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Euro-AICN Special Report: HARRY POTTER, and a little bit on Aardman's next

Well Geeks the HARRY POTTER buzz is beginning to sound like a nest of hornets, real surround-sound, buzzing at us from all directions at once. It's sort of got that Prequel-Xmen-LOTR interest level generating rumors/news of all kinds... sort of, but not quite.

Also of interest to some of you out there, our Irish reporter Ozymandias has changed E-mail addresses to: make a note of that and send your scoops to this new mailbox. And in conclusion Ozy has sent Father Geek a bit on Aardman's future plans that is included at the end of all this Harry Potter info. Make sure a check it out...

Hi people... Edgard here, back from different places like Belgium for example which has the worst soccer team in the history of bad teams (hey I have the right to say so, I am from there). Anyway, let's stop a bit with this Euro Soccer Crap and let's get back to funnier business : movies !!

Here are different news on the HARRY POTTER film from different Euro-AICN collaborators... What can I say ? Tim Roth ?? Robbie Coltrane ?? Mmmmh... let's wait & see...

From William Wallace first...

While the search for a young actor to portray Harry Potter continues, the filmmakers are also busy scouting locations for the movie. According to press speculation, Lochaber on the west coast of Scotland could be lined up to become a future Mecca for film fans. Inverailort Castle, near the village of Lochailort, is being considered as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and additional shooting may take place on the nearby West Highland railway line and in the surrounding glens.


William Wallace

HARRY NOTE: The Above Picture is of this place mentioned above!!!

Then Ozymandias (always there) :

First off you will notice the new mail address - as Edgard will testify my old address was chewing up too many sent mails, or not sending them at all so I've abandoned it in favour of this one - it will be my new permanent address.

Now to business.......

Guys, after the Maggie Smith bit I brought you last week today I have a tidbit that's even jucier.... From Popcorn and the PA:

"Tim Roth and Robbie Coltrane are in line to star in the much-anticipated film adaptation of 'Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone'. The 39-year-old Roth is in talks to play the nefarious potions teacher Professor Snape, while Coltrane is in negotiations to play the big friendly giant groundskeeper Hagrid. The film, to be directed by Chris Columbus ('Bicentennial Man'), looks like being a gift from the gods for British actors. The producers are determined to cast an unknown Brit in the lead role of the 11-year-old trainee wizard, while Maggie Smith is also in talks to play a key role (presumably Professor MacGonagall). If Roth accepts terms to play Professor Snape, he'll divide his time between 'Harry Potter' and his sophomore directing job, an adaptation of 'King Lear' by Harold Pinter."

These news items were also confirmed by Muad'dib...

Doing my usual rounds on the news websites my old fav Ananova comes up with this:

British actor Tim Roth is in talks to play Professor Snape in the forthcoming film based on children's book character Harry Potter. Roth, nominated for an Oscar for his role in Rob Roy, is lined up for the Warner Bros film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, according to Variety. Snape is a mysterious teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where 11-year-old Harry is sent after he discovers that he is the orphaned offspring of two powerful wizards. The character of Snape recurs through the first three books in the series, so it is likely that Roth will put in multi-picture appearances. Roth is the second actor in talks to enlist in the film. Maggie Smith is already considering a role.

Not 20 mins after I sent you the Tim Roth story I find this on the same source: Robbie Coltrane is the latest big name lined up to play one of the leading roles in the movie version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The 49-year-old, who made his breakthrough playing a tough police criminologist in the thriller series Cracker, has become a firm favourite since playing Russian black marketeer Valentin Dmitrovich Zukovsky in two 007 adventures. He is now in negotiations for the prize of £250,000, to play the large friendly giant Hagrid, the game keeper at Harry Potter's school Hogwarts, who gets kicked out under mysterious circumstances. Dame Maggie Smith is also considering a plum part in the movie as the school's headmistress so long as she can re-arrange her current West End stage commitments. The search meanwhile is still on for the British youngster to play Harry Potter. The families of 2,000 boys have written to the film's makers who say they will be seeing to 5,000 before making a final decision.

So this makes 3 cast members then if any of them are definate.


Well, here's Ozymandias with another bit of news on a slightly different subject...

