Alfonso Cuaron in Talks to Direct J.K. Rowling’s FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

     May 19, 2014


After delivering one of the most ambitious films ever made and winning the Oscar for Best Director, it appears that Gravity filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron isn’t keen on going small-scale for his next feature.  Reporter Nikki Finke tweets that Cuaron is “deep in talks” to take the director’s chair on the Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Should the deal come through, Cuaron would return to the world of Harry Potter a decade after helming arguably the best film in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  The script for Fantastic Beasts was written by author J.K. Rowling herself, and though the story takes place in the same universe as Harry Potter, it’s set in an earlier time period and doesn’t involve any of the main characters from the series.  Hit the jump for more.

alfonso-cuaron-fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-themIf Cuaron signs on to direct Fantastic Beasts, he won’t only be reunited with Rowling, but also with producer David Heyman, who produced all seven of the Harry Potter films in addition to Gravity.  This is incredibly exciting news for a number of reasons, and it signals that Warner Bros. isn’t moving forward with Fantastic Beasts solely with the goal of exploiting the Harry Potter franchise—they’re aiming to make a genuinely great film.  Here’s hoping everything comes together, because this is a match made in Heaven.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will open in theaters on November 18, 2016, so filming will likely get underway sometime early next year.  Read the official description of the film, per Rowling, below:

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

  • The Flobbit

    This news is the best I’ve heard in a long time! Every frame of Prisoner of Azkaban was saturated with magic and beauty, and every performance resonated with power. If the director of the best Harry Potter film returns to make this, you will find me camped out wearing Gryffindor colors at the premiere.

    • Pk

      True that. He is one responsible for giving the series a mature gothic tone not to mention a expensive yet artistic feel to the movie. That hippogriff flight scene with Williams epic score was pure fantasy magic

      • Jamie

        Williams will be too busy with Star Wars. No choice but to find another composer.

      • Harry

        1999 – Phantom Menace
        1999 – Angela’s Ashes
        2000 – The Patriot
        2001 – A.I.
        2001 – Harry Potter 1
        2002 – Star Wars 2
        2002 – Minority Report
        2002 – Catch Me If You Can

        Williams has slowed down a bit over the years, but it is possible he could score this film. Likely? Probably not. But still possible.

      • Pk

        Where is he btw? Apart from the book thief and the last two Spielberg films, he’s not to be seen. All I know he’s scoring the next Star Wars movie. Wish he would have come back for Jurassic world too…

      • Harry

        I love John Williams, but I am glad he isn’t doing Jurassic World and I’m proceeding with caution with his Star Wars Episode VII score. His War Horse and Lincoln scores were abysmal. They were literally one track the whole film with slight variations. I hope Williams creates new material. He did an awesome job with the prequels, but the last 5 years he’s been rather weak but they nominate him anyway like Meryl Streep.

      • Pk

        Would love for Hans zimmer to score this one

      • milo

        No way. One of the worst choices I can think of. Tons of better alternatives, John Powell, Henry Jackman, bring back Desplat or Doyle.

      • Person

        I remember reading that he did voice an interest in coming back to score the Deathly Hallows films, so him scoring the new movie(s) is not entirely implausible.

      • SomeGuy

        Steven Price or Alexandre Desplat would be good alternatives.

      • The Flobbit

        Tha Hippogriff flight scene is, in my opinion, the finest sequence in the Potter films. It captured that beauty and magic of the Potter world, and it was just visually and emotionally stunning.

    • Thizzle

      Absolutely my first reaction when I read this.

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  • Pk

    Yes please make this happen. Azkaban is my favorite movie in the series…

  • Max Rockatansky

    Please fucking no. Go do something cool or your own movie instead of that POS Harry Potter world cater to kiddies.

    • etguild2

      He spent more than half a decade killing himself trying to make “Gravity.” And I assume “Children of Men” wasn’t the most pleasant shoot either. He’s entitled to do something fun.

    • Terence

      Fuck you, buddy.

    • the king of comedy

      I think it`s funny when people don`t take these movies seriously because they are aimed at kids, and claim to love movies such as The Dark Knight trilogy because they are for adults, the Harry potter books not only stablish a very interesting world and compelling characters, but as the series advanced forward, it wasn`t afraid to go into some darker territory, these are movies anyone can enjoy.

