Two decades ago, one of the most critically and financially successful sagas of all time, “Harry Potter” hit theaters around the world.
The first film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”, introduced audiences to Daniel Radcliffe as the most famous little wizard of all time, after his adventures at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and his struggle against Lord Voldemort and the forces of darkness.
Directed by Chris Columbus, the same name behind the classic Home Alone, the cast launched Rupert Grint and Emma Watson to stardom, along with veterans like Maggie Smith, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane to the big screen. In addition to being critically acclaimed, the film grossed over $ 1 billion at the global box office (with the reissue) and won three Oscar nominations.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the production, CinePOP has prepared an article with several behind-the-scenes curiosities, which you can see below:
Rickman was chosen by author JK Rowling to play Severus Snape and received special instructions on his character. Rowling even gave him essential details about the character’s story, which were only revealed in the last novel. Harris, interpreter of Albus Dumbledore, had difficulty remembering his lines. Radcliffe asked if he could help him with the lines, just to give him more practice and safety for the shoot.
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The young actors and actresses have done their real homework in the film, but make the school atmosphere even more real. Rowling revealed on her official website that she was asked to play Lily, Harry’s mother, in the Mirror of Erised sequel. However, she declined the offer, claiming that she was not an actress and would have “ruined it somehow”. Geraldine Somerville was ultimately chosen for the role. Rosie O’Donnell and Robin Williams were two of the celebrities who applied for unpaid roles in the film – Molly Weasley and Rubeus Hagrid, respectively. However, they didn’t get the role, as Rowling wanted a cast strictly from the British Isles.
To understand what he believed to be the lonely life of beadle Argus Filch, actor David Bradley rented a cottage in a remote part of Ireland, living there for a month with his cat. Tom Felton, who brought Draco Malfoy to life, revealed that he hadn’t read any of the Harry Potter books to audition. During the audition, Columbus asked each actor who was fighting for the role what their favorite scene was in the first novel. When his turn came, Felton said his favorite part was Gringotts – something the previous contestant had just said. The director saw what he had done and found it quite funny. Throughout the films, Radcliffe wore no less than 160 pairs of glasses.
In 2002, the film became the second most successful film of all time, with a box office surpassed only by “Titanic” in 1997. David Thewlis was one of the first considerations to play Professor Quirrell in the feature film. , but the role was given to Ian Hart. However, Thewlis would later be chosen to play Professor Lupine in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.
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