“Behind the Wand” Reveals a Secret First Scene in “Sorcerer’s Stone”
As we all know, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone starts with “Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much” (SS 1). No one would think that there could be a different start, but it was a possibility, according to R.J. Mino, the production manager on the first film.
In the latest two episodes of Behind the Wand: Stories from the Harry Potter Films, Flick Miles (Emma Watson’s double) talks with R.J. about taking the script and making it a reality. R.J. discusses a scene that was initially intended for the opening of the first book but was cut and considered a possibility for the films instead. Only a few people knew about the scene – everyone who didn’t need to know got a script where the opening was missing.
The scene was set on the night Voldemort went to the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow to kill them. As we know by watching the film, the majority of the scene was used later on in a flashback sequence at the Leaky Cauldron when Hagrid is telling Harry the story of his parent’s death.
The film’s second unit filmed all the shots for this scene on a secret stage next to the forbidden third-floor corridor set. Only people who had access to the stage were allowed there, and even then, the majority of the people who worked on the film didn’t know it existed. The team built the Potter cottage here and even cast Harry’s parents. The scene included shots of Voldemort walking up the stairs at the Potter’s cottage, Lily Potter bathing baby Harry, and her being blasted away.
The second unit never completed filming the scene as it was ultimately taken out due to director Chris Columbus finding it too dark for the film. He believed that the story would eventually get to that point. Instead, they built Privet Drive on the backlot of Leavesden Studios to film the opening scene last minute.
Would having this opening scene make the film feel different than the fun and bright film as we know it? Check out Episodes 17 and 18 of Behind the Wand: Stories from the Harry Potter Films if you want to learn more.