Directors Asked How They Would Bring the Magic to the Final “Potter” Films


May 11, 2007

Posted by EdwardTLC has an article online asking some popular film directors such as George Miller, director of “Happy Feet,” Rob Zombie, of the horror flick “Halloween,” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” director Guillermo del Toro, of how they would take on the magical world if they were chosen to direct the final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Guillermo del Toro speaks in the article of how he might like to see Prisoner of Azkaban director Alfonso Cuaron back for the Seventh film, saying:

“I actually got offered the third one, before Alfonso, and I actually asked the question, ‘What about Alfonso?’ Because I thought he was perfect for it. I really love the books, they’re incredibly rich and textured, incredibly well-informed and- researched, and I think they have a very dark universe — it’s actually darker than the movies have been, up until Alfonso came on board. Now they have a darker tone. I would hope that he would return, because out of all the movies that I’ve seen, that have been released, his is the one that I’ve liked the most. I would love for him to come back into that universe. I hope he gets to play in it again.”

You can read the rest of Mr. del Toro’s interview as well what the other directors have to say about the film on, but parents should be cautioned, this article does contain quotes from some directors that contain adult language that may not be suitable for younger readers.

Thanks to savingedmund for emailing.

37 Responses to Directors Asked How They Would Bring the Magic to the Final “Potter” Films

Avatar Image says: Personally I enjoy how the films have moved from the fantastical to the darker more "grown up" nature, because that's exactly how Harry is seeing things. Or rather how we are seeing things through Harry. Goodness knows how the seventh book will be filmed if not entirely in the dark :DAvatar Image says: I DEFINITELY want Alfonso Cuaron back for the seventh film. PoA is my most favorite HP movie so far. I thought Alfonso Cuaron did a magnificent job on PoA and I'm sure his the best director to film the last installment of Harry Potter series :)Avatar Image says: Well that just confirms why most of those directors shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the final film, lol. I think the final director will either be David Yates(this would explain the delay in the official confirmation that he is directing HBP, they could be announcing he will direct both) or Alfonso Cuaron. I don't think they will be experimenting on the final film with a new director and I would surprised if Columbus or Newell return even if they want to. Avatar Image says: Well, I think it only makes sense for Yates to direct Deathly Hallows too because JK said herself that she thought of the seventh book as a carry on of HBP. So, I personally hope he signs on to do DH. Plus OotP looks brilliant so far.Avatar Image says: OMGG ROB ZOMBIE SAID: MORE VIOLENCE AND MORE NUDITY JAJAJAJAJAJAAJJAAvatar Image says: I'll admit some shots in PoA were absolutely beautiful, but most of it didn't feel real enough to me and a lot of the emotional acting wasn't very convincing; R/HR I loved though. And don't get me wrong- "A Little Princess" was and still is my favorite movie from childhood. It ALWAYS makes me cry, so I commend Cuaron for that. But I think Yates will accomplish a lot, and can't wait to see what he's done. It's interesting this is one big franchise that keeps changing directors to fit the mood of the story, and doesn't stay with just one. I don't know who'd be right for the job though. I see thousands of movies, but I think someone who is creative but keeps the substance of the story in there should be put in. The thing that turned me off and had me leaving the theatre angry and disappointed was that Cuaron took out all of Harry's connection with his father, and Remus and Sirius's connections to James as well which I found totally wrong considering the Marauders were the backbone of the whole story. BUT I liked the "mother's eyes" thing because that's said way too often in the books not to be mentioned numerous times so that the audience remembers it. ANYWAY, this is interesting and that interview was funny. Some of them weren't that bad on what they said, even if it was brief (most were, but still lol). But I still hope they pick someone well worth it. :) Avatar Image says: As for my opinion on the directors in terms of directing the film adaptation of DH: Rob Zombie, Edgar Wright, Zack Snyder: Definitely not. Edward Zwick, Tom Tykwer, George Miller: Either one could work. Guillermo del Toro, David Fincher: Definite yes. (I would prefer Cuaron or another returning director, though.) As for Zombie and Snyder, I really respect their opinions and I am all for R-rated movies and all, but the Harry Potter series don't lend themselves to R-rated films (I can see HBP getting a hard PG-13). I highly doubt any of the material in "Deathly Hallows", when we read it, will go beyond what can be done in a PG-13 rated film. It'll be much darker for sure, but unless there happens to be a lot of extreme violence (which Zombie, Snyder or del Toro would do) or nudity, an R-rating is out of the question.Avatar Image says: Agreed, Mr. Del Toro. PoA has felt the most believable and natural (not to mention of more quality and artistry) than any of the others so far. The other films seem staged to hell and back and put together so that they get the job done and nothing else. Cuaron for DH!!! Avatar Image says: I agree that Prisoner of Azkiban is the best of the films so far. In the first two, the acting wasn't as great as it could have