See the stars of Harry Potter return to their old stomping grounds for the Sorcerer's Stone anniversary special.
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Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion

Like the cool graduates returning to their alma mater over winter break to visit their teachers and get high in the senior parking lot, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint have returned to Hogwarts — minus the getting high part.

The famous trio — who played Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley, respectively in the wizarding world films — came together to look back on their onscreen magical academia for an anniversary special premiering on HBO Max Jan. 1, and the streaming platform debuted the first trailer for it last Wednesday.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts marks the two-decade celebration of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, the film based on author J.K. Rowling's multimedia franchise kick-starter that hit theaters on Nov. 14, 2001.

Radcliffe, Watson, and Weasley didn't come alone. Many stars from across the franchise are featured in the special, including Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James Phelps (Fred Weasley), Oliver Phelps (George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom), and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).

The footage is just a snippet of all the tears that will be shed by the cast as they reunite and reminisce about days past, starting with the first glimpse of Watson embracing Felton in a hug.

"It feels like no time has passed and loads of time has passed," Watson says in voiceover.

"The thing that scared me the most was the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life was done," Radcliffe mentions. "And there's something so joyous about seeing everyone and being like, it wasn't though."

But leave it to the man behind Ronald Weasley to express the most touching sentiment to his longtime costars Radcliffe and Watson. "We're family," Grint says. "We'll always be part of each other's lives."

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion
Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and Daniel Radcliffe on 'Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts'
| Credit: HBO Max

On the creative side, producer David Heyman and filmmakers Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell, and David Yates will participate in the reunion. HBO Max also confirms that the special will include comments from Rowling, which points to current strange times for Harry Potter fandom.

Rowling continues to voice sentiments that have been deemed as anti-trans through essays and social media. Various actors from the Potter franchise, as well as many Potter fan sites have condemned those sentiments.

Meanwhile, the Fantastic Beasts movies, co-written and produced by Rowling, continue on after replacing Johnny Depp with Mads Mikkelsen as dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald. Depp had parted ways with the franchise after losing his libel lawsuit against British newspaper The Sun, which he had sued for claiming he assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard.

Despite these troubles, there exists a deep love for the stories of Harry Potter, which cinematically began 20 years ago with that first movie. And it's thanks, in part, to the actors who brought those stories to life.

Watch the Return to Hogwarts trailer above.

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Related content:

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Reunion
Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts (TV special)

The cast and crew of the 'Harry Potter' movies reunite 20 years after the first film to look back on the making of a blockbuster franchise.

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  • TV Show
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  • HBO Max

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