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Overview for Chris Columbus
Chris Columbus

Chris Columbus


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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 10, 1958 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Spangler, Pennsylvania, USA Profession: Producer ...


When Chris Columbus met with Warner Bros. executives in order to "audition" for the the assignment of directing the Harry Potter movies, he brought along his annotated copy of Steve Kloves' screenplay. As Columbus told the Daily News (November 11, 2001): "I essentially put stuff back from the book and restructured [the script] to show them how I would make the movie, and I made the descriptions much more flowery so they would know what I was trying to do. I said, 'I'm actually so passionate about this that I've rewritten it to show you what I would do for free. I don't think anyone else in Hollywood would do that.'"

"There are a couple of things I WON'T do--you won't find me making a '9 1/2 Weeks', he says, smiling at the very idea. "I would start laughing if I was doing it. Movies like 'Basic Instinct'--I can understand the validity of showing people the ugliness of the world, but I also think there is a place for movies to leave people with a sense of hope for life. If your film isn't going to do that, then I just don't think it's worth making." --Chris Columbus, quoted in "Columbus' New Adventure" by Blaise Simpson, Los Angeles Times, November 7, 1993.

As Spielberg's protege, Columbus had an office just down the hall from his mentor. He was welcome to interrupt whenever he pleased to discuss characters and to go over his pages. Their collaboration ended when Columbus was fired as the screenwriter of "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (1989).

"The mistake I made was that Steven asked me to do 'Indiana Jones' and I was scheduled to go into meetings with Steven and George Lucas. Just the three of us in a room. Now if you want to talk about intimidating ... So I went into this room for about eight days in New York and I just took notes on every aspect of the story." Columbus was so awed at working with the two screen legends that he transcribed the notes almost word for word, adding nothing of himself--which resulted in what he calls a "very flat screenplay."

"They tossed me off the project, but I understood," he continues. "I learned a very valuable lesson, which is that if you're going to do something, you always have to do it from your own inspiration, even if you're rewriting someone else's work." He has remained close to Spielberg and says, "I still make my films hoping to please Steven." --quoted in "Columbus' New Adventure" by Blaise Simpson, Los Angeles Times, November 7, 1993.

Actor Richard Harris on Columbus' technique on the set of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone": "Chris quite rightly concentrated on the kids. He said, 'You guys are pros, you can do it.' He was like the Pied Piper with them. They absolutely worshipped him. He never once lost his cool." --quoted in Daily News, November 11, 2001.

Columbus states that his father gave him Christopher as a first name because, "He thought people would remember it. He had a good sense of humor."

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