‘Harry Potter’ countdown: Rupert Grint’s swine flu and the ‘Twilight’/’Potter’ connection

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It’s the Fourth of July and for some people that means fireworks and flags, but for readers of our ‘Harry Potter’ countdown it means that there’s less than a dozen days until ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ arrives.

We had quite a magical week here at the Hero Complex. We posted our exclusive interviews with the lead trio of the ‘Potter’ franchise: Daniel Radcliffe told us the most valuable lessons he’s learned while wearing the Hogwarts robes; Rupert Grint discussed a sore subject from the London set; and, perhaps most interesting of all, Emma Watson confided in us about her joy and anxiety regarding her blossoming relationship with J.K. Rowling.

Through it all, we saw a GREAT reader response. You guys obviously like what you’re finding here and we appreciate your support.

Here’s a holiday roundup of some other ‘Potter’ news right now from around the world:

Rupert Grint has swine flu!


But by all signs he’s recovering. Here’s an excerpt from the Daily Mail article: ‘Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the films, took a few days away from filming the latest film, but has now been able to return to work. ‘It has just been confirmed that Rupert Grint has taken a few days out of filming due to a mild bout of swine flu,’ his publicist said. ‘He has now recovered and is looking forward to joining his fellow cast members at the junket and premieres this week and will then return to filming directly afterwards...’

Chris Columbus almost directed ‘Twilight’?:

MTV has an intriguing tidbit that the director who first brought J.K. Rowling’s magical orphan to the screen also had a chance to deliver Stephenie Meyer’s undead boy-toy to his silver screen: ‘I guess I did read a script early on,” says the director, who most recently helmed “I Love You, Beth Cooper.” “But I was doing something else.” Columbus, who directed both “Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” is no stranger to fantasy book series, planning his next film as an adaptation of the first “Percy Jackson” novel, “The Lightning Thief,” which has already begun casting...

Bill Nighy will join Hogwarts faculty:

The Big Picture blog is one of the many outlets applauding the hiring of Bill Nighy as Minister of Magic Rufus Scrimgeour in the upcoming ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ which is due out in two parts, starting in November 2010. Here’s a bit of what they wrote: ‘In the world of cheeky, insouciant character actors, no one is more wonderful than Nighy, who has enlivened every movie he’s ever been in, whether he’s playing Davy Jones in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,’ a brilliant, dissolute newspaper editor in the original ‘State of Play’ British miniseries or flouncing around as a thinly veiled drug-addled Rod Stewart-esque character in Richard Curtis’ ‘Love Actually...’ -- Geoff Boucher


Meet Neville! Matthew Lewis on being Mr. Longbottom

Feeling the magic? ‘Half-Blood’ may benefit from Oscars change


Getting to know the real-life Weasley boys

Arthur Weasley speaks! ‘Rowling has a musical brain’

David Yates reveals where he will split ‘Deathly Hallows’

‘Half-Blood Prince’ screenwriter tells of a ‘haunting moment’

On the ‘Half Blood’ set: A chat with Jim Broadbent

Photos of Rupert Grint and Robert Pattison from Getty Images.