'Harry Potter' director admits to turning away Robin Williams for this wizard role

'Harry Potter' director admits to turning away Robin Williams for this wizard role

Robin Williams was magical in his own right, but the late Oscar-winning actor and comedian wanted to join the magical world of Harry Potter.

"I had a conversation with Robin Williams, who wanted to play Lupin," Harry Potter director Chris Columbus told Total Film. "It was very difficult for me to say, 'It’s all British. There’s nothing I can do.'"

According to Columbus, there was a deliberate goal to have "no American actors" across the board.

Columbus directed and executive produced the first two of the iconic eight-film franchise—Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)—and additionally produced on the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban (2004).

The role of Remus Lupin eventually went to David Thewlis for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010) and Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011).

Sorcerer's Stone will celebrate the 20th anniversary of its United States theatrical release on Nov. 14, but in July, Daniel Radcliffe—Harry Potter himself—dispelled any notion that a formal cast reunion will take place.

Williams has been posthumously circulating in the news this week because Jamie Costa posted this five-minute video of him impersonating Williams to a freakishly accurate degree to YouTube on Monday. By Tuesday, Zelda Williams, his daughter, politely asked that fans stop sending the video to her:

Williams died by suicide in August 2014 at 63 years old.

Megan Armstrong (@megankarmstrong) is a writer with previous work appearing in places such as Billboard, Bleacher Report, GQ and others. She's most interested in writing about people and how they live their lives, through the framework of music, entertainment and sports.

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