'Harry Potter' Director Chris Columbus Sets His Sights on… Writing

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We all know that what everyone in Hollywood really wants to do is direct, right? Apparently not. Chris Columbus, who directed and produced the first two "Harry Potter" films, is gearing up to release a new fantasy adventure book series for children… that he wrote.

That's right. Columbus is sliding out of the director's chair and into a local Coffee Bean with his laptop (OK, maybe not Coffee Bean). The Guardian reports that he has signed a deal with HarperCollins to pen "House of Secrets," a trilogy of children's books, with co-author Ned Vizzini.

The story follows the adventures of the Pagett siblings, who, after their father loses his job, are forced to move into the former house of a "troubled fantasy writer with a penchant for the occult." Once there, something (though we're not sure what) spurs them to embark on a quest to "retrieve a dark book of untold power, uncover the Pagett family's secret history and save their parents… and maybe even the world."

So, no pressure.

"I'm not presumptuous enough to say, 'We're going to take over the Potter series', but I got to see firsthand how that series affected kids and how it got so many hundreds of thousands of kids into reading," Columbus explained.

"You hope for just a section of that in terms of being able to inspire kids to read. And that's really one of the themes of the book – that reading is essential to your development as a child and as an eventual adult. That really has inspired us in moving forward. So I look at it primarily as working first and foremost as a novel."

But then, you also hope for it to work as a movie—three or four movies to be exact. You know, if you're into that whole making bazillions of dollars thing.

Also check out the stars at the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" premiere: