The Goal Was To Have No American Actors In The Franchise
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Columbus spoke to Total Film to mark the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. The film the first big-screen adaptation of the Harry Potter book series was released on 16 November 2001 in the UK and in the US.
During the conversation, Columbus explained that Williams expressed interest in the role of Lupin, who is introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third instalment in both the book and film series.
However, the goal was to have no American actors in the franchise, Columbus explained meaning Williams, a native of Chicago, Illinois, didnt qualify.
“I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin, the director said. “It was very difficult for me to say Its all British. Theres nothing I can do.
He Was Awarded The Order Of Merlin
For those who aren’t completely immersed in the world of Harry Potter, the Order of Merlin is a very prestigious award. It is given to wizards and witches who have accomplished something great. They come in levels from First Class down to Third Class, but all are honors.
Throughout history, winners included Newt Scamander , Albus Dumbledore and Minerva McGonagall . Remus Lupin was awarded the Order of Merlin, First Class, for his efforts during the Battle of Hogwarts and his time with the Order of the Phoenix. He made history as the first werewolf to receive this honor.
Harry Potter: 10 Facts You Didnt Know About Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin, beloved werewolf and marauder of the Harry Potter series, had a life rich with details. Here are some things you may not have known!
The Harry Potter universe features deep backstories for many of the main characters. Throughout the series, we learn a lot about Harry, Hermione, Ron, Dumbledore, Voldemort, and Snape to name a few. One pivotal character who is still kind of shrouded in mystery is Remus Lupin.
Lupin makes his first appearance in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He is the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor and we learn that he’s a werewolf, as well as a childhood friend of Harry’s father. Though there’s a fair amount that we know, we’ve come up with ten things most fans don’t know about him.
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Chris Columbus Confirms Robin Williams Wanted To Play Lupin In The Harry Potter Movies
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus had to personally tell Robin Williams he couldn’t play Lupin.
Can you imagine Robin Williams as Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter franchise? It could have happened, if not for a studio role that no American actors were eligible for the casting. For years, there have been rumors of Williams lobbying to get the part, leading some fans to wonder what could have been. Ultimately, it was David Thewlis who was cast in the role and his performance can be seen in the Harry Potter movies.
In a new interview with Total Film, per Games Radar, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone director Chris Columbus spoke about the production of that first movie in the series. He officially confirmed the rumor that Robin Williams was hoping to get cast as Remus Lupin in the franchise, as it was Columbus who had to personally let Robin know he didn’t have the part. It had nothing to do with Williams or his abilities as an actor, but was simply the result of an early rule that no American actors were to be cast with the goal of maintaining authenticity. As Columbus says:
“I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin. It was very difficult for me to say ‘It’s all British. There’s nothing I can do.'”
Robin Williams Was Rejected For Two Roles In The Harry Potter Movies
10 November 2021, 21:02
Robin Williams reportedly wanted to play both Lupin and Hagrid but producers rejected him for both roles because of a major rule.
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Can you believe it’s been 20 years since the very first Harry Potter movie was released in cinemas?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released way back in November 2001, launching Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Tom Felton and a whole host of other cast members into the Hollywood stratosphere.
But did you know that the cast could have looked completely different? From Harry himself to Snape, Bellatrix and Hagrid, other actors were either initially cast, considered or wanted to play those iconic roles.
For years now, the late, great Robin Williams was one of those actors whose name was always attached to the Potter franchise but he was never actually allowed to play a role.
Robin reportedly had hopes to play two iconic Potter characters but due to a rule put in place by production, he was rejected twice.
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‘harry Potter’ Director Admits To Turning Away Robin Williams For This Wizard Role
Robin Williams was magical in his own right, but the late Oscar-winning actor and comedian wanted to join the magical world of Harry Potter.
“I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin,” Harry Potter director Chris Columbus told Total Film. “It was very difficult for me to say, ‘Its all British. Theres nothing I can do.'”
According to Columbus, there was a deliberate goal to have “no American actors” across the board.
Columbus directed and executive produced the first two of the iconic eight-film franchiseHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and additionally produced on the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban .
The role of Remus Lupin eventually went to David Thewlis for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix , Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince , Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I and Deathly Hallows: Part II .
Sorcerer’s Stone will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its United States theatrical release on Nov. 14, but in July, Daniel RadcliffeHarry Potter himselfdispelled any notion that a formal cast reunion will take place.
