Briton Newell to direct Harry Potter film
August 8, 2003
LOS ANGELES - British movie maker Mike Newell has agreed to direct the fourth in the Harry Potter blockbuster films, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, producers said Monday.
The acclaimed 61-year-old, who will be the first Briton to direct one of the hit films about the English boy wizard, was responsible for 1994's smash hit Four Weddings and A Funeral, and gangster flick Donnie Brasco.
Newell recognised the daunting task he faces in making the
latest of the movies based on J.K. Rowling's books. The first two
films netted a combined $1.9 billion at the box office.
"As audiences have become more familiar with both the books and
the movies, there has been an increasing challenge to continue to
develop each of these characters and to make their world real on
the screen," he said.
Work on the picture is scheduled to get underway in Britain in
April next year with Newell directing, David Heyman producing and
with Steve Kloves writing the screenplay. It will be released in
The change in director was forced by a clash in schedules
between Goblet of Fire pre-production and work on the third in
the series, "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban," which is
being made in England and Scotland under Mexican director Alfonso
"He has the ability to get tremendous performances from his
actors, and handles drama and comedy equally well," said Warner
Bros.' production chief Jeff Robinov in a statement.
"We've been lucky to have worked with excellent filmmakers on
the first three Harry Potter movies and we are looking forward to
continuing that tradition as we start on this next movie with
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were directed by US filmmaker Chris Columbus and released in late 2001 and 2002.
Newell has just wrapped up production on his latest movie Mona Lisa Smile, starring Julia Roberts. -Sapa-AFP