Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón's legacy in the Harry Potter movies is a bit of a mixed bag. His entry Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is many fans' favorite of the franchise. However, his was also the lowest grossing, a distinction that has plagued Cuarón personally for years. So, we are a bit surprised by the following tweet that names this daring director as a potential helmer of the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.
Nikki Finke--despite her scandals of late--is generally a credible source in Hollywood's dealings. So if she says Alfonso Cuarón is in negotiations with Warner Bros. to take on the helm of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we'd bet she has solid cause.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be the first in three mega movies spun off of J.K. Rowling's book of the same name. The novel was a fake textbook meant to be that of Harry Potter while he was attending his First Year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It contains the imagined origins of 75 magical species as recounted by magizoologist Newt Scamander. And its movie version is expected to follow Scamander on his journeys to discover the quirks of all these creatures. J.K. Rowling is set to draft the screenplay, a first for the world-renowned author.
Despite Prisoner of Azkaban's status as the least box office behemoth of the Harry Potter franchise, I'm with Finke on being thrilled over Alfonso Cuarón's consideration. For one thing, he is familiar with the rules and limitations of a Harry Potter movie, but also has a dark and enthralling style that he brings to their telling that appeals to kids and adults alike. He's built a reputation for cinema that is not only thrilling, but also incredibly (and rewardingly) risky. Consider a little movie called Gravity, which I am counting as Cuarón's game changer.
He has long been admired for his craft and ambition (A Little Princess, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien), but with Gravity these elements collided with the kind of spectacle that had audiences happily shelling out cash to see his movie, in theaters, in 3D, in IMAX, sometimes repeatedly. All things that will likely be selling points for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Notably, Gravity was a Warner Bros. film. Their investing in his heady $100 million space odyssey paid off big. (It was $716 million worldwide to be exact, breaking records along the way.) So, it makes sense that they'd consult with a well-regarded auteur who also earned them a truckload of accolades, Academy Awards (count 'em, 7!) and money for a franchise project that will be big, but could be huge.
But what do you think?
Is Alfonso Cuarón a perfect pick to direct Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will open November 18th, 2016.