For the younger generation, there is basically no franchise as iconic and far reaching as Harry Potter. Starting with the insanely popular seven novels by J.K. Rowling and eventually spanning 8 blockbusters, tons of video games, and a few theme parks, Harry's journey through the wizarding world has a way to captivate audiences. And because so many twenty somethings grew up with Harry Potter, the fandom is invested in basically every setting and character. So when certain moments were left on the cutting room floor, the rabid fanbase was set into a frenzy. And apparently, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone director Chris Columbus was no different.
Chris Columbus, who directed the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, recently opened up to Entertainment Weekly about the process of directing Sorcerer's Stone. He eventually revealed that Hogwarts ghost/prankster Peeves was originally supposed to be in the first movie but was cut, much to his chagrin. Peeves is actually Columbus' favorite character, but he explained:
We needed to cut something because the film was close to three hours. He was going to be a completely CGI character and that saved us a considerable amount of money, but also created a considerable amount of heartbreak. The footage exists so there's the potential that someday we could put it back together if people really were that interested.
Well, that sucks.
Peeves' inclusion in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone would have helped flesh out the world of Hogwarts, although we did get to see some of the other famous ghosts; John Cleese did a cameo as Nearly Headless Nick, and we got glimpses of the Fat Friar and Bloody Baron. But it appears that Peeves was cut because he would be entirely CGI, rather than an actor performing and then manipulated with visual effects.
Peeves being cut from Sorcerer's Stone is just one of many examples that adapting the long and detailed Harry Potter novels for film is no easy feat. J.K. Rowling created a fleshed out and expansive world, and it's just not plausible that all of the nuanced and unique moments could make it onto the silver screen. While understandable, this served to ruin some of the more dramatic moments in the franchise. For instance, Dobby the house elf was only on screen in Chamber of Secrets and right before his death in The Deathly Hollows Part 1. His death in the movies had no emotional impact for moviegoers or casual audiences they could have easily forgotten about Dobby in the many years between his appearances. Conversely, Dobby was present in every novel since his introduction, making the character death devastating for fans of the novels.
Chris Columbus did say that early version of Peeves exists somewhere, so it should be interesting to see if the fandom demands the footage. Peeves is one of the more dynamic Hogwarts ghosts, and one that was surely missed on the silver screen.
Are you bummed Peeves wasn't in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone? Sound off in the comments below.