Williams has been posthumously circulating in the news this week because Jamie Costa posted this five-minute video of him impersonating Williams to a freakishly accurate degree to YouTube on Monday. By Tuesday, Zelda Williams, his daughter, politely asked that fans stop sending the video to her:
He Fought Hard For Werewolf Rights
In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, werewolves are highly discriminated against. It’s part of why Remus stayed away from most of civilization before coming to Hogwarts and why parents wouldn’t be happy knowing he was teaching their children.
Remus’ own father was vocal about his feelings on werewolves. He considered them to be soulless, evil, and that they should die. His viewpoint changed when his son was turned, but that was how most people looked at them. Remus fought against the prejudices towards wolves whenever he could. And more often than not, he found success.
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The Order Of The Phoenix
The death of James Potter, along with his wife Lily, at the hands of Lord Voldemort, was one of the most traumatic events of Remuss already troubled life. His friends meant even more to him than to other people, because he had long since accepted the fact that most people would treat him as untouchable, and that there could be no possibility of marrying and having children. Even worse, within twenty-four hours he had also lost his two other best friends. Remus was in the north of the country on Order of the Phoenix business when he heard the horrible news that one of them had murdered the other, and was now in Azkaban, a traitor to the Order and to Lily and James themselves.
The downfall of Voldemort, such a source of jubilation to the rest of the wizarding community, marked the beginning of a long stretch of loneliness and unhappiness for Remus. He had lost his three close friends and, with the Order disbanded, his previous comrades returned to busy lives with families. His mother was now dead, and while Lyall, his father, was always delighted to see his son, Remus refused to endanger his fathers peaceful existence by returning to live with him.
Remus now lived a hand-to-mouth existence, taking jobs that were far below his level of ability, always knowing that he would have to leave them before his pattern of growing sick once a month at the full moon was noticed by his workmates.
His Parents Met Because Of A Boggart
The most memorable lesson we ever read about or see on screen that Remus Lupin teaches in Defense Against the Dark Arts is focused on boggarts. These little shapeshifting creatures take the form of whatever the person who encounters it fears the most. But boggarts actually play a major role in Remus’ life.
Remus’ father Lyall met his mother Hope because of a boggart. While walking through the woods, Hope came upon a boggart that shifted into a scary man. Lyall rescued her and dealt with the boggart. Being a muggle, Hope had no clue that a boggart was ultimately harmless. She fell for the man who saved her and Lyall eventually told her the truth.
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Harry Potter Director Reveals Robin Williams Wanted To Play Professor Lupin
Harry Potter director Chris Columbus reveals Robin Williams approached him about playing Remus Lupin, the role that went to David Thewlis.
Harry Potter director Chris Columbus reveals that Robin Williams wanted to play the role of Professor Lupin. Starting with J.K. Rowling’s books as their source material, the first two Harry Potter films, subtitled The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, were directed by Columbus and released in 2001 and 2002. The beloved blockbuster franchise that followed the Golden Trio of Harry Potter , Hermione Granger , and Ron Weasley went on to earn billions at the box office, putting it as the third-highest-grossing series behind the MCU and Star Wars.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter then moved forward with a prequel series, Fantastic Beasts, releasing installments in 2016 and 2018, though many fans and critics agree they fail to recapture the magic of the original films. The franchise has also been marred with controversy recently due to Rowling’s transphobic statements and Johnny Depp’s public legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard. Nevertheless, Fantastic Beasts is moving forward with its next installment, The Secrets of Dumbledore, with Mads Mikkelsen recast as Grindelwald.
I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin. It was very difficult for me to say “Its all British. Theres nothing I can do.”
Harry Potter Snub: Why Robin Williams Missed Out On Roles
Diehard fans of the Harry Potter films will no doubt agree the role of Professor Remus Lupin could never be played by anyone other than the reedy, dishevelled, and very-British David Thewlis.
But the director of the beloved series, Chris Columbus, has revealed the late Robin Williams was a hopeful to play the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, in the third film, Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban.
According to movie news site, Total Film, Columbus said: “I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin.
“It was very difficult for me to say, ‘It’s all British. There’s nothing I can do.'”
And it wasn’t the first time WIlliams – who died in 2014 and is remembered for his roles in Jumanji, Mrs Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam – was turned down from securing a role in the franchise, first penned as a series by JK Rowling in 1997.
In 2016 HuffPost reported Williams was also unsuccessful in securing the iconic role of Hagrid.
According to casting director Janet Hirshenson: “Robin had called because he really wanted to be in the movie, but it was a British-only edict, and once he said no to Robin, he wasn’t going to say yes to anybody else,” she said at the time. “It couldn’t be.”
