Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Shall we kick it off with some Harry Potter'ing?

EDITOR'S NOTE: SO....SHALL WE JUMP-START IT ALL WITH A SMATTERING OF HARRY POTTER NEWS?

YES!

GOF DVD coming March 7th!


Warner Brothers Home Video has today confirmed that Goblet of Fire will be released to DVD on March 7th.EDITOR'S NOTE: VERY QUICK, HUH?! LIFE IS GOOD. (4-FLICK MARATHON AT MY HOUSE ON THE 8TH?) The film will be available as a single-disc, a two-disc special edition, and as part of a collector's set of the first four films.

Retail prices are set as $19.95 for the single-disc, $22.95 for the double-disc and $73.92 for the four film set. A PSP version will also be released, priced at $22.95.

DVD features include:
* Additional Scenes
* An interview with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson
* Cast and Crew Interviews
* Preparing for the Yule Ball featurette
* Triwizard Tournament Challenges (Dragon, Lake and Maze)
* Triwizard Tournament and Voldemort features
* DVD-ROM: Hogwarts Timeline, Magical Trading Cards and Game Demo

GOF High-Def DVD release date
Warner Bros has announced that the Goblet of Fire High-Definition DVD will be released on April 11th. These special discs will only play in HD-DVD Players and HD Television sets. EDITOR'S NOTE: HMMM.... I KNOW MY TV IS HD. I THINK MY DVD IS TOO? (NUTRASWEET KICKING IN AGAIN; CAN'T REMEMBER). I WONDER IF THE HD VERSION HAS ALL THE EXTRAS (THAT I NEVER HAVE TIME TO WATCH). WELL, MAYBE THE MARATHON AT MY HOUSE IS IN APRIL......

Scans from 'Tatler' interview with Jo
We now have scans from Tatler magazine's brand-new interview with JK Rowling. The article also features some stunning new photos of the author.







'There would be so much to tell her...'
By Geordie Greig
A tear slowly trickles down J K Rowling's cheek. She is sitting in her large and comfortable drawing room in the Morningside area of Edinburgh, recalling the most traumatising moment of her life.

It was the day her mother, Anne, died aged 45 after a 10-year battle against multiple sclerosis.

A small part of her agony is that her mother never knew she was writing Harry Potter, let alone that she would become the most successful author on earth.

"The night she died I had been staying with my boyfriend's family, the first time I had ever spent Christmas away from home. I had gone to bed early, ostensibly to watch The Man Who Would Be King, but instead I started writing.

"So I know I was writing Harry Potter at the moment my mother died. I had never told her about Harry Potter.

"Dad called me at seven o'clock the next morning and I just knew what had happened before he spoke. As I ran downstairs, I had that kind of white noise panic in my head but could not grasp the enormity of my mother having died."

It was New Year's Day 1991 and Joanne Rowling, then 25, and her boyfriend piled into his car and drove to her parents' home in Wales.

"I was alternately a wreck and then in total denial. At some point on the car journey, I can remember thinking: 'Let's pretend it hasn't happened,' because that was a way to get through the next 10 minutes."

Rowling is startled by her tears. She is naturally reserved and very private. She is also very ordered and in control. She dabs a proffered napkin to her eyes and pauses before continuing:

"Barely a day goes by when I do not think of her. There would be so much to tell her, impossibly much." EDITOR'S NOTE: AS SOMEONE VERY CLOSE TO HER MOM, I CAN SO VERY MUCH FEEL A SMALL PART OF THE PAIN SHE MUST EXPERIENCE, WONDERING IF HER MOM KNOWS HOW FAR SHE'S COME, AND NOT ABLE TO SHARE IT ALL DAY-TO-DAY. SNIFFLE.

A priority in her life now is to raise funds for research into MS, which confined her mother to a wheelchair in her final days.

"She was so young and so fit. To have your body in rebellion against you is a dreadful thing to witness, let alone suffer," says Rowling, now patron of the MS Society Scotland.

On March 17, she will host a fundraising masked ball at Stirling Castle; one of the many attractions will be a treasure hunt with clues set by her.

Her mother's condition forged her own psychological strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as leading her to make Harry Potter suffer the death of his parents.

Her orphaned schoolboy with his trademark specs has become one of the most successful characters in children's literature, selling 300 million books in 63 countries; some of the Harry Potter books have sold three million copies within 48 hours of going on sale.

Death is the key to understanding J K Rowling. Her greatest fear - and she is completely unhesitant about this - is of someone she loves dying.

"My books are largely about death. They open with the death of Harry's parents. There is Voldemort's obsession with conquering death and his quest for immortality at any price, the goal of anyone with magic.

"I so understand why Voldemort wants to conquer death. We're all frightened of it."


In the seventh and final Harry Potter book, there will be deaths of both goodies and baddies. EDITOR'S NOTE: OH DEAR OH DEAR!

She was talking to her husband, Neil, recently, after she had just written the death of one particular character.

"He shuddered. 'Oh don't do that,' he said to me, but of course I did."

And with one swirl of her pen, millions of children will weep or rejoice. Countless Harry Potter websites try to predict what will happen in the final book.

"Neil is the only person I can talk to about what happens because he instantly forgets," she says, laughing. EDITOR'S NOTE: AIN'T NUTRASWEET GRAND?!

Nothing about her life after Harry has ever been the same. She has met the Queen twice:

"My mother would have loved for me to have phoned to say I was getting the OBE but you mustn't tell the neighbours. Can you imagine! That would have been so hard for her."

Nelson Mandela invited her to South Africa:

"Sadly, I had to say no, because I was pregnant."

