Guillermo del Toro doesn’t have many regrets, but he does regret turning down the opportunity to direct a Harry Potter film.
The Mexican director revealed this detail during a 90-minute masterclass at the Annecy Festival while discussing his illustrious filmography.
One member of the audience asked, “I remember you said that you don't lie awake sleepless about movies that you didn't end up doing" but del Toro interjected to say, "the only one is Harry Potter, and then, I lay there and go 'oh f**k.'"
The Pan’s Labyrinth director was originally approached to direct the third film, based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, but felt the tone of the earlier movies were too “bright and happy.”
"They came to me once, for the third one," del Toro told MTV in 2007. "I've read them all, and when I read the books before the movies were done, I always pictured Charles Dickens - they were very Dickensian."
“The situation of Harry Potter reminded me a lot of Pip from Great Expectations. I saw them as deeper, more creaky, more corroded; then [the stories] were textured very differently when the first two movies came out. They were so bright and happy and full of light, that I wasn't interested.”
Alfonso Cuarón went on to direct The Prisoner of Azkaban and after seeing the darker turn of the franchise, Guillermo was much more interested in directing one of his own. "They seem to be getting eerie and darker,” he explained. “If they come back to me, I'll think about it."
Sadly for the Hellboy director, Warner Bros. never came back to him, leaving Mike Newell to direct Goblet of Fire and David Yates to helm the remaining movies. There could still be a chance for del Toro to direct a film in the Harry Potter universe as the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series will feature five films in total.
Yates returned to direct the first film, released last year, and the second one (expected in 2018), but it has not been confirmed that he will helm all five.
Fantastic Beasts 2 will be released on November 16, 2018, and the third film on November 20, 2020.
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