The 3-hour cut of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone may finally bring justice to the peeves.

After Return to Hogwarts’ touching In Memoriam, Chris Columbus’ plan to release his original Harry Potter movie would do justice to Rik Mayall.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’s original 3-hour cut can finally offer justice to Rik Mayall’s Peeves the Poltergeist, following Return to Hogwarts’ touching In Memoriam tribute. J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, which was published in 1997, includes several moments where Peeves wreaks havoc and torments Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville, and Percy Weasley. Director Chris Columbus did film most of these moments for the first Harry Potter movie, but all Peeves’ scenes were eventually cut from the 2 hours and 32 minutes version that reached everyone’s screens.

Director Chris Columbus did the incredibly difficult job of turning Rowling’s already worldwide popular books (by 2000, the first four books had been released) into movies. The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets were a huge success as they went on to gross a staggering combined $1.8bn. Screenwriter Steve Kloves worked hard to include elements that were most important to fans, and Peeves was a favorite among readers. Columbus initially screened his original three-hour cut in Chicago and said (via The Wrap): “Parents afterward 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.” Eventually, almost half an hour of footage was removed for the theatrical release. Peeves the Poltergeist didn’t even make the “Ultimate Edition” of the movie that runs seven minutes longer.

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts offered a valuable In Memoriam tribute to all the Harry Potter actors who sadly lost their lives, with a special focus on Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy), and Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore). The fact that Rik Mayall, a UK comedy titan, was also mentioned in the tribute makes this the perfect moment for Chris Columbus to carry out his wish to release the original Sorcerer’s Stone 3-hour cut, in Mayall’s honor. Columbus expressed to The Wrap that he would very much like to release this version of the film: “We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!” Peeves was a fan-favorite in the books, and the 3-hour cut would do justice to both the character and his actor, Rik Mayall.

 

Although all Peeves scenes were cut from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Percy Weasley’s actor Chris Rankin revealed in an interview (via YouTube) that Peeves showed up early on, in a scene similar to his original intro in the books. The poltergeist thus made his first appearance when the Gryffindor students were going to the common room. According to the original script, “Without warning, the walking sticks come flying forth,” as Peeves throws them mockingly at the students, and Percy “sighs in annoyance.” But there are several other scenes Columbus might have included in his original cut. In the first book, Nearly-Headless Nick tries to stop Peeves from attending the Start-of-Term feast, Peeves writes rude words on a classroom blackboard and antagonizes Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville against Filtch, and vice versa.

Rik Mayall was known for his flawless comedic roles in The Young Ones, Drop Dead Fred, or Bottom (and his perfect role as King Herod in the 2000 version of Jesus Christ Superstar). It’s fitting that he was cast as a character who brings equally humor and chaos to Hogwarts, and it’s surprising that two decades after the first Harry Potter movie came out, Mayall’s scenes are still unknown to the saga’s many fans. Columbus initially said Peeves was cut as neither he nor producer David Heyman was happy with the design, but a 2022 3-hour release would surely take care of the potential design flaws as well as finally offer justice for Peeves the Poltergeist.

 

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