Learn About The Harry Potter Franchise That Never Was In Preparation For Our Merry Potter Marathon

From Sunday, December 27 to Friday, January 1, you can celebrate Space-mas with the Merry Potter Marathon, which features all eight movies in the beloved franchise and eight like-minded favourites, namely The Mummy, The Mummy Returns, The Brothers Grimm, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Three Musketeers, The Hunters, Hansel & Gretel, and Mirror, Mirror. But before you revisit the series that was adapted from J.K. Rowling’s massively popular books, here’s a look back at the early decisions that could have gone another way, forever changing the course of Harry Potter history.

Avoiding animation


Before committing to a live action franchise, Warner Bros. considered (a) animating Harry’s story and (b) cramming the whole series into a single film.

Pulling teeth


At the outset of production, Daniel Radcliffe wore green contact lenses and Emma Watson was fitted with buckteeth, so they would more closely resemble the characters in the books. When those touches got in the way of the performances, they were wisely abandoned.



When Michael Goldenberg’s script for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was rejected, a new script was drafted by Steve Kloves, who went on to write seven of the eight films in the series. Who wrote the other one? Original writer Michael Goldenberg.

Picking a vision


Before Warner Bros. settled on director Chris Columbus—whose proved he could handle child actors in Home Alone—other candidates for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone included Jonathan Demme (The Silence of the Lambs), Alan Parker (Bugsy Malone), M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), Brad Silberling (Casper), and Steven Spielberg.

Keeping Harry British


Following The Sixth Sense, Spielberg was anxious to work with Haley Joel Osment. He tried to cast the actor as Harry Potter, but when J.K. Rowling demanded that a British actor play the role, Spielberg and Haley made A.I. instead.

Now that you know about the franchise that wasn’t made, it’s time to enjoy the real deal. You can find the complete schedule for the Merry Potter Marathon below.

Sunday, December 27
9 p.m. – The Mummy (Encores Dec. 28 at 7:30 a.m.)
11:25 p.m. – The Mummy Returns (Encores Dec. 28 at 9:55 a.m.)
3 a.m. – The Brothers Grimm
5:30 a.m. – The Hunters (Encores Dec. 28 at 12:30 p.m. and 11:15 p.m.)


Monday, December 28
2 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Encores at 1:15 a.m. and Dec. 29 at 9:45 a.m.)
5:45 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Encores at 4:20 a.m. and Dec. 29 at 12:50 p.m.)
9 p.m. – Mirror, Mirror (Encores Dec. 29 at 7:30 a.m.)


Tuesday, December 29
4 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Encores at 11:15 p.m. and Dec. 30 at 10:45 a.m.)


Wednesday, December 30
6:15 a.m. – The Three Musketeers (Encores at 11:30 p.m.)
8:25 a.m. – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (Encores at 9 p.m.)
1:45 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Encores at 1:45 a.m. and Dec. 31 at 8 a.m.)
5 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Encores Dec. 31 at 5:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.)


Thursday, December 31
2:15 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Encores at 1:05 a.m. and Jan. 1 at 10:05 a.m.)
5:20 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 1) (Encores at 4:20 a.m. and Jan. 1 at 1:10 p.m.)
8:30 p.m. – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Part 2) (Encores Jan. 1 at 7:30 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.)
11:05 p.m. – Hansel & Gretel