How J.K. Rowling's bestseller became Warner Bros.' best hope
Daniel Radcliffe, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Credit: Harry Potter: Peter Mountain

”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the 1997 novel by J.K. Rowling that’s the first installment in what Rowling has long promised will be a seven volume hero’s journey for her beloved boy wizard, has (not surprisingly) spawned a movie version. The fervently awaited adaptation — written by Steve Kloves (”Wonder Boys”), directed by Chris Columbus (”Mrs. Doubtfire”), and starring 11-year-old newcomer Daniel Radcliffe in the title (and utterly life changing) role — arrives in theaters Nov. 16.

The film, which cost a reported $125 million to make, will carry not only the immense weight of fan anticipation but the expensive expectations of Warner Bros. and corporate parent AOL Time Warner. (Did we mention that Entertainment Weekly is owned by said vast media machine?) And if that isn’t enough, it also comes saddled with the economic hopes of Harry Potter’s native England, which is counting on the movies to pump hundreds of millions of pounds into its film industry and even help reignite its tourism trade.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
  • Movie
  • 152 minutes