More money than she can spend rolls in - estimates have topped £500 million, with the Sunday Times Rich List valuing her at£435 million in 2004; she has frequently denied the figures.

This modest, gentle woman, born in Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire, cannot really believe she is as famous as Walt Disney was in his day.

"I cannot really emphasise how unconnected I was when all this happened to me.

"I was totally obscure and no one I knew knew anyone famous. So this world was very alien to me and I was scared rigid."

But you know that your PA could arrange a meeting for you with anyone in the world?

"When you say that to me, I just find it freakish. I'm not being disingenuous, I'm not trying to be modest, but it still puzzles me and I'm very wary of it."

Between 800 and 1,000 letters arrive every week; all are answered.

She has endured death threats, stalkers, begging letters and prying paparazzi. On Mauritius, she was "long-lensed" in her bikini. Having her daughter, Jessica, in the papers is what really freaked her out; she had always tried to keep her out of the press.

It's all a long way from her single parent days, surviving on £70 a week, when she worried if she had enough for herself and her daughter to eat.

"Richer than the queen" was the most indelible headline after she went from unknown with no money to famous with oodles of it. She laughs.

"Well, I'm certainly not going to complain about having the money. Not for a second. Of course, it makes everything easier. If you've literally been worrying: 'Will the money last until the end of the week?' you will never, ever complain about having the money. It enables you, sets you free from worry. It allows you to travel, to help people. I'm grateful for it every single day."

With three houses - in Edinburgh, Perth and London - and a tight team of advisers, a to-die-for PA and two secretaries, she has kept her world small and manageable. There are flurries of mild extravagance.

"I love a handbag and I love shoes."

But the sensible gene also kicks in.

"I've got a mental amount that I can't spend beyond. I still have a limit to what I think I would be justified in spending on frivolity."

And when she bought her Bond Street earrings, mild guilt set in and she wrote out a cheque for the same amount to a charity.

She knew money brought complications and, like all very rich people, wondered if people might be interested in her just for her income. That was until she met Neil Murray. Unpretentious and easy-going, Murray is a busy GP who works long hours. Very hands-on as a father, he is not interested in the limelight or the shiny baubles that money can bring.

"Money just wasn't an issue with him. In fact, Neil doesn't really spend money. That's not what he wants." Two children later (David, two, and Mackenzie, nine months), they could not be happier.

How tricky was it, dating as a woman who was so famous and so rich?

"I had thought before I met Neil that it would be a factor in my remaining single for ever. Certainly, before I met Neil, I hadn't met anyone that I could conceive of marrying. I thought: 'I'm not going to meet anyone.' I did believe that. I thought: 'I've been lucky, I've got my work.
"I had my child.' I couldn't complain. I'm not someone who will take just anyone. I know I can survive on my own. I have been on my own for long stretches, which is not to say that at times I wasn't very lonely. I was, but I am a coper. I can do the being-on-my-own thing."


She can now admit that the pressure of fame was almost head-splitting at times.

"I've never said this before, but, when I was repeatedly asked, 'How are you coping?' I would say: 'Fine.' I was lying to myself at the time. Denial was my friend. The truth is that I could easily have said: 'Well, now you mention it, it's all quite difficult to deal with.

"I will go home this evening on my own to look after my daughter and I will feel enormous pressure.' I was isolated before I got famous and having fame on top of an already isolating situation didn't help.

"I was hypersensitive because I had a daughter from my first marriage. It was as though I'd lived under a rock for a long time and suddenly someone had lifted it off and was shining a torch on me. And it's not that life under the rock was awful, but actually I was petrified and didn't know how to handle it."

This year, she will finish writing the Harry Potter series. The final chapter sits, already written, in her safe. A new children's book is also complete. It is about a monster and is what Rowling calls a "political fairy story". It is aimed at children younger than those who read Harry Potter.

"I haven't even told my publisher about this."

There are also some short stories already written.

She is disarmingly normal. Her favourite drink is gin and tonic, her least favourite food tripe. EDITOR'S NOTE: THAT ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT AS A 'FOOD', DOES IT?

Her heroine is Jessica Mitford and her favourite author, Jane Austen. She gave up smoking five years ago and has spent most of the past three years pregnant or caring for a small baby. She is a Christian (Episcopalian) and "like Graham Greene, my faith is sometimes about if my faith will return. It's important to me".

•For MS Society Scotland, call 0131 3354050 or see MS society Scotland; for the Stirling Castle Masquerade Ball, call 0131 5588851

•The full version of this article can be seen in the February issue of 'Tatler', on sale Thursday
Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence.


GOF sets IMAX box office record
WB announced today that Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The IMAX Experience is now IMAX's highest grossing digitally remastered 2D release.

It earned a staggering $16m on 89 screens around the globe.

Its closest competition came from Batman Begins, which grossed $15.9m last year.

Additionally, the latest Potter flick gathered $36m at the worldwide box office over the past weekend, making it the highest grossing film of 2005 with a sum of $850m, ahead of Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith's $848.5m. EDITOR'S NOTE: RECOUNT!

This figure also shot the film to #11 on the list of the top films of all time.

Half-Blood Prince best seller of 2005
Selling over 4.1 million copies on the day of its release alone, Half-Blood Prince topped the list of the best-selling novels of 2005 in the US.

According to a report released today by Reuters and Nielsen's BookScan, the sixth adventure beat out every other book that was on sale for the entire year.

HBP sales totaled 7.02 million copies for the entire year, and sales only started in July.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Karla said...

The JK Rowling article opens like it was written by Rita Skeeter. Are Rowling's eyes misting over with the ghosts of the past?

9:59 AM  

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