Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: “JK asked me to stay true not to the book, but to the spirit of the book”

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: "JK asked me to stay true not to the book, but to the spirit of the book"
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Alfonso Cuaron tells us how he was able to take certain liberties by adapting Harry Potter 3.

As the Potterheads stand firm for the broadcast of the harry potter special to celebrate the 20 years of the saga in cinema, as well as the trailer for the next movie Fantastic Beasts, TMC will rebroadcast tonight not the first part, but the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, followed by a documentary about its author, JK Rowling.

Considered by many fans to be the best film of the saga, it is however the one that departs the furthest from the universe imagined by the latter, the director Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien, Gravity…) having managed to integrate his own style by staging this episode. Admitting that he had never read the books when he was contacted by Warner Bros., he explained when he was released in First have finally discovered the world of Harry potter thanks to his friend Guillermo del Toro, then having obtained the consent of the author in person to detach herself from her books. Here is an excerpt from his interview to be found in our special edition Special Harry Potter premiere (n ° 15 July-August 2021). Producer David Heyman also talks about the particular creation of this third opus.

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David Heyman: I had always imagined the third episode as an aesthetic revolution.
The Prisoner of Azkaban is the novel in which children enter the world of adolescence. We had to see this turning point, for the series to become darker, and a little more modern too – look at the costumes! For that, I needed a director who had a very strong universe. I personally insisted that we take Alfonso [Cuarón]. At the time, he was coming out of There you mamá también. But he had also signed The little Princess and his vision of adolescence particularly interested me. He understood the magic and the marvelous and, above all, he had proven that he knew how to lead children. I believe that, unconsciously, this choice reflected our desire to take the saga towards something more radical.

Alfonso Cuaron: When they approached me, I was more than surprised. Moreover, if I brought one thing to the saga, it is my naivety! I didn’t know anything about Harry Potter until I was offered the job. I hadn’t read the books. (…) I knew that this story touched billions of fans and that it was important to honor the work of JK Rowling. It was also necessary to respect the foundations laid by Chris, whose two parts had been a huge success. The challenge was to manage to sign a personal work despite these constraints. I hesitated for a long time, thinking that I would not manage to achieve something intimate, that I would be devoured by the size of the project. And it is again Guillermo who convinced me. One day when we were discussing the project, he said to me: “If you serve the material with purity and honesty, you will make your most personal film. I had his green light and a mantra. I dove.

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David Heyman: We immediately saw that Alfonso wanted to make a very personal film, but which would be in keeping with Jo’s universe. In retrospect, it’s easy to say: “Cuarón? Great choice. “ But at the time, I admit that when I went to see the studio to tell them that we wanted him to direct the film, I was not leading. It was a very daring bet. But it wasn’t until he told me that he had hired an avant-garde puppeteer, Basil Twist, to study the movements of a Dementor that I realized how radical Alfonso was going to be. He also had everything planned. He not only had his movie in mind, but he also imagined how he was going to achieve it.

Alfonso Cuaron: JK asked me to stay true not to the book, but to the spirit of the book. ” Do not be
literal. “
The novels are getting longer and longer. Full of details. If we really want to do them justice, then we develop a miniseries. The idea we had with Steve Kloves was to find the central theme of the novel and stick to it. What did not answer, all the scenes which deviated from it, we put them aside. The other challenge for me was to join a team that had become a real family. In addition, I wanted to take them into my universe …

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