J.K. Rowling & Warner Bros announce multiple new Harry Potter movies underway

In a surprise announcement earlier today,
Warner Bros and Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling
jointly announced that they have just signed
a multi-picture deal, allowing Warner Bros.
the rights to additional, original films
based in the Harry Potter mythology.

Although details are sketchy when it comes to
just how many films are included in this deal,
we do know that the first upcoming film 
will be very loosely based off the short HP spinoff book 
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them,
and will be set roughly 70 years before the first HP book/film.

It was hinted that, as the film is set only 70 years prior
to the first HP book/film, there may be some subtle Easter eggs
for fans of the Harry Potter series, HP book and/or film fans alike!

The screenplay for the film will be penned by J.K Rowling herself,
and it is presumed she will also act as an Executive Producer
for the film, as she did for all the previous Harry Potter films.
Although their choice of material may strike people as unusual,
(The book was a 60ish page HP creature encyclopedia covering HP books 1-3,)
when J.K. Rowling, who vowed that both the Harry Potter books and films
would end after "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", (The final book/2-part film,)
announces that multiple original Harry Potter films are on their way,
it can only be viewed at as a good thing for everyone all around.

Harry Potter: The Exhibition extends its stay in Japan

Good news for those of you living or visiting Japan!

Harry Potter: The Exhibition, which has been
enjoying a profitable stay in Japan at the moment,
will be now open for an additional two weeks,
until September 29th!

Originally only intended to stay through
June 22nd-September 16th, Warner Bros
has stuck a deal with the Mori Arts Center Gallery,
both parties mutually approving
the exhibition's extended run.

According to the press release:
"Due to popular demand from fans, Mori Arts Center Gallery, Roppongi Hills
is pleased to announce that Harry Potter: The Exhibition will extend its 
Japanese run by two additional weeks.
The exhibition will remain open through Sunday, September 29th, 2013."

So for those of you HP fans planning to visit Japan anyway,
or for those of you living in Japan to begin with,
there's never been a better time to go visit Harry Potter: The Exhibition then now!

Harry Potter gets its first official fan convention, starting Summer 2014!

Starting next Summer, Warner Bros. will be
launching something HP fans have been requesting
for a long time, an official HP fan convention.

Well, it looks like Warner Bros. isn't yet ready
to let go of the Harry Potter fandom anytime soon.

As of next year, Warner Bros, and Universal Orlando,
will be hosting “A Celebration of Harry Potter”
at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the HP theme park
located within Universal Orlando.

The three-day event will will featured a number of Harry Potter events,
from Q&As with talent and filmmakers, as well as numerous other presentations,
including the art of dueling at a wand-master class hosted by Paul Harris,
the choreographer who trained the Harry Potter film cast.

The event will last from Jan. 24-26.

Packages, which include hotel stays at Universal properties,
start at $395 or $675 per person, depending on the bundle type chosen.

It may not be a cheap event, but for the diehard Harry Potter fans
who won't mind spending a little extra cash to hang out with the HP film crew
at the Harry Potter theme park, this event looks like one well worth checking out.

Google Maps creates Diagon Alley virtual tour for HP fans

After Warner Bros. opened up its Harry Potter
themed studio tour in London, Harry Potter fans
throughout the world have been curious to see the
expansive film sets that helped create the
highest-grossing film franchise in history.

For those lucky to be living in the U.K. already,
It's a great deal, if you have the money to go.

For those of us in the United States, or otherwise abroad,
getting there can take a little (who am I kidding, A LOT OF) planning,
as well as no small amount of money.

Well, for now at least, Warner Bros is offering fans a bit of a treat.

Now you can take an exclusive virtual tour of Diagon Alley, free of charge,
simply by using Google Maps' street view mode, and boy, is it worth it.

Although it's a shame that other sets are unavailable for online touring,
it's understandable. Warner Bros. has got to make some money here, after all.
(Setting aside the fact they've collected probably 8 1/2 billion dollars
 from the series, between theater releases, and DVD releases.)

The link to the virtual tour is below. Take a look!

PotterMore announces big plans to expand!

PotterMore appears to be all over the news
these past few weeks. I think it's time for a recap:

*PotterMore plans to expand services:
 This was an interesting newstory,
not just because of it's title, because PotterMore
always seems to be planning new expansions,
but this quote from PotterMore's CEO,
Charlie Redmayne caught my eye:
"As it stands, if you don’t know the books,
you won’t get much out of PotterMore.
What we want to do is open it out for those people who haven’t read the books, or who haven’t seen the films, but perhaps come to it via the LEGO, or the Harry Potter computer games.”
How does PotterMore plan to attract potential viewers using these existing franchises?
I'd be all for embracing LEGO into PotterMore.

Dumb suggestion:Would LEGO PotterMore building sets seem an appropriate marketing tool?
It'll be interesting to see what they end up doing. This update is scheduled for late Summer.

PotterMore addresses complaints centered around poor commentating on its site:
One of the biggest "D'oh" moments on PotterMore is when you post a comment on the site,
anywhere on the site, and it takes anywhere up to an hour to be approved, and then posted.
PotterMore's seemingly overuse of user censorship has been said
to be one of its biggest drawbacks.
Fortunately, the PotterMore development team has, at last, you could say,
taken an interest in the problem, quickly addressed it, and upgraded the entire
user commentating system, which greatly speeds up the comment approval process:
"We recently improved the performance of commenting across the site.
As a result you should now see your posts appear almost immediately."

So? What do you think? Does this perk your curiosity?
Will PotterMore change the game, and gain the loyalty of a whole different audience?
We'll just have to hold our breath and find out...

(Don't seriously try to hold your breath that long.
PotterMore won't move THAT quickly. Cheers!)