A week or so ago I got the chance to go to the press junket for the new movie “The Help.” Along with that, I got the awesome chance to speak to producer Chris Columbus. He may be just the producer on “The Help,” but a couple of films he’s most noted for directing is the first two “Harry Potter” movies. Now that we’re on the opening weekend of the final film in the whole franchise, I was able to chat with the filmmaker and have him reflect back on those first movies being the great building blocks for one of the most profitable fantasy franchises within the past couple of decades.

“It’s weird because it’s again, the same sort of thing. I didn’t realize until I read Entertainment Weekly last week the effect I had on the ‘Harry Potter’ films. To be honest with you, it was my own interview that I was reading. I disassociated myself and said ‘Wow, that guy did a lot’ and I felt good about it.

Again, for the first time, I don’t know why, but that first movie, had we done some of the horrific ideas that were being bounced around by other directors at the time — casting American kids, putting cheerleaders at Hogwarts, combining the first two books — it would’ve been one movie. It would have all been over and we’d be looking at a remake of ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ with someone else starting it all over again. But because of what happened in that first movie, the second and the third which we left after, I realized that we’ve created the sort of ground work that feels very satisfying.”

Now at the same time, when I go see these movies every summer or whenever they come out now, I go into a theater and I see all the sets we’ve built and the people that we’ve cast. It’s bittersweet because I’ve created this situation where other directors can come in and have fun and do this, but they didn’t have to think about the five million ideas that they had to deal with everyday. These guys get to come in and say ‘Oh put the camera there’ and that’s it, but we started it all and it feels great.”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II” is now out in theaters, presented in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D. Check it out and let us know what you think of the film!

Harry Potter Ending
Harry Potter Ending
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