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Pottermore separates from Sony to start next stage of development

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Image courtesy of Pottermore

Pottermore has announced that they have ended their “successful relationship” with their “primary commercial partner,” Sony.

Unexpectedly, Pottermore announced the severance of ties with its founding partner in a press release this week.

On our part, we never would have expected this, considering the crucial role Sony has played in Pottermore’s development since its conception. The only reasoning we can gather is that Pottermore is ready to start an independent stage of their development, which is likely to entail a broadening expansion.

Whether Sony was holding Pottermore back from independence and expansion is unknown. The press release left no window into the reasons behind the separation, only stating that the relationship has “ended” and that the company is prepared to embark on their next phase of development.

You can read the CEO of Pottermore’s statements below; Sony has yet to make a statement.

Updated: Fansite SnitchSeeker reached out to Sony and Pottermore, and their responses are below, respectively.

A spokesperson from Pottermore told SnitchSeeker:

We are looking to explore new partnerships that will continue to help to develop the user experience in the areas of technology, creativity and commerce.

A rep from Sony spoke to SnitchSeeker about how the split would affect the site and products from the partnership. Their statement is below:

We will continue to sell our existing inventory of Wonderbook: Book of Spells and Wonderbook: Book of Potions, but will not produce any additional inventory. Anyone who owns Wonderbook will continue to receive customer service from Sony Computer Entertainment. Additionally, Pottermore at PlayStation Home will remain active for the foreseeable future and we will continue to provide customer support to its users.

Here is the full press release, issued Wednesday:

LONDON, ENGLAND, April 9, 2014 — Pottermore, the digital initiative from author J.K. Rowling devoted to the world of Harry Potter, today reported the conclusion of its successful relationship with its primary commercial partner Sony.

Pottermore.com launched in 2012 and has garnered millions of registered users. Sony was involved in the site’s development, and provided both commercial and creative support.

“After working together successfully, our relationship with Sony has ended,” said Susan L. Jurevics, CEO, Pottermore. “The partnership helped create a popular and robust digital experience for Harry Potter fans around the world. Pottermore is extremely well – positioned to build upon its success and enter its next phase in its development both creatively and commercially.”

As always, we will keep you updated with news if any is released.

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Casting call for ‘The Casual Vacancy’ TV miniseries

TCV Book coverThis week, a casting call was put out for The Casual Vacancy television miniseries, which will be filmed this summer from June to August in the UK.

Unfortunately, the casting call is now closed (it was only discovered by fansites today), but if you’d like to read it, we’ve included it below.

Good luck to all who applied!

——–

Full announcement from Theater Bristol:

Casting Director Lucy Bevan (Pirates of The CaribbeanNanny McPhee ReturnsSnow White and the Huntsman) is searching for young actors to play a number of roles in new BBC and HBO television series, The Casual Vacancy, based on a novel by JK ROWLING.

Filming from 16 June through to the end of August, The Casual Vacancy is to be directed by Jonny Campbell (ShamelessEric & Ernie), with Ruth Kenley-Letts producing. The book is adapted by Sarah Phelps.

If you are interested in any of the roles below, please email emmagunnery@gmail.com with your name, age, headshot and details of any availability conflicts, as well as information of any previous acting experience by 4pm Wednesday, 9th April.

Fats (Male)

15 – 16. Thin, sallow face. Funny, laconic and nonchalant. Best friends with ARF. Disrespectful of what he sees as loser parents. Pleased with himself, smokes weed. Light West Country accent.

Playing age – 15 – 16

Appearance – White

Arf (Male)

15-16. Has a bad complexion, uncomfortable about the way he looks. Suffers at the hands of his horrible father. Keeps his pain to himself. Devotedly in love with beautiful GAIA. Light West Country accent.

Playing age – 15 – 16

Appearance – White

Paul (Male)

12. Younger brother of ARF. Terrified of his father, and always stands to attention when he comes into the room. Arf looks after him when their father is bullying him. Light West Country accent.

Playing age – 12

Appearance – White

Krystal (Female)

15/16. Cocky, all swagger, sass and a foul mouth. She also has the ability to melt your heart. Krystal is brave and a fighter; she is the sole carer of her heroin addict mum (Terri) and her younger brother Robbie (aged 5). A terrible fate awaits Krystal. Light West Country accent.

Playing age – 15-16

Appearance – White

Reward for fifth Pottermore House Cup announced

Briefly:

Ravenclaw House will receive early access to the final installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in reward for winning the fifth Pottermore House Cup, the Insider announced Friday.

As always, the House to receive early access to new chapters can explore them 24 hours before everyone else. Please note that they did not announced a release date yet for this next installment.

The Pottermore team has also created background images for Ravenclaw to celebrate their first win. You can download the background images for your laptop/desktop, smartphone or tablet at the Pottermore Insider.

Congratulations to Ravenclaw again for winning the House Cup!

Copyright of Pottermore

Bloomsbury to publish ‘J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography’

via GuardianBloomsbury will be releasing a new comprehensive bibliography of J.K. Rowling’s writing, J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography, this year.

