There has long been word of the first 'Harry Potter' film getting the re-release treatment (if you were quick, you might have got tickets for the film's arrival in cinemas again this November), but an extra-long version never came to fruition.
The director of the first two entries in the franchise, however, wants his three-hour cut of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' to be seen by fans at long last.
In fairness, it's something that could easily be done. We all know how strong a fanbase can be, just look at how well the #ReleaseTheSnyderCut movement worked out for Zack Snyder's cut of 'Justice League'. With the 'Harry Potter' fanbase still remaining intact, hoping to separate the franchise from the controversial remarks of its author, we could potentially be seeing this extra-long version of the fantasy film at some point in the future.
Now director Chris Columbus wants his three-hour cut of 'Philosopher's Stone' to be released too. The original theatrical release clocks in at two hours and 32 minutes, and there's even an 'Ultimate Edition' on DVD and Blu-ray which adds an extra seven minutes. However, Columbus' original version of the film, which was shown to preview audiences, ended up being cut by 20 minutes after clocking in at two hours and 52 minutes.
It also turns out that one scene-stealing character from the books, the mischievous poltergeist known as Peeves, had all of his scenes cut.
Speaking with TheWrap this week, Columbus said: "We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews. 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."
Telling the director that they would love to see the near three-hour version of the film someday, he added: "I would too. We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!"
The late Rik Mayall of 'Bottom' and 'Blackadder' fame had been cast as the character, but none of his scenes ended up making the final cut of the first entry in the fantasy series.
Today, November 16, marks 20 years since 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone' arrived in cinemas. Unfortunately, there will be no special reunion to mark the occasion, but HBO Max will release a themed quiz show hosted by Helen Mirren.