The first trailer for Harry Potter author JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy has been released. Set in the world of muggles, it is as far removed from the magical environs of Hogwarts as possible. The adaptation is a miniseries co-production between the BBC and HBO.
The three-part television event is based around the lives of a handful of residents of a fictional village in the English countryside. But they all have sordid secrets to hide when the death of a local leader sends the town down a rabbit hole of inner conflict, politics, domestic abuse, parental negligence, underage sex and Rihanna. In other words: not Harry Potter. The brief, 40-second trailer gives us a glimpse of the main characters without telling us much about the story itself. It does, however, manage to nail the grim, gritty tone and even hints at the class struggle that is central to the plot. Going by the actors' ominous expressions and a creeping sense of dread, the idyllic world of the Pagfordians seems to be in for a shock as it turns into a nightmarish, twisted hell.
Written by Sarah Phelps and directed by Jonny Campbell the show will premiere on 15 February in the UK The large ensemble cast is led by Rory Kinnear (Skyfall), Simon McBurney (Mission Impossible 5) and Albus Dumbledore himself, Michael Gambon.
Fans of Rowling who are keenly awaiting Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a new trilogy of films to be released beginning in 2016, scripted by the author herself and set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter will have to make do with this. Going by the trailer, this series seems to have some magic of its own.