News Archive – 2nd Quarter 2002
Happy Anniversary, Harry!
Story filed: June 26th, 2002. Source: CBBC Newsround
Today is the 5th anniversary of the first publication of "Harry
Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" in the UK. Since its initial
release, the Harry Potter book series has sold over 164 million copies
and has been translated into 54 languages. The movie of the first book
has grossed nearly one billion dollars worldwide.
Owl Prowl Winner Announced
Story filed: June 25th, 2002. Source: CBBC Newsround
11-year-old Joel Willoughby of Navarre, FL, has won a walk-on role in
the upcoming movie "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets".
Joel beat out over 1.5 million other Potter fans in Warner Bros.’ "Owl
Prowl" Harry Potter trivia contest, which ran during the month of
May. The ten grand prize winners from the contest won an all-expenses-paid
trip to London to see the premiere of "Harry Potter and the Chamber
of Secrets" when it opens in November. As the top grand prize winner,
Joel will also get to spend a week on the set of "Chamber of Secrets"
meeting the cast and crew and filming a small walk-on role.
"Chamber of Secrets" Trailer Released
Story filed: June 14th, 2002.
Warner Bros. released the first teaser trailer for "Harry Potter
and the Chamber of Secrets" today as part of the theatrical release
of the "Scooby Doo" movie. The trailer shows Harry’s first encounter
with Dobby the House Elf, Harry and Ron flying the enchanted Ford Anglia
to Hogwarts and being chased by the Hogwarts Express, Harry duelling with
Draco Malfoy and the climactic battle scene in the Chamber of Secrets.
Check out our videos page for links to downloadable
copies of the trailer!
Harry to offer peek inside ‘Chamber’
Story filed: June 11th, 2002.
By Claudia Puig, USA TODAY
It’s no magic trick, but there’s relief in sight for all who are wild
about Harry and can’t wait for J.K. Rowling’s delayed fifth book. (Due
originally in July, it has been pushed back to 2003.)
The first trailer of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be
shown on Friday before another Warner Bros. movie, Scooby-Doo. Exclusive
photos from the trailer shown here also will be available for viewing
on America Online on Tuesday (keyword: Harry Potter).
The sequel, out Nov. 15, will be funnier, scarier and darker than Harry
Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which grossed $317.6 million in North
America, says producer David Heyman.
"It’s a year later and Harry is 12," Heyman says. "There’s
a little bit more danger. The first film was about Harry finding a home
and family in Hogwarts."
Now that moviegoers know all about the magical world of Hogwarts School
of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the adventures are intensified. "We can
jump-start the story, which is fun," Heyman says. "The Chamber
of Secrets has been opened, and Harry is in threat of losing his new family
and home." (The mysterious Chamber can wreak enormous havoc.)
All the characters from the first movie are back, along with new villains
Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs), Draco’s father, and former Hogwarts student
Tom Riddle (Christian Coulson). The filmmakers also predict more laughs
this time around.
Heyman says those comedic elements include Gilderoy Lockhart, the new
teacher of the required Hogwarts course Defense Against the Dark Arts.
The shameless self-promoter — whose first test covers questions about
him — is played by Kenneth Branagh.
"He’s narcissistic and vain and takes himself quite seriously,"
Heyman says. "He’s also very big with the ladies."
For more comic relief, there’s an elf named Dobby. "He’s short and
thin and wears a pillowcase for clothing," says Heyman. "He
has a long nose, longish ears and big green eyes."
There will be another fast-paced Quidditch match, which Heyman says has
been improved. "One of the great things about making a second film,"
he says, "is you have the opportunity to learn from the first
Where is Tom Going Next Summer?
What’s his idea of a good career?
"Professional fisherman," he says. He goes fishing near his
home in Surrey, England, and is planning a fishing trip in Manitoba, Canada,
He’s an unusual kid in another respect: Except for the parts featuring
Draco, Felton has not read any of the four Harry Potter books. "I’ll
probably read the first soon and won’t read the second till after the
movie comes out," he explains.
Felton agrees that the name Draco Malfoy rolled trippingly and malevolently
off his tongue. "It’s almost like James Bond," he says.
Boy From Florida Wins Harry Potter Walk-On Role
Story filed: June 11, 2002. Source: Zap2it.com
BURBANK, Calif. – An 11-year-old boy who already wears round glasses
is the grand prize winner of a walk-on role in the next "Harry Potter"
film, according to Warner Home Video.
