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Harry Potter: 10 Things That Would Be Different If The Movies Were Made Today

To many fans, the Harry Potter movies are perfect but there are several things about them that would likely change if they were made today.

By Svetlana SterlinPublished 2 years ago 5 min read

Besides the obvious things like technology, set pieces, and costumes, the Harry Potter movies would probably be very different if they were made today. Even upon the release of each one, from 2001 to 2011, viewers were quick to point out some questionable choices on the filmmakers' parts.

The movies remain popular even almost ten years after the last one premiered, which speaks to the power of the stories. Much can be praised about the Harry Potter movies because they are excellent adaptations of the beloved book series and bring to life the magical world of Hogwarts. Still, as time goes on, a few details become glaringly outdated.

10. Neville's Boggart

In The Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin arrives to take over as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. The students immediately become fond of his hands-on teaching methods - that is, except for Malfoy and his friends.

When Lupin teaches the students how to defeat a Boggart, Neville transforms Snape into his grandmother - or rather, Snape dressed as his grandmother. All of the students laugh, but that certainly wouldn't be the case if someone saw a man dressed as a woman (or vice versa) today.

9. Death Eater Costumes

Fans were quick to point out that the Death Eaters' costumes in the Goblet of Fire movie are very similar to the KKK uniforms. The Ku Klux Klan is an American white supremacist hate group that originally formed in the South in the 1860s.

Members of the Klan traditionally wore hats similar to those seen in the image above - and also similar to those Hogwarts students wear at assemblies in the earlier films (though, notably, these disappear in later films). Though the Death Eaters keep their masks in The Order of the Phoenix, later they abandon these, too.

8. Fat Shaming

The world is a much more body-positive place in 2020, but historically, pop culture takes advantage of larger characters to use as cheap humor. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a blatant example of this, but even in the Harry Potter films, numerous "evil" characters are depicted over-indulging and being punished for this.

Crabbe and Goyle are enticed by two bewitched cupcakes in the second movie, while Dudley is given a pig's tail by Hagrid in the first. Of course, the infamous inflation of Aunt Marge is the other obvious example. However, characters like Ron are shown to be obsessed with food (and themselves) but they are allowed to get away with this. These cheap jokes come at the expense of these characters and their actors.

7. Diversity

The films are obviously male-dominated and the characters are predominantly white. The later films try to introduce characters from more diverse backgrounds, but as members of minority groups, their characters remain in the minority. For example, Dean Thomas barely has any speaking lines, the Parvati twins are sidelined, and Cho Chang's role is very minimal even though she's Harry's first girlfriend.

The few female characters who hold authority are often ridiculed, like Umbridge, Trelawney, and even Hermione. Though JK Rowling insists that Dumbledore is gay, fans aren't convinced because no hint of this - or any character being part of the LGBTQ+ community - is ever given in the books or films.

6. Quirrell's Turban

The timing of this movie's release couldn't have been more unfortunate. Just months after the September 11 attacks, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone premiered on November 4th, 2001, and its main villain is wearing a turban.

More worrying is that he uses the turban to hide an even greater evil: Lord Voldemort. Furthermore, Quirrell claims to have received the turban while on a sabbatical as compensation for slaying a zombie, meaning the turban has no spiritual or symbolic value to him.

5. Hogwarts Teachers

In relation to Quirrell, an important topic is brought up at the end of the first film. Dumbledore explains why Quirrell was hesitant to touch him (because Voldemort can't touch him). Today, viewers may question why students and teachers would be touching each other.

Perhaps because Hogwarts is a boarding school, the staff and students develop a closer bond, but still, their relationships aren't exactly professional. Not to mention, there's Dumbledore's shameless bias - which extends to many of the Hogwarts staff.

4. Crabbe And Goyle

Besides the fat-shaming mentioned earlier, Crabbe and Goyle serve little purpose to the overall story; in fact, they are so unimportant despite their omnipresence that Crabbe is replaced in the Deathly Hallows films. The actor who portrayed Crabbe, Jamie Waylett, did not reprise the role after The Half-Blood Prince.

In 2011, he participated in the England riots and was found guilty of violent disorder and possession of a petrol bomb. He was jailed for two years and his character quietly disappeared to be replaced by Blaise Zabini in the key Room of Requirement scene. But why not recast the role for the last film, or at least provide a believable reason for his absence?

3. Dumbledore

In light of the current political state of the world, perhaps Dumbledore isn't the best choice of leader for Hogwarts. He holds all of the power in his hands and does whatever he pleases, whenever he pleases.

This is too much a reflection of the kinds of governments and leaders that society currently rejects. Dumbledore is obviously biased, from finding any excuse to let Gryffindor win the House Cup over Slytherin, to his relationship with Harry. Michael Gambon's Dumbledore is also a very different character than he is in the books. He's suddenly loud, accusatory, suspicious, and aggressive.

2. Wizards Would Probably Rule The World

Speaking of power, the witches and wizards of the magical world have the power to do pretty much anything they want. For some, power is easy to acquire, and for all, much easier than it is for Muggles. It's almost hard to believe that they stay out of the Muggle world, given their penchant for meddling.

In the first two movies, Hermione elects to fix Harry's glasses instead of his eyesight, yet there must be a spell that could do it. On a larger scale, the Minister for Magic claims to have connections with the British Prime Minister, but the worlds are still separate; today, a harsher and probably more realistic take on the story might see Voldemort try to take over the entire world. In the sixth film, his Death Eaters wreak havoc on the Muggle world, but the extent of the terror is unclear.

1. Plot Holes And Modernisation

Obviously, everything from the actors to screenwriters would be different if the films were made today, but some details are so plainly mistakes that anyone can spot them.

For instance, Vernon tells Hagrid they won't pay for Harry to attend Hogwarts, yet the topic of whether or not the school charges a tuition fee is never mentioned or clarified again. There are many other questions, especially about things like Hermione's Time Turner or Animaguses, but they remain unanswered.

[Originally shared with ScreenRant.]


About the Creator

Svetlana Sterlin

Svetlana Sterlin is based in Brisbane, Australia, where she writes prose, poetry, and screenplays. The founding editor of swim meet lit mag, she also edits with Voiceworks.

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