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London just got a bit more magical with the unveiling of a Harry Potter statue in Leicester Square last week. Paying homage to the character's athletic prowess on the Hogwarts Quidditch field, the bronze structure shows the boy wizard flying on a broomstick as a non-existent tailwind flutters his robes out behind him.
Inspired by Harry's debut match in the first movie, Sorcerer's Stone, the effigy depicts the Nimbus 2000, the very first stick the main character (played by Daniel Radcliffe onscreen) ever got before it was destroyed by the Whomping Willow in Prisoner of Azkaban, two entries later. Thankfully, his godfather, Sirius Black, got him a replacement broom: the faster and superior Firebolt.
"Working alongside both Premier PR and Warner Bros, and using stills footage from the film for reference, we sculpted the piece first as a small scale model (maquette) and then the life size piece. From this, we produced a fiberglass mold," 3D Eye (a company that specializes in the sculpting and production of 3D figures for civic art, retail, promotional events and art trails) exclusively tells SYFY WIRE. The finished item is also produced in fiberglass with internal metal structural armature and finished in a bronze paint finish with exterior glaze. Then piece was designed to be set off the ground by three feet to enhance the flying feeling with planting underneath handled by Leicester Square landscaping team."
Like his father, James, Harry was a talented Seeker (the person who looks for the Golden Snitch, which, when caught, ends the game and nets the player's team 150 points) and the youngest person in a century to play the position at Hogwarts. The first Potter adaptation (titled Philosopher's Stone in the U.K.), which will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2021, held its world premiere in Leicester Square back in 2001.
The Potter statue is the ninth "Scenes in the Square" movie monument erected in the Square, which also has 3D Eye-produced sculptures inspired by Laurel & Hardy, Bugs Bunny, Gene Kelly in Singin’ in the Rain, Mary Poppins, Mr. Bean, Paddington, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The Westminster Council recently granted long-term residency to the sculptures through 2023.
“When we launched Scenes in the Square in February of this year, we said there would be more to come, and I’m thrilled our next statue could be one as iconic and magical as this," Ros Morgan, Chief Executive at Heart of London Business Alliance, said in a statement. "Harry Potter is hugely important to literature, theatre and, of course, to film. In a trail that celebrates cinema, it’s wonderful to have a character that has been so important to the U.K. film industry included, and one with as great British acting talent as Daniel Radcliffe. We know there are fans of Harry Potter of all ages all around the world and we look forward to welcoming them to the West End and Leicester Square whenever that will be."
"Harry Potter has brought so much joy to fans around the world and many like me have grown up with him, so it’s fantastic that he is taking his rightful place here in Leicester Square where I was lucky enough to host the series’ final premiere. I can’t think of a more deserving addition to Scenes in the Square," added Alex Zane, a British TV presenter and host of the Potter statue unveiling.
Scenes in the Square forms a walking trail that just added a Potter component to its audio tour (also hosted by Zane).
"We have been very lucky to work with Premier PR a London based events and marketing company on making a number of sculptures for Leicester Square creating The Home of Film. A destination venue for both visitors to the UK and locals alike," adds 3D Eye. "The production of each of the sculptures involves a very talented team of artists, from sculptor to mold and laminating artists, illustration/scenic artists and sprayer. Plus the management liaison team and team of installers."
In terms of the Wizarding World's cinematic future, production for the third Fantastic Beasts movie kicked off in the U.K. two weeks ago after a six-month delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, the film is scheduled to open in theaters next November, although Warner Bros. has done an awful lot of theatrical reshuffling over the last few months.
We wouldn't be surprised if the third installment (five are planned in total) ends up delayed by another year. Speaking with SYFY WIRE in the spring, cast member Dan Fogler ("Jacob Kowalski") teased that the spinoff franchise is leading to a "massive war."