Mission: Impossible actor Simon Pegg will play the role of Albus Dumbledore's headmasterly predecessor, Phineas Nigellus Black, in Hogwarts Legacy.
In a press release this afternoon, developer Avalanche Software confirmed that Pegg - who shot to fame with Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz and has since found roles in Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, and throughout British TV - will play Black. The character, the great-great-grandfather of the Sirius Black seen in the Harry Potter stories, is reportedly "hated by the students" and "wildly ill-suited to his job."
It sounds like we'll see relatively little of Black, whose main aim is to "do the least amount of work possible and avoid exposure to the student body." That's in stark contrast to the headmaster most fans will be most familiar with - Dumbledore takes over around 30 years after Black's death in 1925, after the eras of Newt Scamander and Armando Dippet. The figure is seen multiple times throughout the Harry Potter books, films, and games that track the original series, but it sounds like Black will be far more aloof.
Elsewhere, the announcement runs through the "highly customiz[able]" voices of your protagonist, a new fifth-year student. A male-presenting voice is provided by Sebastian Croft, who played a young Eddard Stark in two episodes of Game of Thrones, and recently appeared in Heartstopper on Netflix. A female voice comes from Amelia Gething, whose TikTok audience propelled her to her own BBC show, as well as a role as Anne Brontë in last year's Emily Brontë biopic starring Sex Education's Emma Mackey.
Another notable voice is Luke Youngblood, who appeared throughout the film series as Lee Jordan, returning to provide vocals for Everett Clopton, a Ravenclaw student who might be the house's mysteriously absent companion.
It's been a peculiar week for Hogwarts Legacy, which is shaping up for a massive PC launch (appropriate for one of the biggest new games 2023), but also facing a community battle over its Steam tags, likely in protest over JK Rowling's proximity to the project.
Although she is not involved in the development of Hogwarts Legacy, GamesRadar+ acknowledges the role of J.K. Rowling in the creation of the Wizarding World, as well as her publicly-stated, harmful views regarding the rights of transgender people. If you'd like to offer your support to the communities affected by Rowling's rhetoric, consider donating to the National Center for Transgender Equality (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab) in the US, or Mermaids (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab) in the UK.