Did you ever wonder why Peeves from Harry Potter was never in the movies? Check it out because we have the answers you’re looking for.
For those who know me – and those who don’t – I’m a pretty big Harry Potter fan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve rewatched and enjoyed the movies because the magic never seems to die. I’ve followed all the actors since the end of the film franchise. And yes, if there ever were a Cursed Child adaptation, I would be the first to see it – even if most fans might agree it’s not the best continuation of the series.
But there’s one character missing from the critically acclaimed Harry Potter movies that moviegoers never got to meet – Peeves, from the Harry Potter books, is a poltergeist that haunts the halls of Hogwarts.
I know what you think if you don’t know about Peeves – how vital could a ghost be? While Peeves -- technically not a ghost -- was never one of the most prominent characters in the novels, he was a pretty frequent background character, and he inspired some hilarious stories and scenes.
And somehow, he was not in the films at all, but we have the answer as to why. Let’s get into it.
Who Is Peeves And Why He Was Important In The Novels
Let’s start with just a fundamental analysis of who Peeves is. In the Harry Potter book series, Peeves is a poltergeist fond of playing tricks on people. He enjoys chaos. Most spiritual beings at Hogwarts tend to freak students out (because, ya know, they’re ghosts), but Peeves went out of his way to make students’ lives – for lack of a better word – a living hell every day with his pranks.
Despite causing chaos, he had his good moments. He sided with all the ghosts and pranked Dolores Umbridge during her tenure as Headmistress until the end of the school year, and also fought in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside everyone else. Despite his foolish intentions, Peeves does care and plays a vital role at Hogwarts – while also providing comedic relief.
But for someone who is such a great background character of Harry Potter, how come he didn’t appear in the movies? Well, it turns out Peeves was intended to appear in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, at the very least.
Peeves Was Cast For Harry Potter – But All His Scenes Were Cut
Rik Mayall was cast as Peeves in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but his scenes were cut. This was confirmed by an uploaded video that revealed the comedic actor speaking on his part (via The Independent in 2014).
Mayall, known for roles in television shows such as Bottom, The Young Ones, The New Statesman, and more, did film scenes for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. In the video, however, he reveals that all of his scenes were cut from the film, as described in the article:
I did it, I went and f***ing did it. I played the part of Peeves in Harry Potter…I went home, and I got the money – significant. Then a month later they said, ‘Rik, sorry about this, you’re not in the film.’ But I still got the money…so that was the most exciting film I ever did because I got the role and I wasn’t in it. Fantastic.
Chris Columbus Has Said He Wants To Release A “3-Hour” Version Of The Film, With Peeves
Even so, the director of the first Harry Potter film, the excellent Chris Columbus, said that he wants to release a director’s cut of the first film that would include Peeves.
In an interview with The Wrap in November 2021, Columbus revealed that he had previewed a three-hour cut to people, and while parents said the movie was too long, their kids disagreed and said the film was too short. They ended up cutting scenes to make the movie just two hours, but Columbus says he would like it if the three-hour version of the movie were released, adding that Peeves’ inclusion would be there too.
We have to put Peeves back in the movie, who was cut from the movie!
While there have been extended versions of some of the films, it is a little surprising that director’s cuts of all of the Harry Potter movies don’t exist. There’s so much from the books that was left out, some of which might've been filmed. Maybe fans would enjoy seeing the extended versions just as Lord of the Rings fans have enjoyed their longer films as well. God knows I would.
Peeves Was Included In Hogwarts Legacy, So There’s A Chance He Could Be In The New TV Show
Even if Peeves was cut from the Harry Potter movies, there is hope for him. Peeves was featured in the video game Hogwarts Legacy, arguably one of the biggest games of 2023, and added just the right amount of chaos in the background.
Daniel Radcliffe Explains Why He’s ‘Excited’ For The Harry Potter Show On Max
There’s also the fact that Max is currently rebooting the Harry Potter franchise as a TV show, so Peeves could also be included in there – as the whole point of the show was to give the series a faithful adaptation. What kind of version we would get of Peeves, I'm not sure, but any version is better than nothing.
Besides all that, it’s a shame we never did get Peeves, but maybe future opportunities will give the character a new way to survive in the world of Harry Potter – and perhaps someday, we might get to see Rik Mayall’s portrayal. Just not today.