been and the affects weren't totally awesome either, and in the fourth movie, I didn't know what was going on at the end of it because at that time I hadn't read the books. As a matter of fact, I hadn't even seen the first two movies when I accidentally watched Prisoner of Azkiban for the first time, and the time turning scene in that movie was so interesting to me, that I was convinced I had to see the other two movies. So yes, that director did do an awesome job- he made me an instant Harry Potter fan. However, the 4th movie director's failure to include enough information from the book caused me to have to read the books to find out what actually happened at the end of GoF, and thus made me an obsessed HP fan. I can't get enough of the stories. And I'm sad that the last one is coming out in July, but couldn't be more excited because I've been waiting for forever to see how everything's going to work out. It would be a huge let down if after this summer though, with the final book released, we fans don't have two more good movies to look forward to so that we can hold on to the excitement and feeling of anticipation we are going to be losing after the last book comes out. So it doesn't matter who directs it, it just better be worth the wait and worthy of our time. If the director of OotP does a phenominal job with it, then I think he should be the one to direct the last two films. We don't need another change this late in the game. Changes aren't always for the better.Avatar Image says: I will only be happy if Cuaron returns or if it's Yates again. If it's Yates the last three would maybe work like a trilogy. Although it would still be difficult to plan ahead because neither he or Kloves know what happens in DH yet! It's a shame Kloves is scripting HBP now and not after the release of DH because he'll just be relying on instinct in deciding which are the most important moments in the book. In PoA you could tell that Kloves had the recently released Ootp in his head.Avatar Image says: Of course it isn't possible to judge David Yates contribution to the series as yet, but of the films released thus far I would be very happy to see Alfonso Cuaron return, PoA is definitely my favourite. Guillermo del Toro would certainly make an interesting choice for the final film if Cuaron or Yates didn't want to do it. His recent film "Pan's Labryrinth" was sensational! I loved the way he seamlessly intertwined the magical elements with the realistic and visually it was darkly stunning - not a whiff of disney-like magic, rather a combination of Goya and Arthur Rackham brought to life. It is that style of representation of the magical which makes it seem born out of the very forces of nature itself rather than being simply decoratively imprinted on it that would probably serve the final novel extremely well. Avatar Image says: I am grateful rob zombie will never direct harry potter. they would never put nudity and sex scenes into the films.Avatar Image says: I'm a horror movie buff, I loved the devil's rejects. But please, no Rob Zombie!!!!!! Emma will be 18 by the time 7 gets filmed but still. And Zach Snyder's Harry: TONIGHT WE DINE IN HOGWARTS!!!!!!!! No please: either Alfonso Cauron or (if he is still sane after 6) David Yates.Avatar Image says: I love Alfonso Cuaron.he is very good director.motion picture perfect but not satisfying in a poa(for example sirius,remus,peter scenes) I hope final director will either be David Yates or tim burton.I think burton perfect candidate for last movie.because last movie be probably dark and gothicAvatar Image says: I would love to see Edgar Wright do a Potter film. Having seen Hot Fuzz recently, it's so deep and dense with content, if there's someone who can cram 750 pages of novel into a two hour movie, Edgar would come close. He would have to cut way back on the busy camera cuts but I think he'd be capable of adapting his style to a more conventional venue.Avatar Image says: quite funny, tongue-in-cheek? PoA is my favourite so far, so I'd be happy with Cuaron, though OooP looks really hopeful as a successor. does anyone else think 'Sirius Black' when they look at Rob Zombie?? :DAvatar Image says: I agree with Libby I think it was who said PoA lacked the reality of of the HP stories and as that is what makes the HP stories work so well it failed to deliver the message of the story, it was to fantasy and not enough modern fairy tale. The film lost the main journey that Harry went on, it lost the impact of what JK was saying in the book and relied to heavily on pretty pictures instead. Harry becoming his own person was lost and making his own choices was diminished and so was Snape'd duplicity thus it failed to deliver the importance of the book and its placing in the series. But it fed the blockbuster mentality well, which is probaly why it is so popular. I just pray to God that man isn't allowed anywhere near the last film or it will become a very bad joke and an insult to wonderful books. Avatar Image says: I fully expected fellow countryman Del Toro to support Cuaron .. what did you expect? I'd rather see Yates continue his good work. AFAIC, Curaron RUINED one of the best of the HP novels with "his interpretation". I think PoA (P.O.S.) is the WORST of the HP movies to date, and box office figures back my statement, no matter how you might try to "spin" them any other way. Most of PoA is just wrong, and I find very little 'right' about the entire film .. if anything at all. Of the 4 films which have been released so far, PoA is the only one I've not watched a 2nd (or 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.) time. I would MUCH rather see Yates, or even Columbus do the final movie. Yates' work to date has been admirable. Columbus