I’ll own up to it; I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan. But like most people, I know some basic facts about the movie adaptations.
But I only recently realised that Alan Rickman, the iconic actor behind the character of Snape, almost didn’t get the part ― the role nearly went to MCU star Tim Roth.
It was a tale of producers vs writers
The Incredible Hulk actor was actually the movie producers’ first choice ― though it seems JK Rowling always had her eye on Rickman for the part.
While Tim was initially keen to take the role, he had already agreed to appear in The Planet of the Apes, which was filming at the same time.
Initially, the plan was for Tim Roth to film both movies at the same time ― both productions agreed to allow for the other. But it turned out to be way too much for the actor (which, to be fair, I understand).
So, one movie had to go; Tim chose to ditch Harry Potter, so the role went to Alan Rickman.
There are other near-changes, too
Harry Potter could have been a very different movie. Tilda Swinton, for instance, declined the role of Sybill Trelawney ― and apparently, it’s because she hates boarding schools.
Speaking to Scots Magazine, she said that she “[disliked] films like Harry Potter which tend to romanticise such places. I think they are a very cruel setting in which to grow up and I don’t feel children benefit from that type of education.” That makes sense, I suppose.
Ian McKellen almost played Dumbledore, too, but was apparently too loyal to the Lord of the Rings franchise. And perhaps it didn’t help that Richard Harris, the original Dumbledore, called him and Kenneth Brannagh “technically brilliant, but passionless.”
What a world, right?