Simon Pegg — star of the venerated Cornetto trilogy, the Kelvin timeline Star Trek movies, as well as every Mission: Impossible outing since 2006 — will soon be adding The Wizarding World franchise to his résumé of nerdy dream gigs.
Today, it has been announced that the English actor, who is a known Potterhead, will be lending his vocal talents to Warner Bros. Games’ upcoming open-world title, Hogwarts Legacy.
In the much-anticipated release, Pegg will be taking on the role of Phineas Nigellus Black, the great-great-grandfather of Sirius. Back in 1890 (when the prequel game is set), Phineas was the curmudgeonly headteacher of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry although, as you will learn over the course of your adventure, his heart was never truly in that job.
Indeed, the official description of Pegg’s character reads: “From a long lineage of Slytherins, Headmaster Black is hated by the students, of whom he also has a great disdain […] Wildly ill-suited to his job, his goal is to do the least amount of work possible and avoid exposure to the student body – preferring to focus on his status in the wizarding world and his surgically manicured beard.”
To coincide with the casting announcement, a behind-the-scenes video has been uploaded to the official Wizarding World YouTube channel, affording you a sneak peek at Phineas’ unorthodox teaching methods, as well as some clips of Pegg in the recording booth.
Based on what we can see here, you get the distinct impression that the 19th-century pedagogue will be a far cry from both his descendant Sirius and his eventual successor Albus Dumbledore. After all, he’s pompous, self-serving and blatantly disinterred in his chosen career in education. Hardly an ideal candidate for his position then.
Conversely, Simon Pegg seems to be wholeheartedly embracing this opportunity to finally leave his mark on the Wizarding World, having previously lamented that he was never offered a part in any of the Harry Potter films. From the short snippets we get in the new promotional video, it’s manifestly clear that he is having a ball playing the conceited Headmaster Black, delivering each of his lines with snooty relish and zeal.
In addition to Pegg, Warner Bros. has also unveiled the rest of the Hogwarts Legacy cast. In terms of teachers, the faculty here includes Professor Matilda Weasley (played by Downton Abbey’s Lesley Nicol), divination specialist Professor Ona (Kandace Caine), and the scientifically-minded Sohm Kapila (Satyavati Shah).
Elsewhere, Jason Anthony will voice the incorporeal Nearly Headless Nick as well as the Sorting Hat, the latter of whom will determine which house your avatar belongs to. Speaking of which, your customizable fifth-year student can have one of two voices in the game, with Sebastian Croft and Amelia Gething (seen in last year’s Emily) providing the options.
Developed by Avalanche Software, Hogwarts Legacy is scheduled to launch worldwide for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S and PC on February 10. The PS4 and Xbox One versions will then debut on April 4, and the Nintendo Switch port will follow shortly thereafter on July 25.