Last wave of the wand for Harry Potter film series

The final Harry Potter film has its world premiere in London on Thursday, an action-packed finale bringing the curtain down on a saga that has enthralled audiences worldwide.

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2" will see the boy wizard take on the evil Lord Voldemort in an epic showdown.

Stars from the highly successful film series will walk down the red carpet in London for the premiere of the final movie, the second of two films based on the seventh and final Potter book by British author J. K. Rowling.

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Potter, is taking time off from appearing in a Broadway musical to attend the premiere, along with Hermione Granger actress Emma Watson and Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley.

The central trio of actors have made their fortunes but now face the challenge of throwing off their on-screen characters and forging careers outside the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The film will be released in British and US cinemas on July 15 and is the first Potter movie to hit the screens in a 3D version as well as the regular release.

The first Harry Potter film was released in 2001, four years after Rowling published her first book, and the seven films so far have earned 6.4 billion dollars (4.4 billion euros) globally.

Fans have waited eagerly since the release of "Part 1" in November last year for the concluding chapter.

"Part 2" covers the final third of the book and will be an action-packed adventure - a marked contrast to "Part 1", a slow-paced scene-setter for the final, explosive battle between Potter and his allies and Voldemort's dark forces.

The movie is directed by David Yates, who has shot three of the previous seven films, including Part 1, which was made at the same time. Principal photography on both parts ended in June 2010.

When Rowling, then a struggling single mother, published her first Potter novel, "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" in 1997, she set off a global craze for the fantasy world she created.

More than 400 million copies of the Potter books have been sold and they have been translated into 69 languages.

The films have likewise been adored the world over.

"It's been beyond my wildest dreams," said producer David Heyman.

"I could never have imagined when we embarked on the first film the level of response from audiences through the years."

The main Potter actors have all earned a fortune - Radcliffe £42 million ($67.5 million, 46.5 million euros), Watson £22 million and Grint £20 million, according to The Sunday Times newspaper's rich list - but have had varying degrees of success in moving on.

Radcliffe, 21, has taken critics and the public by surprise by singing and dancing in the 1950s musical "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying" in New York, but he concedes that the Potter films have marked him forever.

"I know I'll never see a frame of these films that I don't connect immediately to a memory of a place or a time or a person," he said.

"Even now I can't fully express how important it's been to me, but I can say it was a great time and it's something I will never be able to recreate."

Watson, also 21, is moving between acting, fashion and modelling. She appears in in two forthcoming US films: "My Week with Marilyn", to be released in November, and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower", due out next year.

Grint, 22, is pursuing an acting career, despite his non-Potter films flopping. He will appear next year in a low-budget Norwegian World War II film.

"The Harry Potter experience was an amazing time of my life, and something I'll never forget," he said.

As for Rowling, she laid down her pen - and Harry's magic wand - when she finished the seventh book in 2007. But the author has yet to let go of her creation.

Last month she unveiled an interactive website featuring new material about Potter's world, and announced that his adventures would be sold as e-books for the first time.

Her fortune is estimated at £530 million, according to The Sunday Times rich list.

Arts and Entertainment
Carrie Hope Fletcher
booksFirst video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
Arts and Entertainment
Damien Hirst
artCoalition's anti-culture policy and cuts in local authority spending to blame, says academic
Arts and Entertainment
A comedy show alumni who has gone on to be a big star, Jon Stewart
tvRival television sketch shows vie for influential alumni
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Arts and Entertainment
Image has been released by the BBC
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Henry Marsh said he was rather 'pleased' at the nomination
booksHenry Marsh's 'Do No Harm' takes doctors off their pedestal
Arts and Entertainment
All in a day's work: the players in the forthcoming 'Posh People: Inside Tatler'

tv
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Eddie Redmayne plays Stephen Hawking in new biopic The Imitation Game

'At times I thought he was me'

film
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
One Direction go Fourth: The boys pose on the cover of their new album Four

