bring the game home, albeit on a smaller scale, thanks to the Noble Collection’s Harry Potter wizard chess replica. Read More »

fantastic beasts the crimes of grindelwald box office

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald managed to score not only the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score in the history of its franchise, but it also had the lowest-grossing opening for a Harry Potter film.

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Harry Potter Sound Design

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a video essay dives into the difficult task of sound design on the Harry Potter franchise. Plus, another video wonders if Snowpiercer is secretly a sequel to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Robin Hood stars Taron Egerton and Jamie Foxx teach you medieval slang to use on your friends. Read More »

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review

If Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is any indication, this new franchise is a test of the mettle of fans of the overall “Wizarding World” of Harry Potter. How much do you care about the tiniest details that were tossed off in J.K. Rowling’s original series of seven books about a boy wizard with a peculiar scar on his forehead? For those who might be inflamed by the notion of characters mentioned in the first Harry Potter book now being seen up close and in person, there may be some level of excitement to be had. For the rest of us, The Crimes of Grindelwald is a slog of a story that features an excess of dry, dull dialogue and a lack of story propulsion.

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harry potter wizards unite teaser

Niantic has another mobile game on its way that will force nerds to go outside. The developer of Pokémon Go has released the Harry Potter: Wizards Unite teaser for the long-delayed Harry Potter augmented reality mobile game, which is now set to arrive in 2019.

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crimes of grindelwald box office

Reviews for Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald have been the worst in Harry Potter history, but that’s not going to stop audiences from turning out. Early Crimes of Grindelwald box office tracking indicates the film is flying towards a $275 million global launch, which would put it well above the global opening weekend intake of the previous film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

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Hacking in Movies

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a hacker and security expert breaks down the accuracy of hacking in movies and television. Plus, Albus Dumbledore is a master manipulator in the Harry Potter franchise, but that might be a good thing, and Michael B. Jordan went undercover on the internet to address some comments and questions from fans. Read More »