With the awesome “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” theme park set to open…sometime this spring at Universal Resort Orlando’s Islands of Adventure, I thought it would be cool to write a post on Harry Potter. The films have been somewhat polarizing among fans – I’ve come to enjoy most of them, as they’re a faithful representation of the fantastic books – but they would have been more polarizing if Warner Bros. had their way. Who did they originally choose to direct Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? None other than Steven Spielberg, in a CGI animated film, with Harry Potter voiced by Haley Joel Osment, who starred in Spielberg’s A.I. : Artificial Intelligence. Oy.
Four more bits of Potter-trivia after the jump!
- Alfonso Cuaron, the director of Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban (which, behind Order of the Phoenix, is my second-favorite Potter film), was also the director of Children of Men, the 2006 film nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay but lost to Martin Scorsese film, The Departed (which also won Best Picture, Best Editing, and finally got Scorsese Best Director).
- The Harry Potter audiobooks are read by Jim Dale – also famed as the Narrator of Pushing Daisies (which was honored in the Saturday Night Stuff I Like a while back).
- John Williams (writer of the themes to Harry Potter, Star Wars, and NBC Sunday Night Football), is one of only three conductors of the Boston Pops since 1950 – the great Arthur Fiedler and current director Keith Lockhart being the other two.
- The Great Hall at Hogwarts in the films is actually Christ Church in Oxford – of which there is an exact replica at University of Chicago. Therefore, of all the schools who say that there’s a Harry Potter vibe at their school, they have the inside track.
Join me for next week’s installment of Thursday Trivia, when we discuss five pieces of trivia about something to be determined.