A talented Oscar nominee was nearly cast as Harry Potter but JK Rowling “fought” for the role to go to Daniel Radcliffe back in 2000, then an 11-year-old schoolboy.
Ask any fan and many would agree that they couldn’t imagine another actor than Daniel Radcliffe for the titular Harry Potter role in the beloved film franchise. JK Rowling reportedly “fought” hard for Radcliffe to bag the role after Steven Spielberg considered an American actor who had received an Oscar nomination at the time of the casting.
Oscar nominee was nearly cast as Harry Potter
With all eight movies of the Harry Potter franchise available on Netflix, interesting facts and less-known trivia about the films resurface constantly in the media and social media spotlight.
As reported by The Telegraph in 2000, Steven Spielberg wanted to cast The Sixth Sense star Haley Joel Osment as Harry who was one of the most talented stars at the time after the success of the 1999 thriller with Bruce Willis.
The publication noted that Spielberg and Rowling reportedly had a “creative clash” over the casting of Harry Potter but the author “fought studio efforts to cast experienced American actors”.
Rowling said at the time that Daniel was “the perfect choice” for the young wizard and said: “I don’t think we could have found a better Harry.”
The picture below shows Spielberg and Osment at the premiere of the 2001 sci-fi A.I. Artificial Intelligence.
Another actor that could have played Harry Potter
Osment wasn’t the only American choice for the titular role and director Chris Columbus reportedly had another actor on his mind for the first film of the franchise, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or the Philosopher’s Stone).
The director reportedly considered the then 10-year-old American-born actor Liam Aiken who starred in the Columbus-directed 1998 comedy-drama Stepmom.
However, JK Rowling said that she wanted all actors in the movies, at least the first few ones, to be British. For example, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire starred Bulgarian star Stanislav Ianevski as Viktor Krum, a student from the foreign school Durmstrang.
Radcliffe shares thoughts on new Harry Potter actor
While Radcliffe successfully bagged the Harry Potter role back in 2000, another star will take over the reins after Warner Bros gave the green light for new spin-off TV series.
Rowling will act as executive producer in the new television series and Radcliffe recently shared his thoughts about another actor playing Harry Potter.
“I think it’s like Harry Potter was always destined to become like Sherlock Holmes,” Radcliffe told Deadline in June this year. “The people that saw Basil Rathbone play Sherlock Holmes then like ‘No one could ever do this!’ They’re gonna, though. It’ll get passed on to somebody.”
Radcliffe added: “The weird thought I have now is like, ‘Oh that’s probably like an eight-year-old kid out there somewhere whose life is going to change in a couple of years.’ My brain does go there.”