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David Heyman on "Half-Blood Prince" Delay

Heyman Interviews
Posted by: Edward
October 30, 2008, 12:15 PM

Harry Potter film producer David Heyman is the subject of a new interview on in which he speaks more about the decision to delay the "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" film.  While doing press for his latest film, "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," Mr. Heyman spoke in the interview to the reasons for the decision, his own feelings as a creative person, the process in which the films are completed, and his sympathies to the many fans upset by the news.  Mr. Heyman is quoted as saying in regards to the decision:
"I think that there was some people... kids were definitely upset, and I'm really sympathetic to that. I would love the film to come out in November; we would have been ready, but the fact is partly because of the writers strike and for whatever reason, Warners didn't have any movies next summer. They had Batman this year which was bigger than they ever thought it would be, so they came to me, and they said, 'David, we want to move it.' Warners has been really good to us. They've given us lots of money and lots of independence. It defies belief how much independence we have on these films. They give us the money, they read a draft of the script. I choose the director, we make the film, they come and visit. We show them a cut of the film, they say they like it, they give us some notes, we make the changes that we want to make. We test screen it once and show it to them, and then the movie is released. They've been so supportive that one has to support... they needed it. It's a film business."
Mr. Heyman goes on to speak further of this decision in relation to the creative process of creating a series films.  He says:
"It's a shame and it's frustrating in a sense as any creative person, it's nice to put what you've done behind you before you move onto the next and this is still lingering over us until July next year, but also, we'll have to take a week off shooting to do publicity, which is a little bit disruptive. It's not ideal but at the same time, I fully support it, because as I say, they give us the freedom to make these films, and they pay a lot of money."
In the last part of the interview, Mr. Heyman confirms that the film is "done," and filming for the final installments of the seires, Parts One and Two of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will not be affected by the "Half-Blood Prince" move.  Filming for "Deathly Hallows," he says in the article, will still begin in February.  Mr. Heyman offers some details on the unique process of finalizing a film in an environment where piracy is a major issue by relating that "We're just mixing and there's a slight tweak we're going to do but actually, if the film was coming out tomorrow, we'd have done it but we have the time. One of the issues that's come up is security so we are not putting a married print together. We're keeping all the elements separate until we start to make the prints, which will be six weeks before the movie comes out. Piracy is such a huge issue."

"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" is based on the novel by John Boyne, stars actor David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) as a commandant of a Nazi concentration camp, and will be released in select theaters on November 7th. 

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" will be in theaters on July 17, 2009.

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Gail Perry

“but the fact is partly because of the writers strike and for whatever reason, Warners didn’t have any movies next summer.”

Too bad. They shouldn’t have announced it for November then.

So far I have deliberately skipped 10 Warner Bros. movies. I would have been buying the new HP game as a Christmas present for my son-in-law, but it won’t be out then.

I saw V three times. I will see VI no more than two times in the theater, and I will wait two weeks before going. I urge others to do the same. Don’t let them have a big weekend, and withhold profits for them until you do see it. No, you can’t change their minds, but you can push back.

Posted by Gail Perry on October 30, 2008, 05:54 PM report to moderator

To be honest, i am completely pissed that they changed the release date. I understand why they did and it may make sense for them, but that doesn’t mean i am not pissed about it. I really was looking forward to seeing the film.

On the other hand, this also does not mean that i am going to not go see HBP. I saw OotP twice on opening day. If i don’t do this for HBP, i will be much surprised, but those of you can stand to not see the film, you have more willpower then me. At least when it comes to this.

Posted by decarus on October 30, 2008, 06:22 PM report to moderator
Moody One

It really bothers me that the WB is so greedy. As long as it’s going to be till July I expect a freakin awesome movie. I hope I’m not disappointed. The trailer looks great I just hope they leave Dumbledore’s funeral in. It’s just so important.

Posted by Moody One on October 30, 2008, 07:09 PM report to moderator

Well, that first long quote was an honest explanation. Though at the end he went a bit softie ;-)
And, oh yeah, I’m not a kid anymore…

Posted by emmy on October 30, 2008, 07:44 PM report to moderator
Eric L.

All I kept hearing was “they pay a lot of money”. :P

Posted by Eric L. on October 30, 2008, 09:26 PM report to moderator

well at least he did not say anything to set off the Hp fandom this time and i applaud him for his honesty and openess, and i am glad they showed the good sense to take a very good precaution against a copy slipping out pre theatrical release, and I agree with H alot of the box office on Dark Knight was due to heath ledger’s tragic death and it being his last completed film

Posted by ravenclawguy1972 on October 30, 2008, 09:51 PM report to moderator

one more thing i am stillholding to my personal boycotts : I will not see any WB movies or buy any WB DVDs or WB branded products until i see HBP. The boycott on wb DVDs may extend til HBP comes out that depends on how good HBP is, its its really good i forgive and end all of my bans if it isn’t up to my expectations in my ill consider continuing the boycott til i get the HBP DVD, ill get it either way!

