Pottermore teases phase 2 of the site: New design, logo, and more content

Pottermore will relaunch in the coming weeks with this new logo, written by J.K. Rowling, at large.

Pottermore will relaunch in the coming weeks with this new logo, written by J.K. Rowling, at large.

Following a previous message issued to the Pottermore community, on Friday the site formally announced plans to relaunch pottermore.com, along with a new design, logo, target audience and more content.

According to their press release, Pottermore will revamp the site in the coming weeks, commencing the second phase of J.K. Rowling’s project. The new Pottermore will house more original content from the Harry Potter author than ever before, indexed and searchable for the first time on browsers. The new design enables author J.K. Rowling to more easily contribute to the site, adding broad-ranging new content that focuses on all aspects of the Wizarding World.

From Susan L. Jurevics, Chief Executive Officer of Pottermore:

J.K. Rowling is continuing to expand her magical universe beyond the Harry Potter stories, and as the Wizarding World expands, so do we. We are excited to provide a new digital destination with an authentic voice, which will delight everyone interested in exploring this world. The new enhanced Pottermore is continually evolving, and is tailored to unlock and stimulate the imagination of our audience like never before.

Searchable content gave way to the elimination of mandatory site registration, so the site will be accessible to all visitors. In further terms of accessibility, the site fits mobile-devices first, so you can carry Harry’s world in your pocket. Though the site is made for smartphones and tablets, an online version will continue to exist.

The Pottermore Correspondent, a professional journalist hired by Pottermore, will replace the Pottermore Insider blog, which closed last spring. The Correspondent will write timely news articles and commentary on the happenings in Potterworld, including updates on the upcoming Warner Bros. film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the stage production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, both premiering in 2016.

Click for high-res

Pottermore has been redesigned to complement the mobile focused world. Here is Pottermore on an iPhone.

All of these changes are part of an effort to move beyond Hogwarts, and address the evolving Harry Potter brand. First launched in 2012, Pottermore began as a virtual Hogwarts experience focused on Harry’s story — with House Cups, dueling, potion brewing, etc. This era is over now to make room for a site to satisfy fans of all types — from fair-weather to hardcore, young and old.

However, by the look of new stills released by Pottermore and the Bookseller, it appears that the new, sleeker design appeals to older fans — specifically those that grew up with Harry, and now want more Potter at their fingertips. Pottermore: Part 2 is all about aesthetic, and comes with a new logo from the hand of J.K. Rowling. The site blends the old with the new, combing 15 years worth of Harry Potter history.

The new site will incorporate all developments of Harry Potter since its first publication, including the films, as shown above.

The new site will incorporate all developments of Harry Potter since its first publication, including the films, as shown above.

We are skeptical of the extent to which this new site will be successful in the long term, but one thing is for certain… Pottermore might be stepping away from its original concept, but nevertheless, it stays true to its name with the promise of more Potter.

What do you think of Pottermore’s plans? Are you excited? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more in-depth from the Bookseller magazine: Pottermore readies radical relaunch

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Official: ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ London stage play announced

J.K. Rowling and co. finally revealed details about the long-awaited Harry Potter play, first announced in late 2013.

cursedchild

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere next summer in London at the Palace Theatre. According to J.K. Rowling, it is not a prequel, but will follow Lily Evans Potter and James Potter prior to their murder by Lord Voldemort. J.K. Rowling worked closely on the production with director John Tiffany and scriptwriter Jack Throne. The play will be produced by Sonia Friedman Productions, Colin Callender’s Playground Entertainment and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

The Daily Mail reports tickets will go on sale this fall, with huge pre-sales expected. Details about ticketing will be revealed later next month, in July.

First reported by the Mail, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling confirmed the news this morning on Twitter. In long form, she said:

I’m very excited to confirm today that a new play called Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will be opening in London next year. It will tell a new story, which is the result of a collaboration between writer Jack Thorne, director John Tiffany and myself. I don’t want to say too much more, because I don’t want to spoil what I know will be a real treat for fans. However, I can say that it is not a prequel. To answer one inevitable (and reasonable!) question – why isn’t #CursedChild a new novel? – I am confident that when audiences see the play they will agree that it was the only proper medium for the story. I’ve had countless offfers to extend Harry’s story over the years, but Jack, John and Sonia Friedman are a dream team! It has been a huge please to share with them (and soon, with you!) this untold part of Harry’s story.

Judging by the Daily Mail’s reporting, it appears that the stage production will follow the Marauders in addition to Lily and James, with the couple at the focus. For fans who have sought a Marauders-based story for years, this might be your answer.

The Cursed Child delves into what happened to Harry’s parents — Lily Evans Potter and James Potter — before they were killed by Lord Voldemort, forcing an infant Harry to be raised in miserable circumstances by his mother’s sister, Petunia, her horrid husband Vernon and their spoiled son Dudley.

Snape helped Lily refine her magical powers, and through the course of the seven Harry Potter novels it became clear he carried a torch for her. But though she cared for him, she did not love him. Instead, she fell for James Potter — a student she had once loathed for his cockiness.

The play may also look at the complicated relationship between siblings Lily and Petunia. A muggle like the rest of her family, Petunia was always put out by her sister’s magical prowess.

There is also dramatic fodder in the friendship between Lily and Severus Snape during their schooldays at Hogwarts (both were members of the Order Of The Phoenix).

Another of their friends — Remus Lupin — may also figure in the story.

Fans can register for further ticket information at http://www.harrypottertheplaylondon.com/, the official website for the play.