Harry Potter's 20th anniversary special Return to Hogwarts begins streaming on January 1. While most of the major players involved in the films - the actors, directors and even the producers - have returned to share their experiences, the creator of the Harry Potter universe is conspicuous by her absence. Author JK Rowling only appears in the special through archival footage shot earlier. A recent article has claimed that it was she who refused to be a part of the special.
Ever since news emerged that JK Rowling wasn't an active part of the reunion, many had speculated that she was dropped by the makers owing to recent controversies. In the last couple of years, several comments from the author have attracted criticism with many calling her transphobic. On her part, Rowling has denied this tag and stated in the past that 'trans lives matter' and 'trans rights are human rights'.
However, as it turns out, her absence from Return to Hogwarts doesn't seem to have anything to do with the controversies. An Entertainment Weekly report states that "an invitation was extended to Rowling to participate, but her team determined the archived comments from the writer were adequate." As a result, while other cast and crew members appear in the special on the very sets used in the eight Harry Potter films, JK Rowling's portions are from a 2019 recording.
The special marks 20 years of the release of the first film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. It begins streaming on January 1 on Amazon Prime Video in India.
The Harry Potter universe was created by JK Rowling, who published the first book in 1996. The books have sold more than half a billion copies worldwide. The eight films based on the seven books have been enormously successful as well, earning over $7.7 billion at the global box office.