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Guillermo del Toro convinced Alfonso Cuaron to direct Harry Potter

I've never met the man, but by all accounts, Guillermo del Toro seems like a hell of a guy and listening to him discuss movies and monsters is always a treat.  It also turns out that we may have him to thank for Alfonso Cuarón taking on HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN, which, in my opinion, was a major turning point in the growth of the film franchise. After Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN, Alfonso Cuarón was very much in demand and found himself in the running to helm the third HARRY POTTER film, but as he hadn't read the books or seen the first two films at that point, he was reluctant to sign on, but he recently told Vanity Fair that it was his good friend Guillermo del Toro who set him straight.

I talked with Guillermo, as I always do, and he says, “What’s happening? Any projects going on?” And I said, “I’m going for Harry Potter, can you believe it? And I even made fun of it. I hadn’t read the books or seen the films. And then he looks upset with me. He called me flaco, that means skinny [in English]. He says, “F**kin’ skinny, have you read the books?” I said, “No, I haven’t read the books.” He says, “F**kin’ skinny, you’re such a f**kin’ arrogant bastard. You are going right now to the f**kin’ bookshop and get the books and you’re going to read them and you call me right away.” When he talks to you like that, well, you have to go to the bookshop.

Alfonso Cuarón said that at the time, the fourth book in the series (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) had just come out. "I read the first two, and I was halfway through the third, [and] that was the one they had offered me," Cuarón said. "And I called him and said, “Well the material’s really great.” He says, “Well, you see you f**kin’ ...” I mean, it’s just untranslatable from the Spanish.... As a filmmaker, it was almost like a lesson of humility, of saying how am I going to do it my own, but at the same time, respecting what has been beloved in those couple of movies?" I'd pay to hear Guillermo del Toro swearing at people to go down to the bookshop to read Harry Potter.

Alfonso Cuarón's next film, ROMA, recently debuted at the Venice Film Festival and will soon screen at the Toronto International Film Festival. The black and white film chronicles a turbulent year in the lives of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City. Here's the official synopsis:

A vivid portrayal of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidstpolitical turmoil, ROMA follows a young domestic worker Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio) from Mixteco heritage descent and her co-worker Adela (Nancy García), also Mixteca, who work for a small family in the middle-class neighborhood of Roma.  Mother of four, Sofia (Marina de Tavira), copes with the extended absence of her husband, Cleo faces her own devastating news that threatens to distract her from caring for Sofia’s children, whom she loves as her own. While trying to construct a new sense of love and solidarity in a context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined, Cleo and Sofia quietly wrestle with changes infiltrating the family home in a country facing confrontation between a government-backed militia and student demonstrators.

Netflix is said to be giving ROMA a theatrical release this December.

Source: Vanity Fair

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