Who Was the Best Harry Potter Director?

Who was the Best Harry Potter Director?

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The Harry Potter series is one of the most successful movie franchises to this day and was extremely well received even from the release of the first movie. As such it would make sense for any director to want to work on the series exclusively because having such a huge franchise on your resume in its entirety could do wonders for your career. Contrary to this, the Harry Potter series had a total of four directors and it leaves many fans wondering who was the best Harry Potter director?

David Yates was the best Harry Potter director for us. Most of the fans would agree because he followed the books closely while also keeping the fans happy with what he produced. Followed closely would be Alfonso Cuarón who set a darker tone for a Harry Potter universe.

Each director added his touch to the series and it helped to evolve it into the series we know and love today. If you want to know more about each director’s impact on the franchise keep reading.

Who was the best Harry Potter director? 

Who was the Best Harry Potter Director?

It is hard to decide which one of the directors did the best job with the movies they were given since all of them had a different challenges before them.

Chris Columbus had to introduce the masses to the story of the boy who lived. He had to present enough information in the movies and make sure to include everything that would interest the viewers in the rest of the series. This meant that Chris Columbus had to focus more on the appeal of the movies rather than more artistic choices.

Alfonso Cuarón had the job of making the series a bit darker in tone and the direction of the story. This was a hard job since the first two movies established the series as one with ultimately a happy ending and not too many darker points of the story since the story did not touch upon the overarching darker plot.

Alfonso Cuarón managed to set the stories for the more serious plot that the series starts to explore from that point forward. This set up the series in a more cinematic way which made the franchise more appealing to the older audience rather than the child series the first two movies set it up as.


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Mike Newell had to continue the darker tone set by Alfonso Cuarón set in the previous movie. Since the fourth movie is a bit more character-focused, he had to focus on developing the main protagonists. He also made certain action scenes more exciting than they were described in the books to make them more appropriate for the film media.    

David Yates was brought in for the end of the franchise and with that role, he had to keep the story close to the books unlike some of his predecessors while also keeping the fans happy with what he produced.

Although none of the directors did anything to warrant the title of a bad director, however, the fans seem to enjoy either David Yates for his fan service and cinematic approach or Alfonso Cuarón for his darker tone and a different approach to the series.

Who directed the most Harry Potter movies? 

Who was the Best Harry Potter Director?

Chris Columbus was the first director who was offered to put the story of the boy who lived on the big screens. He worked on Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and after the massive success of the first movie he was set to continue with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

For the third movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, former director Chris Columbus stepped down from his role as director and was replaced by Alfonso Cuarón, who created what most fans consider the best Harry Potter movie in the entire franchise. 

Alfonso Cuarón refused the offer to return for the fourth installment in the franchise and the director position for Harry Potter and the Goblet of fire was given to Mike Newell.

Following his predecessor, director Mike Newell declined the offer to continue working on the franchise leaving it without a director once again.


Why Did Chris Columbus Leave Harry Potter?

The fifth movie, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were directed by David Yates, who replaced Mike Newell. Yates stayed as the director until the end of the movie franchise, directing the following movies harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and both parts of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Given this information, it is obvious that the franchise went through its fair share of directors and the only remaining question is which one of them directed the most movies.

Directors Alfonso Cuarón and Mike Newell both left after their first movie leaving both directors with a total of one movie each. Although director Chris Columbus remained involved with the franchise through other positions his role as a director ended after two movies. The spot for the most movies directed goes to David Yates, who directed the last three movies.

Why did they change directors for Harry Potter? 

Who was the Best Harry Potter Director?

Since all of the eight movies were filmed in the span of eleven years all of it was done on a tight schedule. In addition to this, filming a series leaves a director dealing with the same story and characters which can be a bit restrictive and when combined with the tight schedule can easily lead to burnout.

This is why there were so many changes regarding the role of the director while filming the Harry Potter franchise. Luckily, this seemed to work in favor of the franchise since every director managed to evolve the series in a way that follows the gradually darkening tone of the series.

Why didn’t Chris Columbus direct all the Harry Potter movies? 

Chris Columbus was the first director of the franchise, who got his position after convincing Warner Bros. to let him direct the movie adaptation of the first book.

Although the filming started in late September of 2000 Chris Columbus was heavily involved with the prefilming processes such as casting, which the director often describes as very intense. The filming lasted for 180 days and the filming of the second movie started a week after the first movie was released.


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By the director’s own admission the filming of the two movies left him very burnt out due to the tight schedule. This is why he decided to step down from the position of the director, however, he remained involved with the franchise during the third movie as a producer alongside director Alfonso Cuarón. 

Chris Columbus expressed on multiple occasions that he wanted to come back for the last movie and that he was a little disappointed that director David Yates decided to stay on the project. Despite this, he did express that he was very impressed by Yates’ work and was ultimately happy that he did not take over the movie. 

Why did Alfonso Cuarón leave Harry Potter?

Who was the Best Harry Potter Director?

Director Alfonso Cuarón provided a great switch to the darker tone as the story of Harry Potter gets darker itself. He made a lot of different artistic choices while working on the movies and most of them were accepted with praise from both fans and critics.

The fans also seemed to love his artistic approach to the series. The movie was so well received that most people didn’t mind many integral changes he made in regards to the franchise shown in the first two movies. 

These changes included changing the layout of the Hogwarts castle by adding a clock tower and a central tower, changing the location of Hagrid’s hut to work better with the plot of the third movie, and changing the appearance of Professor Flitwick.


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Most people laved this different approach to the series and a common opinion is that the fans would have gotten more character-focused and metaphor-filled if Alfonso Cuarón remained the director for the rest of the franchise. 

This is why his sudden departure from the franchise surprised everyone and left the fans wondering what the reason behind it was. Alfonso Cuarón doesn’t talk about it a lot and hasn’t publicly come out with the reason for his departure.

One likely explanation for his departure is the schedule of filming for the Harry Potter franchise. The movies were filmed on a tight schedule with the best example of that being that the Chamber of Secrets started filming a week after the release of the first movie and the director Alfonso Cuarón often point to the fact that he doesn’t like being stuck doing the same thing for longer amounts of time. 

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