Harry Potter, as a franchise, has given us something truly special. It made us believe… in what? That’s something only a Potter-touched fan can truly explain and even they might be at a loss for words. Fans show their happiness in such diverse and myriad ways that it will require a specialized psychology course to understand the way they think. To feel so deeply and creatively about fictional characters is a powerful testament to human imagination.
J.K. Rowling has said (paraphrased) that the Harry Potter characters exist in the collective consciousness of her fans, and as such, they really do exist in a manner of speaking. Occult messages aside, let us lighten the mood a bit and start sharing what we promised already. As usual with TheGamer, all you will find is insanity here, but a special warm and fuzzy kind.
Fans have used photoshop for all sorts of things, so it comes as no surprise to see that tech-savviness be applied to Harry Potter and its rich roster of characters. Fans have taken an assortment of popular celebrities and photoshopped them onto Potter characters. In this article, we give you ten manipulations that work and ten that simply, well, need to be ‘Silencio-ed.’ Pardon, we're being unduly dramatic. We’ve laid out the yeses and the nos alternatively, because why not.
20 Better: Harry "The Irish" Potter
When first we came across this fan-shopped photo, we thought it was our friendly neighborhood pirate from Once Upon A Time indulging in a little cosplay streak. Then we read the taglines and discovered it was a clever Photoshop idea. Fan-casting Colin O’Donoghue as the supremely famous Harry Potter looks like a step in the right direction, if this picture is anything to go by.
Age down the man by a few leagues, give him a schoolboy look, and voila, you have an alternate-universe Potter. The scar quite suits this pirate, doesn’t it? The only issue that some fans will have this picture is that Colin is not British proper. The Irishman has earned several points in his favor playing the notorious Captain Hook in the TV show mentioned earlier. If he can cast spells as well as he curses, he’s looking at a nice long stint in Potter's shoes.
19 Never: Cast Him As Lupin!
Generally speaking, Sam Huntington seems like a great choice for a variety of fan-cast roles in the Harry Potter universe. Having played a werewolf in Being Human, it feels like he’d best suit a character on a par with Remus Lupin. However, an alternate idea has pegged him in the role of a young Peter Pettigrew.
The Harry Potter books and movies did have a good amount of flashback scenes that revealed much lore and past-events to fans. While the older version of Pettigrew, played by Timothy Spall, simply cannot be re-cast and provide the same dramatic value, the younger version in the films, played by Charles Hughes, seems just as apt. This fan-casting, when compared to the original casting choices, seems meh. You can’t really blame us for naysaying the choice. In our defense, this article demands that we take sides; ten ayes and ten nays. If anything, we’ve been strong-armed into playing monster.
18 Better: A Lovely Depiction Of Cho
The South Korean beauty turned Broadway star has given us alluring performances in stage-plays like Waitress and The King And I. Her role in the hit television musical Glee still has us wanting a Jenna original. Whatever album dreams we might have, here’s a fan-cast that has us all googly-eyed at how perfect Jenna Ushkowitz seems for the imagined part of Cho Chang.
She can certainly romance Harry, who will certainly not shy from the matter.
That charming smile and graceful innocence are prevalent in Jenna. The more we list her attributes in relation to the character of Chang, the more we feel we are looking at a superb fan-casting choice, one that’s been photoshopped for posterity. Jenna has recently completed a drama-comedy flick called Yellow Fever, and it’s funnier than you may think.
17 Never: A Legendary Character
Lily Evans is one of the unsung heroes of the Wizarding World. Not only did she play a crucial role in the early days of the Order of the Phoenix, she was ushered into the whole world of witchcraft and wizardry by a young Severus Snape who happened to suggest that she could be a witch. Despite being a mother to Harry Potter and wife to James Potter, this woman is legendary in her own right for helping defeat Voldemort in the First Wizarding War. And let’s not forget how her unflinching love and maternal instincts worked to save Harry from Voldemort.
Any fan-casting choice to play Lily Evans will, therefore, be enormously tricky and often unsatisfactory. Lily seems like the mother of all bridges in the Potter franchise, which is quite simply why we are not excited with Laura Spencer (of Big Bang Theory fame) being fan-cast to play her. What Laura has in TV comedy-drama she lacks in literary-character depth.
16 Better: This Broadway Alum Might Do Well
We like this article because it gives us room to say yes to some fan-choices and no to others. You can feel free to share your own opinions in the comments, in fact, we welcome your take on these fan-castings. Moving on, we arrive at a young version of Teddy Lupin, and one fan’s photoshopped casting choice of putting Andrew Garfield in the role. We like it! The hair is dyed distinctly enough to give us that 'Teddy touch,' and Andrew’s expression in this particular image does come close to resembling the actual character's.
Granted, Garfield is not a popular choice for many roles after his average-but-alright stint as Spiderman (talk about being type-cast). His work on UK’s Broadway stage, though, is a testament to his versatility and talent. To play a character ‘afflicted’ with so many losses early in life is no small calling, but we believe Andrew can rise to that challenge.
15 Never: The Odds Aren't In Her Favor
We so badly want to say yes to this, but after Emma Watson’s portrayal of the brilliant and effervescent Hermione, and knowing that Rowling based this character on her own self, we’re finding it supremely impossible to embrace the notion of the grim, intimidating, and somewhat complicated Jennifer Lawrence being fan-cast in the role of a lifetime.
Jennifer was outstanding as Katniss Everdeen in the Hunger Games, and she has rocked her role in Red Sparrow as well.
This is where our problem lies: she has made herself out to be an action-heroine and drama-genius.
Somehow, pairing that image with the charming, lovable, quirky, ingenious, and surprising Hermione, played by Emma Watson, has proven to be a Herculean effort in imaginative wrangling. Some of you, we’re sure, will love to see what Lawrence can do with the role of Granger, so kindly take our opinion in a casual light and don’t aim any arrows at us.
14 Better: Older And Bolder
We tried sticking to using just one fan-cast per character, but then we encountered this ‘Next Generation’ collage and we thought to ourselves, ‘This is like a teen-drama Potter-spinoff that we wouldn’t mind watching.' Sold on the idea, we dragged it to TheGamer and put it on display. The fan who did this has performed an almost professional fan-casting.
You can see a 3rd-year Fred Weasley Jr., played by Jake T. Austin. There’s the 5th-year versions of Dominique Weasley (fan-cast as Willa Holland) and Roxanne Weasley (fan-cast as Keke Palmer). There’s Chase Crawford playing the part of Teddy Lupin, and 7th-year versions of Victoire Weasley (fan-cast as Julianna Hough) and Lorcan and Lysander Scamander (fan-cast as the same actor, Hunter Parrish). Embellishments have been added, and possibilities woven into our imaginations. Thanks to this fan for giving us a look at what the Potter franchise might have looked on American TV. We love it!
13 Never: This Needs A Serious Cast
We like Zegers, he’s a good actor. But to play the part of Edward “Teddy” Lupin, not so much. There’s actually a strange amount of depth to this character than meets the eye. We admit it’s a fun fan-casting choice but far from a serious one, conversationally speaking. Kevin Zegers has a boy-next-doorsy attitude and look, which we feel takes away from Teddy Lupin’s conflicted nature, struggles, and pursuits.
Remember, this is the son of Remus and Nymphadora.
He inherited his mother’s metamorph powers and not his dad’s accursed werewolf gene. He is definitely thankful for that luck, but the boy who grew up to become Head of Hufflepuff House in his seventh year at Hogwarts seems to have emotional layers to him that we simply can’t see Zegers portraying to best effect. Luke Newberry, who was cut from the film’s final version, played the original young Teddy on-screen.
12 Better: She Makes Quidditch Look Good
The moment we laid eyes on this picture, we actually thought it was an actor from the movie. She looks so perfect in Gryffindor-red, and ready to tackle a match of Quidditch, that we couldn’t help but root for Naya Rivera playing the part of Angelina Johnson in the Harry Potter movies. Rivera is well known for her role in TV shows like Glee and Devious Maids. She also has a few movies to her credit.
The actor, though possessing talent for both screen and song, also seems capable of selling the image of a prime Quidditch player and captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch Team. That searing focus, hawk-like intensity, and balanced pose… She has our vote, which is not to say that Angelina Johnson is any less of a star in our book. Johnson is still the better bet. Anyone who served in Dumbledore’s Army has our nod of approval.
11 Never: Casting Is More Than Just Visuals
First off, this point is going to be something of a mixed review. While we like the fan-casting going on in this image, we also find that the ‘actors’ lack that wonderful interwoven chemistry we found among Harry and friends. That last is the only reason why we’re not all for this fan-cast photoshop. In it, you’ll find a 3rd-grade version of Hugo Weasley (fan-cast as Jeremy Sumpter) and Lily Luna Potter (fan-cast as Bella Thorne).
