Every Harry Potter fan can agree that it’s time to release the #ColumbusCut for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. In an interview with The Wrap, the director of the fantasy movie, Chris Columbus, called on Warner Bros to release the original three-hour-long version of the 2001 film.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’s theatrical cut has a run time of two hours and 32 minutes. But, the director has revealed that the film initially ran just over three hours. Nearly half an hour of footage was cut from the hit family movie, including scenes that saw the appearance of a character from the novels, Peeves – a mischievous ghost haunting the halls of Hogwarts. Apparently, the cuts were made after the flick’s audience test screenings. According to Columbus, during the screenings, the kids had no problem with the film’s length; however, their parents took issue with how long the adventure movie was.
“We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews,” Columbus explained. “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.”
Columbus said he’d like to see Warner Bros release the full version of the kids movie, which hasn’t been seen in 20 years now. “We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!” the director added. However, despite the director’s and fans’ wishes, the studio hasn’t announced any plans for a widespread release of the mysterious three-hour cut.
While nothing has been confirmed on a never-seen-before version of The Philosopher’s Stone, Columbus has expressed his interest in filming a new Harry Potter movie. The filmmaker is open to the idea of directing the cinematic adaptation of the stage play The Cursed Child, which takes place 19 years after the Deathly Hallows movies.
Currently, no Cursed Child film is in development. However, another Harry Potter prequel is definitely on its way. The third movie in the Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts franchise, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, is scheduled to hit theatres on April 15, 2022.