Steven Spielberg Didn't Work On The Harry Potter Movies For Very Long

A new interview offers many peeks behind the curtain and a sense of other paths the franchise could have taken.


In an interview for the April issue of Empire, English film producer David Heyman--who had the foresight to secure the film rights to the entire run of Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling back in 1999--provides answers for many of the longest running questions fans have had about the films.

For example, Heyman finally clarifies how far along Steven Spielberg actually got in working to adapt the books into a film--which is not very. "We never got far in developing the books with Spielberg," Heyman says, noting that the director had read the first draft of Philosopher's Stone. "I had a meeting one-on-one with him at his office, which was amazing… But my sense was that he wanted to talk about it, but I don't think he ever wanted to pursue it. I think he had other projects at the time."

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That characterization is consistent with comments Spielberg has made in the past, as when in 2012 he told the BBC (via DigitalSpy) that his "kids thought [he] was crazy" to have dropped out, although Spielberg's memory was he was offered the job, and "developed it for about five or six months."

In the wide-ranging interview, Heyman also explains how it's "up to Warner Bros." whether extended editions of all Harry Potter movies with all scenes that were shot but didn't appear in DVD extras will see the light of day; how he was never "worrying about The Lord of the Rings" coming out over the same Christmas as Philosopher's Stone; which real-world Butterbeer is his favorite (he favors the UK's over the US's and Japan's); and the emotional hardships of recasting Dumbledore after Richard Harris's death in 2012.

Elsewhere in the Potter-verse, Warner Bros. is reportedly in the "early development" stages of planning a live-action Harry Potter show for streaming service HBO Max. Additionally, the Harry Potter immersive exhibition cleverly titled Harry Potter: The Exhibition will launch in 2022 and tour around the world. That year is also expected to see the release of a new Harry Potter video game, the open-world RPG Hogwarts Legacy.

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