In an announcement Tuesday (June 11), the Warner company announced the
winner of the worldwide online "Owl Prowl" game, created to
bring Harry Potter fans across the globe together in celebration of the
May DVD and VHS release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Joel Willoughby of Navarre, Fla., is the 11-year-old randomly selected
from more than 1.5 million entries worldwide to win a trip to England
for a walk-on role in this fall’s theatrical release "Harry Potter
and the Chamber of Secrets."
"We are thrilled for Joel and his family as they prepare to fly
to England for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Mark Horak,
executive vice president of Warner Home Video’s worldwide marketing. "The
‘Owl Prowl’ game was extremely popular and succeeded in bringing Harry
Potter fans around the world together through the power of the Internet."
The game www.owlsightings.com got more than 100 milliion online impressions
(including at Zap2it) in the three weeks, from May 8 to May 25, that it
More than 17,000 instant win prizes were awarded to players around the
Participants around the world took part in "owl prowls" through
various websites such as Cartoon Network, Yahooligans, Neopets and Nickelodeon
and globally on AOL Germany, Cartoon Network in Japan and Yahoo in England,
and used their "owl intellect" to answer up to 85 Harry Potter
Players in 12 different countries competed in seven different languages
(French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, German, Portuguese and English) on
www.owlsightings.com, powered by Warner Bros. Online. Each day, participants
had the opportunity to answer five questions in order to be entered for
a chance to win the grand prize and one of the thousands of instant-win
prizes, including a variety of Harry Potter merchandise.
With operations in 78 international territories – more than the video
division of any other studio – Warner Home Video commands the largest
distribution infrastructure in the global video marketplace.
WHV’s film library is the largest of any studio, offering top-quality
new and vintage titles from the repertoires of Warner Bros. Pictures,
Turner Entertainment Company, Castle Rock Entertainment, HBO Home Video
and New Line Home Entertainment.
Why They’re Harried in Pottersville
From Newsweek, June 10th, 2002
Wanted: Director with the Magic Touch
Help wanted: Major studio seeks energetic filmmaker (avg. workday: 15
hrs.) to take over multibillion-dollar franchise. Must love flying broomsticks,
magic wands. Big $ for right person. Warning: Could also end promising
THINGS ARE LOOKING A little hectic over in Pottersville. Not only has
publication of J. K. Rowling’s fifth wizard book been delayed, but
now Warner Bros. must replace director Chris Columbus, who’s finishing
“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” due this November.
Columbus, who also made the first “Potter” blockbuster, says
he’s weary of never seeing his family, and Warners is shopping for
someone to take over the third film, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner
of Azkaban.” The shortlist includes “Thelma and Louise”
screenwriter Callie Khouri, whose directing debut, “Divine Secrets
of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” opens Friday; Kenneth Branagh, who plays
Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Columbus’s “Chamber of Secrets,”
and—honest—Alfonso Cuaron, Mexican director of the sexually
explicit “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” who made a charming children’s
film, 1995’s “A Little Princess.” Warners production chief
Lorenzo di Bonaventura won’t tip his hand: “We like all three
Meanwhile, the three young stars are aging faster than their characters,
and may need to be replaced for the fourth film, “Harry Potter and
the Goblet of Fire.” What’s more, “The Prisoner of Azkaban”
doesn’t hit theaters until summer 2004, interrupting the once-a-year
flow. But if we were Warners, we wouldn’t lose any sleep. “Harry
Potter” DVDs are flying off shelves, and Rowling’s new book—whenever
it arrives—should reignite the magic.
New Director for Potter III?
Story filed May 29th, 2002
HOLLYWOOD, California (Reuters) — With "Harry Potter" the
hottest franchise in franchise-hungry Hollywood, why is everything to
do with the property so up in the air?
The fifth book in J.K. Rowling’s megaselling series is way behind schedule,
much to the agitation of publishers and booksellers. And Warner Bros.
is eyeing some wild cards to take over directing chores on the "Potter"
pictures’ third installment. (Warner Bros. is a division of AOL Time Warner,
as is CNN.com.)
One name that can safely be crossed off the list: Chris Columbus, who
directed both "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone" and this
year’s upcoming sequel, "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets."
He told the studio he wants to bring his family home after living in Blighty
for more than a year.
Alfonso Cuaron, who directed the Spanish-language hit "Y Tu Mama
Tambien," is high among the list of candidates. The Mexican director,
known for the lush visuals and adult sophistication in pictures including
"Great Expectations," also directed the kid-friendly "A
Little Princess," based on Frances Hodgson Burnett novel.
Also on the list: Callie Khouri ("The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya
Sisterhood") and hyphenate Kenneth Branagh, who plays Professor Gilderoy
Lockhart, the new Defense of the Dark Arts instructor at Hogwarts, in
the second picture.
