Movie Reviews

10 Harry Potter Movie Scenes The Early '00s Weren't Ready For (But The TV Remake Can Make Happen)

There were several Harry Potter scenes that the movies just couldn’t do justice thanks to the times, but the upcoming TV remake can finally make them happen. Though still wildly popular (and for good reason), Warner Bros’ Harry Potter film franchise being made predominantly in the 2000s meant that technology wasn’t quite up to bringing the magic to the screen. Some scenes would have been outrageously expensive and time-consuming to create, while others simply weren’t possible for the time. However, a lot has changed.

HBO and Warner Bros are making a book-faithful TV remake of the Harry Potter series, dedicating entire seasons to each of J.K. Rowling’s books. This means that many of the big moments the movies missed can finally be brought to life. Back in the 2000s, when the Harry Potter movies were first made, a TV series of this magnitude wouldn’t have been realistic, so this is an opportunity that only became possible within the last decade. Several Harry Potter scenes can finally be done right between the longer format, evolved technology, and an improved budget.

In the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets book, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were invited to Nearly Headless Nick’s Deathday party, a common favorite moment for readers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t included in the movie, likely because of time and budget constraints. A scene made up entirely of ghosts would have taken days of work to pull together when Chamber of Secrets was made in 2002. However, this will be fairly easy for the Harry Potter TV remake to pull off, and there would likely be an entire episode dedicated to the ghostly party.

One of the most disappointing aspects of the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban movie was how it neglected the Marauders’ plotline. The most we got was the scene in which Harry eavesdropped on McGonagall, Fudge, and Rosmerta as they discussed the friendship between James, Sirius, and Pettigrew. Of course, the book had much more to say on the subject, but for this to have been included in the film, flashbacks would have been necessary. This means costly casting and additional scenes that the Harry Potter TV remake would be better equipped for.

The Quidditch World Cup was one of those scenes that everyone looked forward to when the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie came out. Unfortunately, the match itself was entirely cut from the film. In the movie’s DVD special features, director Mike Newell mentions the immense amount of work that went into just the couple moments of the Quidditch World Cup that were included in the movie, noting that the sheer scale of the event made it nearly impossible. Thankfully, it should be much easier for the Harry Potter remake to make happen.

When the Death Eaters stormed the camp in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie, all they did was knock over a bunch of tents. This was nothing compared to the book scene, where Voldemort’s followers captured a family of Muggles—including young children—and dangled them over their heads as they went on parade. Once again, the movie’s version of the scene was far cheaper to pull off, leaving room in the budget for more important scenes. However, all these years later and with a larger budget, HBO can bring this disturbing scene to the screen.

House-elves were a frequent feature of the Harry Potter books, but the movie avoided including the creatures unless it was absolutely necessary. In the Goblet of Fire book, Dobby makes a big comeback, and another house-elf, Winky, is introduced. Harry, Ron, and Hermione visit them in the Hogwarts kitchens full of hundreds of eager elves. This would have required a lot of costly CGI work in the movie, so Dobby, Winky, and the rest were cut. However, this meant a gross simplification of the Barty Crouch plotline, so the remake is sure to remedy this.

The maze task in Goblet of Fire‘s Triwizard Tournament was far more interesting in the book, full of terrifying and mysterious creatures (like a riddling sphynx). In contrast, the movie version was frustratingly simple for Harry to get through, with only some attacking shrubs standing in his way. Of course, sphynxes, Blast-Ended Skrewts, boggarts, and other beasts would have cost extra money to put on the screen, and there wasn’t time anyway. In the case of the Harry Potter TV remake, the maze itself is sure to be a full episode, so the task’s full glory can be brought to life.

Yet another Goblet of Fire scene that the movie didn’t have enough time or funds to entirely pull off was Harry and Voldemort’s duel at the Graveyard. The Dark Lord’s resurrection itself was visually stunning (and terrifying), but the duel was cut short. We missed Voldemort trying and failing to put Harry under the Imperious curse, and the phenomenon of Priori Incantatum was shorter as well, with fewer “spirits” released from the villain’s wand and a shorter conversation between Harry and his parents. This is another CGI-heavy scene, and a full episode of the Harry Potter remake is sure to do it justice.

In the Goblet of Fire book, we learn a lot about Barty Crouch Jr’s backstory, but this was all left out of the movie. Once again, it’s difficult for a film to dive into exposition through dialogue alone like a book can since this quickly becomes boring for audiences. On screen, flashback scenes are a necessity. In the case of Crouch Jr, this would have required filming scenes at the Crouch manor, Azkaban prison, Mad-Eye Moody’s home, and more, so it simply wasn’t feasible for the movie’s ending. However, it might work as an episode in the Harry Potter remake.

The battle between Dumbledore’s Army and the Death Eaters at the Department of Mysteries is another combination of scenes greatly simplified for the Harry Potter movies. In the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix book, each room within the department introduced new challenges, which was a significant part of this chapter’s fun. Of course, between carnivorous brains in the Brain Room, the floating planets of the Space Room, and then the Bell Jar in the Time Room that makes the contents grow younger, this was too tall an order for the film.

The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies were far better equipped to handle the complicated and magical scenes from the book. Splitting the book into two parts meant there was a lot more time to include some of the biggest moments, and the success of the franchise earned the film a sizeable budget. However, given the expectation for drama and flair, some scenes of Deathly Hallows—like Harry and Voldemort’s final battle—were ruined.

In the Deathly Hallows book, Harry and Voldemort circle each other while the Boy Who Lived attempts to convince his enemy that he has made a fatal mistake. However, Voldemort wouldn’t listen. He attacked, the killing curse rebounded yet again, and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named fell onto his back, dead. It was simple but effective, but the movie franchise needed a more dramatic ending. However, we’ve learned over the past 15 years that less is more, so while 2011 wasn’t ready for the true final battle of Harry Potter, the TV remake (hopefully) will be.

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