Arguably, one of the best directors in the Harry Potter franchise was Alfonso Cuaron, the man who directed “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” While each of the directors throughout the franchise brought their own touch to the series, it was Cuaron who made it darker and more mature, something that directors after him patterned their movies after. Now, the news comes that Warner Bros. wants Cuaron to direct the first Harry Potter spin-off movie, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a prequel based on the book written by J.K. Rowling in 2001 about the magical creatures in the world of Harry Potter. The book was mentioned in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and exists within the world of the stories. With Cuaron a newly decorated Oscar winning director, it could really give some distinction to a spin-off that almost seems unnecessary. Here is a look at Cuaron’s career as he reaches the heights that many directors only dream of.
“Y Tu Mama Tambien”
Alfonso Cuaron started his career in Mexico, working on television. He got his first chance to direct American films with “A Little Princess” and “Great Expectations.” However, it was his Spanish-language film “Y Tu Mama Tambien” that helped Cuaron achieve huge critical success. The movie was a road trip movie about two rich teens who meet an older woman at a wedding and explore their sexuality. Cuaron earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay for the movie and it also helped him start a successful business relationship with fellow Spanish-language directors Guillermo Del Toro and Alejandro González Iñárritu.
“Children of Men”
Cuaron returned to the American studio system with “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and followed that up, two years later, with the adaption of the P.D. James’ novel “Children of Men.” One of the most visual striking movies made in 2006, the film tells the story of a dystopian world where a child has not been born in almost 20 years and the entire world is deemed impotent, with humanity on the edge of extinction. When a pregnant woman is discovered, one man must help her escape the forces who want to study her so she can deliver her baby in peace. The movie earned three Oscar nominations, but nothing for Cuaron’s directing.
While “Children of Men” was criminally under-represented at the Academy Awards, Cuaron gained his greatest acclaim seven years later when he directed the Sandra Bullock science fiction movie “Gravity.” The story is about a female medical engineer trapped in outer space after space debris destroys her space shuttle and leaves her abandoned and alone. The movie was a huge critical success, picking up seven Oscar wins, including Best Director for Cuaron and Best Actress for Bullock.