In the course of a long interview, Chris Columbus recounted the long journey that led him to direct Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The fact that a director like Chris Columbus had to struggle to get the direction of a film like Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone says a lot about the expectations that Warner Bros. poured out on that project.
During a long interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Columbus recounted the path that led him to become the director of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (airing tonight on Sky Cinema Family from 9pm). After reading JK Rowling’s books – thanks to her daughter’s mediation – and not being able to break away from them, Chris Columbus immediately called his agent and told him: “Make an appointment with Warner Bros! I want to direct the transposition of Harry Potter!”.
Upon learning that he would have to land the role out of competition from 25 other people, Columbus made sure he booked the last available appointment with the production. For what reason? The director said: “I wanted to be the last person to have talked to the production. That way I would have stayed longer in their memory, they would have remembered me better!”.
Over the course of the two weeks leading up to the audition, the director of Mom I missed the plane rewrote Steve Kloves’ script so that his views on the tone of the film would emerge better. Chris Columbus said: “I spent 10 days without sleep writing the script. Then I met a dozen Warner Bros. managers. I was terrified. My chair felt much lower than everyone’s! I felt like I was in a room full of masters!”.
After talking nonstop for 45 minutes, Columbus handed his version of the script to the executives. The director recalled: “Everyone was amazed. Nobody in Hollywood writes without getting paid. For about six to seven weeks, no one contacted me. Then the production told me the job would be mine if I accepted an interview in Scotland with David Heyman and JK. Rowling! “.
The director recounted the meeting with the famous writer in this way: “She asked me how I saw the film and I talked for about 2 and a half hours. Then she said to me: ‘I think exactly like you!’. At that moment I knew I got the job! get that role! Then, seconds later, I got terrified and anxious! Gee, I had the weight of the world on my shoulders! Any child in the world was waiting for that movie! “.
The rest is history.