Jk Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson. These are all names who you will likely recognise due to their major contribution to the Harry Potter film Franchise. JK Rowling wrote and created it, Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson starred in it. But who produced? Who actually put the film together and kicked of the franchise. This is going to be a profile on the man behind the magic, David Heyman.
David Heyman is one of the UK’s most successful film producer. Starting off as a production assistant on the period drama film A Passage to India (1984), David Heyman quickly rose through the ranks of Warner Bros to become a Creative Executive. His meteoric rise led him to become vice president of the entertainment studio, United Artists. However, in 1997, he decided to break away from the major film chains and embark on his own independent producing career. That is when Heyday Films was formed.
He produced a number of small independent productions, but they were nothing compared to the major film franchise which he would bring to life. In the earlier days of his film company, he wasn’t having a lot of luck. Warner Bros, who he signed a deal with to produce productions for were becoming more demanding and expecting David Heyman to perform his role better. Whilst the odds seemed against him, luck fell on his side when a Development Executive at his company read a small news print talking about the rising success of the Harry Potter book series.
The first book of the Harry Potter series was purchased, but was a low priority to be produced by the company. David Heyman’s secretary eventually read it and gave him a positive review about the book. This persuaded the Producer even further to get this book on the big screen.
Eventually David Heyman and Jk Rowling both met and negotiated a secure deal where she sold the film rights of the first four Harry Potter books to Warner Bros. After planning and developing the production, the hunt for a director began. Steven Spielberg firstly negotiated the role of Director. Due to differences in how the film was going to be executed, Spielberg decided to step down from being nominated as director. Apparently he wanted to make the series an animation. This could possibly be why he didn’t get the job.
After numerous job interviews, Chris Columbus was assigned as the Director of the film. After he was assigned the rest is history. It wasn’t until the end of the 3rd film however, before David Heyman was generating a massive fortune for himself. He was living in his sisters box room at the time he was producing the first three films.
In total, the Harry Potter franchise has generated a box office of $6.5 billion. That doesn’t even include the merchandise and studio tour profits. The Harry Potter franchise isn’t the only successful film which David Heyman has produced. Gravity (2013), which stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, tells the story of an astronaut lost in space, netted a very large box office and was nominated for many accolades. He is also producing the new Fantastic Beasts series as well.
Whilst Jk Rowling wrote and created the books, perhaps we may never have had a film franchise, if it wasn’t for the man behind the magic, David Heyman.