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Steven Spielberg is 'very happy' he decided not to direct Harry Potter

Steven Spielberg is 'very happy' he decided not to direct Harry Potter

Director Steven Spielberg has explained why he turned down the chance to direct the first Harry Potter film, and why he doesn't regret it.

The Wizarding World is one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time but despite that, director Steven Spielberg doesn’t regret the fact that he turned down the opportunity to direct the first Harry Potter film.

Several directors worked on the Harry Potter films throughout the series’ eight main instalments (seven if you don’t split The Deathly Hallows in two), but it was Chris Columbus who ended up at the helm of The Philosopher’s Stone (titled The Sorcerer’s Stone in the U.S.). However, Spielberg was originally asked to take it on, but he placed his priorities elsewhere.

Take a look at the trailer for the new Wizarding World RPG, Hogwarts Legacy, below.

“The personal meaning about [how the conflict between] art and family will tear you in half happened to me later, after I had already established myself as a filmmaker, as a working director,” he told Variety in a recent interview. “Kate [Capshaw] and I started raising a family and we started having children. The choice I had to make was taking a job that would move me to another country for four or five months where I wouldn’t see my family every day… That was a ripping kind of experience.”

He continued: “There were several films I chose not to make. I chose to turn down the first Harry Potter to basically spend that next year and a half with my family, my young kids growing up. So I’d sacrificed a great franchise, which today looking back I’m very happy to have done, to be with my family.”

Given that the Harry Potter films released pretty much constantly between 2001 and 2011, it would have been a huge commitment for Spielberg had he been at the helm for all of them, so it’s no wonder that he’s happy to have done things as he did. Even so, it's interesting to imagine how different the films could have been had he been in charge at the start.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Topics: Harry Potter, TV And Film, Warner Bros