In what might be the dorkiest I'm Staying Home ever, let's nerdily hypothesize about unmade Harry Potter movies! Sure, unknown British TV director David Yates has already signed up for 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but nobody's on tap for the seventh film. Check out the works of these directors who might be good (if unlikely) candidates...
• Steven Spielberg—Spielberg declined directing the first Harry Potter, rightly noting that things don't even get interesting until the third book. It's for the best, since Spielberg's apparently forgotten how to make good movies (like 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark)— but as an architect of isolated scenes, he's still the best, even though his newfound insistence on happy endings and saccharine cutesiness would be an ill fit for the ever-darkening Potter books.
• Guillermo del Toro—Forget the goofy but fun Hellboy—instead, rent del Toro's excellent The Devil's Backbone (2001), a drama set in 1939 at a haunted Spanish orphanage. Artsy creepiness abounds, but del Toro never loses sight of the characters, and the film's beautiful cinematography keeps one foot planted in realism and the other in fantasy and horror.
• Alfonso Cuarón—Cuarón, who earned critical acclaim for Y Tu Mamá También (2001), also directed Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban—a film that makes the other Potters look janky in comparison. He should come back.
• Terry Gilliam—Gilliam, Potter author J.K. Rowling's first choice as director, was met with opposition from Warner Bros., who opted to go with someone lamer/safer—Home Alone's Chris Columbus. But with Gilliam's dark sense of humor and bizarre visuals, a Gilliam Potter would have been pretty interesting. Want proof? Pick up Brazil (1985) or the best Gilliam movie that's not a Gilliam movie: Lost in La Mancha (2002), which documents his gloriously failed attempt to make a modern fantasy. (And on La Mancha's DVD, he talks about fantasy lit—including Potter—with none other than Salman Rushdie.)