The Harry Potter cast is going back to Hogwarts, without J.K. Rowling

A new special will reunite the cast to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the historic franchise's first film.

Rupert Grint (left), Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe (right) arriving for the world premiere of Har...
Yui Mok - PA Images/PA Images/Getty Images

For a certain slice of Millennials, there is nothing that ushers in the holidays more than the Harry Potter movies. This year’s holiday season will be capped off with a new celebration of the franchise that will also make those same fans feel extremely old: today, 20 years to the day of the first film’s U.S. premiere, HBO Max announced a big cast reunion special that will air this upcoming New Year’s and celebrate the milestone anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

The special, dubbed Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, will, of course, reunite Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, the beloved trio at the center of the films. It will also include the Sorcerer Stone’s director, Chris Columbus, and a host of other cast members that appeared throughout the franchise, including Tom Felton, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Robbie Coltrane, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Imelda Staunton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch and Ian Hart, among others.

According to HBO Max, the special will look back at the film that kicked off one of the most successful movie franchises of all time and “tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new, in-depth interviews and cast conversations.”

It will also apparently see the cast return to the original set of Hogwarts itself, a sight that will likely be as exciting as it is disorienting, particularly in witnessing the starring trio, who have come to define an entire generation’s childhoods, roam the magical grounds. The three have never reunited in an official capacity since the franchise ended in 2011.

Seeing them together again and interacting is enough to tune in. But hopefully, considering the long cast list that is slated to appear, the special doesn’t end up being similar to another recent HBO Max special Friends: The Reunion, a strangely dead parade of quick celebrity cameos and an empty interview with James Corden. At the very least, most fans can be grateful that J.K. Rowling isn’t going to show up.