Posted by ravenclawguy1972 on October 30, 2008, 09:58 PM report to moderator

I am sympathetic to Heyman, and I’m over it, but I’m still not going to see it opening weekend. So :P on WB and all their bags of money.

Posted by j on October 31, 2008, 12:06 AM report to moderator

I knew at some point that they’d blame it on the “Writer’s Strike” they’re an easy scape-goat. I had gotten over my initial annoyance at the change in date ages ago, I just wish people would stop brining it up and making me irritated again!

Posted by Aggi on October 31, 2008, 04:27 AM report to moderator

i think it’s good because it means they’ll be a shorter wait for deathly hallows and hopefully it’ll be worth the wait

Posted by jennie on October 31, 2008, 09:10 AM report to moderator
Graeme Sheridan

This Comment is at least very honest and transparent, I can only thank David.
Where others are beating around the Burrows bush, his statement/interview was very direct.

Posted by Graeme Sheridan on October 31, 2008, 09:30 AM report to moderator
Graeme Sheridan

This Comment is at least very honest and transparent, I can only thank David.
Where others are beating around the Burrows bush, his statement/interview was very direct.

Posted by Graeme Sheridan on October 31, 2008, 09:30 AM report to moderator

this actually makes me feel better sorta, they should have had him on damage control from day one, still dont like WB for it though, i havent bought any of the hbp stuff and wont until i pay to see the movie, which i am hoping gets pirated.

Posted by splinched on October 31, 2008, 09:42 AM report to moderator

Brad, you know, corporations have customers. Customers expect good and fair service. When they don’t like the service they are getting they take their business elsewhere. You are correct, corporations need money. And WB will lose money because of this. We’ll never be able to prove it for sure but I guarantee you they will make less from HBP now than they would have if they had chosen to keep the original release date. Surely you can figure out why.

As for the article: wow. Talk about flogging a dead horse, haven’t they spent enough time talking about this? Seriously, either bring the date forward or don’t bother talking about it anymore, because bringing the date forward is the only way to clean up the mess. You want the profits on your 2009 books? No problems. Release it in January 2009! It makes no difference what time of year you release it. It’s a Harry Potter film. Everyone who wants to see it will make time to see it.

It’s really very obvious that David Heyman didn’t really want this date change at all, but had to roll with it because WB hold the purse strings and he can’t criticise them. So thanks David, for being as honest as you could be, you managed to get your real feelings across subtly. I’ll still see your Half-Blood Prince film at release time…just not in the cinema, I’m afraid.
You’ll still get your pay-cheque no matter what, but there are thousands of fans ready to push back against Warner Brothers for this stupid move by boycotting all WB/New Line films and all other Time Warner company products. Many of us are also boycotting the entire theatrical release of HBP, with still more pledging to do so as the days go by.

I guess this move somehow made sense to WB, pity they failed to connect the dots. Dark Knight did so well because of the publicity surrounding Heath Ledger and his portrayal of the Joker, and especially after his sudden death. OOTP did so well because it was presented well in trailers and advertising. It had nothing to do with the summer release time, that is nonsense, PoA was the lowest grossing film released in summer and PS/SS was the highest grossing film released in fall/autumn. The only true reason for this move was WB cooking the books to make their 2009 figures look better, which serves nobody but their shareholders and makes WB look like ignorant pigs to the fans, not to mention that it has caused financial damage to all of WB’s merchandisers who have produced all their HBP merchandise ready for a November release date that was snatched away from them at the last minute. Now they’ve missed out on the Christmas sales period and have to store their merchandise for 8 months.

There are about a hundred and one reasons to boycott the HBP film. I will enjoy doing so. Doesn’t stop me from enjoying it in the comfort of my own bedroom for free.

Of course, all of this may end up being irrelevant anyway because there is a very strong likelihood that the film will be leaked. It is really very difficult keep such a hugely popular film in storage for so long after it’s been completed without it being leaked.

We may see an unprecedented high quality leak of the full movie on the internet in the coming months before the theatrical release. I expect that someone either in WB or the production team is as disgusted with the WB execs as we are and will decide to leak it anonymously.

Posted by MattJM on October 31, 2008, 10:05 AM report to moderator

Well I think Mr Heyman is honest, and with that he earned my respect. He had his wit to be able to say: “It was a money issue”. Although I don’t like that the movie was moved, this way I consider it acceptable. Telling lies about causes is (or was) just pathetic…

Posted by Andrash on October 31, 2008, 01:25 PM report to moderator
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