“Harry Potter” film spreads magic in London

The time has come for kids to wear their capes and wizard hats, pack up their pet owls and get their wands at the ready; Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone has finally made its debut.

Sting, the Duchess of York with daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Australian actress Cate Blanchett were just a few of the celebrities who attended the world premiere of the film on Sunday, held at London’s Leicester Square.

“It feels great. We all need this at the moment. My daughter made me read the book, and as soon as I did, I was desperate to make it into a movie,” director Christopher Columbus told Reuters.

But no one was more delighted to see the film for the first time than Harry Potter author JK Rowling, who was bought to tears while watching a private screening at Warner Bros. in London, Reuters reported.

“Admittedly I had been given a lot of input on how things looked. But they really do look as I’d imagined they would inside my head,” Rowling told reporters at the premiere. “From my point of view it is obviously wonderful.”

Harry Potter‘s producer, David Heyman, told Reuters that he was relieved to hear that Rowling enjoyed the film.

“She came across the aisle, sat down and put her arms around me. Her eyes were tear-stained. She said ‘I loved it. Thank you.'” Heyman said.

Rowling said she was “a happy woman” after director Christopher Columbus (Home Alone) kept his promise to remain as faithful to the book as he possibly could and to have an all British cast.

The author also gave kudos to the 12-year-old child actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the boy wizard in the movie.

“I think Dan nailed it–and I am really pleased, I just love his face. He has such an endearing face,” Rowlings told Reuters.

The British media is also delighted with the results of the Harry Potter film, calling it 153 minutes of “pure magic,” Reuters reported.

The Daily Telegraph film critic John Hiscock wrote in his review that Columbus successfully remained faithful to the book. “He has managed to keep the saccharine to a minimum, and instead allows Rowling’s story to unfold almost exactly as she wrote it.”

It is no surprise that the film version of Rowling’s phenomenally popular book has met with such success. It cost a reported $125 million to make and features a stellar line-up of British stars, including Robbie Coltrane and Richard Harris.

The Harry Potter books have become a global phenomenon, with more than 110 million copies sold in 46 languages since the first book was published in 1997.

According to Reuters, Columbus said that work on the next Harry Potter film has already begun.

Watch for Hollywood.com’s coverage of the premiere, coming later this week!