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Alfonso Cuarón Directed Harry Potter After Guillermo del Toro’s Blunt Advice

Alfonso Cuarón Directed Harry Potter After Guillermo del Toro’s Blunt Advice

Alfonso Cuarón revealed he nearly passed on directing 2004’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban before his fellow filmmaker Guillermo del Toro knocked some sense into him.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the hit movie franchise’s third film, the director spoke to Total Film, where he shared his reaction to being offered the job, as he wasn’t too familiar with the Wizarding World initially.

“I was confused because it was completely not on my radar,” Cuarón said, notably because his project before Harry Potter was a completely different genre, the Spanish-language erotic drama Y Tu Mamá También. “I speak often with Guillermo [del Toro], and a couple of days after, I said, ‘You know, they offered me this Harry Potter film, but it’s really weird they offer me this.’”

However, del Toro knew how massive the movie franchise was, especially after Chris Columbus’ first two films, so the Hellboy director gave Cuarón some candid advice.

“He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait, you said you haven’t read Harry Potter?’ I said, ‘I don’t think it’s for me,’” the Oscar winner recalled of their conversation. “In very florid lexicon, in Spanish, he said, ‘You are an arrogant asshole.’”

Though Cuarón didn’t think he was the right fit to helm the movie, David Heyman, a producer on all eight Harry Potter installments, recalled wanting to branch out for Prisoner of Azkaban.

“I’d seen Y Tu Mamá También, which I loved, and I oddly thought he’d be the perfect director for the third Potter,” Heyman explained.

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“That’s not what some might think,” he continued. “Can you imagine what some thought Harry, Ron and Hermione would get up to, having seen Y Tu Mamá También?… Y Tu Mamá was about the last moments of being a teenager, and Azkaban was about the first moments of being a teenager. I felt he could make the show feel, in a way, more contemporary. And just bring his cinematic wizardry.”

Although Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban performed the worst at the box office compared to all the other Harry Potter films, it still managed to gross more than $796 million worldwide.

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