At this point, 14 years after Harry Potter first hit the big screen, its hard to imagine anyone else donning the robes. Most of the cast seem to be born for their roles, but for many, they weren’t even the first choice. Here are the stars we almost saw in the Harry Potter universe, and a couple who still found a way in.
Liam Aiken, from Stepmom fame, was initially the top contender to take to role of the Boy Who Lived. He had everything he needed for the part except for one crucial flaw – he wasn’t British – and so he lost the part of course to Daniel Radcliffe. Aiken would later star in another adaptation of a beloved book, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004).
Alan Rickman is Professor Snape. It’s so hard to imagine things any other way. In fact, it has always been rumored that Rickman was hand picked by J.K. Rowling. However, Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), was also in heavy talks to take the role, but instead chose to take on General Thade in Planet of the Apes (2001).
Gandalf the Grey was almost not the only grey, bearded wizard portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan. He was slated to take the role of Dumbledore, in a move that seemed to make a lot of sense to many fans – perhaps because of his part in the Lord of the Rings. Philosopher’s Stone and The Fellowship of the Ring were released just one month apart, so it would have been very interesting to see how things would have played out had Sir Ian starred in both. In the end, it was most likely his commitment to LOTR that barred him from appearing in Potter, and the role ended up with the late Richard Harris, and later Michael Gambon.