Harry Potter, the first film of the saga was released in theaters twenty years ago
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first film in the very successful saga based on the literary saga of the same name (if possible even more successful) originating from the pen of the writer JK Rowling, was released in theaters on November 16, 2001. So exactly twenty years ago.
Rowling’s novels have been translated into more than 80 languages and have sold over 500 million copies. But not only that: they have thrilled young (and not so young, let’s admit it) from all over the world, for the masterful narrative structure, the construction of unforgettable characters (which evolve psychologically over the years) and for the inexhaustible imagination of the British writer.
Yet it was the eight feature films distributed by Warner Bros, which make up the third highest-grossing saga ever ($ 7.7 billion), that carved the faces of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and others in our memories. heroes and anti-heroes of the series.
It all began exactly twenty years ago, on November 16, 2001, when the movie Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released in theaters in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Let’s find out some curiosities about this lucky film, twenty years after its first screening.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: the film that (at first) everyone snubbed
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first film in the saga, alone has almost reached one billion euros in receipts.
And to say that there was a certain skepticism towards the film. When, at the end of 1997, producer (of the entire saga) David Heyman read the first novel of the same name with the intention of reducing it to a film, he classified it as a low priority, mainly due to its “junk title”.
And when it came to choosing the director, the first name called into question was none other than that of Steven Spielberg. But he refused because he considered the reduction of an already so famous novel a bet too easy to win.
There are also several news items that would speak of other noble waste that the production had to collect while composing the cast. It seems that, among others, Sean Connery has said no to the role of Albus Dumbledore and Tim Roth to that of Severus Snape.
But the most sensational refusal was that of the creator of everything, JK Rowling, to whom Heyman and associates would have gladly entrusted (even symbolically) the part of Harry’s mother. Rowling did not accept but requested, and obtained, that the cast be composed solely of British or Irish actors.
While nominated for three Academy Awards (for scenography, costumes and soundtrack), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hasn’t won any.
The film shot by Chris Columbus, to whom we owe also the second film in the saga, however, immediately met with great success with audiences and critics. In the first weekend it was screened in theaters, both in the United States and in the United Kingdom (the only country where all the scenes were shot) it broke all box-office records.
On the day of the film’s release, Electronic Arts released a video game of the same name.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone returns to the cinema
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, a film that turns twenty, returns to theaters.
The event will involve Italian cinemas from 9 to 12 December next. And this will be just one of the celebrations of the twentieth anniversary of one of the most famous and successful sagas in the history of cinema.
On November 16, the exact day on which the film’s twentieth anniversary is celebrated, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone will be broadcast in prime time on Sky Cinema Family.
Spotify also celebrates Harry Potter
Among the many initiatives to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the first film in the Harry Potter saga, Spotify should be mentioned.
Which not only offers playlists dedicated to Hogwarts wizards and witches, and 1,700 themed podcasts. But also the rankings of the playlists generated by the users and dedicated to the four houses of Hogwarts.
The actors today (and their reunion)
What happened to the actors of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the film that grossed more than $ 90 million at its launch weekend today?
To limit ourselves to the three main positive heroes of the saga, Daniel Radcliffe (the Harry Potter performer) has become one of the highest paid actors in the world. He specialized in stage acting in 2007 and has had other roles in notable films, including the 2012 horror film The Woman in Black.
Emma Watson-Hermione Granger not only has she starred in blockbuster films such as Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and garnered several awards for her acting performances. But she has also been appointed United Nations Women’s Goodwill Ambassador, and is constantly engaged in the fight for gender equality.
In the end Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), the least fortunate of the three. After a few roles in unattractive films, he would also have considered leaving acting. However, he got a revival thanks to his recent part in M. Night Shyamalan’s psychological thriller series, Servant, which aired on Apple TV +.
Meanwhile, the reunion of the cast of the first film in the saga is official: it will be a celebratory special, which will be previewed on HBO Max on new year’s day. And whose title is already known, Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts.