Numerous well-known directors came close to directing Harry Potter movies. Look at the film directors Warner Bros. has given some thought over the years.
The Harry Potter film series is among the most recognisable and adored film series ever. The films, adaptations of the J.K. Rowling book series, had praised by readers of young adult books and lovers of enjoyable stand-alone movies. That develops throughout the series along with the characters and the audience. Many people focus on the fantastic cast of actors. That brought these roles to life, but the directors who worked behind the camera were also crucial and frequently ignored.
Four directors contributed to the Harry Potter series’s creation over ten years and eight films. The first two Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, were directed by Chris Columbus. With Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, director Alfonso Cuarón infused the movie with a more sophisticated and sinister tone. Mike Newell, a skilled filmmaker of more personal, character-driven works, gave Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire a superb feel. Last but not least, David Yates stepped up to help close up the Harry Potter franchise with the final four films, despite having only directed one minor picture a decade earlier and mainly concentrating on little political TV projects. That was one of the strangest studio decisions in modern cinema history.
Using the same cast of actors throughout all four of their films, the four directors could present a single, overarching story while maintaining their visual styles and the identity of their separate directors. There is nothing like Harry Potter, not even in today’s blockbuster series.
The studio met with numerous filmmakers because it was one of the significant Hollywood properties of the twenty-first century. However, it had a long journey to get here, and several directors had considered to adapt The Boy Who Lived’s stories for the big screen.
If one of these other directors had taken the helm of even one of the franchise’s films, or if a group of these directors had been picked instead of the four chosen, one wonders how the franchise could have turned out. How drastically different things could have been. Maybe Harry Potter would have met the same fate as other adaptations for young adults and never been finished. Here is a list of some of the most notable filmmakers who came close to directing a Harry Potter movie.
Steven Spielberg is possibly the most significant and well-known director of all time. He seemed to be the perfect choice to bring the fantastical coming-of-age world of Harry Potter to the big screen, given his history of critically and commercially successful blockbusters like Jaws, ET, the Indiana Jones movies, and Jurassic Park, as well as his past as a producer on many illustrious Amblin films.
Even though every big studio had love Steven Spielberg’s name to be associated with their franchise, Warner Bros. got extremely near because Spielberg had a meeting with the company to discuss directing the first movie. The director had other plans, like making it an animated effort, hiring American-born Haley Joel Osment to voice Harry Potter, and adding details from later books to the finished product. AI Artificial Intelligence, which would feature Haley Joel Osment, was chosen by Spielberg as the film’s replacement. It was released in theatres five months before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Even though Spielberg is a fantastic director, it seems like this project wasn’t the right one for him.
Famed member of the Monty Python comedy troupe Terry Gilliam became a brilliant director after his years in comedy. With movies like Time Bandits, Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, 12 Monkeys, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Gilliam established his unique dreamlike, surreal style. Even though it might be too mature and grim for its target audience, Gilliam’s aesthetic was an intriguing fit for the fantasy Harry Potter series.
Rowling wanted Gilliam to direct the film, but he was not given the job. There have been conflicting accounts regarding Gilliam, with some claiming he declined the idea and others claiming he wanted to direct it. Later, Gilliam claimed that Chris Columbus’ Harry Potter film was boring and that he did not like it.
Brad Silberling was one of the contenders for directing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Silberling had overseen a blockbuster family movie: 1995’s Casper. Columbus, who eventually became the director of the Home Alone films and Mrs Doubtfire, had also directed a successful family movie. He could handle the volume required for Harry Potter because of the considerable CGI work on that movie.
Despite having expertise with family movies, Silberling was passed over for the Harry Potter gig. Still, he would go on to make another movie based on a well-known children’s novel, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, in 2004. Despite being a box office success, the sequel to that movie, which came out the same year as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and was intended to start a comparable young adult franchise, was delayed for a long time the child actors in it outgrew their parts.
M. Night Shyamalan
M. Night Shyamalan was the top choice to helm a Harry Potter movie for Warner Bros. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Lastly, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were all offered to the director. That makes perfect sense given that he was Hollywood’s hottest new director after The Sixth Sense, which similarly starred a well-known child actor in the starring position.
Every time, Shyamalan declined and concentrated on his work. He published Signs in 2002, the same year Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets was released. His 2004 film The Village, which debuted a few months after Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was directed by him. Given how Shyamalan handled the 2010 version of The Last Airbender, it might be best that he did not direct Harry Potter.
When Chris Columbus left the Harry Potter series, Kenneth Branagh was on the list of candidates for the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Given that he had previously played Gildroy Lockheart in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Branagh made some sense because he was already familiar with the Harry Potter series. Known for his Shakespeare adaptations of Henry V, Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet, he was a skilled performer and director.
Branagh had passed over for the director position, but he had ultimately found himself in charge of high-budget fantasy movies. Branagh helmed the Marvel superhero Thor in 2011, the same year Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 had released. In 2015, he oversaw the remake of Cinderella. Branagh did get to direct a YA novel adaption in 2020, Artemis Fowl, albeit the film garnered terrible reviews as opposed to the glowing reviews that the Harry Potter films received.
Guillermo Del Toro
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were the first two films. That Warner Bros. approached Guillermo Del Toro about directing. Del Toro is ideal for the franchise, given his well-known visual style. And passion for mass-appealing fantasy and horror. However, he did admit that he passed on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Because he envisioned a more Charles Dickens-esque interpretation of the material. And could not make the first two films’ vivid, colourful images work with it. The director chose to focus on Pan’s Labyrinth while making Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was a wise choice.
Del Toro contributed to Harry Potter, even though he may not have been the film’s director. But Del Toro played a crucial role in Alfonso Cuarón’s decision to accept the directing position for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Del Toro reportedly encouraged Cuarón to study the novels and even labelled Cuarón arrogant for dismissing the idea when they were first meant to meet to discuss filming Harry Potter. He directed his excellent version of Hellboy in the same year Harry Potter, and the Prisoner of Azkaban was released; this inspired a sequel in 2008. Del Toro worked on another version for years, producing the Hobbit movies before parting ways owing to disagreements over the project’s direction.
When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix commenced production. And a new director was needed, Mira Nair had already established a solid reputation. She directed Salaam Bombay! in 1998, which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. She followed that up with movies like Vanity Fair, Monsoon Wedding, and Mississippi Masala, and her newest movie, The Namesake, is due to be released. There is no information as to why Nair declined the position, but had she done so? She would have become the first woman to direct a Harry Potter movie, which hasn’t happened yet.
It would have been a fantastic journey if renowned French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet had agreed to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Even though he was most known for his dark fantasy movies like Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. Amélie was his breakthrough hit around the time of the Potter movies. However, the director passed on Potter. Because he had also helmed the critically panned box office bomb Alien: Resurrection, suggesting. He did not want to work in another acclaimed franchise (or with American studios) again. As a result, David Yates eventually took over as director of that movie and every subsequent Harry Potter movie.
Matthew Vaughn was a potential choice for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. One of the most intriguing what-ifs. The 2004 movie Layer Cake marked Vaughn’s directing debut, although he had best known as Guy Ritchie’s producer. He had slated to helm X-Men: The Last Stand, but just as filming was about to get underway. Matthew Vaughn left the project after a public fallout with 20th Century Fox. He had probably approached for Harry Potter at this point.
Vaughn’s fantasy movie, Stardust, based on the Neil Gaiman book, had released in 2007. The same year as Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. With Kingsman: The Secret Service, which likewise had a young British kid attending a specialised school to train. In a unique, world-saving talent. Vaughn in many ways. He created his version of a Harry Potter movie.