The original “Harry Potter” cast is reuniting for a 20th anniversary special called “Return to Hogwarts,” which premieres Saturday, January 1 on HBO Max.
If you sign up for HBO Max directly through their website, there is no free trial. It’s $14.99 per month right away. However, you can get HBO Max included with a free trial of some other streaming services, which we detail below.
As such, here’s how to sign up and watch “Return to Hogwarts” for free:
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DirecTV Stream (formerly AT&T TV) has four different channel packages: “Entertainment,” “Choice,” “Ultimate” and “Premier.” Three months of HBO Max (or however long you keep DirecTV Stream) is included in the “Choice” and above bundles, and you can select any package and any add-on you want with your free 14-day trial.
Note that the free trial isn’t advertised as such, but your “due today” amount will be $0 when signing up. If you watch on your computer, phone or tablet, you won’t be charged for 14 days. If you watch on a streaming device on your TV (Roku, Fire Stick, Apple TV, etc.), you will be charged for the first month, but you can get still get a full refund if you cancel before 14 days:
Once signed up for DirecTV Stream’s “Choice” or above bundle, you can watch “Return to Hogwarts” on the HBO Max app (not the DirecTV Stream app), which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet.
When signing in to HBO Max, you’ll need to use your DirecTV Stream credentials.
HBO Max is available as an add-on to either Hulu or Hulu with Live TV. Whether you’re a new or existing Hulu subscriber, the HBO Max add-on comes with a free seven-day trial:
Once signed up for the HBO Max add-on to Hulu, you can watch “Return to Hogwarts” on the HBO Max app (not the Hulu app), which is available on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, or Android tablet.
When signing in to HBO Max, you’ll need to use your Hulu credentials.
‘Return to Hogwarts’ Preview
This new special commemorating the 20th anniversary of the beloved film franchise invites fans of all ages ” on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time as it reunites Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, and other esteemed cast members and filmmakers across all eight ‘Harry Potter’ films for the first time to celebrate the anniversary of the franchise’s first film, ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,'” according to the HBO Max press release.
“Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” will honor the magic behind the making of the films and the beautiful family created at Warner Bros. Studios London two decades ago. It will also celebrate the unparalleled legacy of the “Harry Potter” film franchise and its indelible impact on the hearts, minds, and imaginations of families and fans around the world.
“It has been an incredible journey since the debut of the ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ film, and witnessing how it has evolved into this remarkable interconnected universe has been magical to say the least,” said Tom Ascheim, President, Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics, in a statement. “This retrospective is a tribute to everyone whose lives were touched by this cultural phenomenon—from the talented cast and crew who poured their heart and soul into this extraordinary film franchise to the passionate fans who continue to keep the Wizarding World spirit alive 20 years later.”
“There’s magic in the air here with this incredible cast, as they all return home to the original sets of Hogwarts, where they began 20 years ago. The excitement is palpable as they prepare to take their fans on a very special and personal journey, through the making of these incredible films,” added executive producer Casey Patterson.
In a preview, Radcliffe admitted to being a little nervous about revisiting the franchise, but it turned out to be really “lovely.”
“I was never not happy to be a part of [the franchise], but it means even more now,” said Radcliffe. “I’m able to appreaciate how special that is. It’s a nice thing. It has been lovely to see everyone. It really has. I didn’t know if it would be. I have a very mixed relationship with nostalgia. … I think the thing that scared me the msot when we were coming out of it was the implication that the most meaningful thing in our life weas done. And there’s something so joyous about seeing everyone.”
Other cast members appearing in the reunion tribute include Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Tom Felton, James Phelps, Oliver Phelps, Mark Williams, Bonnie Wright, Alfred Enoch, Ian Hart, Toby Jones, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, producer David Heyman and filmmakers Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and David Yates.
The “Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts” reunion drops New Year’s Day, January 1, on HBO Max.