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Whether you loved the way it neatly wrapped things up or hated the cheesy fairy tale ending it gave the series, the epilogue to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been, for the most part, the only real glimpse that fans got at the lives of Harry, Ron, and Hermione after their time at Hogwarts concluded. Though many have been able to get their fix of the Wizarding World through the snippets that J.K. Rowling has posted on Pottermore, she's been silent on the fate of the Golden Trio and the rest of Dumbledore's Army... until Tuesday morning, that is. In honor of the Quidditch World Cup — which conveniently coincides with the muggle world's World Cup — the author has released a series of short stories and mock articles about the game, its history, and now its famous spectators.
But while the always reliable Rita Skeeter has filled us in on what Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny have been up to in the years since school (working as an Auror, helping George run Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, working up the ranks in the Ministry, and becoming a Quidditch reporter, respectively), there are still so many more characters whose fates were not addressed. In fact, Rita's article brings up more questions than answers, since everything it reveals leaves us wanting to know more about the Wizarding World. On the off chance that Rowling is looking for inspiration for another Pottermore update, we'd recommend she start by tackling some of these burning questions:
Where’s Draco Malfoy? We don’t expect Draco to be hanging out with Dumbledore’s Army any more now than he did when they were all at Hogwarts, but does Rowling really expect us to believe that he would pass up any opportunity to swan around a VIP area and brag about his success, real or exaggerated? Surely, if everyone were gathering at the World Cup, he would be there, flanked by Crabbe and Goyle and ready to start a fight, just as he always was. Draco Malfoy never shies away from a potential spotlight.
Did Lee Jordan Ever Make It as a Quidditch Announcer? Perhaps the greatest sports announcers – real or fictional – of all time, Lee Jordan had a gift for adding color and sass to even the most boring of calls, and even if Professor McGonagall didn’t appreciate his admittedly biased reporting, readers certainly did. It’s hard to imagine a career that suits the Weasley twins’ former partner-in-crime better.
How Does Rita Have Trouble Telling the Weasley Boys Apart? They might all have red hair, freckles and hand-me-down clothes, but all of the Weasley boys are distinct entities, and if she’s already got Ron and Bill down, it shouldn’t be too difficult for her to figure out the other three. Here’s a cheat sheet: if he looks self-important, slightly nerdy, and wears glasses, it’s Percy; if he’s ruggedly handsome and desert-worn, it’s Charlie, and if he has one ear, is constantly joking around and seems like there should be another one of him standing right there, it’s George.
Has Luna Mellowed Out Since School? Rita seems intrigued by Luna’s World Cup outfit, but we’re a little disappointed by it. What happened to the elaborate roaring lion’s head she broke out for a Gryffindor vs. Slytherin match in the sixth book? Where are her radish earrings or her Spectrespecs or her colorful shoes? This is the tamest Luna costume we’ve seen, and it makes us a bit worried that she’s lost some of her unique, spacey edge.
What Did Hannah Abbott Do Before She Married Neville? The epilogue revealed a bit about what the other potential Boy Who Lived has been up to since school has ended, but we know next to nothing about the new Mrs. Longbottom. What were her school years like? What did she get her OWLs in? How did she and Neville meet and fall in love? How long have they been married? What did she do for work before deciding to become a Healer and move to Hogwarts with Neville? Forget the Marauders; we want to hear a lot more about Neville and Hannah.
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Where’s Angelina Johnson? There’s no way that the former Gryffindor Captain would let her husband George Weasley attend the Quidditch World Cup without her. After all, this is the one person who was as obsessed with the sport as Oliver Wood, who captained the team with a drive and determination that would have made even her predecessor request a day off. The only possibly explanation, therefore, is that she’s a Chaser on the English National Team and was getting ready for the match at the time Rita observed her friends.
Is Hagrid Still Working at Hogwarts? That mention of Neville and Hannah hoping to move to the school’s grounds reminded us of the only non-dormitory living quarters we’ve seen: Hagrid’s hut. So, naturally, we’re curious as to what the Wizarding World’s foremost foster parent to dangerous animals is up to now. Is he still working as the Keeper of the Keys and Grounds? Did he and Madame Maxime ever manage to work things out? Did he ever get his pet dragon? For the sake of everyone else on the Hogwarts grounds, we’re hoping the answer to that last one is still “no.”
Is Professor McGonagall Still Headmaster? She was, after all, the natural successor to Dumbledore. And more importantly, is she still the toughest, kindest, smartest, most sensible and admirable woman in the Wizarding World? Actually, we can just answer that one ourselves. She definitely is.
