Home Action “Arrogant ar***hole”: Harry Potter director convinced to take the job by scolding fantasy master

“Arrogant ar***hole”: Harry Potter director convinced to take the job by scolding fantasy master

by Mike

Harry Potter 3 director Alfonso Cuarón first had to be persuaded by his esteemed colleague Guillermo del Toro to take on the fantasy success with harsh words.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Director Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men) took the fantasy franchise in a new direction in 2004 with the third film, as Harry, Hermione and Ron matured from children to teenagers. But he almost turned down the directing job if it hadn’t been for a scolding Guillermo del Toro.

We have Guillermo del Toro’s insults to thank for Harry Potter 3

Looking back, Alfonso Cuarón recalls in an interview with Total Film how much the offer to direct the third Harry Potter film confused him at the time. The Mexican filmmaker had just shot Y Tu Mama Tambien and had little to do with the British fantasy phenomenon. So, irritated, he turned to his friend and colleague, today’s fantasy master Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Hellboy):

I often talk to Guillermo [del Toro] and I said to him a few days later: ‘You know, it’s really strange that they offered me this Harry Potter movie. […] He was like, ‘Wait, wait, wait, you haven’t read Harry Potter?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t think it’s for me.’ Whereupon he told me with a very flowery Spanish vocabulary: ‘You’re an arrogant asshole.

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In truth, according to Variety the insults are said to have been even more outlandish when Guillermo del Toro ordered Alfonso Cuarón to go straight to a “f***ing bookstore, buy the books and then call him immediately.” He recognized in the fantasy material the opportunity that his friend did not see. Cuarón remembers further:

‘When he talks to you like that, well, you have to visit a bookstore. […] Afterwards I called him and said: ‘The material is really great’. And he said: ‘You see, you damn …’ – well, the rest can’t be translated from Spanish.

Alfonso Cuarón went on to direct Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and the rest is history. Producer David Heyman explained to Total Film his reasons for hiring the Mexican director on the 20th anniversary: Y Tu Mama Tambien was a sensitive movie about the end of adolescence and Harry Potter 3 the movie about the beginning of being a magical teenager.

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