Steven Spielberg has no regrets about turning down directing Harry Potter

Steven Spielberg
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Steven Spielberg may have missed out on the chance to direct Harry Potter, but the filmmaker has no regrets about not being involved with the Wizarding World.

"There were several films I chose not to make," Spielberg said while in conversation with RRR director S.S. Rajamouli at an event in India to celebrate the release of The Fabelmans there (via Insider). "They offered me Harry Potter and I chose to turn down the first Harry Potter to basically spend the next year and a half with my family, my young kids growing up."

He continued: "So, I sacrificed a great franchise – which today looking back I’m very happy to have done – to be with my family. The choice I had to make in taking a job that would move me to another country for four of five months where I wouldn’t see my family every day."

The first Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was released in 2001 and was helmed by Chris Columbus, who also helmed the second movie, Chamber of Secrets. Alfonso Cuarón directed the third movie in the franchise, Mike Newell helmed the fourth, and David Yates took over the director's chair for the final four movies.

As for Spielberg, his latest movie, The Fabelmans, is a semi-autobiographical portrait of the director's adolescence in Arizona and stars Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, and Seth Rogen. The movie has been nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. 

If you've already seen The Fabelmans, fill out your watch list with our picks of the other best movies of 2022

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.