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Harry Potter director would like his three-hour cut of the first movie to be released

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Harry Potter director Chris Columbus has said that he'd like to see the release of the original, three-hour cut of the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (AKA Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in the US and India), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.  

"We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews," Columbus said in an interview with The Wrap. "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."

The theatrical cut has a runtime of two hours and 32 minutes, and one of the things included in that missing half an hour is Peeves. A fan favorite in the Harry Potter books, Peeves is a poltergeist who haunts Hogwarts. He was played by Rik Mayall in scenes from the first movie that didn't make the final cut. 

When The Wrap reporter said he’d like to see the three-hour version released on the big screen, the director said: "I would too. We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!"

Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter movies and was a producer on the third. He's also helmed movies like Home Alone (and its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York), Mrs. Doubtfire, and Rent

Our next venture into the wizarding world on the big screen will be Fantastic Beasts 3, which is set to release on April 8, 2022. In the meantime, check out our list of the other upcoming movies to get excited about in 2021 and beyond.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.