Today marks 15 years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (or Sorcerer‘s) Stone first premiered in cinemas. To celebrate, here are some facts about the film you might not have known…
Steven Spielberg was initially attached to direct. He envisioned it as an animated film, with The Sixth Sense actor Hayley Joel Osment voicing Harry. The plot would have been the first three books condensed into one.
Once director Chris Columbus took over, prospective Harrys included Jonathan Lipnicki (Stuart Little), Liam Aitkin (Series of Unfortunate Events) and William Mosely (Chronicles of Narnia).
However, J.K. Rowling eventually decreed that all the cast should be British. She got her wish – only Verne Troyer, who plays Griphook the Goblin, was American. Even then, he was voiced by British actor Warwick Davis.
Daniel Radcliffe got the role of Harry after attending the theatre with his father and family friend David Heyman – who just happened to be Harry Potter’s producer. Emma Watson was cast during an audition call in her native Oxfordshire. Rupert Grint, on the other hand, won the part of Ron after he turned up to his audition in the guise of a female drama teacher and gave a rap about how much he wanted the role.
Rowling was immensely pleased with the casting Radcliffe, Grint and Watson. She described Radcliffe as “like watching a son” and said she “fell in love” when she first met Watson. However, her only grievance was that all three of them were too good-looking.