Cuaron recently received a copy of scribe Steve Kloves’ new (and carefully
controlled) script for round three in the series, "Harry Potter and
the Prisoner of Azkaban," and is in conversations with Warner Bros.
about his ideas for the picture.
Cuaron is attached to direct an adaptation of P.D. James’ 1992 "The
Children of Men."
Meanwhile, Potter fans are puzzling over the unfinished fifth book, tentatively
titled "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."
Scholastic, which has sold nearly 70 million copies of the first four
books, was hoping to publish the book in July. But Rowling has told her
publishers she needs more time to finish, prompting Scholastic to assure
antsy shareholders they can expect the book by June 2003.
‘Potter producer promises "honed" Quidditch
Story filed 14, May 2002
For many, the highlight of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone was
the breakneck speed Quidditch match which saw the young wizard tearing
around on his broomstick. Well, fans will be pleased to know that Harry
will once again be straddling his Nimbus 2000 in the next film, The Chamber
Of Secrets. Indeed, one of the movie’s producers has promised that the
second ‘Potter flick’s Quidditch action will be bigger and better than
On the DVD release of the first film, producer David Heyman reveals what
Potter-maniacs can look forward to.
"What we’ve got in the second film is, we’ve honed it a little bit,
it’ll be, I think the movement will be a little faster," he states,
adding, "We’re also incorporating a trench around the outside of
the field which will be where a great portion of the action will take
place, where Harry gets chased by a bludger throughout the field."
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets is due to hit our screens this
Felton to call it quits after Harry Potter
Story filed 14, May 2002
The Daily Express Reports :
Tom, 14, who plays Draco Malfoy, the meanest schoolboy at Hogwarts, said
yesterday: "Harry Potter is fantastic but when this is over I don’t
think I’ll carry on.
"I want to go to college to do fisheries studies. I haven’t accepted
any other films outside of this because acting isn’t the be-all-and-end-all
for me. I think you have to keep your feet on the ground with this sort
He added: "In spite of what Draco is like I really like school and
I miss it a lot when I’m filming. I’ve a fair idea what I want to do for
my GCSEs – I will definitely be doing music."
Harris done filming in CoS
Story filed 14, May 2002
The Daily Express Reports :
Richard Harris, who plays Professor Dumbledore in the films, has spoken
about the pain he endures daily on set from wearing the Hogwarts headmaster’s
2ft-long beard. "It takes two hours for the girls in make-up to put
on and it’s actually pretty heavy, " he explained.
"After a few hours my face hurts because of the weight. And it’s
pretty sore to take off because of all that glue."
Harris, 72, has just finished filming the next Potter movie Chamber Of
Secrets and is now taking some well-earned time off.
"It’s a marvellous arrangement for me doing Harry Potter because
I just do 20 days’ filming every six months, and the rest of the time
I just get to do whatever I want."
In spite of the massive worldwide fame he now has, the Limerick-born
actor says he has no other plans for taking on any other film or television
"I’m in my seventies and there’s just no need to do anything else.
I’ve worked all my life and I think I deserve the rest."
Harry Potter makes UK video history
Story filed: 17:34 Sunday 12th May 2002
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has become the most successful
UK video and DVD release of all time.
Warner Home Video say more than 1.25 million copies were sold yesterday
on the first day of its release.
The previous record was held by the film Titanic, which achieved 1.1
million sales in 1997.
Neil McEwan, managing director of Warner Home Video said: "We are
delighted that Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has officially
become the fastest selling video ever in UK history, ahead of the current
record holder Titanic.
"The demand for this video has been unprecedented and the results
have exceeded all our expectations."
The company shipped five million copies of the hit film to stores across
Britain after anticipating a massive demand when it went on sale at midnight
Tens of thousands of fans have already ordered their copy of the hit
film over the Internet, with online retailer Amazon.co.uk taking a record
Columbus : ‘Potter 2 Trailer Still Weeks Away’
Harry Potter director Chris Columbus has admitted that the trailer for
the next film isn’t quite ready.
He was speaking at an enormous party at Kings Cross station to celebrate
the launch of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on DVD and video.
Most of the cast were on hand to talk about the DVD and the Chamber
Columbus said he wasn’t quite happy with the trailer for Secrets just
yet and wants to make sure he gets it perfect before releasing it.
Chris also talked about the extra scenes on the DVD: "I’m really
happy with the extra bits, we wanted to give the fans as much as we could."
"We didn’t have time to put Peeves back in the movie," Chris
admitted, when asked about the still missing scenes, "Peeves is completely
CG and adding him just takes too long."
Plenty of other celebrities turned out, with one glaring exception.
