Oh, wow, I had never heard this before. Studio executives had wanted the Harry Potter movies to be set in America. I didn’t like the Potter flicks much–certainly, all except the last two installments were but pale shades of the books–but if they’d messed around with them even more they could have been an outright disaster. That article kind of makes me more forgiving towards the filmmakers’ general disregard for the stuff in the books. The fact that they couldn’t be bothered to make Tonks’s hair look like the book describes seems minor in comparison to the prospect of seeing Hogwarts relocated to the outskirts of Los Angeles.
As an American, I am vaguely insulted by the idea that people suspected Americans wouldn’t be interested in a movie that wasn’t about them. Do they think we’re that ignorant and narcissistic? Man, that would have been an awful series of movies. I mean, in my eyes, the major draw of the movies was the chance to see skilled British actors plying their trade. Take that away and they would be nothing.