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Harry Potter Stars Will 'Return To Hogwarts' Without JK Rowling For 20th Reunion Special

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JK Rowling, Harry Potter cast

On New Year’s Day of 2022, HBO Max is releasing “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,” — exactly 20 years after the release of the first film, “Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone.”

According to the official description under the teaser trailer dropped on Tuesday, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson are going to reunite with Chris Columbus, the director of the first two films in the “Harry Potter” series and producer of the third, along with many other familiar faces.

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And yet, interestingly enough, there is no mention of J.K. Rowling having a spot at their table, despite being the author of the wildly successful book series that the film franchise depicted.

The cast will go back to the first film for a new insider experience that many fans desperate for some "Harry Potter" nostalgia can appreciate.

According to the official trailer description, “The retrospective special Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will tell an enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time."

Why isn’t J.K. Rowling in the 'Harry Potter' reunion?

Despite total silence on the subject from HBO Max, there are many theories circling online as to why they aren't inviting her back. It seems that, while she has many devout fans, Rowling has been no stranger to controversy.

Over the past few years, Rowling has gradually made herself rather controversial with many statements about the LGBTQ+ and trans communities, many of them public on her own Twitter account to this day.

This tweet upset many people in particular.

While the article she responded to chose to use “people who menstruate,” to include trans men and nonbinary people into the conversation about menstruation, Rowling chose to respond in a way that devalued their identities.

Her remarks have been widely criticized as transphobic online. Rowling has been labeled a “TERF” — trans-exclusionary radical feminist.

One other example that people found especially controversial was not on her Twitter, but instead on her own website, stating, “When you throw open the doors of bathrooms and changing rooms to any man who believes or feels he’s a woman — and, as I’ve said, gender confirmation certificates may now be granted without any need for surgery or hormones — then you open the door to any and all men who wish to come inside. That is the simple truth.”

The “Harry Potter” cast have criticized J.K. Rowling.

The three main cast members of the “Harry Potter” series — Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint — have all spoken out against her comments online with their own apologies and well-wishes for the trans community.

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Many fans of the series are wondering if these controversies are the real reason they aren’t bringing her back.

As acceptance for the LGBTQ+ community becomes more widespread, it is not necessarily surprising that HBO Max would want to distance itself from her statements, at least in the public eye.

Her being the original creator raises an interesting question, however. Can you fully separate JK Rowling from Harry Potter?

While it seems like that is their goal — at least with promotion and their decision not to interview her — she originated almost every aspect of their film series.

And, while maybe they wouldn’t bring her back for a new interview, Rowling is probably in their old footage because she was part of production.

Will they cut her out of that too, all without addressing why? Or do they keep her in, only making it all the stranger she is not there now?

Because despite her apparent absence, the conversation has not died at the exclusion of her name from the trailer. In fact, the comments on HBO Max’s announcement on Twitter are filled with debate over the situation, many believing that Rowling has been robbed of credit and appreciation for her creation.

Meanwhile, some other commentors believe that HBO Max shouldn’t be doing the reunion at all, because Rowling will likely be profiting off the royalties regardless.

RELATED: What J.K. Rowling Has Said About Transgender People — And Why She's Now Getting Death Threats On Twitter

Amanda Hartmann is a writer and editorial intern at YourTango who writes on various topics, including entertainment and news.