Who’s the Current Minister of Magic? We know that the Department of Magical Transportation falls under Percy’s jurisdiction, and that Hermione is, as expected, quickly working her way up the ranks at the Ministry, and is currently the Deputy Head of Magical Law Enforcement. But what we don’t know is who Hermione would potentially be outsing as Minister of Magic, should she ascend to the position. Last we heard, it was Kingsley Shacklebolt, but knowing the Wizarding World as well as we do, it’s entirely possible that power has changed hands since then.
Who Is Still Hiring Rita Skeeter as a Writer? Was the Daily Prophet so desperate for subscriptions that they kept her on? Or does the Wizarding World have its own version of TMZ, where Rita can write and publish all of the gossip her QuickQuotesQuill can possibly come up with? Is there a publication out there that could keep up with the sheer number of slander lawsuits she’s probably had filed against her?
Charlie Weasley Is Basically the Wizarding World’s Equivalent of George Clooney, Right? Handsome bachelor, more focused on his glamorous job than his love life, unlikely to settle down any time soon, but making people swoon everywhere he goes? All Charlie needs is a villa in Italy, and they’d be the exact same person.
Actor Idris Elba has made his directorial debut with a new music video as part of a project from Pepsi celebrating the world of soccer ahead of the 2014 World Cup. The Thor star also wrote the screenplay for the six-minute film, titled Unstoppable, which chronicles international soccer during the 1970s.
The video is accompanied by a track recorded by Dutch DJ R3HAB and singer Eva Simons, and Elba insists it will be a tune that will become popular at the World Cup in Brazil.
He explains, "When I first heard the song I really loved the idea of being unstoppable... it's self belief, it's someone that just says, 'Guess what? I can do anything I want to do'."
The film is part of drinks giant Pepsi MAX's Beats of the Beautiful Game album, a collection of 11 tracks by artists such as Kelly Rowland, Rita Ora and Janelle Monae and Timbaland and accompanied by films directed by Spike Lee and Diego Luna.
The album will be released on 10 June (14), two days before the World Cup kick-off.
Stars including Kelly Rowland, Idris Elba and Rita Ora have come together for a new music and film project celebrating the world of soccer ahead of the sport's 2014 World Cup.
Bosses at drinks giant Pepsi MAX have issued an album entitled Beats of the Beautiful Game, with the likes of Rowland, Ora, Janelle Monae and Timbaland performing tracks which capture the spirit of the sport. Alongside the music, moviemakers such as Elba, Diego Luna and Spike Lee will come up with short films to accompany the tracks.
Rowland, whose The Game tune is accompanied by a movie by Lee, says, "I was immediately attracted to 'The Game' because I can identify with its theme of overcoming challenges and finding your voice. It's a very important message and I'm honoured to partner with Pepsi MAX on a project that brings the worlds of music, sports and film together. As an artist - and a huge film and sports fan - it's been an incredible experience."
The album will be released on 10 June (14), two days ahead of the start of the soccer World Cup in Brazil.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, and Christina Applegate will star in Book of Life, an animated feature from the twisted mind of Guillermo del Toro.
Jorge Gutierrez is directing Book of Life, which centers around Manolo, a young man who embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds, where he must brave his biggest fears.
The cast also includes Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo, Ron Perlman (duh!), and a bevy of actors including Cheech Marin, Hector Elizondo, Placido Domingo, and Ana de la Reguera. Given the cast and the information released about the film, it seems that the feature is going to have a rich Latin flair. It is also being reported that the film will offer a fresh take on current pop songs.
Del Toro is known for his ability to create impressive and imaginative visuals with gothic undertones. We’re excited to see what a visionary director can do with a full-length animated movie, especially after watching his creepy Simpsons opener that still has us checking under the couch for monsters. Even though del Toro is only producing, we're positive that his vision and influence will spill into all aspects of production.
Harry Potter star Evanna Lynch is to play illusionist Harry Houdini's wife in a new Dublin, Ireland play. The actress, who played Luna Lovegood in the Potter movie franchise, will team up with British actors Jamie Nichols and Stuart Brennan onstage at the Gaiety Theatre next month (Oct13).
The 22 year old tells the Irish Independent that it will be a "strange" making her stage debut at a theatre she has always loved.
She says, "Theatre was always something that's been in the back of my mind and my parents were really keen for me to do it; so the little girl in me just wants to make them happy. I've been to the Gaiety plenty of times, since I was five years of age, so it will be a bit strange to be up there, on the other side of things, actually on stage. But I'm looking forward to it and it's definitely something I'd like to do more of."
