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Trivia / Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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  • Ability over Appearance: JK Rowling has said that she felt Emma Watson was perfect for Hermione after speaking to her on the phone - where in true Hermione fashion she spoke for sixty seconds without taking a breath. She's joked that if she had met Emma before and seen how pretty she was, she may not have been cast.
  • Acting for Two: Ian Hart played Quirrell and provided the voice and motion capture for Voldemort. (Richard Bremmer was not the voice, he portrayed Voldemort in the flashback to the death of Harry's parents.)
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  • Actor Allusion: In the film, Dudley Dursley is played by Harry Melling. There is a brief moment in the film which was not in the book, in which Hagrid mistakes Dudley for Harry, to which Dudley responds that he's "not Harry."
  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Harry Melling absolutely loved playing Dudley, saying how much fun it was to play a shameless spoiled brat.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: "Yer a wizard Harry" is only in the film. In the book, Hagrid says "Harry - yer a wizard."
  • Breakthrough Hit: Immediately after the release of this book, everyone knew about J. K. Rowling.
  • Completely Different Title: The book is known as Harry Potter à l'école des sorciers (roughly Harry Potter at Wizards' School) in French.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Chris Columbus expressed regret over the visual effects in this film, saying they weren't very good. When it came time to make Chamber of Secrets, he made sure to film all of the scenes requiring effects first so the effects team would have more time to work on them.
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    • Rik Mayall had this to say about being cut from the film:
      The film, with, with no respect at all...the film was shit.
    • Richard Harris only took the role for his granddaughter and made it no secret he thought the whole thing was "made up crap."
  • Deleted Role:
    • Rik Mayall filmed several scenes as Peeves but they were all cut and he wasn't brought back for any other movies.
    • Simon Fisher-Becker signed a four film deal to play the Hufflepuff ghost the Fat Friar. However he only appears in one scene in this film, and not in any others.
  • Descended Creator: Defied. JK Rowling was offered the role of Lily Potter, but she turned it down, and Geraldine Somerville played it.
    "I really am not cut out to be an actress, even one who just has to stand there and wave. I would have messed it up somehow."
  • Enforced Method Acting: The child actors did their actual school work while filming the Hogwarts scenes - to make the school setting appear that much more real.
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  • Fake Brit: Defied by J. K. Rowling - who insisted all cast members be British. Only three Americans are in the film - Zoe Wanamaker (Madame Hooch), who has a British accent anyway; and Eleanor Columbus (Susan Bones, the first girl to get sorted) who has no lines. Verne Troyer, who plays Griphook, is American but dubbed by Warwick Davis.
  • Fake Shemp: According to Alan Rickman, "very small adult actors" would wear wigs and double for the trio during the hours they weren't allowed to film.
  • Hypothetical Casting: Robbie Coltrane was JK Rowling's personal choice for the role of Hagrid.
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  • Jossed:
    • Due to the books' covers showing Harry with a scar in the middle of his forehead, most fans assumed this is where his scar was meant to be. However J. K. Rowling insisted on having it on the side of his forehead, the books never specifying where exactly the scar was.
    • JK Rowling has also denied the story that she turned down Steven Spielberg's offer to direct the film, because he wanted it to be animated and have Haley Joel Osment voice Harry. It was actually Alan Horn, president of Warner Bros that vetoed this - and that was just the idea of making the films animated and combining several books into one. Spielberg still did five months of pre-production before stepping down because he didn't feel connected to the material.
    • No one wanted Haley Joel Osment as the voice of Harry either, or at least no one was pushing for him in the role. He had just expressed interest in playing Harry.
  • Old Shame: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all have said they have a hard time watching themselves in this film (along with the second) as they feel their performances were not up to par with their work in the later films. Watson is particularly embarrassed over the fact that she can be seen mouthing the other actors' lines in a few shots.
  • Real-Life Relative: Susan Bones is played by the director's daughter, Eleanor Columbus.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Richard Harris was unsure about taking the part of Dumbledore, fearing his health would mean he wouldn't be around for seven films. His granddaughter threatened to never speak to him again if he turned it down, so he signed on anyway. Sadly, he did indeed pass away after the second film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • An early draft had Rita Skeeter as one of the people that Harry meets when he comes into the Leaky Cauldron for the first time. At this point she was named 'Bridget' instead. She was cut because it was taking too long for Harry to get to Diagon Alley, and she didn't appear until the fourth book. J. K. Rowling later said that by the time Rita properly appeared, she was influenced heavily by the journalists she had encountered since her fame.
    • Producers intended to match the characters' appearances with their descriptions in the book - giving Daniel Radcliffe green contacts and having Emma Watson wear buck teeth. Dan's eyes couldn't take the contacts and Emma couldn't talk properly with the teeth in, so those ideas were abandoned.
    • David Thewlis - who would eventually join the franchise as Remus Lupin - was in consideration to play Professor Quirrell before Ian Hart was cast.
    • Robin Williams, Rosie O'Donnell and Drew Barrymore all expressed interest in starring in the movie - being big fans of the series.
    • Terry Gilliam was in serious talks to direct, but left after some Creative Differences with Warner Bros. He would go on to bash Columbus's directing work as boring.
    • Canterbury Cathedral was the first choice to be used as a set for Hogwarts. They refused, worried that the witchcraft theme of the series would upset Christians who worshiped there.
  • Word of God: Chris Columbus states that many of the background extras in the Leaky Cauldron scene were told to wear turbans so that Quirrell's would not seem out of place.
  • In a bit of more general trivia, because the Philosopher's Stone was renamed the Sorcerer's Stone in the American release of the source novel, every scene where the stone is referred to by name had to have a second version shot where characters call it by its Americanized name for the film's US release.

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