For Harry Potter fans, the question of the week seems to be, “Is Daniel Radcliffe crazy? Or crazy like a fox?” Now that Scholastic has announced that the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is being published on July 21 (161 days and counting!), one week after the fifth movie hits theaters, that makes three separate Radcliffe-related news bombs in seven days. First, on Sunday, HBO aired an episode of Ricky Gervais’ Extras that hilariously featured the 17-year-old British actor as a hypersexualized version of himself, leading to the fall-out-of-your-chair-funny moment where he asks Dame Diana Rigg if he could have his “prophylactic” back. A day later, several shirtless publicity pics of the upcoming (and of age, people!) Equus star appeared online and naturally spread like crazyfire in the blogosphere. Now, we’re finally getting word of the date when we find out if HP lives or joins the ‘rents in the great wizarding beyond. Quite a coincidence, no?
If Radcliffe’s intent was to shake up his image, clearly he’s succeeded. Personally, I think the guy’s an actor and needs to lay the foundation for his post-Potter life. It’s not like he’s running around drunk, nude, and high through the streets of London. He’s starring in a serious and admittedly adult play opposite a Tony-winning actor—the brilliant Richard Griffiths, who interestingly enough, plays his Uncle Vernon Dursley in the Potter series. And there’s no way he or his parents wouldn’t have anticipated the reaction he’s received this week. Either way, the actor (and his happy trail) are surely making the decision-makers at Scholastic nervous. Does anyone else think the news about the final HP book release date may have been part of a not-so-crazy conspiracy to help save Radcliffe’s image and keep him a magical child for just a bit longer?