established the entire foundation for all these movies. He cast the trio and the main cast of professors. He established what Harry's world would look like. He took 3 very young and little (would be) actors/actress and worked with them for 5 (FIVE) years of his life, teaching them the basics of acting (how to hit your mark, how to project, how to emote, etc.). Every director since Columbus has been the direct recipient of the foundation which he laid; making *their* jobs so much easier. So few people give Columbus his due credit. Dan, Emma and Rupert have ALL said that Columbus was almost like a dad to them during his tenure on the set. They have only good things to say of him. Personally, I don't think ANY of the directors that followed Columbus could have done what he did with those kids during the first two movies ... AND try to have some kind of life with his own real family back in the U.S. For all he did to launch the movies, cast the characters, and create the screen version of the HP world, I "raise a cup" to Chris Columbus.Avatar Image says: Cuaron added too much of his own fantasies to PoA. He apparently didn't like the way Rowling wrote it. I did like the darker imaging and the maturity he brought out in the young actors. Hated the huge frogs, what he did to Prof. Flitwick, the choir/band and how he presented Sirius Black's animagus form. Ms. Rowling added enough magic in her books without someone else trying to "improve" on it. What had been my favorite book is my least favorite movie.Avatar Image says: I always felt that was a lie on behalf of Cuaron and Del Toro to help give Del Toro's name some more credibility around the time of promoting Pan's Labyrinth. If POA had been in planning AFTER Hellboy came out, then I would definately believe that producer David Heyman would have asked him to come do Harry Potter, but considering POA was in production well before Hellboy came out, I find it highly unlikely that Del Toro would be asked to do POA considering he had only one English language Hollywood film under his belt--BLADE 2--which is a far cry from the content of Potter, and no mexican ones that were popular enough. I also remember the original story of how it was Chris Columbus who originally considered Alfonso Cuaron after he saw the movie "A little Princess" with his daughters, which sounds more logical. Plus Alfonso had had more English wide released projects up until that time, including "Y Tu Mama Tambien" which was popular enough as a foreign film. So yeah, I'm gonna go with Chris's story and not believe what I think is a lie about Del Toro getting offered POA. Just my opinion. *shrug*Avatar Image says: Oh please, no more Cuaron. He had no respect for trying to be true to the books. I know many criticize Columbus for being TOO true to the books (which always boggles my mind), but my goodness--with how clearly nervous JKR stated she was about someone tearing apart "her baby," of course he better be true to it! Judging from her tone on some of the special features, I would have been terrified to make changes and take artistic liberties, and JKR was quite right. I recently read that Cuaron wanted to do things like put little people playing keyboards in the Great Hall, and JKR had to just put her foot down and say that there are no people like that in her universe. Sounds like it could have been even worse if she hadn't reined him in. I'd love it if Columbus came back, or since I know that would disappoint some fans, I would be happy to hear Yates is finishing the series, as of now. I just hope we're ALL happy with the final 3 movies! Avatar Image says: "the last three would maybe work like a trilogy" That's a very interesting point - the books certainly do. PS, CoS and PoA are all kind of a trilogy, as are OotP, HBP and (I assume) DH. GoF is sort of the bridge between the two sets, I think. I didn't like PoA (too much Power Ranger, not enough backstory), but with a good script Cuaron could make it work. I'm really hoping for David Yates though. I love his previous work and if even just the trailers are anything to go by, OotP is set to be a corker. But then it's all academic - DH isn't even published yet. We could all read it and be united in the belief that only Chris Columbus could do it. But then, a pig has just flown past my window, so...Avatar Image says: I personally hope that David Yates does get the rest of the series, based purely on the work I've seen so far. He directed a series called State of Play for the BBC a few years ago which is astounding. It's a sort of Spooks style conspiracy drama with political edge, emotional depth, and amazing drama and action, and he did an amazing job with it. It has all the aspects of Harry Potter in it, and it proves that he can handle them and juggle them with ease. If that one series plus what we've seen so far of OoTP is anything to go by, then he is the perfect director to round off the series. As to those who want to see Columbus back because of his loyalty to the books, so much of his work on the first two films felt more like fear and insecurity than loyalty to the books. Even the editing on those first two films is jolty and forced because he didn't appear to have the artistic and creative courage to play around with the structure of the plot. He certainly laid the groundwork for a visually stunning world, but in terms of bringing it to life, all he did was transpose the books onto celluloid, which seems to me like a massive waste of a wealth of rich material. There's a reason the first two films can be found in the discount section of a lot of stores. I still enjoy watching them, but were I not a fan of the books, I doubt I would bother. I agree that Cuaron took liberties with PoA, but he