Dame Helen Mirren, the Oscar-winning actress known for her roles in The Queen, The Good Liar, and State of Play, is entering the world of Harry Potter.
That’s right, Helen Mirren is set to become a part of the Wizarding World. The beloved star was announced as the host of Cartoon Network and TBS’s upcoming quiz show Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses. The four-part special, which celebrates the film series’ 20th anniversary, will eventually also stream on HBO Max.
The four-episode run aims to “unveil Wizarding World fans willing to put their Harry Potter knowledge to the test for the ultimate honor to be named House Cup champion,” according to WarnerMedia. It’s essentially a massive trivia event that will pit purist Harry Potter fans against each other in the ultimate test of knowledge. Mirren, as host, will lend “some British grandeur” to the special, as noted by Warner Bros. president of global kids, young adults, and classics, Tom Ascheim.
Die-hard fans of Harry Potter have been taking part in trivia nights for decades, so it’s no surprise WarnerMedia is looking to seize on the opportunity to reignite interest in the franchise. The last few years have been hard on Harry Potter, particularly in light of numerous transphobic comments made by the series’ writer, J.K Rowling. For some, the knowledge that Rowling will profit off of Harry Potter products is enough to dissuade them from engaging with new releases at all.
This is likely a factor behind WarnerMedia’s decision to air the tournament. It allows fans of the books and films to collect for a playful standoff with a beloved and unproblematic star at the helm, granting further distance between the event and Rowling herself. Mirren’s involvement, thanks to her status as one of British media’s most recognizable and endearing stars, will certainly help the four-part series to stand on its own.
Combine that with Harry Potter fans’ love of dissecting every detail in the franchise’s seven books and eight movies, and you have a recipe for a broadly successful show. Mirren’s star power, combined with the still-passionate fandom behind Harry Potter, makes Tournament of Houses an almost guaranteed success.
Harry Potter: Hogwarts Tournament of Houses is set to air later in 2021. An exact date has not yet been revealed, according to reporting from The Verge.