Harry Potter has become a very popular costume that we all love to see every year. It will no doubt be one of the most popular Halloween costumes of all time.
Very few people actually know that the inspiration for the Harry Potter books hit their author, J.K. Rowling, while she was stuck for four hours waiting on a delayed train. She had been writing stories most of her life, but had never been quite so struck by an idea as she was by the one that brought about the Harry Potter books. What an inspiration that must have been! The Harry Potter books have sold more than 400 million copies each. The last four in the series have set records as the fastest selling books in history.
These ingenious stories center around the main character named Harry Potter, a little boy who has been raised by relatives who do not believe in magic. Despite their best efforts to keep the information from Harry, on his birthday it is brought to his attention that he’s not just an ordinary little boy, but a wizard. He is then whisked off to the fantastic “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy” where he is to be taught to train his gifts. He meets up with several new friends, most importantly Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger who become his closest comrades.
Almost immediately Harry finds himself in the midst of a mystery that needs to be solved for the safety of all. Throughout the story certain facts come to light about Harry’s past that were previously kept from him, such as where he received the lightning bolt shaped scar upon his forehead. He learns that his parents were killed in a struggle to protect him, and during that struggle he alone survived the attack of a wizard so powerful that no one had ever survived his wrath before. Harry finds that being “the boy who lived” garners him the respect, awe and even the contempt of others at the school, including some of the teachers.
Throughout the seven book series, Harry and his friends find themselves in situations where they must help solve the mystery of what is going on at “Hogwarts.” The fate of the school and the students often hangs in the balance as these three exceptional children, with the help of the school’s head master, Professor Dumbledore, and the groundskeeper Hagrid, try to unravel the mysteries. Each one of these adventures seem to lead back in some way to the evil machinations of that powerful wizard (whose name is not to be spoken aloud) as he desperately tries to plot his return.
J.K. Rowling sold the movie rights for the first four books in the Harry Potter series to Warner Bros. in 1998, when she did, she insisted that all of the principal actors be British, but allowed for some Irish actors as well. Chris Columbus was chosen among many other big names to direct the first two movies, but he declined to direct the third, staying on in a producer’s capacity instead. The third movie, “the Prisoner of Azkaban” was directed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuaron. Since the production of the third overlapped with the production of the forth movie, Mike Newell was chosen to direct “Goblet of Fire”. David Yates took over the directing duties from there, and will be directing the final two movies as well.
It was announced in 2008 that the final book of the series will be split up into two movies. The first of these will be released in November of 2010, and the next will follow in July of 2011.The Harry Potter films have consistently been ranked within the top 25 highest-grossing films worldwide.