Directors Rejected Harry Potter Movies:
The eight Harry Potter movies were directed by four amazing directors; Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and of course David Yates. However, there were many other successful directors who were approached for the franchise and many of them refused the opportunity for different reasons. These are some of the directors who were approached to direct the Harry Potter movies.
10. Rob Reiner
Reiner is no stranger to the fantasy genre, having directed The Princess Bride, a delightful satirical spin on the tropes of fairy tales and one of the greatest fantasy movies ever made. He was also the man behind masterpieces as When Harry Met Sally, This is Spinal Tap, and Stand by Me. He was one of the many directors who were considered to direct Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone.
9. Marc Forster
After the success of the delightful and magical ‘Finding Neverland’ starring Johnny Depp, Marc Forster was offered the director’s chair for the Prisoner of Azkaban. However, Forster rejected the offer as he’d just done a movie with child actors, who are inherently harder to work with than adults, and didn’t feel like doing another one so soon.
8. Kenneth Branagh
He was appreciated for his work in the role of Gilderoy Lockhart by everyone in the second Potter film and after that, he was approached to direct the third film that is the Prisoner of Azkaban but he turned the opportunity down for unknown reasons. He went on to direct many good films and is still an important part of the Potter franchise. The third film also starred his extremely talented ex-wife Emma Thompson as Professor Trelawney.
7. Jonathan Demme
A director who was behind an Academy award-winning film was also offered the chair on the first Harry Potter film. Jonathan Demme was high in demand after his masterpiece, ‘the silence of the lambs’ became the only horror film to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture. The director however turned the opportunity down.
6. M Night Shyamalan
Known for his extreme plot twists and bizarre plots, Shyamalan is a veteran Director who was once offered the fourth Harry Potter film which he turned down. Before Mike Newell got in to direct the Goblet of fire, the ‘Sixth sense’ director was approached to direct the film but he turned it down as he is more into original stories with thrilling plot twists.
5. Mike Newell
Before directing the fourth Harry Potter movie, Newell was also considered for ‘Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. The film finally went to Chris Columbus who went on to direct ‘The chambers of secrets’ also. Newell returned for ‘Goblet of Fire’ and it became a part of the franchise at last.
4. Alfonso Cuaron
The director that gave us the masterpiece that was the Prisoner of Azkaban, was also approached for the fourth film but he refused. He did not return for the fourth film and worked on other projects instead. He later said that he was interested and tempted to return for the last two films when he read the last Harry Potter book but by this time David Yates had stuck and went on to finish the series.
3. Mira Nair
The Indian-American filmmaker famous for incredible films like ‘Salaam Bombay’, ‘The Namesake’ etc was approached to direct the fourth film that is the Goblet of fire but she rejected the offer in order to focus on a different film. Nair was busy with the production of ‘The Namesake’ and wanted to focus on that film as it meant more to her. She revealed during an interview that her daughter told her to choose the film based on the Jhumpa Lahiri novel instead of the Potter film.
Having a good experience in directing dark fantasy films, Guillermo Del Toro was probably one of the favorite choices for directing the Potter films. He was approached numerous times from the third film onwards till the last movie but he refused every time and one reason for that was that he felt Warner Brothers had too much power in this production. He wasn’t comfortable with their interference in the franchise. However, Del Toro contributed to the franchise in a big way as he was the one who recommended Alfonso Cuaron for the third film and the rest is history.
1. Steven Spielberg
The legendary director was offered the very first Potter movie to direct and he was actually interested in the series. However, Spielberg had his own vision for the Potter saga as he wanted to make the film animated and to cast Haley Joel Osment as Harry. This casting clashed with J.K. Rowling’s request for an all-British cast, and the author wasn’t too keen on the idea of animation, so Spielberg eventually dropped out of the project.