Wicked! Daniel Radcliffe kicks off a star-studded reading of first Harry Potter book

"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"
Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter in 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.”
(Warner Bros.)

Surprise! Daniel Radcliffe is returning to his roots in the Wizarding World.

On Tuesday, Radcliffe — who captivated audiences as boy wizard Harry Potter for a decade on the big screen — kicked off a star-studded relay-reading of the J.K. Rowling book that started it all: “The Sorcerer’s Stone.”

Stephen Fry, David Beckham and Dakota Fanning have also signed on to recite chapters from Rowling’s seminal work, as have Eddie Redmayne and Claudia Kim from the “Fantastic Beasts” series; and Noma Dumezweni, who originated the role of Hermione in the popular stage production of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.”

Radcliffe, whose final outing as the Boy Who Lived hit theaters in 2011, lent his famous voice to Chapter 1 on Tuesday. All 17 chapters of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” (known as “The Philosopher’s Stone” outside the United States) will be read by “familiar faces” in the coming weeks.


“We’ve got a treat for you,” read a Twitter announcement from the Wizarding World shared by Rowling. “From today, amazing friends of the Wizarding World are going to take turns reading Harry Potter book one. And to start us off with Chapter 1, we think you’ll agree we have the perfect narrator...”

The goodwill stunt is part of a larger #HarryPotterAtHome campaign launched by Rowling in an effort restore some magic amid the coronavirus crisis. Last month, the author unveiled a new Harry Potter website, complete with videos, puzzles, illustrations, quizzes and more activities to entertain quarantined families.

“Who better to lend their voice to Chapter One than the prolific actor who portrayed Harry in all eight films?” reads a message from the Wizarding World team. “As the figurehead of the Harry Potter films for so many years, we hope you love watching this incredibly special video of Daniel revisiting Harry’s adventure — this time not on a film set, but through the pages of the first book.”

You can watch Radcliffe read the entire first chapter of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” here and listen on Spotify, which will release audio-only versions of the readings.