Leaky’s 2009 Year In Review: Part One
Dec 31, 2009
It was quite the year for Harry Potter. Two years following the release of the final book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, fans continued to express their creativity for the boy who lived in nearly every medium. Film wise, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” appeared in theaters across the world, and production began on both installments of the “Deathly Hallows” film. 2009 also saw the construction of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park get underway in Orlando, Florida, and a touring exhibition of props from the Harry Potter films travel across the country. Join us in this three part series as we take a look back at world of Harry Potter news in 2009. Enjoy!
The new year kicked off with a series of polls about the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, taking information from the fans about what attractions would be most exciting. Then, video featuring Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling at the launch of The Tales of Beedle the Bard book was accompanied a revelation found in Harry, A History about the original title of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Rumors abounded about splitting “Deathly Hallows” film, and about the possibility of a Harry Potter musical. New set photos followed; later in the month, word came that the cafe and restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland, where J. K. Rowling wrote portions of the Harry Potter novels, was up for sale once again. We then learned actor Toby Jones would again provide Dobby’s voice in “Deathly Hallows,” as a Japanese “Half-Blood Prince” film trailer hit the web. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” film news returned when we learned of an onset accident which injured a stuntman for Dan Radcliffe. January came to a close as Leaky unveiled a revolutionary new social networking medium for the Harry Potter fan: MyLeaky.
The shortest month of the year began with an honor for J.K. Rowling, who would receive the Legion of Honor medal from French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Nearly two years after the book appeared on bookshelves, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was announced as the most borrowed book in the United Kingdom. Film news came on both “Half-Blood Prince” and “Deathly Hallows” fronts, with comments from Matt Lewis on Nagini and the release of new film six posters. As the start of filming for the seventh film loomed, Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths wrapped their Broadway run of “Equus,” and casting news started to trickle in. Thanks to one talented fan, the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows story was then showcased in a way no one had ever seen it before: claymation. Warner Bros. then released a first look at the “Half-Blood Prince” film via a Widget, and announced July 15, 2011, as the “Deathly Hallows: Part II” release date. With this news, LeakyCon 2011 revealed its conference dates and location for their second Harry Potter fan conference: July 13-17, 2011 in Orlando, Florida.
March would start with a treat for fans, when actress Evanna Lynch joined the Accio Books literacy effort of the HP Alliance. This was soon followed by the launch of the EP of the Month Club 2009 and the announcement that LeakyCon 2009 would hold a special screening of the film “We Are Wizards.” The first photos from “Deathly Hallows” filming appeared online, as did word from John Hurt, Timothy Spall, and Rhys Ifans on their upcoming movie seven roles. The first “Half-Blood Prince” trailer came online, and was soon followed by the track listing for the HBP video game and six character posters from the film. Word also came regarding sentencing in the Rob Knox murder trial. As “Deathly Hallows” filming commenced at both Leavesden and Pinewood Studios, Tom Felton spoke about filming Malfoy Manor scenes. With construction well underway at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park in Orlando, Florida, it was only time before we published the first images of Hagrid’s Hut on the Universal complex.
Hoot! Hoot! At the beginning of April, J.K. Rowling read aloud from Beedle the Bard at the Royal Opera House. April also brought a preview of a new “Half-Blood Prince” trailer and the second part of Leaky’s HBP set report. J.K. Rowling announced she would step down from her leadership role at MS Society Scotland. New covers for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages were then announced to coincide with the rerelease of the books later in the year. More filming news came out of Scotland and London, with references to the “tense cliffhanger” before the split. Later, actress Helen McCrory confirmed her return as Narcissa Malfoy, and Shell Cottage was constructed in Wales. In April actor Jamie Waylett was arrested on drug possession and later sentenced to community service; as a result, Waylett will not be returning as Crabbe in either “Deathly Hallows” films. As the month moved forward, a full programming schedule for LeakyCon 2009 was revealed, along with the exciting announcement that “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” screenwriter Michael Goldenberg would appear as a Keynote presenter at the conference. PotterCast paired up with wizard rockers The Remus Lupins and Whomping Willows for a 2009 summer tour, which would wrock out at venues all over the country including HPEF’s Azkatraz conference in San Francisco. Leaky also announced that J.K. Rowling had donated a one-of-a-kind set of signed Harry Potter novels to be auctioned at the conference.
Stay tuned for part two soon!