With Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire about to hit theaters (head to Coming Soon! for a look at the excellent new TV ad), attention is beginning to drift towards the next film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
This is going to be an interesting film, if only because Harry’s a huge dickhead the whole time. And while our hero is being a complete asshole to everyone, author JK Rowling introduces perhaps the most despicable villain in the series to date – Professor Umbridge (to be played by Imelda Staunton), the horrible Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher who has been assigned by the Ministry of Magic. Cornelius Fudge has brought her in because he fears that Dumbledore is assembling an army to overthrow him, and he wants the Hogwarts students stymied in their learning (he should have just sent them to an American public school). Umbridge is like the Donald Rumsfeld of the Harry Potter books – just despicable.
Staunton was last seen emptying uteruses in the excellent period drama Vera Drake, where she was wrongly overlooked when it came time to hand out the awards (Swank? Give me a break). Sad to say for Staunton, she fits Rowling’s descriptions of Umbridge to a T.