” Harry Potter at the school of wizards” has become over time a true classic. Released in 2001, this is the very first installment of the cult franchise initiated by Chris Columbus. But did you know that Robin Williams almost participated in the film?
Harry Potter to the Wizards’ school : the beginning of an adventure
Chris Columbus attacks, in the early 2000s, a juggernaut of pop culture. He actually decides to adapt the saga on the big screen Harry Potter by JK Rowling. The director of Mom I missed the plane therefore embarks on the adaptation of the first volume: Harry Potter to the Wizards’ school. For this first film, the filmmaker has the chance to choose the faces of the heroes who will accompany fans for more than a decade. Thus, he engages Daniel Radcliffe to play Harry Potter, Rupert Grint to play Ron and Emma Watson to play Hermione. This trio of young children certainly did not expect, at the time, to become the huge stars they are today.
This first chapter is generally well received by the press as well as the spectators. Nominated three times for the Oscarsthe film brings in more than$1 billion in box office receipts, for a budget of 125 million. The feature film even established a record for its first weekend of operation by collecting the equivalent of 22.8 million dollars. In comparison, The Phantom Menace brought in $9.5 million in revenue. A mind-blowing score for Warner, who decides to develop the other volumes of the franchise Harry Potter. Chris Columbus will resume directing The Chamber of Secretsbefore giving way to other directors.
Robin Williams almost starred in the movie
The late Robin Williams, great friend of Chris Columbus, could have starred in the saga Harry Potter. The two men have indeed worked together on several occasions, notably on Bicentenary Man and Mrs. Doubtfire. Thus, the filmmaker wanted his friend and colleague to appear in Harry Potter to the Wizards’ school. In effect, the comedian could have played Hagrid, the gamekeeper of Hogwarts and faithful ally of Harry. Unfortunately for him (and incidentally for us), JK Rowling preferred English actor Robbie Coltrane embodies the character. The author wanted a 100% British cast. Even if Robin Williams would undoubtedly have offered a memorable performance, it is necessary to underline the effectiveness of late Robbie Coltrane in the role of Hagrid.
Robin Williams is not the only one to have missed the opportunity to be in Harry Potter to the Wizards’ school. JK Rowling herself was originally scheduled to appear on camera with Chris Columbus. The novelist closely followed the production of the film to provide advice and expertise. For a while, she was even approached to play Lily Potter, Harry’s mother, in the mirror scene. But she ultimately refused the proposal, and gave way to actress Geraldine Somerville because according to her is not “not an actress, and would probably have ruined everything”. That has the merit of being clear !