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The Second Year Begins
Warner Bros. Pictures is pleased to announce the release of the feature film adaptation of the second installment of J.K. Rowling's best-selling novel series, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Published in 1998, Chamber of Secrets debuted at number one on the U.K.'s Whitaker Book Track best-seller list, as well as making number one debuts on The New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal best-seller lists. Over 42 million copies of the novel have been sold in more than 42 countries worldwide (including over 17 million copies in the U.S. and Canada alone).

Production on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets commenced on November 19, 2001, at Leavesden Studios, Hertfordshire, and on location in England, just three days after the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which shattered numerous box office records at the time of its release and went on to become the second highest grossing film of all time. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone also garnered three Academy Award nominations and seven prestigious BAFTA nominations, including Outstanding British Film of the Year.

For most directors, completing the post-production phase of a feature film is an exhaustive and all-consuming process. Chris Columbus faced an even more daunting task throughout the summer and autumn of 2001, as he simultaneously supervised the editing of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and commenced a rigorous period of pre-production and planning for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

"It was an intense time, but we'd learned so much on Sorcerer's Stone and I was very excited about taking all this knowledge into the second film," Columbus recalls.

"It was challenging," producer David Heyman concurs. "Fortunately, we benefited from the experience of the first film and having many of our original production crew continue on through the second film, so we had a wealth of knowledge to draw upon."

Another benefit of this demanding Chamber of Secrets schedule was that it kept the production team focused on the tasks at hand during a time of sensational success and media attention.

"None of us had the chance to sit back and think about the success of the first film, which I think was good for everyone, particularly the kids," says Columbus. "By that point, the cast and crew had become like one big family. It was great that we could all share that sense of excitement, without losing our momentum, and carry it into Chamber of Secrets."

Despite the hectic pace, from the outset Columbus and Heyman remained faithful to their ambitious vision for Chamber of Secrets and how it would differ from the first film – especially in terms of structure, character and tone. "We devoted a good part of Sorcerer's Stone to setting up the world of Harry Potter," Heyman notes. "There was so much to introduce in terms of the magic, the settings and the characters. With Chamber of Secrets, we jump directly into the narrative and into the adventure."

"Chamber of Secrets is darker and funnier and it takes Harry's character to a new place," Columbus explains. "The first film was about Harry realizing that he's actually a wizard. In contrast to the colorful and larger-than-life characters that surrounded him, Harry was somewhat passive and didn't come into his own until the third act of the film. In Chamber of Secrets, Harry exudes a lot more confidence and strength right from the start."

Star Daniel Radcliffe relished taking on Harry Potter's "more proactive"

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