Harry Potter reunion Return to Hogwarts release date, cast and more

Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint (seen here in a Harry Potter movie) will return for the Harry Potter reunion
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

HBO Max will start 2022 with all the fan service: you can watch a Harry Potter reunion that brings back most of the original cast, including stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. The special will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the first of the series of movie adaptations of the popular books.

A press release announcing the special revealed that it will "tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time." That last part sounds truly unique, but we're betting most fans will just want to see their favorite actors interact with each other. We're expecting all of the emotions to hit when the cast likely reminisce over beloved cast members Richard Harris and Alan Rickman, who have since passed away.

This kind of special is the sort of thing that will likely push fans to resubscribe to HBO Max and keep it in our best streaming services list (though the lack of day-1 release movies will hurt HBO's ranking in 2022).

And before you can ask, controversial Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling doesn't seem to be a part of the project. The press release detailing it all listed a ton of cast members for the reunion, and her name was absent from it all, save for a mention at the end about the fact that the films were based on her books. 

Harry Potter reunion release date

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts streams on HBO Max on January 1, 2022. While the press release claims that it will come out as "the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Day," that's easier said than done, what with time zones and all. While you wait for the special, you can watch all of the Harry Potter movies in order on both HBO Max and Peacock.

We'd bet the special will arrive at 3 a.m. ET, if history repeats itself. That's when most non-HBO content arrives on HBO Max, such as the Friends reunion. That same day, the Harry Potter trivia show Hogwarts Tournament of Houses will debut on HBO Max.

HBO Max is available on all of the best streaming devices. Don't have HBO Max? Well, this special will also stream in spring 2022 on TBS and Cartoon Network. 

Looking for something else to watch on HBO Max while you wait? This week has another long-awaited reunion with the And Just Like That, the Sex and the City revival. And over on FXX, the chaos at Paddy's Pub continues with It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia season 15 episodes 3 and 4.

Harry Potter reunion teaser trailer

The invitations are out, and old friends are finally catching each other's eyes on the trains, but the first teaser trailer doesn't really give us much that's new. It's mostly for airing on HBO and HBO Max for people who haven't heard, or need a reminder as to why they should hold onto their subscriptions. Check it out:

Harry Potter reunion cast

Most of the expected major names in the Potterverse are coming back for the Harry Potter reunion, starting with the core trio of Radcliffe, Grint and Watson. Notable by his absence is actor Michael Gambon, the second actor to portray Albus Dumbledore after Harris' death. Gambon has been dealing with memory loss.

Maggie Smith is also not listed.

The full (or at least announced) cast for the Return to Hogwarts special is as follows:

  • Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter)
  • Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley) 
  • Emma Watson (Hermione Granger)
  • Chris Columbus (director Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange)
  • Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid)
  • Ralph Fiennes (Voldermort)
  • Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy)
  • Gary Oldman (Sirius Black)
  • Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge)
  • Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy)
  • Oliver Phelps and James Phelps (Fred and George Weasley)
  • Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley)
  • Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley)
  • Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas)
  • Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)
  • Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood)
  • Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell)

Harry Potter reunion teaser

The clip that HBO Max released to promote the special doesn't show any footage of the reunited cast. Instead, it draws on nostalgia as a sort of supercut of emotional moments from the films.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.