Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (released in the United States and India as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) is a 2001 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, based on J. K. Rowling's 1997 novel of the same name. Produced by David Heyman and screenplay by Steve Kloves, it is the first instalment of the Harry Potter film series. The film stars Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter, with Rupert Grint as Ron Weasley, and Emma Watson as Hermione Granger. Its story follows Harry's first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as he discovers that he is a famous wizard and begins his formal wizarding education. Warner Bros. bought the film rights to the book in 1999 for a reported 1 million ($1. 65 million). Production began in the United Kingdom in 2000, with Chris Columbus being chosen to create the film from a shortlist of directors that included Steven Spielberg and Rob Reiner. Rowling insisted that the entire cast be British and Irish, with the three leads chosen in August 2000 following open casting calls. The film was shot at Leavesden Film Studios and historic buildings around the United Kingdom, from September 2000 to March 2001.