Warner Bros. Pictures has handed the keys to the “Harry Potter” kingdom to Chris Columbus. The director of “Home Alone,” “Mrs. Doubtfire” and “Nine Months” has been tapped to helm “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” the first adaptation of the best-selling Harry Potter series.
“Harry Potter is the kind of timeless literary achievement that comes around once in a lifetime,” said Lorenzo di Bonaventura, president of worldwide production for Warner Bros. Pictures. “Since the books have generated such a passionate following across the world, it was important to us to find a director who has an affinity for both children and magic. I can’t think of anyone more ideally suited for this job than Chris.”
Columbus will launch what is expected to be a long-running and lucrative “Potter” franchise, with another possible six installments to follow.
Warner Bros. turned to Columbus after Steven Spielberg, who had first crack, passed on the project (variety.com, Feb. 23). Among the other directors who were considered for the job were Brad Silberling, Ivan Reitman, Terry Gilliam, Jonathan Demme and a half-dozen other A-listers.