First, a disclaimer: I've never thought the Harry Potter movies came close to the books in emotional power, verbal hijinks or general richness of experience. That said, I've seen them all (except No. 5, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" ) and enjoyed them.
But for years I've been mentally casting the movies. Sometimes my preferred actors even got the roles for which God seems to have intended them.
-- Alan Rickman was born to play Snape.
--Maggie Smith was perfect for McGonagall. (In fact, I keep expecting McGonagall to take on some Jean Brodie-esque qualities. Don't you think she was carrying a torch for years for Dumbledore?)
--I'd have cast Alec Guinness as Dumbledore except for the little problem of his having died. Richard Harris was quite good. And he died, too. This is not a good omen. Michael Gambon is not right. He lacks a necessary twinkle. And he's wearing a beanie, for crying out loud!
At least a few of you agree, based on comments below. (As of 12:42 p.m.)
Ian McKellan was busy, I guess. Which leaves Peter O'Toole. He'd have hammed it up wonderfully.
--Sirius Black was a role made for Daniel Day-Lewis. Thin, dark, intense, romantic but dangerous. That Gary Oldman guy just misses the point.
--Ralph Fiennes would have made the perfect Lupin -- sympathetic, with undertones of nervous despair and tragedy, and just the faintest wolfish cast to his features. (Note the adjective that describes a wolfish kind of face is lupine.) Fiennes is wasted as Voldemort. With all that makeup, who can tell what the guy underneath looks like anyway?
--And the actor playing Lupin -- David Thewlis -- is wrong, wrong, wrong. "He's just kind of ugly and he has a bad haircut," says one of my friends.
--I'm looking forward to Imelda Staunton as Umbridge. I just hope she's prissy enough. My midnight-movie source reported today that she was fabulously evil and twisted.
--Slughorn? I envision Richard Griffiths. Too bad he was already snapped up to play Uncle Vernon.
--Helena Bonham-Carter may be too petite and too curly-haired to play Bellatrix Lestrange, who is described as having long, sleek black hair. But her face is suitably cavernous, with eyes that bore into you, so maybe that will work out. Again, my midnight-movie source, who is a very tough critic, approved, saying Bonham-Carter was suitably "deranged."
Who's in your dream cast for the movies?