Issue #80 of Xposé Magazine has an article entitled Harry Potter and the Fashion Police?, which talks about - you guessed it - director Alfonso Cuarón's modern take on the clothing worn by the students in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. DanRadcliffe.co.uk was kind enough to post some scans of the article at their website.
But the first images from The Prisoner of Azkaban suggest that things are changing under the guidance of new director Alfonso Cuaron. Instead of knitted jumpers with a great big initial, Harry's wearing a hooded sweatshirt as he runs from home and encounters the Kinght Bus. Emma Watson might be 13, but Hermione's clearly been to a hair-dresser for some highlights... which doesn't quite work, to be honest; if there's one thing which stands out about Hermione's appearance in the books, it's that her hair is utterly uncontrollable. And then there's Ron, all tall and almost cool... The kids have grown up. Even Draco Malfoy's abandoned his hair-oil in favour a looser, cooler style.
The article also discusses the feasibility of seeing future Harry Potter films in two or more parts.
So... if Kill Bill can catch the public's interest as a double-feature movie (and the word is good), then The Prisoner of Azkaban could become a serial, spread across the school holidays of the summer of 2004. But what happens after that?
The Prisoner of Azkaban is longer than the first two books, but at 326 pages it's still one of the shorter books. If it's stretched into some double bill of two-hour movies, then what about the next two books? To bring The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix to the screen as comprehensively as the earlier movies could mean 10 hours of screentime - a miniseries of movies spread over five releases or more.
Now that's not going to happen. You could see how it could work: The Order of the Phoenix could split nicely into different tales: Part One, The Trial (Harry faces the tribunal at the Ministry of Magic); Part Two, The Reign of Terror (Professor Umbridge takes over at Hogwarts); Part Three, or maybe Five, the Battle (Harry and his friends ride to the rescue). The studios would love it, of course, so long as each movie drew in the crowds... but they wouldn't. Pretty soon, box office fatigue would begin to bite.
So, The Prisoner of Azkaban might be the end of the era of Potter completeness, unless Warner Bros prefer to make miniseries of later books.