Instead, Scottish actor Robbie Coltrane took on the gruff by kindly character, Hagrid, for all eight films.
“Maybe one day. Say if goes to Yale and becomes president.”
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He Was Turned Into A Wolf Out Of Revenge
Early on, many believed Remus was born a werewolf. We soon found out that he was turned in an attack by Death Eater Fenrir Greyback. But what many still don’t know is that this happened when he a small child and that it wasn’t a random happening. Greyback chose Remus as a measure of revenge.
Lyall Lupin worked at the Ministry of Magic and his harsh words about werewolves deserving nothing more than death ruffled some feathers. He was upset when Greyback received lenient treatment while being questioned. Greyback took this personally and targeted Lyall’s son. He climbed in through Remus’ window and bit him, turning him when he was just four years old.
The Condition On Which He Accepted His Teaching Job
Considering the way wizards and witches viewed werewolves, it makes sense that Remus would be wary of taking on a teaching job at Hogwarts. But there was another factor outside of potential backlash. Remus knew he had no control of his werewolf side and didn’t want to hurt any students.
To get Remus to agree to come work for him, Albus Dumbledore promised him an endless supply of the wolfsbane potion. This potion didn’t prevent Remus from turning, but it relieved some of the effects. It would be brewed consistently for him by master potions maker Severus Snape. That’s why Remus always felt gratitude towards Severus, even if he didn’t like him.
The Harry Potter Star Who Had First Ever Role In Only Fools And Horses
David Thewlis played Stew in a 1985 episode of the BBC sitcom
Only Fools and Horses fans and Harry Potter fans might not seem to have much overlap at first, but did you know that Defence Against the Dark Arts extraordinaire – and werewolf – Professor Lupin had his first ever role in Only Fools and Horses?
David Thewlis, who played Professor Remus Lupin in the Harry Potter series, first appearing in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, had a minor part in Only Fools and Horses in his first television debut in 1985.
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He played Stew in an episode entitled Its Only Rock n Roll. First broadcast on 14 March 1985, it was the fourth episode of series four of the BBC sitcom that Thewlis appeared in.
Stew is a rhythm guitarist that is part of Rodneys band, and first appears singing with an original song called Boys will be boys with the band.
Watch his appearance here
Robin Williams As Hagrid
Speaking to Huffington Post back in 2016, casting director Janet Hirshenson revealed that Robin had reached out to director Chris Columbus “because he really wanted to be in the movie.”
“But it was a British-only edict,” she said. “And once he said no to Robin, he wasnt going to say yes to anybody else, thats for sure. It couldnt be.
One of the reported casting rules on the Harry Potter films, set in place by the producers, was that the cast for the film franchise should only feature British and Irish actors.
Of course, Robbie Coltrane ended up playing the role of the beloved half-giant and Hogwarts groundskeeper but Robin Williams’ take on the iconic character would have been incredible to see.
Why His Wolf Form Looked So Frail
When most people think of a werewolf, they picture a creature that is vicious and terrifying. That’s certainly the vibe that Fenrir Greyback gives off whenever we see him. So why did Remus Lupin look so unintimidating when he turned in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?
The idea was that Remus’ werewolf form should mimic how he lived outside of it. His condition caused him to socially alienate himself from most of the world and he was noted to almost always look sickly. His wolf form was thin and mostly hairless. It also played into how he combated werewolf stereotypes.
Harry Potter Director Reveals Robin Williams Wanted To Play Lupin
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone turns 20 this year. As part of the anniversary celebrations, sister publication Total Film sat down with director Chris Columbus about launching the billion-dollar phenomenon on the big screen and even confirmed a surprising casting rumor.
To maintain a degree of authenticity, one of the franchises early rules was that the series wouldnt cast any American actors: “That was the goal. No American actors in this film,” Columbus, who is American himself, says.
That led to some interesting conversations, including one with legendary comedian Robin Williams who seemingly had his heart set on playing Remus Lupin. That role eventually went to David Thewlis, but Columbus reveals the story behind the rejection.
“I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin,” Columbus explains. “It was very difficult for me to say Its all British. Theres nothing I can do.” What could have been
Columbus also reveals he had doubts over whether Alan Rickman would want to play the sneering Professor Snape after his turn as Hans Gruber in Die Hard.
“I didnt really think Alan would do it after playing such an iconic villain in Die Hard,” says Columbus. “I cant imagine anyone else playing Snape. And Alan was just the utmost professional.”
And if youre a fan of Total Film, why not so that you never miss an issue?
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