at least took the films in a more interesting direction. Filming dark films is not about being cool or fashionable. Films rely heavily on psychology, particularly films like the Harry Potter series where the audience needs to be personally invested and engaged in the films to enjoy them. Cuaron's play with the interchange of light and dark and the striking shadows on his sets at least managed to strike a mood, unlike Mike Newell, whose lighting scheme seemed to consist purely of dimming as far as he could go without losing visibility. I really hope the delay in an announcement from WB about David Yates is because they're negotiating a deal for HBP and DH, at least for the sake of consistency, because the point about the last three films being a trilogy is an excellent one. Apologies for the rant.Avatar Image says: Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth was aaaaamazing. I'd love to see what he would do with the DH film. Rob Zombie, on the other hand, is a sick joke. Avatar Image says: The only problems I had with PoA came from the script. Aside from those, it's an amazing film from a very talented director. There are few directors on the planet I'd pick over him, and the ones I would prefer, would never do it. It's a shame he couldn't do HBP though, because that has Cuaron's style written all over it.Avatar Image says: I agree. I want Alfonso back for the 7th film as well. I wish WB would pay attention!!Avatar Image says: oh, my mistake about the little people. But at least he does sound like he listened to Jo's explanations, so he waited for her opinion first. I do agree about the back story, esp since it's a shorter film than the others. It could have fit more in if they'd just cut the Buckbeak lesson down. But I REALLY like the artsy whomping birds stuff and the tree shaking itself! I always laugh at those bits!Avatar Image says: It's really funny, but when POA came out I went to the theater to see it five different times. Granted, two of those were because I was with someone who wanted to see the movie again. But after I bought the dvd I realized that the reason I liked the movie was because I had read the book so much and just filled in all the gaps in the movie. Cuaron, in his enthusiasm to make the film his own, put in things (that stupid talking head and the lengthy Knight bus scene) that could have been left out entirely. That would have given him the time he needed to do justice to the Maurader backstory and to the Shrieking Shack scene. Those were so poorly explained and truncated that my hubby who hasn't read the books missed all the significance of it entirely. So, now, that's the movie I watch the least. I find myself much happier with the first two, even though they don't have the cinematic qualities of POA and GOF--another one that I liked at first until I rewatched and became very annoyed with the total misses on key characters and events--Barty Jr in the trial scene, Barty Sr's death and Barty Jr's fate at the end of the movie, which doesn't at all match up with the book, and then Dumbledore not having enough time to explain the graveyard scene (which was also abbreviated too much) or setting up the return of the Order of the Phoenix, and his telling Snape and Sirius to make peace with one another. So, from what I've seen in the trailers and read of Yates's comments, I'm really hoping that OotP will be the best of the movies to date, as it still remains my favorite book. They have to start getting all that information in the movies, or they just aren't going to make sense to anyone--not to people who love the books, and certainily not to people who haven't read them. (Hubby really had no idea what was going on in GOF, and his only comment was that it was so-so, and he much preferred the first movie, which left me wondering whether I'll be able to get him to go see movie 5 at all. Not exactly what WB wants for the franchise, is it.)Avatar Image says: Many of the complaints about Cuaron and Newell missing key plot elements and characterizations (which I completely agree with) could be solved with more creativity and better prioritization in the scripting of the film. Also, I think it's absolutely key in a world as dense as this one, with the number of characters, plotlines, and locations to juggle to have the director act as a co-script writer. Writing the script can't be done independently of the director because he can think of ways to pack in content in brief flashes that the script writer may not have considered. That's why I liked the idea of Edgar Wright. If you watched Hot Fuzz multiple times you realize just how well crafted and dense the script really is and how well it's realized on screen. That said, Phoenix looks very promising from what I've seen and more maturity from the cast can only help. Yates looks like he's striking the right balance between modern real-world and magical fantasy which the other films struggled to find at times. If he ends up doing a great job then I have no problem keeping him on as long as he wants to stay. I have to say that as a movie, Azkaban is my favourite, certain deficiencies in the script and artistic design granted, it's still the one I admire most as a stand alone film. The central story of Harry's journey building up to casting Expecto Patronum is very well realized, even if the story as a whole wasn't served as well as it should have been.Avatar Image says: I love you Del Toro. I do. You brought me Pan's Labyrinth. But Cuaron back to the franchise? When Hell freezes over. He comes back, you loose my ticket. Not much I know but that would be the end of story.Avatar Image says: Oh God. Let's hope that the WB doesn't listen to del Toro.

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