J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography will be published on April 12, 2014 in the UK, and December 18 in the US, and is written by Philip A. Errington, the Director for Children’s Books within the Department of Printed Books and Manuscripts at Sotheby’s. The book is 448 pages long, and Amazon.com lists it on their website for $114. It will be published by Bloomsbury Academic, so we take this as being more of a textbook than anything.

Here’s the synopsis, via Amazon.com:

This is the definitive bibliography of the writings of J. K. Rowling. In addition to complete bibliographic details of all her books, pamphlets, original contributions to published works and broadcasts, there is detailed information on Rowling at auction, on significant reviews and on scholarly work on Rowling. This will be the first source on Rowling consulted by textual scholars, book collectors, auction houses, critics and researchers. The aim of the book is to record fact and dispel rumour on the fascinating publishing history of the Harry Potter series.

J.K. Rowling and Bloomsbury have not announced anything about the book formally, but we expect an announcement of some sort soon. We’ll be sure to keep you updated with the latest, so be sure to return for the latest details.

$114 is a lot of money — Will you be purchasing J.K. Rowling: A Bibliography? Tell us in the comments below!

 

 

Pottermore announces winner of the fifth House Cup…

phc5As planned, on Sunday Pottermore announced the winner of the fifth House Cup competition.

And the winner is… Ravenclaw! Congratulations Eagles on a hard-earned win!

Here are the final standings:

1st Place: Ravenclaw - 28,048,578 points

2nd Place: Slytherin - 27,795,479 points

3rd Place: Hufflepuff - 27,350,412 points

4th Place: Gryffindor - 27,299,570 points

This is Ravenclaw House’s first win, and it was a huge imrpovement, as they received last place in the previous tournament. Slytherin House came in second place for the third time, non consecutively, and Hufflepuff received second. This is the first time Gryffindor has placed fourth, but the gap between 3rd and 4th place was the smallest.

Pottermore has transformed the previously purple Great Hall banners into a rich royal blue, in honor of Ravenclaw winning the cup, . You can see how the Great Hall looks in the picture above.

Usually, winners of the House Cup receive a prize in reward, but there has been no word yet on what that prize will be for Ravenclaw. We suspect it will be the next installment of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or even a Quidditch game, which is possible considering all the unpredictable news about the World Cup being released from J.K. Rowling. If any news is released about the prize for the Cup, we’ll be sure to bring it to you, so check back with Pottermore News for any updates.

As always, the announcement of a House Cup winner marks the start of the next competition. Good luck to all the houses in the sixth House Cup! (Can you believe it — number six?!)

‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series planned to be a trilogy

In a new interview with the New York TimesWarner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed that three movies are planned for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series.

Announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be scripted by the Harry Potter author herself, J.K. Rowling. The series will be based off of Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name, and will be set about seventy years before the Harry Potter books, in New York.

This week, we learned more about the film project from Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s interview with the New York Times, including that the series will be a trilogy.

From the article:

…His deft touch became clear to Hollywood’s creative community last September. That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

J.K. Rowling was also quoted in the article about Tsujihara’s convincing to get her to sign on to the films.

Convincing the famously independent Ms. Rowling to dive back into film was a coup. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Ms. Rowling said in response to emailed questions. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”

She added, “When Kevin got the top job, he brought a new energy, which rubbed off. He’s a very engaging person, thoughtful and funny.”

No news on casting or a release date have been announced yet for the project, but we’ll keep you up with the latest.

Pottermore releases part two of Quidditch World Cup entry

Courtesy of Pottermore

Courtesy of Pottermore

Today, Pottermore released part two of J.K. Rowling’s two-part entry on the Quidditch World Cup, titled “Quidditch World Cup (1990-2014)”.

In the entry, the Harry Potter author synopsizes every Quidditch World Cup that has taken place from 1990,and reveals details about the upcoming 2014 competition, which will take place next month.

From the press release:

In ‘History of the Quidditch World Cup’ part two, ‘Quidditch World Cup (1990-2014)’, we can learn:

  • Which small country managed to beat China in a furiously contested match lasting 3 days
  • Which country’s team almost refused to play when their team mascots — a kind of African house-elf called a Yumboe — were all arrested outside the stadium
  • Which ‘Seeker’ had a short-lived stint as Burkina Faso’s Minister for Magic following his team’s win
  • Which Scottish player famously lambasted his hereditary short fingers for missing the Snitch in the 1990 Canada-Scotland final

And we find out key information about the 2014 Quidditch World Cup:

  • Where this year’s Quidditch World Cup will be held (because of the International Statute of Secrecy, venues are usually remote moors, deserts or deserted islands)

  • The full line-up of the sixteen countries competing, with J.K. Rowling’s pre-tournament predictions and insider tips

  • Which infamous player has come out of retirement to play in the Quidditch Wold Cup 2014 (he plays a big part in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Visit ‘The Golden Stadium’ Moment in Chapter 8 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Pottermore.com to read “Quidditch World Cup (1990-2014)

Last week, Pottermore published part one of this entry, the “History of the Quidditch World Cup,” which gave an insight into the historical background of the fictional competition, including how it started, rules and regulations of the games, and infamous World Cups. You can read the entry here.

