Expect a darker, moodier, more contemporary Harry Potter in this summer's ''Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.'' In several interviews published this weekend, the stars and filmmakers noted that Harry, Ron, and Hermione are now 13, and turning into brooding adolescents. ''Harry goes through a journey where he realizes that demons aren't just things that go bump in the night,'' director Alfonso Cuarón told the Associated Press, ''but also can be painful emotions, worries about family, friends, the future, the monsters that lie within. And that's a classic teenage issue.''
''There's a lot of teenage angst in this one, probably more than the book,'' Potter portrayer Daniel Radcliffe told the Los Angeles Times. ''It's much more of an internal journey for the children, especially for Harry. And he's much more comfortable with confrontation, especially with [Professor Severus] Snape. He's a lot angrier. If you had all this stuff happening to you in real life, you'd be pretty angry too.''
Costar Emma Watson noted similar changes in her character, bookish Hermione Granger. ''Hermione's becoming a rebel,'' Watson told the Times. ''She's had enough of being pushed around and she's not going to take it anymore. There's a lot more girl power in the film.''
Meanwhile, director Mike Newell is already getting ready to shoot the fourth film in the franchise, ''Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.'' He told Britain's Sunday Mail, ''I think of myself as being really lucky. I'm going to make the most expensive film there has ever been.'' (That'll be some feat; the Times reports the ''Azkaban'' budget at $200 million, but the Sunday Mail reports that the ''Goblet'' budget will be $300 million.) ''These things are not like ordinary films; they are world events.''
Handling a beloved franchise (and a budget larger than many countries' gross domestic products) is a daunting task, Newell said. ''I have millions of 10-year-olds who must not be disappointed. Making 'Harry Potter' is like being president of Brazil. It is a colossal undertaking.'' So is finding an 8-foot-tall French woman to play Hagrid's love interest, Madame Maxime. Said Newell: ''I've been in Paris, looking for giant women and French schoolgirls.''