• August 7, 2022

Why Did Director Chris Columbus Leave The Harry Potter Franchise?

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2021 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Columbus spoke about his experiences making the films — including his reasons for stepping down after the second film.

Columbus stated that at the start of the voyage it was his intention to direct all seven films (it had not yet been decided that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows would be split into two films). The director said: “I was naive. I was like, ‘Oh, I have the energy to do all seven of these films.’ But that was not the case.”

The hardest part, Columbus explained, was the shooting schedule: each film took 160 days to shoot, which is a bit longer for a film, and the two films were shot back-to-back. After they finished Chamber of Secrets, Columbus described himself as exhausted both emotionally and physically. Columbus added, “I didn’t see my children, who were young at the time, grow up. I missed dinner with them. I thought, ‘I can’t do this for another six, seven, eight years. My kids are growing up and I’ll never know them.'”

Luckily, Columbus was able to stay on for the third film — although this time he was serving as a producer, which he says allowed for much more flexibility at work and therefore more time with his family.



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