Did you like the World Cup entries? Do you want to see more like these from J.K. Rowling? Tell us in the comments below!

Bloomsbury to Release New ‘Harry Potter’ Children’s Edition Novels

normal_Harry_Potter_Philosopher_s_Stone_Jonny_DuddleFollowing the recent announcement on publishing fully illustrated editions of the Harry Potter series, Bloomsbury announced yesterday they will be releasing revamped editions of the Harry Potter novels on September 1 with all new illustrations.

According to the press release, these new editions will be “reset to create a child-friendly reading experience for a new generation of readers,” but there was no explanation of what this could entail. However, we do know that they will feature completely redesigned front cover, back cover, and spine artwork and that all of the titles will contain highlights from Pottermore.

For the thrilling task of reinventing the world of Harry Potter for a new audience, Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling chose the award-winning Jonny Duddle.

On being selected, Duddle stated, “I’m hugely excited to work my way through the wonderful books. I couldn’t have asked for more enjoyable subject matter. It’s exciting, daunting, and I feel the weight of responsibility, and I’m just hoping that my illustrations faithfully reflect the characters and the world created by J.K. Rowling.” Duddle is known for such works as The Pirate Cruncher and The Pirates Next Door picture books, which are winner of the Waterstone’s Children’s Prize and shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, respectively, and his work has also appeared in Aardman films and Terry Pratchett novels.

Alongside the new hardback and softback Harry Potter novels, Pottermore will publish eBooks of all of the editions, with the new artwork, concurrently. Bloomsbury has also teamed up with Pottermore to show how much, much more can be discovered about the world of Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling on Pottermore.com. This information will be available to readers in the back of the new Harry Potter children’s editions.

Stay tuned to Pottermore News for more exciting Harry Potter news after next month’s London Book Fair!

Tell us below: What do you think about this re-mastering of the Harry Potter series for a new generation? How do you think these new editions will compare to the seven novels we know and love?

Image courtesy of SnitchSeeker

Pottermore introduces Rematch Badge ahead of House Cup competition

The Rematch Badge

The Rematch Badge

Ahead of the Pottermore House Cup at the end of the month, Pottermore has introduced a new ‘Rematch Badge’.

From the Pottermore Insider:

The latest Pottermore Badge – the Rematch Badge – will be rewarded to users who, despite losing a duel, are then able to defeat their adversary in a rematch – added motivation for those who are already duelling determinedly to help their house achieve victory in the upcoming House Cup Championship.

Remember, the fifth Pottermore House Cup will be awarded to the winning house on March 30. House Pride Week is next week, and Pottermore is encouraging community members to tweet and submit videos showing their House Pride. Learn more about how to do this here.

So — will it be Gryffindor? Slytherin? Hufflepuff? or Ravenclaw? We’ll see at the end of the month… In the meantime, good luck to all houses!

J.K. Rowling publishes ‘History of Quidditch World Cup’ entry on Pottermore

Courtesy of Pottermore

Courtesy of Pottermore

Today, J.K. Rowling published the first part of a 2,400-word entry, ‘History of the Quidditch World Cup’ on Pottermore.com.

In the entry, written by the Harry Potter author in the last month (x), readers will “discover new information about how the Quidditch World Cup works, some of its more unusual rules and regulations, and the most infamous tournaments in its history.”

Readers will learn the story behind the tournament no one remembers, or the attack on the killer forest, in addition to never-before-revealed information the World Cup’s rules and rankings system and controversies surrounding the games.

Visit ‘The Campsite’ Moment in Chapter 7 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to read “History of the Quidditch World Cup.”

J.K. Rowling is releasing this new information now to reward fans for their support in the Scottish rugby team. Fans tweeted the hashtag #wizards4scottishrugby and retweeted the author’s promise to release this information on the Quidditch World Cup.

All of this is in conjunction with the Scottish rugby team’s fight to win the Six Nations Championship. Last month, the author revealed information about wizards’ unusual support towards for Scotland Rugby in an entry on Pottermore – which you can read here on Pottermore.com.

Also, the author tweeted today, promising to “tweet about things other than rugby from now on…” Are you as excited as we are?

“History of the Quidditch World Cup” and “Scottish Rugby” are only two of the more than fifty exclusive content entries written by J.K. Rowling for Pottermore. “History of the Quidditch World Cup” is now one of the most extensive entries on the site.

Pottermore also sent out an amusing in-universe press release in which they referred to Rowling (the character) as a “world authority on Quidditch,” who has been writing about the sport “since 1990,” which is coincidentally the year the real J.K. Rowling got the idea for the Harry Potter books. You can read the press release here.

Part two of the entry will be published next week on Friday March 21, and will detail “amusing recaps of Quidditch World Cup games from 1994 through to the upcoming 2014 World Cup.” We’ll be sure to update you once it is posted.

What do you think of the entry? Are you excited for part two? Tell us in the comments below!

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