WE, among other Potter fanatics the world over, were finally offered the opportunity to see our heroes – Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger – embark on their Hogwarts journey on screen today 15 years ago, with Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson playing the three friends respectively.
For the very few unfamiliar with the franchise, the film followed Harry in his first adventure in the wizarding world, beginning with the discovery of his magical powers, and ending with the faceoff with arch-nemesis Lord Voldermort.
Who can forget the anxiety felt when we watched Harry running for the first time with his trolley into Platform 9¾ (even though we knew he’d get through)? In fact, it seems like it was just the other day when the Sorting Hat was on their heads shouting, “Griffindor!” for all three (to our contentment) – and, “Slytherin!” to Tom Felton’s Draco Malfoy, whom we all loved to hate.
Though it was J.K. Rowling’s enchanting prose that began it all, the three stars proved more than adept at finding a place for themselves in the hearts of fans due to their undeniable on-screen chemistry, despite being between the ages of 10 and 12 and having not had much acting experience.
And the proof is in the sales. The film grossed $976-million worldwide, the highest in 2001, and a massive return on the $125-million production. Here are few other things you may not have known about the film:
JK Rowling insisted on an all-British cast, which prevented Robin Williams from playing Hagrid: a role he had been interested in since he heard about the adaptation but was let down with the words: “…there is a ban on American actors
- As with the book, the ‘Philosopher’s Stone‘ part of the title had to be adapted for American audiences to ‘Sorcerer’s Stone’. It was argued that American kids might not find a book with the word ‘philosopher’ in the title interesting enough.
- Emma Watson might not have got the role of Hermione Granger if JK Rowling hadn’t had a telephone conversation with her beforehand. Rowling had imagined a geeky Hermione and thought Emma was too beautiful for the role.