Believe it or not, the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was released 20 years ago this year. As part of a celebration for the milestone, the director of the movie was recently interviewed by Total Film to reflect on the impact and legacy of the film.
Chris Columbus, who directed the first two films and was a producer for the third film in the Harry Potter movie franchise, recalls an early rule that was set in regards to casting. The rule was that to maintain a degree of authenticity to the original books, the series would not cast any American actors.
"That was the goal. No American actors in this film," says Columbus.
He recalls that ended up putting him in a tough position to turn down some big name actors who showed interest in the film. One of them being Robin Williams, who wanted to play the role of Remus Lupin. Columbus previously worked with Williams when he directed the iconic 1993 film Mrs. Doubtfire.
"I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin. It was very difficult for me to say 'It's all British. There's nothing I can do.'"
The role was eventually cast to David Thewlis, but it's one of the great, 'What ifs'.