Hey guys,

I know this has been touted for a long time but haven't seen it spelt out quite as explicitly as this....

From Popcorn:

"Aardman Animation is about to see its first feature film, 'Chicken Run', released in cinemas around the world in the next two weeks, but the acclaimed company is already moving forward with plans for its second and third movies. As reported at Popcorn in March, the third movie to come from the Aardman/DreamWorks partnership will involve the animation company's prize assets, Wallace and Gromit.

The movie will be made after its second feature, a mockumentary-style retelling of Aesop's fable 'The Tortoise And The Hare', scheduled for release in 2002. Wallace And Gromit will then follow in 2004. Nick Park has revealed, though, that he will begin work on the script when 'Tortoise' goes into production."


Ozymandias at the Penthouse Suite, Ozymandias Towers, Dublin, Ireland.

Edgard back just to say: That's it for today... don't forget to send us (at all your news, thoughts, secrets, love letters,....

Readers Talkback
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  • June 21, 2000, 12:13 a.m. CST


    by Mr Skitzo


  • June 21, 2000, 12:24 a.m. CST


    by mmm_free_wig

    we have to wait unitl 2004 for a Wallace and gromit movie? doh!

  • June 21, 2000, 1:16 a.m. CST

    Never seen "Wallace and Gromit"

    by Cereal Killer

    But I totally dug "Chicken Run" so anything these guys do is cool with me.****And thank God you finally took down that "Fast Times" GIF. The new one is cool. I'm in the middle of rereading Laura Palmer's diary right now and will probably watch "Twin Peaks; Fire Walk with Me" this weekend. Strange, seeing Harry all blue-lipped and wrapped in plastic doesn't seem nearly as scary as the sight of his naked man-boobs.

  • June 21, 2000, 1:23 a.m. CST

    I could care less about this move...

    by Choda

    Bring back "The Goonies"!!!

  • June 21, 2000, 1:23 a.m. CST


    by crimsonrage

    What movie is Harry's animation supposed to be parodying today? A frozen head under wraps? What the heck is that from??? Oh well.

  • June 21, 2000, 3:13 a.m. CST

    Why is the Dublin news just regurgitated from other web sites

    by Meat Takeshi

    especially as i suspect that the Harry Potter news reported twice was actually drawn from the same web site PA being Ananova. Anyhows i think Harrys head is doing a Laura Palmer on us.

  • June 21, 2000, 4:26 a.m. CST

    Re: ?????

    by juniper

    Crimsonrage: It's TWIN PEAKS you dolt. Teen Queen Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic? This was way, way, way back in the 1990's! So think hard. Not really a movie so much as a TV show that evolved into a movie. David Lynch. BLUE VELVET, DUNE, WILD AT HEART, THE STRAIGHT STORY. Any bells ringing yet?

  • June 21, 2000, 5:35 a.m. CST

    Picture of that castle.

    by Chopper3

    Here's a picture of the castle mentioned.

  • June 21, 2000, 5:42 a.m. CST


    by pablolobo

    It is a good question, why is it in general that many things on this site and others are already reported? I'm not sure it matters or that I care. I would rather that all info came from one site and that the movie companies always fed that source. But it doesn't work like that. With all the companies, news hounds, friends, reporters, sites, etc etc, news is found all over the place. And it's up to us to make sure that it gets reported,to provide people that only read one site have access to that information. Welcome to the information age. Enjoy it.

  • Nobody cares mate, too many other people DO care about this movie, and they aren't making it just for you. Harry Potter is a runaway-freight-train cultural phenomenon with a huge legion of fans of all ages. I'm not the most avid Harry Potter fan myself (in fact I have an essay online somewhere raising critical questions about the series), but I enjoy them okay, and I'm interested in the project. Beyond that though, I know that the Harry Potter movie is news whether your or I care about it or not.

  • June 21, 2000, 6:41 a.m. CST


    by Schnorbitz

    Oops, gone and confused tab and enter again. There is a big independent school in Edinburgh called Fettes, where TOny Blair once went. It towers over the North of the city, even more fairytale than the other castle pictured, just without the rural setting. I have a feeling JK Rowling did base Hogwarts on Fettes.

