Harry Potter Almost Had A Music Wizard: Bruce Springsteen

By October 24, 2016
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J.K. Rowling had quite a bit of power of the Harry Potter movie franchise, as one might imagine. So much, she blocked an Oscar-winning songwriter (and rock icon) from recording a title song for her wizarding world.

hpstone102416Bruce Springsteen, who won his Oscar in 1994 for Philadelphia‘s “Streets of Philadelphia,” had actually wrote a ballad called “I’ll Stand By You Always” for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in 2001.

Springsteen’s work on a song had been rumored for years, only for “The Boss” to finally confirm it to Simon Mayo, a host with BBC Radio 2 (courtesy of Dark Horizons). It had been commissioned by Chris Columbus, who directed both Sorcerer’s Stone and its followup, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

“It was pretty good. It was a song that I wrote for my eldest son. It was a big ballad that was very uncharacteristic of something I’d sine myself, but it was something that I thought would have fit lovely.”

So why would Springsteen, who has sold more than 120 million albums worldwide, be left on the cutting room floor? Thank Rowling, the website said. The author’s contract made it clear that no commercial song could be included in the film – something she stuck by despite the potential star power behind what Springsteen could bring.

The New Jersey-born Springsteen broke into the music scene in the 1970s with his album “Born to Run.” He became a superstar a decade later when he released “Born in the U.S.A.,” and continues to tour around the world even after 40 years.

Springsteen does hope, however, that “I’ll Stand By You Always” won’t be lost forever.

“At some point, I’d like to get it into a children’s movie of some sort, because it was a pretty lovely song.”

But even if a movie studio does take him up on it, don’t expect Springsteen to make room for another Oscar to follow “Streets of Philadelphia.” Academy rules currently require film songs to be written specifically for the film they appear in order to be eligible. Director Baz Luhrmann learned that the hard way in 2001 when the Nicole Kidman/Ewan McGregor duet “Come What May” was ruled ineligible because it was originally written (and not used) for Luhrmann’s modernization “Romeo + Juliet” in 1996.

The latest film in the Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, hits theaters Nov. 18. And chances are, there won’t be a Springsteen song attached to that, either.

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Michael Hinman

Michael Hinman

Managing Editor at GeekNation
Michael has spent more than 18 years of his way-long journalism career in entertainment reporting as the founder of SyFy Portal, which would become Airlock Alpha after he sold the SyFy brand to NBC Universal. He's based in New York City.