Spanning seven books, eight films, a five-film prequel series, a West-End play and a collection of theme parks, it is not an exaggeration, but pure fact, that Harry Potter is the biggest franchise in the entire world.

It is difficult to contextualise just how much of a cultural – and even economical – phenomenon the fantasy coming-of-age novels are.

The Harry Potter books are the best-selling book series in history, and the closely associated film series are the third-highest-grossing film series of all time.

READ MORE: Harry Potter: The Bridget Jones and Star Wars actress you didn’t realise played a beloved character

It’s made one heck of a wealthy lady out of the author, J.K. Rowling, who Forbes announced was the world’s first billionaire author.

And as for the “Golden Trio”- the name given to the three actors that play the main characters of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger- their involvement in the franchise was of such economic success that is saw the three make millions of pounds.

It has launched them all onto a permanent place on the Sunday Times Rich List ever since.

Daniel Radcliffe, who played the titular character himself, took home a not too shabby £17 million from each of the last two movies.

Ray Winstone was first offered the part of Mad Eye Moody, but turned it down due to it not being a profitable role (Image: ITV)

Meanwhile, Emma Watson, who played Hermione Granger, accumulated around £50 million from the franchise overall.

So it beggars belief that Ray Winstone – famed London actor, who’s worked with the likes of Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg – turned down an iconic role in the series because he considered it wouldn’t be a profitable decision.

Winstone was approached to play Mad-Eye Moody, an eccentric battleaxe of a character who acts as a somewhat mentor to Harry Potter when he becomes a Hogwarts teacher in the fourth movie, The Goblet of Fire.

“They earn fortunes from those films,” Winstone later said on his decision.

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“But for the time that is involved in making one, they don’t want to pay you. I’m sorry, but I make movies to get a living.”

The role ended up going to Brendan Gleeson, who starred in the series alongside his son, Domhnall Gleeson.

The latter played the minor character of Bill Weasley, and even starred in a scene with his dad in the penultimate film.

Do you have a story you think we should be covering? If so, email bea.isaacson@reachplc.com

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