Alfonso Cuaron wasn’t known for making blockbuster movies so why did he choose to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban?
Alfonso Cuaron, the director of critic-friendly films such as Children of Men, Gravity, and the upcoming Roma, wouldn’t be the first name one might think of to direct a film in the Harry Potter franchise but that’s just what he did with The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Why did he take the gig? Well, apparently Guillermo del Toro helped him along after Cuaron was initially sceptical. Speaking to Vanity Fair, Cuaron explained how it all went down:
“I talked with Guillermo, as I always do, and he says, ‘What’s happening? Any projects going on?’ And I said, ‘I’m going for Harry Potter, can you believe it? And I even made fun of it. I hadn’t read the books or seen the films. And then he looks upset with me. He called me flaco, that means skinny [in English]. He says, ‘Fuckin’ skinny, have you read the books?’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t read the books.’ He says, ‘Fuckin’ skinny, you’re such a fuckin’ arrogant bastard. You are going right now to the fuckin’ bookshop and get the books and you’re going to read them and you call me right away.’ When he talks to you like that, well, you have to go to the bookshop. At that time, the fourth book had just come out. And I read the first two, and I was halfway through the third, [and] that was the one they had offered me. And I called him and said, ‘Well the material’s really great.’ He says, ‘Well, you see you fuckin’ …’ I mean, it’s just untranslatable from the Spanish…. As a filmmaker, it was almost like a lesson of humility, of saying how am I going to do it my own, but at the same time, respecting what has been beloved in those couple of movies?”
Are you a fan of Cuaron’s work on The Prisoner of Azkaban? It certainly stands out from the rest of the films in the franchise, being one of the saga’s darker entries.
SEE ALSO: First poster for Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma