Columbus is set to reunite with the franchise's stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, a reunion event for HBO Max.
The original cut of the movie, which hit the three-hour mark with an additional half an hour of unseen footage, was shown only to a limited number of test audiences ahead of the film’s release.
In a recent interview to The Wrap, Columbus explained how: “We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews. Particularly a Chicago preview where our first cut was a three-hour cut.”
The director went on to recall how “parents afterwards said it was too long, the kids said it was too short. I thought, well, the kids presumably have a shorter attention span so this is a good thing.”
As the interviewer noted they’d like to see the original cut re-released today, Columbus convened: “I would too.”
Despite the director’s wishes, a representative from Warner Bros. told the publication that they are unaware of any plans at the moment to release this extended cut.
The event, which released its trailer today, will hit screens on 1 January, 2022, at midnight, for fans of the franchise to celebrate the new year in the best way possible.
While the teaser clip did not show any footage of the actual reunion, the event is expected to tell an"enchanting making-of story through all-new in-depth interviews and cast conversations, inviting fans on a magical first-person journey through one of the most beloved film franchises of all time" (via The Wrap).
Also taking part in the event will be Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid), Ralph Fiennes (Voldemort), Gary Oldman (Sirius Black), Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy), James and Oliver Phelps (Fred and George Weasley), Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley), Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley), Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood).