Preview by: Jack Foley
NOW that the one ring of power has been destroyed, and the Hobbits
content themselves with attempting to become the most successful
film of all time, it is left to young Harry Potter to continue
bringing cinema audiences a little magic in the New Year.
While the first two Harry Potter movies have had to contend with
the Lord of the Rings trilogy,
the third instalment, The Prisoner of Azkaban, has opted against
taking on Gandalf and co, and gone for a 2004 release instead.
And the word for Potter fans is good.
The Prisoner of Azkaban is rated by many to be the best book
in the series, and, in film form, marks the
blockbuster debut of hugely-talented Mexican director, Alfonso
Cuaron, of Y Tu Mama Tambien
From its trailer alone, the film looks a far darker affair, with
new cast members, such as Gary Oldman and Michael Gambon, mixing
well with the established likes of Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane
The plot finds Harry beginning his third year at Hogwarts, and
Sirius Black an escaped convict from the prison of Azkaban
on the loose, with only one thing in mind: Harry.
Cuaron, however, remains dubious over whether it can really be
described as dark. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter,
he states that while the film will get into more complex territory,
he added: "I don't know if 'dark' is the word for it, because
there's a great deal of humor as well."
He also told Newsweek that the villain of the piece this time
around, 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," he states. "Also, a disregard for the environment,
and a love for manipulating people."
But he added, in another interview, that to be entrusted
with such rich and beloved material, and given the opportunity
to collaborate with this extraordinary cast and crew on the next
Harry Potter adventure is an honor.
Needless to say, much is being written about Harry Potter on
the internet, so ardent fans will find none of whats written
here particularly new.
However, one good website for Harry Potter information, apart
from the official site itself, of course, is Zanzaro.com, which
contains pages and pages of interviews, and news nuggets, about
the upcoming movie. It can be explored by clicking http://www.zanzaro.com/azkaban/
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is scheduled for a release
in June. Needless to say, the fourth film in the series, Harry
Potter and the Goblet of Fire, will follow soon after, in 2005,
with Mike Newell rumoured to be the director. It may also take
the form of a two-part film, given the length of the book.