'Harry Potter' Extended Editions Are Coming...?

Harry PotterWarner Bros. has unofficially confirmed that they will be re-releasing the "Harry Potter" movies on home video in extended form. RopeofSilicon discovered this while looking through the latest MPAA ratings decisions, which included the title “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Extended Version),” listed with a PG rating. Curious, the site contacted WB and found out that there are indeed plans for “special upcoming releases” of the entire series.

Now the question on every Potter fan’s mind is, will these re-releases actually include never-before-seen footage? It's easy to be skeptical, considering that the movies haven’t been filmed in a way that would allow for much to be left on the cutting room floor -- unlike the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, which similarly pilfered extra cash out of fans’ pockets with extended versions that featured more than 30 additional minutes worth of footage in each installment.

Some people are assuming the new cut of “Sorcerer’s Stone” will simply be the 7-minute-longer television version that aired on ABC back in 2004. Those minimal additions were basically same deleted scenes fans can already find on the original DVD of the movie.

Die-hard Muggles will certainly scoop up these versions either way, to Warner Bros.’ delight of course. But is this really necessary? Seeing as how the cash-cow franchise is soon coming to an end for the studio -- the second part of the final installment, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” is due out in 2011 -- a certain amount of milking is to be expected. If these extended editions are indeed simply repackaged versions of the movies with already-available deleted scenes edited in...? It just feels a bit late, don't you think?

Are you enough of a Harry Potter fan that you’ll buy these extended versions even if you’ve already seen the footage via deleted scenes? Or do you wish studios would cease production of these kinds of cash-grab re-releases?