'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them': Will Alfonso Cuaron direct?

Reports are conflicting about whether Cuaron may take on the job, but if he does, it will mean that the director of one of the most critically acclaimed 'Harry Potter' films is on board.

Murray Close/Warner Bros. Pictures/AP
Director Alfonso Cuaron (r.) talks with 'Harry Potter' actress Emma Watson (l.) on the set of 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.'

Will “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” director Alfonso Cuaron helm the new “Potter” movie spin-off “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”? 

At the moment, reports are conflicting. Former Deadline editor-in-chief Nikki Finke tweeted that she “hear[d] Alfonso Cuaron … deep in talks to direct JK Rowling's Harry Potter spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts.’”

However, Entertainment Weekly writer Erin Strecker says the publication contacted Cuaron’s representatives and that they “know nothing about the rumors,” so the story is far from confirmed. However, Finke is often a trusted source – Indiewire blogger Kevin Jagernauth noted that Finke’s “track record speaks for itself.”

However, Cuaron as director for the film (or entire franchise) would certainly be an interesting pick. He recently took the Best Director Oscar for his 2013 movie “Gravity” and, while he only directed “Azkaban” in the “Potter” film series, the movie was a departure from the first two films in the series that were directed by “Home Alone” director Chris Columbus. While “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” received a lukewarm reception from critics (“Sorcerer” holds a 64 score out of 100 on the review aggregator site Metacritic and “Chamber” has a 63), “Azkaban” received many positive reviews, currently holding an 82 score on Metacritic. Monitor critic David Sterritt called Cuaron’s film “the creepiest and scariest Potter picture yet – and to my mind, the best.”

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