New mum Penelope Cruz has shown off her post-baby body by going topless during a vacation in the French island of Corsica. The Volver beauty was photographed donning a string bikini as she hit the beach earlier this month (Sep13), displaying no signs of the pregnancy pounds she had gained before the birth of her second child, daughter Luna, in July (13).
However, the Spanish actress appeared unconcerned by the paparazzi presence as she later stripped off to go for a topless dip in the Mediterranean Sea with her husband Javier Bardem and their two-year-old son, Leo.
Actress Eva Longoria was honoured for her contribution to the Latino community at the Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony on Thursday night (05Sep13). The Desperate Housewives star was handed the Community Service Award during the prizegiving at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Longoria was presented with a medal, which she proudly displayed on a ribbon around her neck. She was given the award for her charity work and activism.
Other honourees at the event included actor Diego Luna, Mexican singer Lucero and musicians Los Tigres Del Norte.
Mexican actor Diego Luna signed up to star in director Neill Blomkamp's new sci-fi blockbuster Elysium without even reading the script. The Y Tu Mama Tambien star admits he was so excited to land the opportunity to work with the District 9 filmmaker, he didn't hesitate to accept the role of Julio alongside leading man Matt Damon.
He tells NBCLatino.com, "My agent told me to never do that again - it's a good idea to read the script before you say, 'yes'. But I am a huge fan of Neill's work, and the chance to work with a young guy who has so much to say and is so clear about his vision was amazing."
Neill Blomkamp had a good story in mind when he was brewing up Elysium. Not a particularly new or unique story — the utopia/wasteland dichotomy, the race-to-paradise agenda are themes that have, historically, made themselves quite cozy in science fiction films and literature. But classic doesn't mean overdone. Familiar doesn't necessitate unoriginal. Elysium, from the get-go, had promise. It just doesn't seem to have ever figured out what it wanted to be.
At the forefront of the picture, likely abetted by our preconceived notions of what a Blomkamp movie is destined to be, Elysium has the feel of a District 9. It's gritty, naturalistic, earnest. Los Angeles circa 2154 even looks like South Africa (or at least Hollywood's South Africa). But pretty quickly into the film, things take a turn. A turn for the funny. As Max, star Matt Damon — a hard-working laborer, ex-con, and former foster child who holds strong to his affection for fellow orphan and childhood companion Frey (Alice Braga) — trades rejoinders with violent robot cops, grows hot-headed in arguments with automated civil servants, and laments no shortage of brushes with the criminal underbelly of Earth's future. Now, we're in Total Recall territory. Pulp sci-fi. The fun stuff.
But the evolution does not halt there. As Damon's quest to escape the treacheries of his decaying city and ascend to the promised land in the sky (literally, it's a city on a space station) Elysium, we shift gears once more toward summer blockbuster. Steadily escalating stakes, run-ins with nameless lackeys, that "one last shot" at the big victory, it's all the stuff of the genre's biggest. Everything from Star Wars to Pacific Rim. And when Elysium reaches this plateau, with its central villain — a rogue officer named Kruger (Sharlto Copley) — spouting the usual slew of cliché one liners, we might admittedly long for the naturalism of the film's first act, or the kooky tone of its second. But this chapter is when the excitement sets in: we're still having fun, just for different reasons.
Disjointed no doubt, Elysium does suffer a bit from its identity crisis. Never quite sure how exactly to connect with the picture, we're kept from doing so unabashedly. But again, the victory of this film is its joyfulness — a surprising feat for the director who brought us the bleak-as-all-hell District 9. As a man trying to save his own life, Damon isn't a martyr but an adventurer. L.A. isn't an oppressed wasteland, but a jungle. And Elysium? A tyrannical regime, sure, but a Kubrickian dream. With so much weight so ostensibly inherent in each of the story's facets, we're almost relieved to see how gleefully the movie is willing to play with them. So even when we say goodbye to some of the movie's gravity, its grit, its originality, we welcome in the fun. With open arms.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow hollywood.com on Twitter @hollywood_com
More:Matt Damon Talks 'Elysium' and 'Avatar' ConnectionThe Funny Side of 'Elysium'Neill Blomkamp Is Making a Comedy
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"There's like 47 million people speak Spanish today and we like having sex, so multiply that by eight (million) in 10 years and another eight in another 10 years..." Mexican movie star Diego Luna urges Americans to learn to speak Spanish or get left behind.