20 years after the cinema release: Harry Potter’s magic is unbroken

Status: 11/22/2021 3:42 p.m.

JK Rowling’s books were bestsellers when the first Harry Potter film hit theaters 20 years ago. It was the beginning of the success story about the sorcerer’s apprentice – which is still going on.

By Imke Koehler, ARD-Studio London

When “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” came into German cinemas, the “Potter mania” had long been rampant – the expectations for the first film in the fantasy series were correspondingly high.

Imke Koehler
ARD-Studio London

At the premiere in London a few days earlier, celebrities such as the music greats Cher and Sting and Fergie, the Duchess of York, mingled with the audience. To this day, Harry Potter fans can be photographed in King’s Cross station in front of the walled-in baggage car and the sign for platform 9 3/4.

60,000 boys wanted the role of Harry Potter

The successful author JK Rowling sold the rights to the first four books in 1999 for a million pounds, a profit-sharing scheme and an extensive say in Warner Brothers.

When asked who could play the role of Harry, Rowling had said at the time: “A stranger. You’re looking for a previously unknown British boy. So if you have black hair and green eyes – you don’t have to have a scar that we can do it – then get in touch. “

60,000 boys signed up and we know how the casting went: Daniel Radcliffe got the role. The day he thought his life couldn’t be better was the first day of shooting, Radcliffe later said. It was incredible to be on the set.

Films grossed six billion pounds

It was all overwhelming for the young actors. Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the films and stepped into the spotlight at the tender age of ten, was impressed by the size of the cameras. They are huge, about many times their size, Watson said at the time.

“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” was the start of a successful series. The Harry Potter films have now grossed nearly six billion pounds worldwide.

Streamingdienst plant Reunion-Special

HBO Max wants to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the premiere in a special way: The streaming service has announced an official reunion special – with Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and many others of the acting crew. This special event will be shown on New Years in the USA, when it will be shown in Germany is still unclear.

By the way: as far as Harry’s scar is concerned – the young actor Radcliffe actually didn’t bring it with him. The scar had to be created by the makeup artists. Over 5000 times over the years.

20 years ago – first Harry Potter film in German cinemas

Imke Köhler, ARD London, 11/22/2021 2:57 p.m.


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