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Look out for more coverage of
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

THE STARS:
Daniel Radcliffe • Rupert Grint • Emma Watson
• Gary Oldman • Michael Gambon
DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuaron

Three with power THE CONCEPT:
Thirteen-year-old Harry Potter learns that dangerous wizard Sirius Black has escaped Azkaban prison and is determined to kill Harry…

U.S. RELEASE: June 4 2004, Nationwide • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

ALFONSO CUARON:
“We set out to do a character-driven film with cool visual effects, not a visual effects film with some characters around. It would be a disservice to the Harry Potter books if you go the visual effects route. I’m trying to establish a universe around Harry that actually exists, and is not just a backdrop for his adventures.”

DANIEL RADCLIFFE on working with Cuaron:
“I think that everything that we learned with Chris [Columbus, director of the first two films] we were now able to put into practice with a different director. I think that’s the reason Alfonso was able to do longer takes, and was able to do more complicated shots. It’s more challenging, which is good because if we’re getting older and we’re not being challenged then there’s no point in doing it really.”

EMMA WATSON:
“One of the first things Alfonso did when we met him is that he asked us to write an essay about our characters. Not just to help us, but to help him to see the characters through our eyes.”

RADCLIFFE:
“When we did the essay, we basically did exactly what our character would’ve done in that situation. So I wrote a page, Rupert [Grint] forgot to do it, and Emma wrote about 11 pages!”

CUARON:
“Jo Rowling asked that I be faithful to the spirit of the book, not to be literal. I was also aware that the books are getting lengthier and lengthier. To do a film adaptation of that, you end up doing a miniseries. For me what was important was to nail the theme of the film; it’s a story about a kid seeking his identity as a teenager.”

RADCLIFFE on Richard Harris’ death:
“It was awful. I think I may have had the honor of being in the last scene that Richard Harris ever shot. That’s amazing. I don’t think Richard was the kind of guy who would’ve wanted us to mourn over him for ages, I think he’d have wanted us to be happy and remember him for all the times that he made us smile and laugh.”

WATSON:
“Obviously, it’s very hard to follow on from Richard. A lot of people thought he was a perfect Dumbledore. But [Michael Gambon] did a really great job, because instead of trying to make himself look exactly like Richard, trying to copy him, he did his own thing with it. He put a different spin on it.”

CUARON on why he’s not directing the fourth film:
“I’m too lazy. It’s too much. I need a long siesta. Later on I would love to come back – maybe number five!”

NOTE: Starting June 1, 2004, the full trailer for Warner Brothers’ amazing animated motion picture The Polar Express will be a special feature of The Daily Prophet on the Harry Potter website

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban site
Images above © Warner Bros
Feature © 2004 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #645, Summer 2004 cover

Keep up with the latest movie news, reviews and features with every issue of Film Review and for films and TV in Sc-Fi look for Starburst

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