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter himself, wasn’t able to be there because
of the strict working rules on young actors.
Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Robbie Coltrane did their best to fill
Dan’s shoes, chatting to the press and signing autographs. Even Richard
Harris turned up to do his bit.
Next Potter Has Thrills A-Plenty
From USA Today Story filed May 9th, 2002
LONDON — More action. More special effects. That’s what to expect
in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second feature film installment
of the tale about a famed boy wizard, say Rupert Grint (Ronald Weasley)
and Emma Watson (Hermione Granger). The pair were part of a coven of Potter
cast and crew on hand at Kings Cross train station — where the fabled
Hogwarts Express leaves London — to celebrate the upcoming worldwide
DVD release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. (The DVD hits stores
in the USA May 28.)
With about 45 days of shooting left on Chamber, cast members such as
Robbie Coltrane, who plays the lovable giant Rubeus Hagrid, and Richard
Harris (Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore) were taking pleasure in
In fact, among Harris’ first words upon arriving at the party: "Where’s
the food? Where’s the champagne?"
Coltrane said that the shooting on the second film, scheduled for release
Nov. 15, was running smoothly and that he was happy to see that director
Chris Columbus was having more fun this time.
"He’s wildly energetic, as he was before," said Coltrane. "But
he’s enjoying it more. The special effects were so new and the technology
so innovative last time. Now he is a bit more relaxed."
On this night, Columbus did have a moment of tension. When asked where
Sorcerer’s Stone stands compared with the first Lord of the Rings film,
he said in a mildly Severus Snape way: "I can’t think about films
I’m (supposed to be) competing with now."
He was more lighthearted about the news that this past weekend Spider-Man
broke Potter’s box office record for a three-day opening.
"Spider-Man (the comic book) was the reason I got into filmmaking,"
said an animated Columbus. "To see it break the record is fantastic."
Potter stars catch the Hogwarts Express to launch video
Story filed: May 8th, 2002. Source: Ananova
Stars of the blockbuster film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
turned out to launch the movie on video and DVD.
Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were among the actors who posed in front
of the Hogwart’s Express at London’s Kings Cross station.
Also there were Warwick Davies – Professor of Charms Filius Flitwick
and the Goblin Teller at Gringotts Bank.
Veteran actor Richard Griffiths, who plays Harry’s magic-fearing uncle Vernon
Dursley, also put in an appearance on the platform, but the boy wizard himself
(Daniel Radcliffe) was absent.
The video and DVD of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is expected
to be the biggest seller so far.
Experts predict the magical movie will smash the previous record held
by Titanic when it is released on Saturday morning.
The country has been gripped by Harry Potter mania once again and thousands
of fans have already bagged their copy of the hit film.
Online retailer Amazon.co.uk has taken a record 36,000 pre-orders, twice
as many as they did for Gladiator and Moulin Rouge combined.
HMV has also been deluged with orders from Potter fans and will sell
the very first video and DVD copies at a special midnight store opening.
The flagship store in London’s Oxford Street is hosting the official
UK launch and will be transformed for the night with sorcerous special
effects, with the first customer in the queue will receive a certificate
to prove their place in Harry Potter history.
Rupert says he’s wild about Harry’s new voice
Story filed: May 7, 2002
HARRY POTTER star Rupert Grint has revealed how both he and co-star Daniel
Radcliffe are growing up – their voices have broken.
He admitted: "My voice is a lot lower than it was in the last film."
Rupert, 13, who plays Ron Weasley in the film series, says that his own
voice started changing at the start of shooting the latest movie, Harry
Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets.
He said: "It’s strange. Dan’s has broken completely. But they had
decided that they were going to break it in the film anyway, so it hasn’t
been a problem with the producers."
Rupert will be joining all the other main cast members, including Daniel
and Robbie Coltrane, tomorrow for the launch of The Philosopher’s Stone
on video and DVD.
The cast will appear on the Hogwarts train at Kings Cross Station, platform
one, for the launch of the video and DVD on Saturday.
Rupert is back on screens this month in new kids’ movie Thunderpants,
in which he plays a young boffin Alan A. Allen. The movie features cameos
from Leslie Phillips and Stephen Fry.
The young actor is becoming a big star, and is even receiving his own
fan mail. He said: "I get lots of letters from girls and it feels
really weird, but it’s funny as well."
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets to film Death Day Party Scene
Story filed 30/04/02
The Wizard World received an email from Simon Fisher-Becker, who plays
the Fat Friar in the Harry Potter movies and Simon says this:
My Agent tells me I will be called in May along with the other Ghosts
for the Deathday Party scene…otherwise I have had no contact with filming
whatsoever and am therefore just as keen to find out what is going on
as you are.
