DAVID YATES has made a name for himself as a director of politically charged British stories such as the BBC miniseries "State of Play" and the HBO movie "The Girl in the Cafe."
So it seems a bit incongruous that the British filmmaker was asked to direct the fifth installment in the blockbuster "Harry Potter" franchise, "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which opens July 13.
"It was interesting to get the call," says Yates, who had never read any of J.K. Rowling's novels. "I wouldn't have put myself forward as an obvious candidate."
But then he read "Order of the Phoenix" and discovered the story had strong political overtones. "And it's probably the most emotional of all the books," he says. "As I read the book, suddenly, I tuned into the kind of thing I have always been drawn to."