Director Chris Columbus has often spoken of his few regrets about the two parts of the Harry Potter saga he took care of, but none equal that of not having the same Voldemort as the other films.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone celebrates its 20th anniversary! The film marked the start of a hugely lucrative franchise for Studio Warner around the young Hogwarts student and his extraordinary destiny. And we owe the launch of this saga on the big screen to director Chris Columbus.
First a screenwriter in the Spielberg team for The Goonies or Gremlins among others, Chris Columbus then became the director of the two Mums I missed the plane or Mrs Doubtfire. In September 2000, he began filming Harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone, a film on which he will express several regrets.
Among them, the one that most impacted the director concerns the character of Voldemort. At the time, he must show the cadaverous face of this charismatic villain for the first time. Dubbed by actor Richard Bremmer, who also plays him in the flashback of the murder of young Harry’s parents, the villain is produced in special effects.
Strangely, the Voldemort of this first film, which we see in the final confrontation between Harry and Quirrell, already looks a bit like Ralph Fiennes, who will play the character from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. But this is pure luck, because as Chris Columbus recognizes in the Blu-ray bonuses, he was not satisfied with his first Voldemort and wanted to retouch his film afterwards:
I wanted to go back (…) to shoot this scene again and this moment in particular, so that the films have a real coherence. And I would have liked to have had the voice of Ralph Fiennes and his appearance, too. We get close to it, but it’s not exactly what we see in the most recent films.
“[Après], for the time, the visual effects impressed me. The work of our visual effects department was successful, despite the strangeness of their mission. There was only Jo rowling to find this Voldemort Principle appearing on the back of a skull. It is an idea that is both grotesque and fascinating at the same time.
As to how the face of the One whose name must not be pronounced was grafted onto Quirrell, Columbus confides:
“Our actor [Ian Hart alias Quirrell, NdlR] had lots of little green dots behind his head, and we then encrusted Voldemort much later. This sequence worried me a little, I was afraid that it would frighten, and we did not want to frighten the youngest spectators. The horror would have been a ban for under 13s, we absolutely wanted to avoid that for this first part “.
The children of the test screenings live well this fight between Harry and this two-headed being, allowing the film to finally be released. without age restriction. As a result, a large audience is touched by the film, and the studio rakes in the trifle of $ 1.5 billion for a budget of 195 million (figures reflecting inflation).
A total box that will never be denied with its sequels, and will allow the saga of 7 books to be adapted to the end, not in 7 but in 8 films!
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