Weekly Round-Up: Daniel Radcliffe Talks ‘Escape From Pretoria’, Julie Walters Shares Good News & More!

Feb 23, 2020

Posted by: Kim McChesney

Actor Interviews, Casting, Depp, Fantastic Beasts Round-Up, Farrell, Films, Gleeson, Harry Potter Round-Up, HP Cast, Interviews, Law, Miller, Movies, News, Pattinson, Radcliffe, Radcliffe Interviews, Round-Up, Television Programmes

Big news in the world of J.K. Rowling this week with the title and release date of the fifth Cormoran Strike novel announced. The Harry Potter Alliance kicked off their Vote Hermione Granger in 2020 campaign on President’s Day and we took a look back at Snape’s double agency ahead of Alan Rickman’s birthday.

This week in our Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Actors Round-Up Dame Julie Walters reveals she’s been treated for bowel cancer, Daniel Radcliffe talks Escape to Pretoria with the BBC, Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell to meet again in new film, a new project for Robert Pattinson, Johnny Depp appears at Berlinale for the Minamata premiere, and more!

Julie Walters Treated for Cancer Diagnosis

Two Potterverse fan favorites celebrated birthdays this week. We remembered Alan Rickman and his portrayal of Severus Snape. We also celebrated the 70th birthday of Dame Julie Walter’s, Harry Potter’s magical matriarch Molly Weasley. Ahead of her birthday the BBC reported that the beloved actress recently revealed she was diagnosed with stage 3 bowel cancer 18 months ago.

In an interview with BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire Walters said at first about the diagnosis,

 “must have made a mistake”.

The actress that Potter fans fondly know as Mrs. Weasley, was cut from some of her scenes in the upcoming remake of The Secret Garden to accommodate her treatment for the cancer. She was also noticeably absent from the premiere of Mamma Mia 2.

Though she’s been given a clean bill of health by her doctors, she said that dealing with the illness changed her perspective. As a result, she may make different career choices moving forward. The Secret Garden, might be her last film, but not definitively,

“It would have to be something I’m really engaged with [to take another role on].

“I’m not saying I’ll never act again. But I certainly don’t think I can go back to [a film that requires working] six days a week, five in the morning till seven o’clock at night.”

We couldn’t be happier for Julie Walters to be cancer free and feeling well. Take a look at her BBC interview below:

Daniel Radcliffe on Apartheid and the Drama Behind Escape to Pretoria

Escape to Pretoria, one of Daniel Radcliffe’s next film projects is headed to theaters next month and this week he sat down with the BBC to talk about the “genius” of the story, how director Francis Annan brought it to the screen and understanding the impact of Apartheid.

The film is based on the true story of anti-apartheid activist Tim Jenkins’ 1979 attempt to break out of a maximum security prison in South Africa. The real life Jenkin was sentenced to 12 years in prison but made a set of wooden keys for the steel doors using a device he made from a broom handle and mirror he had hidden in his cell to free he and his neighbor Stephen Lee. Radcliffe discusses the importance of portraying his character with the real life Jenkins on set. In the interview Jenkins confirms that the story plays out on screen almost exactly as it happened forty years ago. The film also stars Ian Hart who Potter fans know as Professor Quirinus Quirrell. Hart plays another prison mate Denis Goldberg. Take a look at the interview below.

In other Radcliffe news, rumors were circulating around the holidays that Daniel Radcliffe may be joining the MCU. Comicbook reported in December that the former boy wizard might might take on the title role of Moon Knight,  one of three upcoming series announced at this year’s D23 Expo to be added to Phase Four of the MCU.

In a recent interview with Comicbook, during press tours for his two upcoming films Guns Akimbo and Escape from Pretoria, Radcliffe officially gave those rumors in the old Expelliarmus,

“If I was ever to go back into a franchise, I think the bar for that script would be even higher than anything else,” Radcliffe said.

“Before you can sign on to being in anything for multiple years, you have to be sure you’re really going to love it all the time. I’m not averse to doing any kind of franchise thing in the future again, that could be fun. But the Moon Knight rumors are untrue, I can officially debunk that one, I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news Potter/MCU crossover fans. Maybe someday. In the meantime, you can see Daniel Radcliffe back on the big screen in Guns Akimbo February 28 and Escape from Pretoria March 6 as well as on TV Tuesday nights on TBS in Dark Ages through March 17.

Wizarding World Aurors Together On Screen

Brendan Gleeson Colin Farrell in bruges

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell, Mad-Eye Moody and Percival Graves, have never been seen together in the Wizarding World, but these two former Aurors are no strangers to co-starring on screen. Both actors lead the acclaimed 2008 comedy crime movie In Bruges from award-winning director Martin McDonagh. According to Deadline McDonagh is bringing the two together again in the upcoming film Banshees of Inisheer, 

The film is set on a remote Irish isle, and they will play two lifelong friends who find themselves at an impasse when one abruptly ends their relationship with alarming consequences for both of them. 

Banshees of Inisheer begins filming this summer. So far it doesn’t look like the In Bruges co-star Ralph Fiennes is in on this project but we’ll keep you posted on this Wizarding World reunion of sorts.

A New Film for Robert Pattinson


Cedric Diggory is in demand! Robert Pattinson, who was lauded for his role in last year’s award winning indie film The Lighthouse and has now stepped into the bat suit as DC’s next Caped Crusader, has been tapped for another upcoming screen project. According to Variety Pattinson will lead the thriller The Stars at Noon,

“The film, set during the Nicaraguan Revolution in 1984, follows a mysterious English businessman and a headstrong American journalist who strike up a passionate romance. Their situation soon deteriorates and they attempt to escape the country, with only each other to trust and rely on.”

