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In the Harry Potter books, Peeves’ actions are in some situations very important for the story.

Why did he never appear in the movies or get a small role in one of them?

What do you think? Don’t give me the answer that a book is too big to put it all in a movie. It’s Peeves!

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    Asked on Movies&TV.SE – Jason Baker Mar 26 '15 at 15:11
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    "Peeves actions are in some situations verry important for the story" I can't think of any examples that are absolutely vital and irreplaceable. Which ones are you thinking of? – Anthony Grist Mar 26 '15 at 15:20
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    See also scifi.stackexchange.com/q/6853/4918 "What plot points are missing in the Harry Potter movies that are in the novels?" – b_jonas Mar 26 '15 at 15:23
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    Don't believe this is a dupe. The other one asks what was cut - including Peeves. This one asks why Peeves was cut. – phantom42 Mar 26 '15 at 16:42
  • I just recalled my vote of an online poll of characters which should be there in movies.. I voted for Peeves :D – Rajan Mar 26 '15 at 17:55
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According to BBC America, Christopher Columbus said he was unhappy with Peeves' look.

So somewhere there are outtakes from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone with Rik Mayall as Peeves, and had he been left in, he could have remained Peeves throughout the rest of the series. Director Chris Columbus cut the scenes because they weren’t happy with the look of the mischievous poltergeist. But let’s not be too sad, there’s a coda to this that once again serves to prove what a loveable rogue the man was.

In this interview with Empire Magazine, Columbus implies that the length of the story and the film contributed to Peeves being cut.

You’d assume I would have been a complete basketcase but I think the biggest challenge of the first film was just treading carefully on what we were able to do and tearing the movie down to under three hours. I loved the book so much that it was extremely difficult to cut elements out. One of my favourite characters never made the film – Peeves, the annoying, sort of, mischievous poltergeist. Those sorts of things, there was just too much to film. Our first cut of the film was about 3 hours and 20 minutes. We tore it down when we first previewed it in Chicago to, I think, about 2h 40 and the issue with most parents was the length. The kids were like, "No, no, it's too short. We need more!" That's what we were constantly fighting for: kids who notoriously have a much shorter attention span wanted a four-hour film and parents were just like, "Please cut another half hour out of this." So it was a very fine line.

Peeves' involvement in the books wanes as the series progresses, and since the films already had to cull plotlines and characters from the books, it makes sense that Peeves would not be included in later movies.

  • I have the Canadian Philosopher's Stone extended version DVD set that has restored the cut scenes and Peeves doesn't appear in any of them. The same is true for the Harry Potter Hogwarts Collection set's version of Sorcerer's Stone. I wonder if Chris Columbus cut Peeves at the storyboard level or something. I don't think Peeves would have been relevant to the movies' plots at any point, but maybe that's just me. I always imagined Peeves as Casper with a sneer, a bowler hat, and a middle finger. :P – Slytherincess Mar 26 '15 at 16:20
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    @Slytherincess The interview with Mayall says he filmed the scenes and got paid for them. – phantom42 Mar 26 '15 at 16:37
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    @Slytherincess In this answer to a related question on Movies&TV.SE, alexwlchan quotes interviews where actor Chris Rankin and writer Steve Cloves both confirm this story – Jason Baker Mar 26 '15 at 17:09
  • I hate Chris Columbus more and more each day. It is ironic because Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the movie convinced me to read all the books. – Vishvesh Mar 28 '15 at 3:55
  • I wish they'd listened to the kids on this one... all great movies ought to be >= four hours long. – TylerH Mar 28 '15 at 17:09

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