Next, you’ll see 5th-year versions of popular characters like Scorpius Hyperion Malfoy (fan-cast as Alex Pettyfer), Albus Severus Potter (fan-cast as David Lambert) and Rose Weasley (fan-cast as Kate Mara). Finally, you have 7th-year renditions of Louis Weasley (fan-cast as Boyd Holbrook) and James Sirius Potter (fan-cast as Asher Boo). We like the idea but not the chemistry; solely our opinion.
10 Better: She's Available!
The Vampire Diaries has closed after an amazing eight seasons. We hoped it would continue with better writers, but alas, studios have a mind of their own. This brings us to Nina Dobrev, who gave us an outstanding performance in the show as Elena Gilbert. As soon as we saw this fan-cast picture, a world’s worth of memories came rushing back. Here’s Nina fan-cast as Pansy Parkinson, the Slytherin Prefect who played a sinister but important role in the Inquisitorial Squad.
She’s had a falling out with Draco Malfoy, spoke up against Harry Potter, and earned the ire of her own classmates, and is rumored to have survived the Second Wizarding War. These and other lore-facts lead us to connect the dots between this Potter-character and Nina Dobrev’s dark side, as portrayed in Diaries where she double-acted as the nefarious Katherine Pierce. Looks like this is one of the best fan-casts on our list, character- and performance-wise.
9 Never: You Can't Be Sirius
We’re still with the Vampire Diaries family here, namely the brilliant and ever-charming bad-vamp of the show Damon Salvatore, played by Ian Somerhalder. The actor is outstanding, don’t get us wrong. But it will truly be a dark day in Potter-land if people felt he’d make a great Sirius Black. After Gary Oldman’s portrayal of the character in the movies, it’s already a tough call to imagine fan-casting anyone else in the role let alone the handsome Mr. Somerhalder.
We say this because, for one thing, Ian has exceptional bad-boy flavor.
However, that is worlds apart from the seriousness and self-conflicted nature that Sirius Black brings to the table. Yes, Damon Salvatore was also conflicted in the show. Yes, he was very serious, and convincingly so. But Sirius is Sirius, and Damon is Damon. Oil and water simply don’t mix.
8 Better: He's Definitely Got The Look
Gifted with a super-talented voice and signature Weasely-hair... Put them together and what do you get? Ed Sheeran, y'all! Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and now actor, Ed has given us some interesting on-stage and on-screen moments. It feels rather apt seeing him in the role of Ronald Weasley, and for some reason overly-satisfying too. This fan-casting seems to be tugging at our sense of logic, because we can’t help but think, time and again, that Sheeran makes a great Weasley.
Perhaps it’s the quality of the Photoshop playing a trick on us, or maybe it could just as well be that an imagined Sheeran-spinoff exploded so intensely in a certain fan’s mind that we are all experiencing the fallout. Talk about ‘I See Fire.' Sheeran’s got a sensational North American tour planned for 2018, beginning in August, so mark your calendars. This Weasley’s apparently the singer in the family.
7 Never: It's Hard To See Her As Anything Else
We’re going to have to offer mixed reviews from here on out. This entire article has been hard on us, because of how many positive points we found in all the fan-casts that we had to say a small no to. Take this rendition of Ginny Weasley, with the fan-cast version played by Alyson Hannigan (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame). We really do like what the fan has done with this captivating fan-cast, but somehow we find our hearts are so in love with Willow that we repeatedly keep going back to that character instead of seeing Aly in a new light, namely that of Ginny Weasley.
This is the only reason why we are not cheering for this fan-cast choice, which otherwise is quite good. Come to think of it, both girls have a lot in common…
6 Better: A Perfect Cast For A Perfect Character
This is a Lily Evans we can accept! This is the mother of The Boy Who Lived, the woman who fought alongside other prominent names in the First Wizarding War, which saw to Voldemort’s early-days defeat, and the witch who gave so many wizards a run for their broomsticks. Karen Gillan has that singular gleam in her eye reminiscent of what thousands of fans have imagined in Lily’s.
