"Potter Seeking Gold"
by Megan Turner ("New York Post", January 18, 2000)
NEW YORK Warner Bros. says director Steven Spielberg has the magical touch it needs for the first movie adaptation from the enormously successful Harry Potter children's books.
Warner expects Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to be Spielberg's next project, The Times of London reports and Spielberg is rumored to be toying around with making the movie a computer-animated version of the book.
Spielberg who directed "E.T." and who may be the most popular kids' movie director of all time agreed to take on the job after getting an exclusive look at the first draft of Warner Bros.' script adaptation last month, The Times says.
"The Sorcerer's Stone" is the first book in J.K. Rowling's enormously popular series about an orphaned boy who discovers he has magical powers.
Spielberg beat out several top-name directors for the job including Robert Zemeckis, Jonathan Demme and Mike Newell.
To do Harry Potter, Spielberg will have to put off other projects. He had been trying to choose between two sci-fi projects: "The Minority Report," with Tom Cruise, and "A.I.," a project his late friend Stanley Kubrick never finished.
Spielberg will have to forgo using his own studio, DreamWorks, to work for rival studio Warner Bros.
According to The Times, Warner, which owns the rights to the book, is trying to cash in quickly on the "Harry Potter" sensation by insisting on making the film Spielberg's next project.
"Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and its two sequels have sold over 5.5 million copies in America and 2.5 million in Britain mostly to elementary-school age kids who have taken a wild interest in Harry's magical world.
If Spielberg decides on a live-action version of "The Sorcerer's Stone," he'll need a young actor to play the title character of the film, which is expected to have a budget between $130 million and $160 million.
One candidate may be Jonathan Lipnicki, the 9-year-old star of Stuart Little and Jerry Maguire. Lipnicki told The Post he was a big fan of the Harry Potter books and would love to play Harry.
"Spielberg gets 'Harry Potter'"
("Jam!", January 17, 2000)
Film wizard Steve Spielberg will work his magic on the "Harry Potter" children's book, bringing the first volume to the big screen, according to reports.
Citing information originating with the London Times, Variety says Spielberg will drop several other high-profile projects in order to get to work on his adaptation of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone."
Late last year, Warner Bros., which is producing the movie, gave Spielberg a look at the 138-page script, which details the life of the adolescent sorcerer.
Green-lighting "Harry Potter" casts a shadow on other Spielberg projects the director has been in discussions over for months, including "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise, a film adaptation of the best-seller "Memoirs Of A Geisha," a biopic on aviator Charles Lindbergh, and "A.I.," an unfinished Stanley Kubrick film.
"Spielberg still deciding on 'Potter'"
("Jam!", January 18, 2000)
Despite reports out of the U.K. suggesting Steven Spielberg was a lock to direct the "Harry Potter" movie, it turns out it ain't necessarily so.
A Spielberg representative tells The Hollywood Reporter that the director has not yet committed to making "Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone," the first in a proposed series of movies based on the internationally successful children's books.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes the Spielberg source as saying the director hadn't yet decided what his next move will be and didn't need to commit until the first week of February.
Aside from "Potter," other proposed movies Spielberg has been juggling include "Minority Report" with Tom Cruise, an adaptation of the best-seller "Memoirs Of A Geisha," a biopic on the life of Charles Lindbergh and "AI," a scifi film Stanley Kubrick was working on at the time of his death.
Spielberg has not made a film since his Oscar-winning "Saving Private Ryan."