As "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" premiered in London this week, the stars of the final film in the franchise were talking about how tough it will be to hang up their robes and put away their wands for the final time. So with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint gone, what will Harry Potter fans have to look forward to (besides a trip to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando)? Well, there are quite a few celebrities set to star as witches and wizards in upcoming movies, although not all of them are hoping to appeal to the Harry Potter crowd. Here's a rundown of the actors and actresses hoping that their magical characters will appeal to audiences more than Nicolas Cage and Jay Baruchel in Potter wannabe "The Sorcerer's Apprentice":
At least a bearded wizard almost as beloved as Dumbledore will be returning to the silver screen soon. McKellen is set to reprise his role as Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" prequel "The Hobbit," returning to a simpler time when hobbits went on journeys to search for treasure guarded by dragons (as opposed to trying to save the world from evil dark lords).
McGowan has experience playing a witch in the TV series "Charmed," but she won't be using her powers for good in her movie role. In "Conan the Barbarian" she'll be playing an evil sorceress with a very villainous look, complete with a giant forehead, no eyebrows, and a bizarre twisted hairdo. Fortunately moviegoers won't have to wait long to see vengeful adventurer Conan's conflict with the weird witch and other evil characters since the movie hits theaters on Aug. 19.
This bewitching beauty best known for playing a villainous Bond girl in "GoldenEye" and Jean Grey in the X-Men movies is set to star in the "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters." The movie has fairytale siblings Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) growing up and seeking revenge on the witches that almost killed them. Famke will be playing the leader of the witches that must try to protect her kind from the kids-turned-killers who now know better than to fall for their candy-coated, kid-cooking traps. Will the movie be campy? Will it be a horror movie, or an action comedy? It's hard to say, but it certainly sounds like a lot of fun, and Famke should make an excellent witch.
And Eva is another former Bond girl set to play a witch. In Tim Burton's movie "Dark Shadows," the beautiful French femme will play a character with a love/hate relationship with Johnny Depp's character Barnabas. When he breaks her heart, the sexy sorceress punishes him by turning him into a vampire and burying him alive. After being entombed since the 1700s, Barnabas finally is freed from his coffin in 1972, finding himself in a very different world where an eclectic group of eccentrics has moved into his old estate. With the TV series that this movie was based on featuring monsters, ghosts, and other supernatural beings, this one is sounding more and more promising.
Burton was also previously planning on directing Jolie as a powerful sorceress in "Maleficent," a live-action movie based on the evil fairy from "Sleeping Beauty." However, it seems that he abandoned the project in favor of "Dark Shadows," leaving lots of fairytale fans feeling a little let-down. But now there is hope again -- Disney is currently looking at David O. Russell ("The Fighter"), David Yates ( who has the honor of directing the last Harry Potter film), and Darren Aronofsky ("Black Swan") to direct, and Guillermo del Toro ("Don't be Afraid of the Dark") has also expressed interest in the movie. So it seems that Angelina is going to don that awesome horned hood; attempt to kill a princess; and turn into a dragon one way or another.
"Oz: The Great and Powerful" is a sequel to the popular family film "The Wizard of Oz," so it's sure to be a hit. Its stellar cast should also help sell the film, with Weisz and Kunis playing evil witches Evanora and Theadora while Williams stars as Glinda, the Good Witch. The plot will have Franco's salesman character blowing into the Land of Oz by way of a balloon. He then gets mistaken for being a powerful wizard, so Glinda gets him to help her try to save Oz from her evil siblings. Will it become a magical instant classic with families like the original? It's hard to say, but with all its bewitching eye candy, it should certainly cast a spell on plenty of parents.
This red-hot redhead will be playing "the most evil witch in the world" in "The Seventh Son," the upcoming movie based on "The Wardstone Chronicles" series of books. However, her blood magic may be no match for a young exorcist-in-training. Ben Barnes of "The Chronicles of Narnia" fame will be playing the apprentice learning how to battle demons and other forms of evil, while Jeff Bridges will star as "The Spook" that instructs him (how can anyone not be excited about the Dude practicing dark magic?). And there's even a little something for the "Twilight" crowd in the form of the apprentice's love interest, a beautiful young witch (Alicia Vikander). So it looks like "The Hunger Games" is really going to have some competition when it comes to being the most popular new movie based on a young adult series.
This blonde bombshell will play the Evil Queen/sinister sorceress in "Snow White and the Huntsman," and she's even more frightening than the queen from the original Disney film -- her character has young girls captured so that she can cast spells on them to drain their youth and beauty so that she can stay looking flawless. Kristen Stewart will play Snow White, who somehow manages to escape such a fate, while Chris Hemsworth will star as the huntsman who helps her become a warrior princess while she hides out in the woods. And "Twilight" fans should also like this one -- Snow will find herself torn between her feelings for the huntsman and a prince. The role of the royal will be played by "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" star Sam Claflin, who was actually offered Barnes' role in "The Seventh Son" before it went to Prince Caspian.
Roberts will be playing the Evil Queen in the other untitled Snow White movie, but there's no word on what kind of magic powers she'll have in the comedic retelling of the fairytale that has her battling with Snow White for control of the kingdom. Funnyman Nathan Lane will star as her assistant; Taylor Lautner's girlfriend/Phil Collin's daughter Lily Collins will play Snow; and "The Social Network" star Armie Hammer will be her prince. Theron's film sounds a little more interesting, but it will definitely be fun to see these bewitching queens face off next year.
So which witch are you most looking forward to seeing? Or are you already tired of movies being made about the world of witchcraft and wizardry? Sound off in the comments!
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- Ian McKellen
- Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Jean Grey