Review: One Direction, Four

music
Arts and Entertainment
'Game of Thrones' writer George RR Martin

Review: The World of Ice and Fire

books
Arts and Entertainment
Sean Bean will play 'extraordinary hero' Inspector John Marlott in The Frankenstein Chronicles
tvHow long before he gets killed off?
Arts and Entertainment
Some like it hot: Blaise Bellville

music
Arts and Entertainment
A costume worn by model Kate Moss for the 2013 photograph

art
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Len Goodman appeared to mutter the F-word after Simon Webbe's Strictly performance

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie T makes his long-awaited return to the London stage
musicReview: Alexandra Palace, London
Arts and Entertainment
S Club 7 back in 2001 when they also supported 'Children in Need'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Bruce Forsyth rejoins Tess Daly to host the Strictly Come Dancing Children in Need special
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Dornan plays Christian Grey getting ready for work

Film More romcom than S&M

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

Review: The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
The comedian Daniel O'Reilly appeared contrite on BBC Newsnight last night

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
The American stand-up Tig Notaro, who performed topless this week

Comedy...to show her mastectomy scars

Arts and Entertainment

TVNetflix gets cryptic

Arts and Entertainment
Claudia Winkleman is having another week off Strictly to care for her daughter
TV
Arts and Entertainment
BBC Children in Need is the BBC's UK charity. Since 1980 it has raised over £600 million to change the lives of disabled children and young people in the UK

TV review A moving film showing kids too busy to enjoy their youth

Arts and Entertainment
Richard Flanagan with his winning novel

Books Not even a Man Booker prize could save Richard Flanagan from a nomination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Mau Mau uprising: Kenyans still waiting for justice join class action over Britain's role in the emergency

    Kenyans still waiting for justice over Mau Mau uprising

    Thousands join class action over Britain's role in the emergency
    Isis in Iraq: The trauma of the last six months has overwhelmed the remaining Christians in the country

    The last Christians in Iraq

    After 2,000 years, a community will try anything – including pretending to convert to Islam – to avoid losing everything, says Patrick Cockburn
    Black Friday: Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Helpful discounts for Christmas shoppers, or cynical marketing by desperate retailers?

    Britain braced for Black Friday
    Bill Cosby's persona goes from America's dad to date-rape drugs

    From America's dad to date-rape drugs

    Stories of Bill Cosby's alleged sexual assaults may have circulated widely in Hollywood, but they came as a shock to fans, says Rupert Cornwell
    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    Clare Balding: 'Women's sport is kicking off at last'

    As fans flock to see England women's Wembley debut against Germany, the TV presenter on an exciting 'sea change'
    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful: The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?

    Oh come, all ye multi-faithful

    The Christmas jumper is in fashion, but should you wear your religion on your sleeve?
    Dr Charles Heatley: The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    The GP off to do battle in the war against Ebola

    Dr Charles Heatley on joining the NHS volunteers' team bound for Sierra Leone
    Flogging vlogging: First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books

    Flogging vlogging

    First video bloggers conquered YouTube. Now they want us to buy their books
    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show: US channels wage comedy star wars

    Saturday Night Live vs The Daily Show

    US channels wage comedy star wars
    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine? When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible

    When is a wine made in Piedmont not a Piemonte wine?

    When EU rules make Italian vineyards invisible
    Look what's mushrooming now! Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector

    Look what's mushrooming now!

    Meat-free recipes and food scandals help one growing sector
    Neil Findlay is more a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    More a pink shrimp than a red firebrand

    The vilification of the potential Scottish Labour leader Neil Findlay shows how one-note politics is today, says DJ Taylor
    Bill Granger recipes: Tenderstem broccoli omelette; Fried eggs with Mexican-style tomato and chilli sauce; Pan-fried cavolo nero with soft-boiled egg

    Oeuf quake

    Bill Granger's cracking egg recipes
    Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

    Terry Venables column

    Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
    Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

    Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin