We at Vulture have a vested interest in making sure Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is as fantastic as possible. Not just because we’re Harry Potter fans, but because we’ve already given a great deal of thought to what the film should cover and who should be in it. So when we saw Alfonso Cuarón at a breakfast celebrating his Oscar-contender Gravity yesterday, we made it our mission to convince him to direct the Harry Potter spinoff. (After all, Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban is the best of the Potter bunch.) Our first selling point: The movie would not take place in space.
“Walking, walking,” Cuarón approved with a laugh. He’s cited this as a prerequisite for his next film before: The characters must be firmly planted on Earth. “No flying on brooms and stuff like that, right?” he asked. We assured him there are enough means of transportation in the magical world (floo powder, portkeys, and flying carpets for this earlier era), that brooms could go. But we requested that he at least be open to hippogriff rides. It’s important that Newt Scamander, the central character, take flight on that fantastic beast in particular, since his mom breeds them. “I know the hippogriff,” Cuarón agreed. “I can deal with hippogriffs. Yeah. That’s okay.”
Next, Cuarón wanted to know Newt’s age. Early twenties, no kids. “A woman?” No, a man. “Why not a woman?” Good question — take it up with J.K. Rowling! All of this intrigued Cuarón, but it wasn’t quite enough to seal the deal — yet. “Akzaban was fun to make, and when I did it, I was invited to do the next one, but I didn’t want to overstay the welcome, because it was such an experience,” the director said. “But now? Why not? I do have stuff that I want to do [next], but a J.K. thing …” He took a moment to consider, then laughed, realizing we were ahead of ourselves. “They haven’t called me yet! They haven’t decided to invite me!” So perhaps all he needs is that invitation to truly weigh the option. “Looking forward! At least to see it, because nobody’s invited me.”