As for [Prisoner of] Azkaban, all I can tell you is that I am contracted
to do it.
I am glad they are not going to cut this scene out! Kool!
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Soundtrack
Story filed 30/04/02
The London Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to record the score this coming
Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings nominated for sci-fi awards
Story filed 30/04/02
Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone and the Lord Of The Rings have
been nominated for sci-fi awards. Harry Potter received nine nominations
from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films. Both films
are nominated in the Best Fantasy Film category along with Monsters Inc,
The Mummy Returns, Shrek and Spy Kids.
Robbie Coltrane and Ian McKellen are both nominated in the Best Supporting
Actor categories. The winners will be announced in June.
YAA HOAX, Daniel NOT Removed
Story filed 19/04/02
Neither Daniel, his parents, nor a representative of Dan contacted the
YAA to have Daniel’s name removed from the nominations. Apparently, the
YAA found out it was all a Hoax right before the event was to take place.
They had hoped it would go away, and that is why they did not reinstate
Dan’s name back on their internet site. Dan WAS still on the nominated
ensemble’s list *AT* the YAA event.
Meet the other film star Harry
Story filed 13/04/02
A slimy star in the next Harry Potter movie is making its mark at a
college in Warwickshire.
Harry the lizard takes part in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,
which is being filmed in Carlisle at the moment.
The six-week-old bearded lizard will be on show at the Morteton Morrell
animal centre during Warwickshire College’s open day on Saturday, May
College animal technician Nikki Smith said: "We don’t know if it’s
a boy or a girl so we named it Harry, which could also be short for Harriet.
"All the students are very intrigued and will be watching out for
Harry when the film comes out."
The open day will include dog displays, hoof trimming and calf shows.
Harry was one of 25 lizards used in the making of the Chamber of Secrets.
Daniel removed from YAA awards
Story filed 08/04/02
Emma Watson (Hermione) has won the Young Artist Award for Best Young
Actress. Also nominated from Harry Potter were Tom Felton and Rupert Grint.
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) was evidently nominated in several categories
but his representative requested that his name be removed. It is uncertain
Wanamaker out of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Story filed 10/04/02
A week ago, we posted an unverified report that Zoe Wanamaker’s character
(Madam Hooch) had been written out of the second Harry Potter movie. Thanks
to the Sunday Express, it now appears that this is indeed true. Still
debatable, however, is the reason the character got the ax:
The 52-year-old daughter of the late director Sam Wanamaker described
Warner Bros as "notoriously mean" and called the salary "terrible".
She added: "Some actors signed three-film deals but the money was
so crap I was insulted so just signed for one. If they want me for a second
film they’ll have to up their rates."
She claimed "they don’t like actors having power", treated
them like "third world citizens" and said most of the GBP 110
million movie budget went on creating special effects such as the scenes
with flying broomsticks.
Now Warner Bros have decided to drop Madam Hooch from the second movie,
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, due out in November.
All the other original, mostly British cast, including Robbie Coltrane
as gentle giant Hagrid, John Cleese as Nearly Headless Nick, Richard Harris
as Hogwarts’ head Professor Dumbledore, Dame Maggie Smith as Dumbledore’s
deputy Professor McGonagall and Alan Rickman as Professor Snape, are currently
filming the new movie around Britain.
Wanamaker was also reported to have been angry that many of the actors
did not receive any extra payments or royalties for the use of their images
in spin-off merchandising and computer games.
A Warner Bros spokeswoman insisted that Wanamaker’s character had not
been axed but was not in the second script, although she appears in the
She said: "We haven’t dropped Zoe – it’s simply that we did not
need her character this time.
"In the first film Madam Hooch taught the pupils how to ride their
brooms and they’ve learned that now.
"We can’t put every element in the film. We have to be selective
or it would be six hours long. We had to struggle to cut the first one
down to two-and-a-half hours."
It is not the first dispute about the stars’ salaries. Daniel Radcliffe,
who plays Harry Potter, was originally offered only GBP 75,000 and GBP
125,000 for the first sequel. However, the actors’ union Equity renegotiated
new terms which have since made the 12-yearold a millionaire.
Microsoft barrier to ‘Harry Potter computers’
Story filed 04/04/02
Manufacturers could design ‘Harry Potter’ style computers for children
or other specialised users, if restrictions are imposed on Microsoft.
AOL has revealed the plans while testifying at penalty hearings in the
Microsoft anti-trust case. PC makers want to create a ‘Harry Potter’
computer with customised graphics and programs, and a computer based on