A mischievous free-spirited nature and a keen sense of intelligence and responsibility… We can see those traits too in this photoshopped fan-cast image. The Scottish beauty being fan-cast is not just an actress but also a screenwriter and director. If she looks awfully familiar to some of you, that’s because she has starred in hit movies like Jumanji (the one with Dwayne Johnson) and Guardians of the Galaxy. As a choice for Lily Evans, Karen looks like she could breathe fresh life into Potter-flashback scenes.
5 Never: Siriusly, Stop
He took us by pleasant surprise in the Narnia movies, where he played Prince Caspian. He gave us some outstandingly versatile performances in Dorian Gray and the Punisher. On the other hand, he's had a few box-office bombs like Gerrymandering, which actually seemed like a nice movie but not a good fit for the fan-cast actor in this photoshop image. Ben Barnes is a lot of things but Sirius Black is definitely not one of them.
For one thing, he brings a distinctly boyish charm to most of his roles.
Sirius is well, way more serious. On another note, Barnes can pull off vulnerable and lost better than he can manage stoic and grim. The Gary Oldman bias still has not left us, apparently, so we’re going to leave it at that and simply say that there’s no Sirius better than the guy who recently won an Oscar for playing Churchill.
4 Better: He Looks So Devious
We feel terrible to disparage an actor whom we actually like. He’s not just a pretty face, mind you, which is quite educational for dudes who blindly assume that attractive features are all it takes to get into Hollywood. Politics aside, let’s share how Ben Barnes may prove excellent for other fan-castings in the Potter universe. Case in point, his smoldering, brooding, I-don’t-quite-care expression in this image.
The reason why we found this fan-shopped picture perfect was that it snuck up on us. Much like Snape has proven to do to Harry and Ron in the books and movies, Ben Barnes took us by complete surprise, and we didn’t quite recognize him for the first few seconds. Then it dawned on us: we absolutely need to add this picture to the list.
3 Never: It Just Doesn't Fit
We covered Karen Gillan earlier, and how much we loved to see her being fan-cast as Lily Evans. But for some inexplicable reason, we can’t seem to accept Aaron Taylor-Johnson playing the part of James Potter. Aaron was exceptional in Avengers: Age of Ultron where we saw him playing a fan-favorite, namely Quicksilver.
Now, about James Potter and this fan-cast choice… This character is Harry Potter’s dad, the one who shielded Lily and his son from Voldemort before perishing in the line of paternal duty. He initiated a plethora of events and ideas over the years that altered the fabric of the Wizarding World as we know it. And then there was that time-travel moment where fans witnessed James’ Patronus (a stag) saving Harry Potter from a horde of Dementors at the Great Lake. You never really imagined seeing Aaron in any of these scenes right now, did you? See? Rather inexplicable, but there you have it.
2 Better: So Hard To Say No
This is yet another mixed review from us, and we’re sure you will understand why. Take a look at them! For Pete’s sake, they look like an alternate-universe Harry Potter cast, and this was done by the same brilliant fan-caster who gave us a few other images on the list.
The sole reason why we could say no to this insanely cool fan-cast choice is that our hearts won’t let us replace the original actors anymore.
That said, here’s the ‘who’s who’ of fan-cast actors in this image: James Potter (fan-cast as Dave Franco), Sirius Black (fan-cast as Jared Leto), Regulus Black (fan-cast as Matt Dallas), Remus Lupin (fan-cast as James McAvoy), Peter Pettigrew (fan-cast as Michael Welch), Severus Snape (fan-cast as Conor Oberst), and Lily Evans (fan-cast as Rachel Hurd-Wood). Some of these characters are not as ideal as others, but the overall fan-cast seems great, BUT for the fact that we like the originals way better.
1 Maybe: We're Conflicted!
This final entry on our list is not exactly a mixed-review sorta point. It’s neither a yes or a no, it’s a definite maybe. In honor of the late Alan Rickman who didn’t just give us an extraordinary Snape but also other impactful cinema performances, we wish to stay neutral with this final fan-cast image on the list. Let it just BE! The actor in the image is known for his roles in movies like Planetarium, Jealousy, A Castle In Italy, and My King.
Not only does this photoshop fan-cast of Louis Garrel in the role of the intimidating and oh-so-secretive Severus Snape send chills down our spine, it makes us realize that we could be looking at a potential flashback-contender to play the role in future Potter flicks. We shall leave that to more spirited fans and casting directors to decide, and simply go forward in the understanding that we have done the best we can to love and semi-like the fan-castings on yet another list from the bold and fantabulous halls of TheGamer.