This year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters, and director Chris Columbus is sharing a lot of information about it—including the fact that at one point, the movie was three hours long.
At two hours and 32 minutes, the theatrical cut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is hardly short. But there were around 30 minutes of extra footage, some of which contained material—and characters—fans of the books would have loved to see. “We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!” Columbus told The Wrap.
Peeves is a meddlesome poltergeist who haunts the halls of Hogwarts in the novels. In the first movie, he was played by actor Rik Mayall but didn’t make the final cut.
Will Warner Bros. Release the Columbus Cut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone?
Back in 2001, it was difficult to get a vastly extended cut of a movie released. But the practice has been picking up steam lately. Warner Bros. made waves when it released Zack Snyder’s Justice League, a much longer version of the 2017 film, on HBO Max. Warner Bros. also made the Harry Potter films, so who’s to say fans couldn’t get a mega-sized version of Sorcerer’s Stone sometime?
According to Columbus, the three-hour version was a hit when they screened it, at least with kids. “We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews,” the director said. “Particularly a Chicago preview where our first cut was a three-hour cut. Parents afterwards said it was too long, the kids said it was too short. I thought, well, the kids presumably have a shorter attention span so this is a good thing.”