Y tu ‘Potter’ tambien, Cuaron

Helmer inks for pic, to intro new Hogwarts characters

HOLLYWOOD — Alfonso Cuaron will direct “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” the third movie in the Harry Potter series, for Warner Bros. Pictures. Production is scheduled to begin in England in the first quarter of 2003.

Cuaron is best known for directing the racy and critically acclaimed “Y tu mama tambien,” but he also teamed with Warners in 1995 to helm the much-admired children’s classic “A Little Princess.”

In addition to reuniting the principal cast from both “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” will introduce new characters to the world of the Hogwarts School.

David Heyman, Chris Columbus and Mark Radcliffe will produce the film for release in summer 2004.

“We are certain that Alfonso’s gifts as a director will sustain that commitment and continue to bring the adventure and fantasy of this wonderful series to life onscreen in even more compelling ways,” said Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Warner Bros. exec VP of worldwide motion pictures.

“As I’ve made the decision to step into the role of producer for the third film, I am thrilled that we have found someone as talented and inspired as Alfonso to take over the reins as director,” said Columbus, who directed the first two “Harry Potter” movies.

Cuaron was born in Mexico and made his directing debut there in 1991 with “Love in the Time of Hysteria.” He also directed the 1998 pic “Great Expectations.”

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