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Harry Potter star Alan Rickman was snubbed for an iconic comedy series

Alan Rickman was one of the biggest stars in the Harry Potter franchise, but his career would have took a very different path if he bagged this comedy role.

Alan Rickman as Severus Snape in Harry Potter, against a Red Dwarf backdrop

Alan Rickman will forever be remembered as Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies, but the legendary actor almost bagged a very iconic role in a classic comedy series long before he entered the Wizarding World.

Of all the Harry Potter stars, few have endeared themselves to the fanbase quite like Alan Rickman. You can’t deny that one of the most intriguing parts of watching the Harry Potter movies in order is seeing Severus Snape‘s journey unfold. He may appear to be one of the best Harry Potter villains at the start, but we later learn that Snape is actually one of the good guys.

Rickman’s portrayal of Snape helps the Hogwarts potions master become one of the best Harry Potter characters of all time, but before his legendary turn in the Harry Potter cast, the actor could have been involved in one of the best comedy series ever made.

In a piece from The Guardian on the making of the classic TV show Red Dwarf, co-creator Doug Naylor revealed that original plans for the series had Rickman in line for a key role. And, funnily enough, he would have been joined by Alfred Molina, who played the Spider-Man villain, Doctor Octopus.

Naylor said: “We thought: ‘How can this fail?’ But the BBC rejected it three times. Alan Rickman and Alfred Molina liked the script so we considered casting them as Rimmer and Lister. Rickman wanted to be Lister because he thought playing Rimmer would be too easy. In the end, Craig Charles and Chris Barrie just seemed a better double act.”

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Obviously, Rickman did not suffer too much for losing out on this role. In the same year that Red Dwarf premiered, Rickman took on the role of Hans Gruber in Die Hard, and went down in history as one of the best movie villains of all time.

Then, of course, he earned his place in cinematic history thanks to his role in some of the best fantasy movies ever made. Rickman was an incredible talent and he is sorely missed, but we are ever so grateful that we got to enjoy him at all. We certainly do not envy whoever has to take on the role of Snape for the upcoming Harry Potter TV series.

If you want more from the Wizarding World, we’ve got guides on the Cursed Child release date, and a list of the worst Harry Potter plot holes. Alternatively, look ahead to new movies like The Marvels and Avatar 3 for magic of a different kind.