The opportunity to helm Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001 belonged to Steven Spielberg. But in the end, he declined the job, and he’s glad he did.

In Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated biographical film The Fabelmans, which chronicles the renowned director’s upbringing and the dissolution of his parents’ marriage, the experience influenced the discussion of art and family.

Harry Potter: Why Steven Spielberg Rejected It

In an interview with RRR director S.S. Rajamouli for Variety, Spielberg said, “The personal meaning about [how the conflict between] art and family will tear you in two occurred to me later, after I had already established myself as a filmmaker, as a working director.”

“Kate [Capshaw] and I began building our family and had kids. I had to decide whether to accept a position that would require me to spend four or five months abroad, away from my family, or not. Spielberg continued, “That was a ripping kind of event.

The director of Jurassic Park and Jaws doesn’t lament passing on Harry Potter in the past. He adheres to his choice. Chris Columbus was ultimately chosen to helm the first film.

Spielberg acknowledged that he passed on making a number of movies. “I decided to decline the first Harry Potter book so that I could essentially spend the next 18 months watching my small children grow up with my family. In order to be with my family, I had to give up a great franchise, which, thinking back, I’m very happy to have done.


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