A well-known Kent landmark once made a cameo in a Harry Potter film after it was selected by Hollywood. The Dartford Crossing was used in 2010 in the last instalment in the magical series – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The tunnel was the sight of a dramatic chase between the young Hogwarts wizard, played by Daniel Radcliffe, and school caretaker Hagrid, played by Robbie Coltrane weaving between traffic on a flying sidecar.
Chased by Death Eaters, Hagrid dives headlong into the southern entrance of the Dartford Tunnel, which runs under the River Thames alongside the huge concrete supports of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge. The filming was believed to have taken place during maintenance closures which usually take place overnight. Amazingly, shooting managed to take place without disturbing traffic. Four days of shooting also took place at the Queensway Birkenhead tunnel in Liverpool also taking place when the toll road was closed at night. Originally set for a single theatrical release, the idea to split the book into two parts was decided upon.
In the film’s worldwide opening weekend, part 1 grossed $330 million, the third-highest in the series, and the highest opening of 2010, as well as the eighth-highest of all time. The film was followed by the concluding entry, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011.