    • Pk

      Go kill yourself you twilight loving twat

  • Jamie

    He made the undeniably best film in terms of quality in the Harry Potter series after Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (or maybe even better than that). His style worked wonders on Prisoner of Azkaban, and WB needs this to be a home run to get the franchise re-energized again so soon after the public thought it was over with.

    • Leo Spaceman

      Why does this franchise need to be renegergized? Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Harry killed Voldermort, its done. There really shouldn’t be any more story as far as I am concerned. Not until they reboot it in ten years.

      • Jamie

        Ummm, it has nothing at all to do with the stories of either Harry or Voldemort. It’s shifting focus to a character that lived within the same universe seventy years before Harry was born, following his story and adventures.

      • Person

        There’s a big huge HP universe they want to explore. But instead of doing it in books and TV, like Star Wars did with the EU, they’re just doing it with movies cuz movies make more money. Bringing back the world of HP is a license to print money for WB, they’d be stupid to pass that up.

      • mbmarquis69

        There is also something to be said for WB expanding the franchise into an EU instead of just spinning off from characters established in the films (Harry’s group of friends). That’s one of the gripes I keep seeing in terms of the planned Star Wars (rumored) spin offs.

  • axalon

    I always love seeing this picture of Cuaron.

    It’s like he’s saying “Haha! Filmmaking!”

  • Naripan

    Please cast Mike Newell (The Goblet of Fire) instead or Francis Lawrence. The Prizoner of Azkaban is overly fast-paced and Gravity is overly slow-paced. It’s difficult to enjoy the story, especially since in this one the story will be all-new.

    • Mike

      The Goblet of Fire was absolutely horrific. They took my favorite book and ruined it with cheese and camp. And it moved way too fast. I’ll never forgive Mike Newell. Especially considering he did Prince of Persia right after. Remember that movie? Nope? Didn’t think so.

      • the king of comedy

        Goblet of Fire is also my favorite book from the Harry Potter series, it had the potential to be the best movie but I woulnd`t call it a bad movie either just a little dissapointing, Prisoner of Azkban and The Deatly Hallows part 2 are the best movies.

      • Nemesis11

        wow. This is first time I have seen someone call Goblet of Fire ‘absolutely horrific’. I personally found it to be most enjoyable of the series. Perfect balance of fun and dread. For me definitely best in series along with Chambers of secret.

      • Mike

        Best along with Chamber of Secrets? Now that’s the first time I’ve ever heard that. Beginning to question your quality-o-meter.

      • Nemesis11

        I have been ridiculed for that before. Never understood why some people consider it to be a bad movie. Full of suspense (atleast that’s how it seemed to my then kid self) and bit darker than sorcerer’s stone. I remember watching it like 4 times in theater. and Still love it.
        Anyway I think except for Order of Phoenix every film in HP series is fantastic.

    • The Flobbit

      You are clearly an idiot if you think Azkaban and Gravity had pacing problems. They were nigh perfectly paced, visually and emotionally stunning, with great CGI, great acting, and real heart.

      Secondly, I can only assume your brain dribbled out through your big mouth if you think Newell or Lawrence can make a better movie than Cuaron, one of the true great talents working today.

  • Tyler

    Alfonso Cuaron is the most overrated director in Hollywood history.

    • Person

      Alexander Payne begs to differ.

      • Tyler

        I am not really a fan of Payne either. But considering how underwhelming Gravity I thought it was compared to how many fucking Oscars it won, and how damn popular, I think Cuaron takes the cake.

      • Tony

        So you’ve only watched Gravity, then?

      • Tyler


      • computerbenefit

        Do yourself a favor, watch Children of Men and Y Tu Mama Tambien. He’s also directed what’s widely regarded as the best Harry Potter movie in the franchise (Prisoner of Azkaban). Then give us your opinion whether you think he’s overrated or not.

      • Mike

        Dude. How can you make such a blanket statement like “most overrated in history” with out seeing any of his other films. Man you sound stupid saying something like that. Not saying you are stupid, there’s just no other word to describe how your statement sounds. Before you settle on an opinion, it would probably do you some good to test it first.

