Mike Newell Director, Talks About 'Harry Potter 4'

Said to be the most difficult book to bring to the big screen, Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco) who has signed up for the part of directing Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, talks to Zap2it about the task, while he talked about his latest release Mona Lisa Smile.

"It's partly about teenage angst," director Newell says. "But the kids are all the same age as written in the fourth book, so they will remain the same actors."

"Chris Columbus made the first two, and those were a particular kind of film. Alfonso Cuaron is making the third, and it is radically different, and for me there is a story worth telling," Newell says.

He says the actors are growing up with the same pace as J.K. Rowling wrote them, so they will be the same. "But, whether [Daniel Radcliffe] will be back beyond this or not, I don't know."

He sees this book as a "classic thriller" explaining how Harry Potter got the scar on his forehead. He's particularly excited about the "big shootout at the end" when the antagonist becomes a huge looming presence.

"At the beginning, the antagonist, the anti-hero, the creature of supreme evil, has a plan. He needs one tiny, tiny little thing from the boy: three drops of blood. Therefore he sets up this gorgeous piece of clockwork which will get him what he needs. And the boy, classically, starts, as all thriller heroes do, in complete ignorance, and then you watch him ratchet around until and he and the antagonist are in exactly the same place at the same time, knowing everything," Newell explains.

But is he, the guy who's also directed such diverse projects as Donnie Brasco and Enchanted April, the right guy for the job? "I don't know why Ang Lee made The Hulk, but it may be that the Ice Storm Ang Lee made The Hulk because he was bored by being asked to make The Ice Storm again. There is a huge virtue for us guys in variety," Newell smiles. "Also, it's something to tell your grandchildren."

Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire is beginning production next May and scheduled for release in 2005.

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