The Warner Bros. Studio Tour has provided Harry Potter fans with a chronological snapshot of the studio’s history, including the production of all eight Harry Potter films.
Provided in the new infographic is all the significant dates in the studio’s history, from the site’s origins in 1939 to the release of the Gringotts Wizarding Bank part of the studio this year. And they’ll longer be any confusion whether The Goblet of Fire came out in 2004 or 2005!
As well as detailing the production history of the famous wizarding franchise, the infographic also details the pre-film history of the studio, which is just as interesting. The story begins in 1939, when the threat of Nazi Germany prompted the Ministry of Defence to convert the site into a production base for the manufacture of aircraft and engines. It served this function long after the war was won, and eventually fell into the hands of Rolls-Royce in 1967. Throughout the 1980s, it was used as a private club by aircraft enthusiasts.
It wasn’t until the 1994 return of the James Bond franchise that film cameras first starting rolling on the premises. GoldenEye proved that the newly rebranded Leavesden Studios was a world-class facility, and hosted the filming of The Phantom Menace and Sleepy Hollow soon afterwards.
The first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, commenced shooting at Leavesden on 29 September 2000 – nearly two decades ago! Among the first sets to be built was the enormous Great Hall, which went on to feature in all but one of the films (the exception being Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1).
New Harry Potter films were released regularly throughout the following decade, culminating in the eventual release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow Part 2 in 2011. In 2012, the public appetite for all things Potter-related remained insatiable, and so the Warner Bros. Studio Tour came to be at the Leavesden Studios site. The experience provides visitors with a chance to sample Butterbeer, go broomstick-riding, and even purchase their very own Ollivander-approved wand.
In 2013, the studio received Royal approval during a visit from HRH the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince Harry attended the inauguration, as did the author of the series, JK Rowling.
Here is the infographic! To find out more about the history of the Studio Tour, you can find it over at https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/our-history.
Did You Know?
- For the filming of The Prisoner of Azkaban, the set for Hagrid’s Hut had to be disassembled and rebuilt in the Scottish Highlands.
- For the filming of The Goblet of Fire, an enormous water tank had to be constructed so that Harry could swim through the Great Lake while performing the second Triwizard Task.
- Despite playing a 16-year-old at the time, Rupert Grint turned 21 in 2007. The cast and crew marked the occasion with a children’s birthday party in the studio’s canteen.