Alfonso Cuaron Won’t Be Helming ‘Harry Potter’ Spin-off ‘Fantastic Beasts’

By May 26, 2014
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Just a few days ago, we heard a rumor that Gravity director Alfonso Cuaron was “deep in talks” with Warner Bros. to direct the upcoming Harry Potter prequel/spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was an exciting idea, considering Cuaron is the one largely responsible for giving the Potter franchise a darker, more adult tone with his work on The Prisoner of Azkaban, and for many, the idea of Cuaron returning to that universe brought a lot of promise for the future of this franchise.

But thanks to a new interview, it’s now clear that Cuaron won’t be taking part in J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut. Digital Spy reports that Cuaron spoke with a Spanish news agency called EFE and had this to say about the project:

[Working in the Potter universe] was a very beautiful experience for me. I have a lot of love for that universe and I tremendously admire JK Rowling, but today, for the present, projects based around lots of visual effects don’t attract me. I’m coming out of a five-year process of doing visual effects and now I sort of want to clean my palate of that a little bit.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book cover

Gravity was obviously an intense and draining experience for the director, and it sounds like he’s done for the time being with visual effects extravaganzas. Considering Fantastic Beasts will be heavy on, well, fantastic beasts, whoever ends up directing this project is basically going to be forced to use a bunch of CG to make those creatures come alive. Cuaron might have been the right guy for it if he didn’t just spend years of his life devoted to innovating and perfecting technology for Gravity, but that’s something we’ll never know. Could he be directing a prequel to The Shining instead? That sounds like it has a better chance of satisfying his “no visual effects” rule for the time being. In the meantime, the search for a director on this Potter spin-off continues.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has a release date of November 18th, 2016, so we’re guessing it won’t be long before we hear about who will actually sit in the director’s chair for this film. Stay tuned.

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Ben is a writer living in Los Angeles, California. His work has been featured at ScreenRant.com, FirstShowing.net, MySpace.com, GeekTyrant.com, and many more sites across the web. Some of his favorite movies include The Rocketeer, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Tombstone, Lucky Number Slevin, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Collateral, Double Indemnity, Back to the Future and The Prestige. Follow him on Twitter: @BenPears.