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‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ Director Wants His Original 3-Hour Cut Released: ‘Put Peeves Back in’

Chris Columbus’ original cut hasn’t been seen since Warner Bros. tested the film before its 2001 release

Forget the Snyder Cut, it’s time to #ReleaseThePeevesCut. While the theatrical cut of 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” currently runs 2 hours and 32 minutes, director Chris Columbus recently told TheWrap that he previewed a cut of the movie that was three hours long — and he’d love to see it released.

Adapting the first book in J.K. Rowling’s monumentally popular franchise was no small order, and screenwriter Steve Kloves did his best to include elements that were most important to fans. “Sorcerer’s Stone” is a pretty faithful adaptation, and certainly includes more of the book than future films that had to cut Rowling’s tomes down into manageable lengths, but there were still elements left on the cutting room floor – namely the fan-favorite Peeves, a mischievous poltergeist who haunts Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The scenes featuring Peeves were shot with actor Rik Mayall in the role, but have thus far not been released — not even in the “Ultimate Edition” of the movie that runs seven minutes longer.

Reflecting on his experience making “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Columbus acknowledged that he knew the film was connecting with audiences when they screened that three-hour cut in Chicago and kids said they wanted even more. “We knew that the film worked because we did a couple of previews,” Columbus said. “Particularly a Chicago preview where our first cut was a three-hour cut. 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.” Nearly half an hour of footage was then removed before the theatrical release.

Columbus has discussed his three-hour cut before in interviews, but when speaking to TheWrap we told him we’d love to see that three-hour cut released – and he agreed. “I would too,” he said. “We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!”

It’s a bit surprising that Warner Bros. hasn’t released this longer cut previously, despite a few different home video releases of “Sorcerer’s Stone” thus far. Perhaps Columbus’ comments here will be the push necessary to finally get this extended version out. Fans would no doubt flock to theaters to see never-before-seen footage in a longer iteration of this beloved film.

A rep for Warner Bros. said they are unaware of any plans to release this cut.