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The stars from the original Harry Potter movies are all grown up and reuniting for a new special tied to the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the very first film in the franchise.
Streaming on HBO Max, the retrospective special is titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts and reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson, along with director Chris Columbus, for a look back at memorable moments from the films, behind-the-scenes footage, and new cast interviews about the book-turned-global-phenomenon.
Want to watch the Harry Potter reunion special online? Here’s what you need to know to watch Return to Hogwarts online.
When Does Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts Come Out? Release Date, Time
The new Harry Potter special, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts premieres at midnight PST on New Year’s Day, January 1 on HBO Max.
This is an HBO Max Original, meaning the only place to watch the Harry Potter reunion online is through the streaming service.
How to Watch Return to Hogwarts Online
If you want to watch Return to Hogwarts online, you’ll need to be an HBO Max subscriber. Not a subscriber? An HBO Max subscription starts at just $9.99 a month for an ad-supported plan, or $14.99 a month for an ad-free plan.
Your HBO Max subscription lets you watch the Harry Potter cast reunion online and access the entire HBO Max library of shows and specials, including the popular Friends reunion, the new season of Euphoria, and the Sex and the City spin-off, And Just Like That.
Once you sign up for HBO Max, you can stream Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts online on your computer, tablet or phone. While it’s not airing on a traditional cable TV channel, you can still watch Return to Hogwarts on TV by using the HBO Max app on your Roku Stick, Fire TV 4K Stick, Apple TV or similar media streaming device.
How to Stream Return to Hogwarts Online Free
Unlike some other streaming services, HBO Max doesn’t offer a free tier or free trial to let you watch the Harry Potter reunion online free. However, there are a few ways to watch Return to Hogwarts free online.
AT&T customers can get HBO Max free with select wireless internet, phone and TV plans. Already an AT&T customer? Click here to see if your plan qualifies for free streaming on HBO Max, then use the deal to stream Return to Hogwarts online free. Not signed up for AT&T? Their plans start at just $50, with free HBO Max included.
Cricket Wireless is also offering a free HBO Max subscription to anyone signed up for their $60 a month plan. The deal gets you the ad-supported tier included, but you’re able to use that to watch the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary special on HBO Max for free.
Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts Cast, Runtime, Spoilers
Return to Hogwarts is a one-time-only film event and the Harry Potter reunion special has a runtime of 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson join filmmaker Chris Columbus and cast members across all eight Harry Potter films as they travel back to Hogwarts for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
While the new documentary/retrospective is tied to the debut of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone, which premiered in November 2021 (and was known as Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone outside of the U.S.), all eight films are represented in the special.
To wit: other actors appearing in the Harry Potter reunion include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, and Ian Hart, among others. The special also pays tribute to cast members who have sadly passed away since the films last aired, including Richard Harris, Alan Rickman and Helen McCrory.
Per a press release, “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will honor the magic behind the making of the films and the beautiful family created at Warner Bros. Studios London two decades ago. It will also celebrate the unparalleled legacy of the Harry Potter film franchise and its indelible impact on the hearts, minds, and imaginations of families and fans around the world.”
Will J.K. Rowling Be On the 20th Anniversary Harry Potter Special?
While the Harry Potter film series was based on J.K. Rowling’s books of the same name, the author will not be appearing in person on Return to Hogwarts after making a series of transphobic comments online.
While Rowling does not appear in the Harry Potter 20th Anniversary reunion, the special does include archival footage of Rowling from a 2019 interview, along with clips of the cast talking about their reactions to the book series, and what it was like meeting Rowling on set during the filming of the movies.
The Harry Potter reunion special, Return to Hogwarts, is now streaming on HBO Max. Log into HBO Max or sign-up for the streaming service here.