Hogwarts Legacy has revealed its voice cast lineup ahead of its February 10 release, and it includes Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz) as the Headmaster, Phineas Nigellus Black. Fans might recognise this name as one of Sirius Black’s ancestors, whose hanging portrait has also been seen in Albus Dumbledore’s office in the movies (Sirius Black, a popular character from the Harry Potter books, was portrayed by Gary Oldman in the film adaptations). Pegg describes the character as the “least popular Headmaster” in Hogwarts’ history, bearing a disinterested outlook on his job and on being an ideal role model for the students. “You know, it’s a prestigious position,” Pegg said in a behind-the-scenes featurette. “What he wants is the kudos of being the headmaster of the greatest wizarding school in the world.”
Despite being of the same lineage as Sirius Black, Phineas does not possess the same level of bravery or nobleness — he is the opposite. “He’s just a self-interested fool,” Pegg continued. In Hogwarts Legacy, Phineas will serve as both a help and hindrance to players, by interrupting any ongoing quests or classes and “scupper the efforts of the player.” Being the topmost figure at Hogwarts, his childlike behaviour isn’t questioned by the teachers either, with arguments ending seemingly fast. Phineas Nigellus Black was also the last Slytherin headmaster of Hogwarts before Professor Severus Snape assumed the role following Dumbledore’s demise in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A related blog post notes that Phineas’ arc in the game will focus on how he gained such a bad reputation in the wizarding school.
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Other additions to the cast include the three-time SAG Award (Screen Actor Guild) winner for Downton Abbey, Lesley Nicol, who will portray Matilda Weasley, the Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts. “As the Sorting Hat once said: ‘Another Weasley?’ We know Ron’s family is an ancient magical family stemming back decades – is Matilda an old ancestor?”, the blog reads. Luke Youngblood, who played the Gryffindor Quidditch commentator Lee Jordan in the Harry Potter films is returning to the franchise. With this voice-acting role, he will be switching teams to Ravenclaw, portraying Everett Clompton, who is described as an underachieving prankster. Then there’s Asif Ali (Don’t Worry Darling), attached to play another Ravenclaw student, Mahendra Pehlwaan, a Muggle-born student who is the polar opposite of Clompton and a stickler for the rules.
Netflix’s Heartstopper-fame Sebastian Croft plays one of the player avatar voice options, while Amelia Gething (Emily) plays the female character archetype. Rounding off the cast are Kandace Caine (The Human Centipede 2) as Professor Onai, and Sohm Kapila as Professor Satyavati Shah, an Astronomy teacher. And finally, we have Jason Anthony playing two roles — Nearly Headless Nick and the Sorting Hat.
Set in the 1800s, long before the Chosen One was born, Hogwarts Legacy tasks players with creating their own custom witch or wizard, and embarking on a whimsical adventure through the titular magic-laden castle, the Forbidden Forest, and surrounding areas in an open world, while battling mask-donning dark wizards. Players will be able to hone their skills in potions, herbology, curses, and more, and align their player-characters with allies who lead them into quests. While broomsticks can be used for general traversal around the map, developer Avalanche Software previously confirmed that Quidditch won’t be playable in-game.
Hogwarts Legacy launches February 10 on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series S/X. Last-gen version on PS4 and Xbox One has been delayed till April 4, while Nintendo Switch owners will have to wait till July 25.