But it’s remarkable, isn’t it, that the Brits have produced Narnia, the Ring, Hogwarts, Gormenghast, James Bond, Alice and Pooh, and what have we produced for them in return? I was going to say “the cuckoo clock,” but for that you would require a three-way Google of Italy, Switzerland and Harry Lime. — Excerpt from Roger Ebert’s review of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe
So I got to thinking: if there had been no Harry Potter books, and some screenwriter in Hollywood had come up with the idea of a movie about a teenager discovering that he has magical powers, going to a school for people like him and battling a famous dark wizard, what would it be like? Here’s what I got:
- Hermione wouldn’t fall for Ron. No way Jose. She’d fall for Harry, and it might even be a cause for a minor fight between Harry and Ron. Then again, she might end up dating both in the fullness of time, a la Joey Potter in Dawson’s Creek.
- Ron would probably end up dating Luna Lovegood, and would be written primarily as comic relief.
- All confrontations with Voldemort would happen on prom nite.
- Dumbledore wouldn’t be a benevolent grandfather-figure but a crusty old man who puts Harry through a rigorous magical training regimen while a dramatic score plays in the background. He would also have a past, where he confronted Voldemort and failed/lost his nerve. Or better still, used to be V’s trusted lieutenant. That way, you could do away with Snape as well.
- No way Dumbledore would get away with just saying that his brother Aberforth got expelled for performing inappropriate charms on a goat. We’d have a flashback scene explaining exactly what charm, what the goat’s reaction was, and who walked in on the scene.
- There would be only one movie to begin with. If it made money, there would be a second and a third, and so on. Each movie would concentrate on Harry trying to find some famed magical object. No obscure stuff like the Philosopher’s Stone, which got renamed as the Sorcerer’s Stone in the US because, as Miss North Carolina recently said, most people in the US don’t have maps. We’re talking famous artifacts that most people have at least vaguely heard of. Like the Holy Grail, Pandora’s Box, Delilah’s Vibrator and so on.
- Okay, probably not the Delilah thing. I hope.
If you, dear reader and Pottermaniac, have any more possibilities to offer, please do so. The wand is yours. May the force be with you. Yippie Kai-yay etc.