This week the internets were alive with the rumor that Emma Watson, the young actress who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, wouldn’t be coming back for the final two movies. A British tabloid even had her costar, Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasely, saying that she was distant from her co-stars and just not interested in playing the role anymore after five films.
But today Warner Bros’ President of Production Jeff Robinov dispelled all these rumors, announcing that all three child actors (including the previously announced Daniel Radcliffe, aka Harry Potter) would star in the remaining two movies in the series, giving the seven films continuity of actors.
In a press release, Emma Watson said, “I could never let Hermione go—she is my hero! I love her too much and love what playing her has meant to me. I am excited and honoured to be finishing what I started and playing her in all seven of the films.”
Where did the rumor come from? Who knows – maybe Watson was angling for more money before signing back up. Her general lack of enthusiasm for the films has been rumored for some time, so I wasn’t that surprised when people began saying she wasn’t coming back. And because it seemed like it could be nothing more than a negotiating tactic, I’m not surprised now that she is.
This announcement ends years of speculation about the films, incidentally; when these kids were first cast many wondered if Warner Bros would stick with the same three through all seven movies. Some people thought the kids might outgrow the franchise, even though each book in JK Rowling’s series takes place a year after the last, giving the child actors plenty of wiggle room to grow up. The more realistic thought was that these kids wouldn’t grow INTO the parts – that as they hit puberty strange things would happen to their faces and bodies, and that the lack of acting talent that was acceptable from nobody moppets would be much less acceptable coming from 17 year old professionals. Except for Grint, who remains eye buggingly broad in every scene, the kids have actually grown into decent (but let’s face it, not great) actors.