The Stars at Noon was purchased this week for U.S. distribution by A24 so rest assured at least U.S. Pattinson fans will be able to see him take on this new role when it’s released.

Ezra Miller Casts Lumos on Saint Laurent’s 2020 Menswear Campaign

Ezra Miller, who beyond a doubt, plays Fantastic Beasts most enigmatic character, Credence Barebone, has taken on another more glamorous role ahead of his return to the Wizarding World. According to Esquire , Miller is the new face of the Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2020 Men’s Campaign. Take a look at a clip of Miller, decked in his usual head turning fashion, at photo shoot with photographer David Sims.

Johnny Depp at Berlinale for the Minamata Premiere johnnydeppascelebratedwarphotographerw.eugenesmithc2a9efb88f2019larryhorrickscropped28129 Johnny Depp appeared at the opening of Berlinale this week for the premiere of his next film Minamata. The Fantastic Beasts actor, who most recently has been in the news since recordings of his ex-wife surfaced suggesting Heard may be the guilty party in their relationship, stars in the thriller about celebrated war photographer W. Eugene Smith who in 1971 fights a powerful corporation responsible for the mercury poisoning the people of Minamata, Japan. Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour) also stars as Life Magazine head Robert Hayes who secretly supports Smith’s effort. According to THR Depp had this to say about the film at a press conference the prior to the film’s premiere,

“Reading the story and learning the history of what happened in Minamata, the fact that it even happened at all, was very shocking,”[…] “The fact it continues is even more shocking. Just as a reader, as someone who is interested, I believed it was a story that needed to be told.” “Depp added that he felt it was important to ‘harness the power of the media, or cinema” and use it to “open up people’s eyes to something that happened and happens to this day.”He also noted that “films like this don’t get made every day.’

U.K. and U.S. release dates for  Minamata are yet to be released. In the meantime we assume he’ll be on the set of Fantastic Beasts 3 in a matter of weeks. Take a look at the clip below from his press conference at Berlinale and the power of the proverbial David vs Goliath,

“All of us are faced with huge monolithic-sized problems at times in our life. The power of the small is the idea that we recognize the issue and if it’s just one of us, you start with one and chip away[…]just start chipping away and people will follow hopefully.”


Details on Jude Law’s Latest Project

jude law just jared beard smiling

Last week we briefed fans on another project for Jude Law. He’ll be starring in the upcoming Showtime series The Auteur from recent Academy Award winner Taika Waititi director of the Oscar nominated film JoJo Rabbit. According to new information from Deadline, Law, who plays Fantastic Beasts Albus Dumbledore will star in the half-hour series on Showtime based on a graphic novel by the same name.

“The Auteur is described as a gonzo horror-comedy, a twisted romance and a glamorous, high wire act of biting satire. In it, desperate to make a great horror movie after a massive bomb, a film producer accidentally traps his production on a backlot with a serial killer.”

We’re assuming that Law will play said producer, an interesting role to take on after his next stint as the young Hogwarts Headmaster. They may even have a few things in common depending on what we learn about Aurelius!

Bill Nighy on the Emma Press Tour


Autumn de Wilde’s upcoming adaptation of Emma will not only feature Fantastic Beasts star, Callum Turner, but also Harry Potter‘s Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour), who will portray Mr Woodhouse, father of eponymous heroine, Emma Woodhouse. On the press tour for the movie, Nighy discussed working on the movie, and what he looks for in acting projects. Listen to the interview with Collider’s Perri Nemiroff here.

Nighy also spoke about the movie with Advocate, and though he’s not read any Jane Austen, he did have a lot to say on themes of class, privilege and preordained marriage, specifically discussing the topic of the evolution of marriage in his lifetime:

“When I was a young man, I used to work with people who could risk seven years in jail in this country for any public displays of affection or any rumor of sexual activity between two people of the same gender,” Nighy says of England’s criminalization of homosexual activity that was on the books until the late ’60s.

“Show business, or the theater in my case, was a refuge for gay people,” Nighy says. “Now, to stand in a public place and have two people turn to one another and say the big things, I find it overwhelmingly moving.”

“If I were to be asked, ‘What were the developments in my lifetime that I was obscurely proud not to have gotten in the way of, one of them would be (It’s not over yet, as you know) the emancipation of gay men and women in my lifetime,” he says.

Emma is playing theaters in the U.K. and  U.S. now. Nighy will also appear in Season 3 of Castlevania, an adult animated series inspired by the computer game series of the same nam, coming to Netflix March 5th.

Warwick Davis Speaks Out on Bullying


A recent viral video sharing the effects of bullying was “deeply upsetting” to Harry Potter‘s Warwick Davis. The video of Quaden Bayles, a child targeted at school for his dwarfism, was taken by his mother, Yarraka Bayles, to share the real effect of bullying and raise awareness of the need for parents and schools to educate children on the need for kindness. Davis said on the video:

“It’s really sad to think that this sort of thing goes on in today’s world. We like to think of ourselves as being a caring, passionate species when, in fact, at the heart of it, we’re really not sometimes,” he told the BBC.

“I think parents have a role to play here. Education starts at home and as parents we should all be taking responsibility for our children and for their attitudes in the world,” he said.

Read more at the BBC here.


That’s all the Wizarding World actor news for this week. Be sure to join us for all the magic in our next round-up!

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.