Guillermo del Toro told Alfonso Cuarón he was an “arrogant asshole” for questioning whether he should direct Harry Potter

Guillermo del Toro had come choice words for Alfonso Cuarón when he questioned whether or not he should direct Harry Potter.

For some fans, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is their favourite movie in the franchise, largely thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s stylistic direction. However, the Y tu mamá también director may not have taken the Harry Potter gig had it not been for some choice words from his friend Guillermo del Toro.

Alfonso Cuarón told Total Film that he was unfamiliar with the Harry Potter franchise when he was offered the chance to direct The Prisoner of Azkaban, but thankfully, Guillermo del Toro was. “I speak often with Guillermo [del Toro], and a couple of days after, I said, ‘You know, they offered me this Harry Potter film, but it’s really weird they offer me this,’” Cuarón explained. “He said, ‘Wait, wait, wait, you said you haven’t read Harry Potter?’ I said, ‘I don’t think it’s for me.’ In very florid lexicon, in Spanish, he said, ‘You are an arrogant asshole.’

Harry Potter producer David Heyman explained why he thought Cuarón would be the perfect choice for the movie. “I’d seen Y tu mamá también, which I loved, and I oddly thought he’d be the perfect director for the third Potter,” Heyman said. “That’s not what some might think. Can you imagine what some thought Harry, Ron and Hermione would get up to, having seen Y tu mamá también?… Y tu mamá was about the last moments of being a teenager, and Azkaban was about the first moments of being a teenager.

While subsequent Harry Potter movies were obviously very successful, I do wish they had continued with more unconventional director choices. Cuarón brought a dark yet still magical aesthetic to the franchise that felt lacking in the other movies. As a side note, The Prisoner of Azkaban celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year, just in case you don’t feel old enough today.

While it’s unclear if the Fantastic Beasts franchise will continue, the Harry Potter series will return, but this time to the small screen. Warner Bros. is developing a Harry Potter TV series, which will see one novel adapted per season. The project is aiming for a 2026 release on Max.

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