Excerpts from a Newsweek article (borrowed from Coming Soon!):
Alfonso Cuaron, director of the latest movie in the Harry Potter series, says the film’s villain, the evil wizard Voldemort, reminds him of a combination of President George W. Bush and Saddam Hussein. “They both have selfish interests and are very much in love with power. Also, a disregard for the environment. A love for manipulating people,” he tells Newsweek in the August 4 issue (on newsstands Monday, July 28).
With the series’ two lightest chapters out of the way, the stage is perfectly set for Cuaron, who got an Oscar nomination last year for the teen-sex romp Y Tu Mama Tambien. “Alfonso is much more gritty than Chris ever was,” says Watson. “He’s really into the idea that [shooting] should be fluid and natural. People can be eating an apple during a take.” Columbus, who says he was “too physically exhausted” to direct the third movie, is serving as producer and he makes no bones about the fact that he’s doing it to “protect” the Potter world he adores.
“Azkaban” is a spookier story than the first two — the soul-sucking dementors, who guard Azkaban Prison, make their first appearance — and Cuaron promises that the movie’s palette will reflect the gathering darkness. Cuaron also reimagined the role of Professor Dumbledore, played by British actor Michael Gambon in place of the late Richard Harris, styling him as an elegant old hippie.
Just when I was beginning to like the Potter franchise, I suddenly lose all faith. I mean, a freaking liberal who directed a “teen-sex romp”, is making Potter “more gritty” and Dumbledore a hippie. Hopefully Columbus in the producer chair will keep Cuaron within reason. I like dark movies, but this is meant for kids.