Being the third instalment in the Harry Potter Franchise, The Prisoner of Azkaban sees the kids back at Hogwarts for another season of learning and near-death adventures.
Enjoy these 42 facts we’ve conjured up about Prisoner of Azkaban.
During the movie premier, the whole audience cheered when Hermione punched Draco Malfoy.
Ron Weasley’s rat, Scabbers, peed on the star during filming.
After being picked as director, Alfonso Cuarón asked the 3 lead stars to write essays on their characters. Emma Watson wrote a whopping ten pages, Daniel Radcliffe wrote one and Rupert Grint didn’t write anything at all. Grint was the only smart one who went, “what, are you gonna fire me?”
39. Teacher’s Pet
Watson impressed the director so much with her essay that he read it aloud to Radcliffe and Grint. I wonder who got the most screen time.
Grint and Radcliffe were both inspired enough by Cuarón to study Spanish in school.
37. Artistic Integrity
Cuarón was so concerned about being able to convey his own vision within the established universe that he almost didn’t take the job.
36. Secret Admirer
One of Watson’s favorite actors, Emma Thompson, was cast to play Professor Trelawney.
35. Pack Your Bags
Due to large portions of the scenes being outdoors, the cast and crew lived in Scotland during the filming of Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s not easy moving bags by broomstick.
34. Use Your Imagination
Puppets were used as stand-ins during the filming of scenes with the Dementors. CGI was added in later. Imagine trying to act as if a puppet is sucking out your soul.
Author J.K. Rowling based the Dementors on her struggle with depression.
32. Suit Up
Actor Harry Melling lost so much weight that his character Dudley Dursley was almost recast. His job was spared when the studio decided he could wear a fat suit.
In a scene where Harry had to look particularly astonished, Director Alfonso Cuarón’s pulled Radcliffe aside and coached: “Pretend you’re seeing Cameron Diaz in a G-string.”
30. Art Imitating Life
Rupert Grint shares the same phobia of spiders as his character, Ron.
29. Stick In The Mud
Rubeus Hagrid’s pet Hippogriff, Buckbeack, was just a beak on a stick during filming.
28. Grow Up
Buckbeak was originally made to act like a puppy, but was later made more mature at the director’s request.
27. Where Is Everyone?
There are many Hippogriffs present during the creature’s first appearance in the book. However, Buckbeak was the only one in the movie.
26. Going In Blind
Alfonso Cuarón had actually never read the Harry Potter books or seen the previous two movies when offered the job of director.
25. Unemployment Line
Gary Oldman, who played Sirius Black, said he took the role because he “needed the work.” After taking a year off to spend time with family, his return to the big screen was a hit with fans and his kids at home. Little did he know he’d be working with batman in a few years.
A handful of scenes gave J.K. Rowling goosebumps during filming of Azkaban. This was because they were foreshadowing to major events in the final two books of the series. She stated, “People are going to look back on the film and think that those were put in deliberately as clues.”
Rowling never revealed what specific scenes she was eluding to, but fans have suggested that Harry’s conversation with Lupin on the bridge (which wasn’t in the books) foreshadows Lilly’s sacrifice and hints at Snape’s relationship with Lilly.
23. More Or Less
The symbols that appear under Sirius Black’s wanted poster photo translate to “more or less human”.
22. Seatbelts Everyone
Four tons of weight was placed on the Knight Bus during filming because of fears it would tip over from being too top heavy.
21. Notice Me
During a promotional appearance for the films release, Radcliffe spotted a female fan standing outside the studio wearing only a Harry Potter towel. She had a sign that read, “Nothing comes between me and Harry Potter.” Her parents probably had a sign that said, “We’re not with her”.
Emma Watson said she would put her film salary in the bank for savings. Daniel Radcliffe said his salary was going towards CD’s. Good on him for not pirating, I guess.
19. I’ll Take That
When filming wrapped on Prisoner of Azkaban, Emma Watson kept her cloak, wand and the time turner props.
18. Star Struck
Gary Oldman, who played Sirius Black, was known to be one of Daniel Radcliffe’s favourite actors.
17. Best Behaviour
Knowing how much he influenced Radcliffe, Gary Oldman worked hard to be at his best during the filming process. He even gave a bass lesson to his young admirer.
16. Who’s That?
Before working together on Prisoner of Azkaban, Emma Watson had never heard of Gary Oldman. Wish I could have seen Radcliffe’s face when he found out.
15. In Solemn Memory…
Having been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after the filming of the second Potter film, Actor Richard Harris insisted that his role as Albus Dumbledore not be recast. Unfortunately, he passed away shortly after Azkaban started filming.
14. Rain, Rain Go Away
Rain was so constant during outdoor shoots that helicopters were ordered to fly in gravel to keep the cast from falling over on set.
An idea to turn water into ice when Dementors approached the Hogwarts Express was brought up by director Alfonso Cuarón. Due to his thick Mexican accent, the visual effects team misheard “ice” for “eyes” and had to redo the concept work they had completed.
12. I See You
Cinema ushers were provided with night vision goggles by Warner Brothers to prevent illegal filming of the movie. I’d be more afraid if they had sent Predator to theatres instead.
11. But It’s In The Title
Shots of Azkaban Prison never actually appeared in the movie, though it was mentioned and concept art was created.
10. Fantastic Beasts
During close ups of the Marauder’s Map, the name ‘Newt Scamander’ can be seen. This is the fictional author of the book, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them in the Harry Potter universe.
9. Burn That Footage
A shot of an awkward hug between Ron and Hermione was cut out of the final film.
8. Second Chances
Having auditioned for the role of Professor Quirrell in Philosopher’s Stone and not landing the part, actor David Thewlis was cast in Azkaban as Professor Lupin.
7. Staff Picks
Prisoner of Azkaban was Emma Watson’s favourite book in the series at the time.
6. On Fire
In the book, Harry receives his Firebolt broom as a Christmas gift. In the film adaptation, he gets it at the end of the movie.
5. Fist Of Fury
The punch Hermione smashes Malfoy with in the movie was originally written as a slap.
4. Deep Breaths
Daniel Radcliffe forgot to breath while filming a scene where he and Sirius face a Dementor by a lake. Radcliffe started hyperventilating and almost fainted. I don’t know what acting technique that is but I’m good with breathing, thanks.
It took actor David Thewlis 6 hours in the makeup chair to transform into a werewolf.
2. What A Guy
Gary Oldmen brought his kids, who are fans of the series, to the set.
Radcliffe asked the director and crew to place him next to a girl he had a crush on during a sleeping bag scene. He got his wish, but also a remote controlled whoopee cushion secretly placed in his bag. Everyone laughed while Radcliffe tried staying in character and avoiding eye contact. Ashton Kutcher would be proud.
For factaholics who want more Harry Potter facts, check out Harry Potter in Numbers:
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