Thanks to reader Amy who let us know Chris Columbus (director of the first two Harry Potter films) appears in the August 2004 edition of Fantasy Worlds magazine and reveals he's leaving the Potter world:
In a surprise move of his own, Columbus will set sail for other cinematic pastures now that Azkaban is complete. Though Goblet of Fire is in pre-production, he isn't involved with the project.
"I'm history," he reveals. "I'm gone after this film. This is my swan song. I will not be among the producers on Goblet. I was in England for the first half of Azkaban, and although I went back to San Francisco, I was able to listen to the scoring and check the visual effects every day through the magic of computers. That's how I kept in touch with England. I also had people from my company working there. But everyone at this point -- after four-and-a-half years -- really wants to come home. And I would feel wrong taking a producer credit [on Goblet] because I can't be there."