Dumbledore takes a different turn in J.K. Rowling’s dark new political miniseries

Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is hard at work on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the prequel film set before the famous boy wizard’s adventures, but next month brings the U.S. premiere of another adaptation of her work — the HBO/BBC miniseries The Casual Vacancy. A trailer for that project is now available to watch online, offering a peek at the first story penned by Rowling after the Harry Potter series.

Set in a suburban English village named Pagford, The Casual Vacancy chronicles the dark secrets that emerge during an election to replace a local parish councillor following the councillor’s death. The novel — like the miniseries based on it — is said to be steeped in issues of class conflict and local politics that lurk behind the idyllic facade of the village as the divides between classes increase create rifts in the local population. Clashes between the rich and the poor, the teenagers and their parents, the wives and their husbands, and the teachers and their students are all explored.

The three-part miniseries is a joint production of the BBC and HBO, and stars Harry Potter alum Michael Gambon, who is joined by Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan, and Julia McKenzie. It’s directed by Jonny Campbell, who also directed several critically praised episodes of Doctor Who (including “Vincent and the Doctor”).

As far as the source material for the series, The Casual Vacancy was one of the most successful novels in the U.K. when it was released in 2012, and won the “Best Fiction” category in the Goodreads Choice Awards that same year. It went on to sell over one million English-language copies around the world, and was the 15th best-selling book of the year during its first week of release.

The first two parts of The Casual Vacancy will air Wednesday, April 29, at 8 p.m. ET on HBO. The concluding chapter will air the following night, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET.


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