'Harry Potter' narrowly avoided being turned into US teen drama
David Heyman, the 51-year-old who bought the film rights to the ‘Harry Potter’ series in 1999, said in initial discussions with Warner Brothers it had been proposed that the wizarding saga should have been relocated to across the Atlantic.
“In some of the first talks with writers in America there was talk of moving it to the States, you know, cheerleaders and the like,” the Daily Mail quoted him as telling the Independent. “That just never really rang true because it really was culturally so British,” he said.
Despite the apparent pressure to make ‘Harry Potter’ more attractive to American viewers, Heyman - who subsequently produced all of the films in the 5-billion-pound grossing franchise – said that he was glad that he stood his ground over keeping the film version true to the original.
“It wouldn’t have made sense for the homes, the institutions and those gothic structures to be set in America,” he said. But despite earning J.K.Rowling a fortune, it seemed that converting Hogwarts into an American-style high school would have fundamentally gone against the author’s wishes.
The 47-year-old author had initially insisted that the principal cast in the film was to be kept strictly British, keeping with the original novel. And it seemed that her fears that she “didn’t want to give them (movie bosses) control over the rest of the story” by selling off the rights to characters, could have been well-founded if the plans to Americanise the film adaption had gone ahead.