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Alan Rickman Almost Quit the ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise: ‘They Don’t Want to Hear It’

Rickman had second thoughts about signing onto "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," released in 2004.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, Alan Rickman, 2005, (c) Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

Alan Rickman in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

©Warner Bros/Courtesy Everett Collection

Professor Snape almost slithered out of the “Harry Potter” films.

Late star Alan Rickman, who famously played Professor Snape in all eight “Harry Potter” movies from 2001 to 2011, said he considered parting ways with the franchise ahead of 2004’s “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” directed by Alfonso Cuarón.

In diary excerpts released more than six years after Rickman’s 2016 death from prostate cancer, Rickman is revealed to have written that he had second thoughts about the franchise while working on sequel “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” Rickman’s 27 diaries are published as a book under the title “The Diaries of Alan Rickman,” available this fall.

Rickman wrote in January 2002 that it was “nice to see” his fellow co-stars but that the films felt never-ending: “It’s a dreamlike thing, as if it has never stopped. And in a way, it hasn’t – and won’t,” the excerpt reads, as published by The Guardian. By December 2002, Rickman had spoken with his agent Paul Lyon-Maris about exiting “Harry Potter,” with Rickman writing, “which he thinks will happen. But here we are in the project-collision area again. Reiterating no more HP. They don’t want to hear it.”

After agreeing to star in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Rickman penned that director Cuarón went “quietly ballistic” at him after an accident on set.

“The day got off to a fabulous start with the screen guillotining on to my head, a sudden, swift blackout followed by day-long melancholy,” Rickman wrote. “Alfonso [Cuarón, director] was quietly ballistic with me. I love him too much to let it last too long so I wailed offset and we sorted it out. He’s under the usual HP pressure and even he starts rehearsing cameras before actors, and these kids need directing. They don’t know their lines and Emma [Watson]’s diction is this side of Albania at times. Plus my so-called rehearsal is with a stand-in who is French.”

Once the film was released in May 2004, Rickman raved that “Alfonso has done an extraordinary job” and the film was a “very grown-up movie, so full of daring that it made me smile and smile.”

Rickman was later treated for prostate cancer before filming “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” saying, “Finally, yes to HP 5. The sensation is neither up nor down. The argument that wins is the one that says: ‘See it through. It’s your story.'”

J.K. Rowlings’ ending for Professor Snape also proved to be a sticking point for Rickman and an inspiration to finish out playing the character. “I have finished reading the last ‘Harry Potter’ book,” he wrote. “Snape dies heroically, Potter describes him to his children as one of the bravest men he ever knew and calls his son Albus Severus. This was a genuine rite of passage. One small piece of information from Jo Rowling seven years ago – Snape loved Lily [Potter] – gave me a cliff edge to hang on to.”

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