  • June 21, 2000, 7:22 a.m. CST

    Wrong guy for Hagrid

    by Crisp One

    Here's another book to film adaptation I hope they don't botch. And I'm already a little worried about their choice for Hagrid. Coltrane is a big fat round guy, whereas Hagrid is just supposed to be huge and swarthy - not plump. I wish they could get John Rhys-Davies or Brian Blessed to play Hagrid, and Dumbledore should be played by John Neville (the guy that was Baron Munchausen, and who shows up in the X-Files from time to time). If I ran the zoo...

  • June 21, 2000, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Crisp One, you're right about Coltrane.

    by SDG

    Physically I don't know who could play the part of Hagrid. I like Billy Connolly's voice and demeanor, but you'd need some kinda special effects work to get him to be a convincing giant. What about Dumbledore? I know this is crazy, but sometimes I see Dumbledore as Terence Stamp, sometimes as Richard Attenborough (doing a cross between his Kris Kringle and John Hammond). Not that it'll ever happen... (although they DID cast Patrick Stewart as Professor X, a casting decision that came down from Heaven).

  • June 21, 2000, 7:38 a.m. CST


    by DarthSlater

    I've already posted this suggestion on another board, but I figure that I'll copy it and post it a couple of places, just so that Harry sees it. I have a suggestion to improve the site even further. Would it be possible for you to publish weekly talkback forums for all of the major releases? Right now, I would like to argue with people about Titan A.E. and Shaft, but I've got nobody to talk to. And next week I'm gonna want to B.S. about Chicken Run and Me, Myself and Irene. It doesn't have to be anything fancy; just a simple page for each of the summer's major releases. Let people argue, discuss, critique, and praise each new movie. Not only will it be fun for us rabid posters who have nothing better to do all day, but it will also help people decide whether or not to see new movies (there's still a few currently out there that I haven't made my mind up about yet). Anyways, I think it would be a cool addition to an already cool site. Thoughts and comments from everyone else? Harry? Father Geek?

  • June 21, 2000, 8:19 a.m. CST

    This Movie

    by pablolobo

    You know I can say that I am honestly excited about this movie. Why? Because I have never read the books, so I have no preconcieved idea about them, what the characters look like etc etc, and I think I'll keep it that way as the whole concept tickles me pink. These days with X-Men, Spider-Man, LOTR, they can never live up to the expectations in my little imaginary world, so i am bound to be disappointed. Cast who you want, etc etc.

  • June 21, 2000, 8:49 a.m. CST

    God bless you, Choda . . .

    by DarthSlater

    "Hey, Chunk, wanna buy some pictures of your mom taking a bath?" "WHAT?" "Reeal cheap."-----"First you gotta do the truffle shuffle." "Aw, c'mon . . . " "Do it!" "C'mon . . . " "DO IT!"----"Mama, you were baaad." "Ohh, mama loves her little Slothy."--Yes, you jaded film cynics, the Goonies WERE good enough, in the immortal words of Cyndi Lauper. One of the only movies that still makes me grin like a little kid every time I watch it, and one of the coolest, most addictive, and underrated musical scores EVER by David Grushin.

  • June 21, 2000, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Hey Cereal Killer!

    by diverdan

    Do yourself a favor and watch the Wallace and Gromit Movies. It will be well worth your time!

  • June 21, 2000, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Where are the towers? Plus--casting concerns.

    by CK Dexter Haven

    The castle shown in this report is no Hogwarts, unless it is greatly enlarged and elaborated through special effects. For instance, the lack of towers is completely unacceptable. Also, it's apparently only two stories (above ground, at least) which seems pretty skimpy for Hogwarts. Also, I have some concerns about Maggie Smith being cast as Prof. McGonagall. She is one of the best actresses ever and is more than equal to the part, but is it possible that her age will prevent her from completing the series? I'm sure she's in great shape (probably better than I am), but even if they film two books at a time, we're talking about ending the series quite a few years down the line. I would hate to see them have to pull a Darren Stephens and replace Smith for the last few movies. Yuk.

