It is not surprising that the best, most expertly made movie of the 'Harry Potter' franchise is "The Prisoner of Azkaban." All credit must go to the best director to have ever helmed a Potter movie: Alfonso Cuarón. The director of "Children of Men," "Gravity" and "Y Tu Mama Tambien" used his visual, errrr, wizardry in the 2004 movie to make something unmistakably unique. This is when the Potter books got dark, grittier and went a completely different direction.
Cuarón was coming off his classic Mexican road movie “Y Tu Mamá También” but his decision to direct "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” had more than a few people bewildered and confused by the decision. Despite it not belonging in the same ranks as his other higher-tier works," I still contend that "Azkaban" is the most watchable and cinematic of the six Potter films.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Cuarón claims it was Guillermo del Toro that persuaded him to tackle the Potter franchise and book:
“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, ‘Fuckin’ skinny, have you read the books?’ I said, ‘No, I haven’t read the books.’ He says, ‘Fuckin’ skinny, you’re such a fuckin’ arrogant bastard. You are going right now to the fuckin’ bookshop and get the books and you’re going to read them and you call me right away,” explained Cuarón.
He continues, “When he talks to you like that, well, you have to go to the bookshop. At that time, the fourth book had just come out. And I read the first two, and I was halfway through the third, [and] that was the one they had offered me. And I called him and said, ‘Well the material’s really great.’ He says, ‘Well, you see you fuckin’ …’ 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?"