Harry Potter Castmates On the Joy of Reuniting For 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' Audible Audiobook

Any Harry Potter fans who were dismayed by last week's announcement that Fantastic Beasts 3 halted production due to the novel coronavirus shutdown now have a new reason to smile. For the first time ever, alumni from Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts film franchises have come together to narrate and present the audiobook adaptation of J.K. Rowling's The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

The production came about as a collaboration between Pottermore Publishing, and Audible, the world's largest producer of audiobooks. "We are delighted to bring fan-favorite performers from across the wizarding world together for this unforgettable listening experience," said Diana Dapito, SVP of Content at Audible. The Tales of Beedle the Bard is a collection of short stories first referenced in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as fictional tales wizarding children grew up with. The book's introduction says that the five tales therein are as "familiar to the students at Hogwarts as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are to non-magical children."

The audiobook version of the book captures the magical world of Harry Potter with whimsical sound effects throughout and an impressive cast of performers representing every quarter of the wizarding world. Jude Law narrates commentary between each tale for Albus Dumbledore—his character from the Fantastic Beasts series. Each of the five stories are narrated by other Potter alumni, including: Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick from the Harry Potter series), Noma Dumezweni (Hermione Granger from the Cursed Child play), Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy from the Harry Potter series), Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series), and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series). J.K. Rowling's introduction is performed by Sally Mortemore—Madame Pince from the Harry Potter series.

The event marks the first time that many of the series' most beloved film characters have returned to the wizarding world since the eighth and final Harry Potter film was released in 2011. Actress and director Bonnie Wright, told Newsweek: "It was such a joy to return to the wizarding world in a totally different context, I was able to really enjoy Jo Rowling's beautifully written language." Wright narrates the account of "Babbitty Rabbitty and her Cackling Stump" and said she imagined herself "as Ginny again reading this tale to (mine and Harry's) three children." Ginny Weasley and Harry Potter were married at the end of the seventh Harry Potter novel. She told Newsweek she "loves that actors from both Fantastic Beasts and Harry Potter have come together to be part of this project."

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Hello Jason Isaacs
Jason Isaacs returns to the wizarding world in 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' audiobook. Audible

The Tales of Beedle the Bard was originally handwritten and illustrated by J.K. Rowling as a limited edition of only seven copies, one of which was sold at auction in 2007 to raise money for charity. The book was later published for the general public on December 4, 2008 with all proceeds going to the international children's charity Lumos. The Lumos Foundation was founded by J.K. Rowling in 2005 with the mission of helping children worldwide get out of orphanages and other institutions and into loving family care.

Actor and producer Jason Issacs told Newsweek he jumped at the opportunity to support the foundation this way. "I find it so inspiring the extraordinary and necessary work that they do," adding, "it's one of the easiest things" to say yes to. Issacs has more than 113 film, television, and stage credits to his name with extensive voice acting experience to boot. When asked how it felt to return to the wizarding world to narrate "The Warlock's Hairy Heart" for this project, Issacs told Newsweek: "I've never felt like I left the world of Harry Potter. I've been talking about and engaging with the ideas and the characters nonstop so there's never been a time I've felt disconnected from the wizarding world." Issacs said he hopes the tales in this story will provide an imaginative release and escape from the current troubles in the world for all who listen.

Acclaimed actress Noma Dumezweni was also drawn to the project to support the Lumos Foundation. The two-time recipient of the Laurence Olivier award and Tony-nominated actress told Newsweek she wanted to lend her storytelling talents to the charity because: "I absolutely believe in the work that Lumos is doing, so many lives so far have been changed from what could have been horrific experiences."

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Dumezweni starred as Hermione Granger in the original West End and Broadway runs of the Cursed Child play. She narrates "The Tale of the Three Brothers" for this audio production and told Newsweek she enjoys listening to the audiobook versions of the Harry Potter universe while she's busy with projects at home. She said she especially appreciates how listening instead of reading helps children with learning disabilities "engage with the story without feeling they are missing out on an experience." She told Newsweek she loves how "imaginations are fired up" by the world J.K. Rowing has created and that she appreciates "the stakes, the humor, the pain and joy (and most of all) the magic!"

J.K. Rowling's seven Harry Potter novels were first published between 1997 and 2007 and became the best selling book series in history. The series has sold over 500 million copies worldwide, been translated into over 80 languages, and was made into eight blockbuster films between 2001 and 2011.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard audiobook is free to Audible members this year and available for purchase to non-members at Audible.com.

Harry Potter Castmates On the Joy of Reuniting For 'The Tales of Beedle the Bard' Audible Audiobook | Culture