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Baz Luhrmann rues Harry Potter snub

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May 17, 2013 | 8:59am EDT

Moviemaker Baz Luhrmann has branded himself an "idiot" for turning down the chance to direct the Harry Potter films in favour of shooting movie musical Moulin Rouge! The Australian director was contacted by producers of the wizarding franchise while they were planning the first big screen installment, 2001's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. He turned down the opportunity to join the fledgling franchise to concentrate on his "reinvention of the modern musical", but even though Moulin Rouge! was a critical and commercial hit, Luhrmann rues missing the chance to join the Potter movies. He tells U.K. talk show host Graham Norton, "The first one came along and they rang me, and while I love the pictures and the books now, then I thought, 'What's that?' And I said, 'Well that sounds interesting, but I'm thinking of doing a reinvention of the modern musical,' and that was Moulin Rouge! So I'm an obvious idiot, because I should have taken Harry Potter."

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