      • The Flobbit

        Wes Anderson would like to have a word with you.

    • Firefly13

      Well, I agree that he is definitely one of the most overrated director’s. Prisoner of Azkaban was definitely beautiful to look at, but that’s where it ends. One of the worst book-to-screen translations I have ever seen. It was ridiculously void of any humanity. It focused solely on visuals, and it looks like Warner Bros. actually gave him a budget as opposed to the first two films.
      This is easily one of those cases where the source material is far better than the filmed version.

      I’m still shocked that he did Children of Men. The only flick of his that I have liked.
      Gravity was also a pretty movie to look at but was unrealistic on far too many levels to “get lost in” as far as movies go. I think it would have been better if it had been a 22 minute episode of The Twilight Zone instead of a full-fledged snoozefest of a film.

      (my opinions. Not yours. I’m not trolling, just expressing my own opinions just like everyone else on here. and I’m not bashing anyone – other than Alfonso Cuaron – or their opinion, either, so no need to bash me)

    • the king of comedy

      I think Nolan is the most overrated director in Hollywood history (that doesn`t mean he`s a bad director he`s actually quite good), I don`t think Cuarón is overrated at all, he`s always been a good director whose films such as Children of Men didn`t get the atention they deserved, and as for Gravity, that movie is sometimes criticized for it`s simple story but the movie is amazing, the visuals were magnificent, and the director understood how to use the technology in favor of the movie, it was an excercize in moviemaking, something we`ve never seen before, the movie grabbed the audience and didn`t let go, not only because of the special effects, but because of the cameras, the sound the tension, everything gave audiences one of the best expieriences they could posibly have in a movie theater.

  • Batzombie

    This certainly makes the spinoff a far more enticing prospect than previously imagined. I’m not entirely sure why Cuaron would want to return, though. Figured he would want to move on to more ambitious projects.

  • Person

    As long as it’s not David Yates. He’s a fantastic director, but his “make everything so dark that the screen looks black” aesthetic got annoying as hell by the end. Half-Blood Prince is unwatchable in certain parts unless you’re watching the Blu-ray in a pitch-black room. Same for certain sequences in Deathly Hallows 1.

    Speaking of darkness, though, R.I.P. Gordon Willis, the Prince of Darkness.

    • Atlasshruggedmyass

      I totally agree with. The screen palette in half blood prince and deathly
      Hallows is so dimly lit and dark in certain scenes that you can hardly
      See what’s going on.

      • Aquartertoseven

        That’s the worst thing about the later movies, they couldn’t show darkness through tone alone, they had to make everything practically black and white, which is especially jarring considering how bright and colourful the first films were.

  • Neven

    On one hand, I’m very disappointed his next movie won’t be an original project. On the other hand, we won’t have to wait for his next movie for 7 years.

  • Johnson

    Oh, God, please DO make this happen! Cuaron is a genius director with a genius vision and PoA is the best of the franchise (together with DH2).

  • the king of comedy

    I think it`s amazing news for the movie, one of the best directors they could have found to take this project, if not the best due to his expierience in the Harry Pottrer franchise (Prisoner of Azkaban remains my favorite movie in the series), I`m just a little dissapointed he`s not making some project of his own

  • cineast4

    I wanted to hate this but if this were to come true i’d be very excited indeed.

  • Bheyea Emortalis

    Please!!! Please please please yes!!!! Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite Harry Potter film!!! I almost lost my shit and wet my underwear when I saw this. This is the BEST news I’ve heard in a while.

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  • Mary

    i am very happy about these messages on Cuarón directing Rowling’s script under protection of David Heyman. I sure might even pray for this to happen.

  • alk

    While I am in no way excited to continue Harry Potter(I think it’s run it’s magical, beautiful course), if they have to make something, there’s no one more better suited than Alfonso Cuaron. I like that he’s BOTH familiar to the franchise, and ever so relevant in the industry subconscious(despite my feeling that Gravity was a major overrated piece of turd) But, why the hell not! Go for it Cuaron. I’m curious.

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