I think it’s safe to say we all got a little excited earlier this week when rumors surfaced surrounding Alfonso Cuarón and the director’s chair for the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It seems, however, that the fire has been well and truly quelled regarding said speculation.
[Directing Prisoner of Azkaban] was a very beautiful experience for me. I have a lot of love for that universe and I tremendously admire JK Rowling, but today, for the present, projects based around lots of visual effects don’t attract me. I’m coming out of a five-year process of doing visual effects and now I sort of want to clean my palate of that a little bit.
Considering Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will undoubtedly be an optical feast with a lot of emphasis on visual effects work, we can pretty much disregard any potential involvement Cuarón could or would have had in the project.
This comes as quite a blow to all of us who were excited at the prospect of the Mexican filmmaker returning for another round of witchcraft and wizardry, with many fans lauding Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban as one of the strongest films of the series. It was a film that saw Gary Oldman bring his A-game as escaped prisoner Sirius Black, and could also be said to be the one film that (tonally) adhered to the book the most – as Harry grew older, his story grew darker. This is something Cuarón captured beautifully, and while he took some liberties with the source material, he still stuck to the overall narrative with a well-paced and mostly faithful adaptation.
The news shouldn’t be greeted with complete doom and gloom though, as a Cuarón free from the shackles of CGI is a Cuarón with a real knack for storytelling and human emotion. His Spanish language coming-of-age film, Y Tu Mamá También, is widely regarded as his best picture, and the dystopian grit that is Children of Men is still seen as one of the greatest sci-fi movies in recent years. Yet Gravity was ablaze with some of the most stunning computer work ever seen, and Cuarón still managed to make a film about the human condition rather than space. It seems it will forever remain a mystery what he could have brought to the table playing with J.K Rowling’s beloved canon a second time round.
What do you think? Would Cuarón have been the perfect choice as the director of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Or are their other filmmakers out there who would do an equally wonderful job? Are you happy he isn’t helming the project? Whatever your views, sound off in the comments section below.
Source: Slash Film