WTF Happened to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets?

In this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie, we dig into the pressure-cooker making of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Last Updated on August 24, 2023

When a movie comes out and makes a billion dollars, you can rest assured it’s going to get a sequel. Such was the case with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (check out our WTF episode on it). But, typically it takes years for a sequel to come out, but in this case, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was ready to come out just one year later, almost to the day! It turns out Warner Bros was so enthusiastic about how the first Harry Potter film would be received that the sequel was already in the works, allowing them to start shooting the sequel only three days after the first film came out. Unlike other big franchises, such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the films were not shot at the same time, which made the undertaking of getting a sequel in theatres within a year a massive undertaking that we go into in this episode of WTF Happened to this Movie.

It turns out, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, despite making almost as much money as the first film (give or take a hundred million), would be the last movie in the series for director Chris Columbus, who never really directed anything on the scale of Harry Potter again. It would also be a bittersweet swan song for Richard Harris, who passed away only days before the movie got released to theatres. In this episode, we go into all that and how difficult it was to render the character, Dobby, who pushed the boundaries of CGI animation back in 2002, Kenneth Branagh’s involvement, and so much more!

Do you think Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets holds up as well as the other, darker instalments that would follow? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.