Terry Gilliam: First Two Potter Films “Missed the Magic of it”

Oct 16, 2006

Posted by: SueTLC


Director Terry Gilliam has given two new interviews where he discusses the Harry Potter films and his possible involvement in film six. Shooting down previous rumors that he might direct Half-Blood Prince, Mr. Gilliam says he will not be directing either of the last two films because WB “blew it.”
In the first interview with the AV Club, Mr. Gilliam details again about being considered for the first Harry Potter film, and what happened when he did not get the job. He also bluntly states he will not be directing either HBP or the film of Book Seven because it is “a factory job.”

AVC: For about five minutes, the IMDB had you pegged as directing the next Harry Potter film. You’ve spoken in the past about how angry you were to not have been chosen to direct the first one—

TG: Well, no. That’s the wrong word, angry. I wasn’t angry at all. Not in the least. It was just a factual thing. There was no way they were ever going to hire me. J.K. Rowling wanted me, the producer did, and they sent me out to L.A., but I actually went out there because it got me a free trip to deal with some lawyers on Don Quixote. There was no way I was ever going to make the film. I knew that. It shouldn’t be seen that I was angry about it. It’s just an acceptance of the reality of Hollywood.

AVC: You’ve described yourself as storming out of your home when you found out, and driving around town all night—

TG: Oh, no, that’s different. I was angry at myself for allowing myself to get intrigued by the possibility during the meeting at Warner Bros. As I was talking about it, I managed to get myself excited, and I started inventing wonderful things. I was seeing all these executives’ faces brighten up, and I managed to get myself excited about the project. I was so angry at myself for fooling me into getting excited about it. That’s what I was angry at, not about Hollywood. [Laughs.]

AVC: If they asked you to do one of those films, would you?

TG: No. It’s a factory job, is what it is. I don’t like that. It’s a big operation the way they run it now, and it’s so heavily controlled by the studio, considering the kind of work I want to do. But it doesn’t stop people on the web fantasizing about me doing the last one.

In a second interview with MTV, Mr. Gilliam frankly describes his thoughts on the the first three Harry Potter films as directed by Chris Columbus and Alfonso Cuaron.

Gilliam: Alfonso Cuaron’s [“Prisoner of Azkaban”] is really good, but the first two I thought were just shite. They missed the whole point of it; they missed the magic of it … Alfonso did something much closer to what I would’ve done.

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.