  • June 21, 2000, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Hogwarts & Hagred.

    by Chopper3

    The picture above is definately that Scottish Castle named above, of course the tip-off could be wrong or they may only be using the interiors. Other than that I guess they're going to "CGI" it to make it look more impressive. The other thing is that I think Robbie Coltrane is way too forceful in character to play the more gentle and shy side of Hagreg. Personally I would have chosen Steve O'Donnell who played "Spudgun" in the tv show "Bottom" and he was in "Shakespeare in Love" too, big guy, bit dirty.

  • June 21, 2000, 11:57 a.m. CST

    Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane are JK Rowling's personal choic

    by gingeracrockford

    I heard that those two were JK Rowlings own favourites for those roles long before the rumour came that they were actually up for the roles.I personally would have gone for Blessed not Coltrane for Hagrid , Coltrane is more an Uncle Vernon man I would say but I think he could still pull it off (he is big as well as fat remember)Maggie Smith and Tim Roth are also fine and I maintain that only Peter O'Toole can play Dumbledore (yes hes still alive, yes hes still healthy, I saw him on stage last year and he gave the best performance I have ever seen.)Incidentally theyd better speed up with this Wallace and Gromit movie as by 2004 Peter Sallis who voices Wallace so brilliantly will be 83 and I cant see anyone else doing it as well as him

  • June 21, 2000, 12:13 p.m. CST

    Peter O'Toole as Dumbledore!

    by SDG

    Why, that would almost redeem him from a lifetime of virtually squandering some of the most talent God ever dumped on one person.

  • June 21, 2000, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Eat this Cereal Killa'!!!

    by The Fat Baldwin

    Cereal Killer, you have to watch Creature Comforts first. It was one of Nick Park's first major clay-animated pieces (and first Oscar winner) done about 10 years ago where it toured animation festivals. Park created this piece by animating zoo animals talking about their environments. The brilliance comes from the audio being actual interviews with native Brits and British foreign nationals talking about what they like and don't like about England's climate. If you want to watch it, go to and do a search under title, under "c" and give it a watch. FB out.

  • June 21, 2000, 12:37 p.m. CST


    by Hinesy

    Tim Roth as Professor Snape is the best casting I have ever heard of. Not only is Roth one of the best under-appreciated actors, but he looks exactly like snape. When reading the books I pictured a guy looking exactly like Roth. Hearing that Columbus was directing got me down a bit, but this has me excited. I just hope they don't choose the British equivilant of Jake Lloyd as Harry Potter.

  • Personally I think it's tragic that Rowling wasn't willing to be more flexible about having Harry played by a British kid. I mean, Steven Spielberg directing Haley Joel Osment just sounds too good to be true. Certainly much better than Chris Columbus directing some unknown (although in general I'm in favor of casting unknowns, sometimes ya gotta go with star power). However, it could still rock. (BUT LEAVE STAR WARS ALONE! Sheesh, isn't it enough we got people on the Star Wars story pages going all Gene Shalit on George Lucas' little head, that it's got to start spilling over into the other stories too? Why would Harry Potter casting news inspire someone to say, "Hey! This makes me hate Star Wars even more!")

  • June 21, 2000, 2:15 p.m. CST

    i gotta say, i don't really like these casting ideas

    by Wheelie

    roth is snapish, but i don't like any of the others at all... when i read the potter books, i read mcgonnal as elizabeth hurly... and hagrid is a big strong tough silly man, not an ex kgb guy from goldeneye... maybe i'm confused who that actor really is... who knows... anyway... blah...

  • June 21, 2000, 3:18 p.m. CST

    HULK SMASH!!!!!

    by solo88

    anyways, i think the only good news of this article is it's the 1st time i heard that nick park is has plans two more movies. i can't wait for those. i don't think tim roth would be a good snape, but i do think he'd make a good that other guy, y'know? (spoilers if u haven't read it)snape's assistant guy that turns out to be the bad guy? tim roth would be good for him.i hope they make a movie of the 3rd book. thats the best one. jim carrey rules.

  • June 21, 2000, 3:34 p.m. CST


    by Becka

    I really think Hagrid should be played by the weird roommate guy in "Notting Hill" and if not by him then by that monster who was in that horror movie with Billy Crystal, "My Giant".

  • June 21, 2000, 4:06 p.m. CST

    You know it makes sense....

    by mephisto666

    Dumbledore: Stamp or McKellen*** Hagrid: Brian Blessed*** Snape: Chris Walken (though roth would be my second choice)*** McGonagall: Maggie Smith*** Harry's Uncle (sorry- forgotten the name): Timothy Spall*** Harry's Aunt: Jennifer Saunders*** Sirius: Gabriel Byrne*** Lupin: Jason Isaacs*** Caretaker: Billy Connolly: Jumpy Professor I also can't remember: John Cleese*** Voldemort: Chris Lee ***** Feel free to suggest any characters I've forgotten.

  • June 21, 2000, 5:17 p.m. CST

    Christopher Walken IS snape!

    by CluelessBoy

    Other than the lack of a native brit accent no one can out Snape Walken!

  • June 21, 2000, 5:47 p.m. CST

    Timothy Balme=Professor Snape

    by user id indeed!

    I've never read Harry Potter,but everybody says Tim Roth looks just like Snape,and Balme looks just like Roth,and is just as good in acting,if not better. Therefore,through my amazing cognative skills,TIMOTHY BALME=PROFESSOR SNAPE.I am a GENIUS!!! Worship me!!! Why the hell poor Balme hasn't been getting any movie deals is lost on me.That guy can frappe a zombie like no other since Bruce Campbell.No one can disagree with me!! Other opinions=BAD!!! Think what I tell you to think!!! This has been a Ha Ha Ha I Am Joshing With You Guys,Think What You Want,Be Wrong,See If I Care Moment w/User ID Indeed!Wait,no!He can play Potter! Yes,that's the ticket!He can find out he's a wizard,run up to the ceiling,and say "All my life...has been nothing but LIES!!!"Why the hell don't I run Hollywood?!?!?

  • June 21, 2000, 10:36 p.m. CST

    Cast Nobody

    by MangusX

    I personally think the flick should be animated. The Harry Potter books have too many things like morphing passageways and flying motorcycles that would just loose some of there quality if they were translated into live action. But then again I am just a cartoon nut. Long live Chicken Run!

  • June 22, 2000, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Walken -snape

    by ESBYoda

    I agree that Walken would make an excellent Snape. Also, I think the lack of a British accent might actually be a positive thing. Similar to the way that all of the Imperial leaders in Star Wars had British accents to seperate them, perhaps the bad guys in Harry Potter could have non-British accents. Anybody?

  • June 23, 2000, 1:12 a.m. CST

    Harry Potter casting...

    by Le Messor

    I saw a show yesterday called 'Second Sight'; there was a kid in that who could do it. Well, he's the only British child actor I know of. :) All I've seen Maggie Smith in is Hook; if she's got the versatility to pull off MacGonagall's toughness, she could do it. But how 'bout Linda Hunt? (Okay, too short.) I agree with Walken as Snape. And Jennifer Saunders as Harry's Aunt!

  • June 23, 2000, 7:41 a.m. CST

    Shelly Duvall as Aunt Petunia

    by Crisp One

    That would work great, actually. Haven't seen her in anything in a long time. Lily Tomlin would be an excellent McGonagal. Both of these are underused and excellent actresses. Brad Dourif would be great as Prof. Quirrel, and I'm pumped that he's playing Wormtongue. Tim Roth is another of those once in a blue moon casts that fits perfectly. Christopher Lloyd would be excellent as Filch, or even, come to think of it, as Voldemort. Somewhere, in another universe, this is all coming true...

  • June 23, 2000, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Robbie C for Hagrid

    by StoryLady

    I've read the comments about what other actors would be better for the part of Hagrid but I don't think they'll get it. Unless Robbie Coltrane cannot do it he's a shoe in, JK Rowling said in an interview that 'When she wrote Hagrid she had Robbie Coltrane in mind' If that doesn't get him the part nothing will.

  • June 29, 2000, 3:59 p.m. CST

    YSBYoda? what are you saying about snape?

    by isen

    Are you kidding????? He must have a British accent.... Snape is the quintessential homely English man...big nose...bad teeth...bad hair...pasty skin.. ..That sinister soft spoke voice that can silence a room can only be British......... And I say Tim Roth is the most excellent choice they could have made.....Walken is too old looking to play Snape.... Roth can plaster on the most wicked snarl I have ever seen on the screen...He will be great!