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
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
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.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick