Harry Potter creator hints final film may not be the end
They came in their tens of thousands to London last night mark the final chapter of the Harry Potter phenomenon and in the early hours of next Friday morning Irish fans will get their chance to see one of the most lucrative creations the world of entertainment has ever seen.
But cinemas everywhere prepared for the showing of the final film, fans were given an unexpected surprise - this may not be the end afterall.
JK Rowling told the crowd in Trafalgar Square that while she had no immediate plans to resurrect her boy wizard, she would "never say never".
To deafening cheers, she added: "It is my baby and if I want to bring it out to play again I will."
Harry Potter lovers from across the globe had filled the famous piazza in central London and spilt over to the steps of surrounding buildings as they paid their final respects to the young, bespectacled wizard, whose adventures began before many of them were born.
There were so many people by the time the stars walked the red carpet that police had to close nearby roads and order crowds away from traffic islands and street corners.
It was all a long way from 1997, when struggling author JK Rowling finally got her first book in the franchise published. Such was the lack of ambition that only 1,000 copies were printed.
Almost immediately however the franchise took off – and now, seven novels later, she has sold more than 450 million copies and been translated into 67 languages.
The subsequent films have grossed more than £4 billion at the box office and with merchandising the whole phenomenon is thought to be worth more than £10 billion.
Now the final film, Harry Potter and the The Deathly Hallows Part Two, is expected to be the biggest yet.
The child stars who have grown into global celebrities yesterday expressed their mixed emotions.
Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter, said: "It is a moment when you have to let yourself sit back and think that this pretty damn cool.There is a little sadness but generally speaking it is a day to be elated."
Emma Watson, who plays Harry's sidekick Hermione Granger, said earlier that the role had changed her life.
"Hermione's been like my sister. She feels so real to me," the 22-year-old actress admitted. "I will miss being her. That is devastating. She has pushed me and made me a better person."
Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the films, said it was "emotional" to see the final film. "Every film has been just so special," he said. Asked to pick his favourite moment from his time in the hugely successful films, he said: "I think it's probably this."
But Ralph Fiennes has revealed he could not wait to take off Lord Voldemort's heavy robes. The Oscar-nominated actor said: "It was an irritating costume to wear – it was too long and sometimes I would trip over."
The final film was met with a mix of excitement and sadness among the enthusiasts, many of whom have grown up with the characters and see the film as the end of their childhood.
Karianne Hilland, 16, from Bergen in Norway, said: "It's kind of a life experience, the last Harry Potter movie, and it's so exciting."
Her friend Idun Anduik, also 16 and from Bergen, clutched a copy of one of JK Rowling's novels as she explained their journey: "We got to London at 7pm last night after a layover. "I have loved Harry Potter since the first book came out and it's the end of an era. I want to be here to experience it because it has been a part of our childhood."
Leonard Potgieter, 38, from Ipswich, arrived at 11pm the night before, said: "It's part of British heritage and I wanted to be involved in it."