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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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Ted's Souleater

I haven’t been around Leaky much of late because I got tired of hearing about anything regarding the change of release date for HBP and about people wanting to boycott the first week or two of the film.Both of these were getting old several months ago and they are still old. Can we stop beating a dead horse already and move on to something else please?

I’ve gotten over it and moved on. Why can’t others do the same?

Posted by Ted's Souleater on October 31, 2008, 10:48 PM report to moderator

Because some of us actually have some spine and would prefer not to let WB get away with walking all over the fans, the merchandisers and the production team.
Doing nothing and going along to see the film anyway sends a clear message to WB that they can do this sort of thing as many times as they like without any consequences.
If they get a higher gross from HBP than the other HP films they obviously won’t worry about pushing a release date back at the last moment again and will so it freely when it suits their purposes.

Posted by MattyJM on November 01, 2008, 02:16 AM report to moderator

I’m very disappointed that people are publicly advocating piracy here. I understand that people feel the way they do but we are talking illegal acts here and I think if you want to make a point you should have the guts to simply boycott and not carry on with all this crap about piracy and so forth. It’s illegal, it’s irresponsible and you know what – moving the movie sucks but it wasn’t illegal.

Posted by Kezzabear on November 01, 2008, 06:32 AM report to moderator

MattyJM, I completely agree with you, you expressed my feeling perfectly.

I am frustrated by people ‘getting over it and moving on’. WB only cares about the money, never about us, and David Heyman is the same. For his information, the “lot of money” that WB pays basically comes from all of us. “Some people… kids were definitely upset…” Kids don’t care much, kids get over it. Many adults are upset. Harry Potter is not simply kid stuff, hasn’t he understood that yet? Then, he had the nerve to say “…and I’m really sympathetic to that.” How? The only thing that worries him is taking a week off shooting to do publicity because it is disruptive. They have walked all over us, and I will certainly boycott the first few weeks.

Posted by Gloria on November 01, 2008, 05:01 PM report to moderator

“Are we all still in agreement to boycott the movie in the first week? I know i am for sure”

ALL? I for one was NEVER in agreement to support a pathetic tantrum, I mean boycott. Heyman spoke plain — it’s the movie BUSINESS, and the films are well-worth waiting for. I will be first in line for the midnight opening, and go as many times the first week to help offset any “boycott” that may still be in the offing.

Posted by Hagiographer13 on November 01, 2008, 08:20 PM report to moderator

Hmm, as we thought, it IS all about the money. WB are not poor, but they want maximum profit. Shameful. As much creative freedom as Heyman claims they have, that’s what pulls the strings.

Posted by longliveRemus on November 02, 2008, 04:57 AM report to moderator

Yeah I was never in agreement to boycott either. Probably because I was never under the impression that it was about anything more than money. I’m not surprised it is revealed as being a about money, I don’t even care that it is about money – it always was about money. I don’t want to boycott it, I want to see it! I hate the penchant this fandom has for thinking a vocal minority speaks for everyone – I LIKE Narcissa too and I don’t care that Slughorn doesn’t have a moustache!

There. I said it. I am even looking forward to the added scene at the Burrow and all the silly Lavender stuff. I don’t even care about Ron’s Quidditch hat!

And next July I am first in line :D

Posted by Kezzabear on November 02, 2008, 08:24 AM report to moderator

its not that big of deal, twilight still comes out this month :D

Posted by hannah on November 02, 2008, 04:17 PM report to moderator

Hagiographer13, it was a rotten business move as well. The only logic in this business move was to make WB’s 2009 gross look bigger. Their overall gross will be about the same, or possibly less (for reasons I have explained in my previous post i.e season of release having nothing to do with gross on HP movies). So WB makes the same profits. Apart from increasing shareholder confidence this does effectively nothing for WB. They are expecting a higher gross due to a summer release but the season of release has never had any effect on Harry Potter ticket sales, so that is a load of tripe.

It’s a completely selfish move because WB has ignored all the knock-on effects. By stealing the hugely profitable pre-Christmas sale period away from their merchandisers and forcing them to store their already-produced merchandise for another eight months they’ve blown a huge hole in their profits. Electronic Arts have announced that they would lose 120 million dollars in profits from the pushback, and they are one of the more financially well-off merchandisers, imagine the financial damage to the others.

They have, as David Heyman has said, created difficulties for the production team and cast, who will now have to go on hiatus in the middle of filming DH to promote HBP, attend premieres and such, and because of that they probably won’t be able to spend as much time promoting it as they would for other films, which could possibly result in profit loss.

It’s a really shoddy move, pushing a film back so close to the release date on a whim, when so much promotional work has already been done, the merchandise is produced and ready to go, they were even ready to show the movie at the Royal Film Performance for goodness sake.

That is why we’re boycotting. Because it was NOT a sound business decision at all. They’ve not only upset the moviegoers needlessly, they’ve caused big problems for a number of other parties, and the benefit to WB is extremely negligible, especially balanced with the damage they’ve caused. WB didn’t even think about this, didn’t think about their business partners, only their own small benefit for their own company.

So when you say it’s just business, it isn’t. It’s just a horrifying lack of integrity. Business should treat their customers and business partners with respect. Corporations need to make money with integrity or they will find themselves without business partners or customers.

Posted by MattJM on November 03, 2008, 12:18 AM report to moderator

It doesn’t matter when it comes out anymore. We already its going to yet another let down compared to the book. A fire at the burrow? Hagrid with a wand? Fenrir attacks Arthur instead of Bill? And no wedding? Most of these are vital plot points. Just makes me wonder how badly they will screw up Deathly Hallows too.

Posted by Apathy on November 03, 2008, 01:06 PM report to moderator

I dont care what they say, that was a crappy thing to do to us Potter fans. I am very dissapointed. The real reason I heard was that they didnt want to compete with Twilight comingout the same week. I am pissed. I think they made an aweful decision to delay the movie.

Posted by Tracy on November 03, 2008, 02:59 PM report to moderator

I hear you, David. They have to do what they have to do. And anyone who thought the success of The Dark Knight had nothing to do with this decision is fooling themselves.

Posted by Jennifer on November 03, 2008, 03:23 PM report to moderator

Hey Apathy, if you love the book so much read it again. It would be stupid and senseless to include every detail as it appeared in the book. The book wasn’t that fabulous anyway, so I’m glad the film makers are making alterations when necessary. Some HP fans need to get a grip, seriously.

Posted by on November 03, 2008, 03:25 PM report to moderator
Emily Erland

Cheers to Mr. David Heyman for finally giving the HP fans the answer we wanted since the beginning of the release date move announcement.
I have to admit that a part of me is glad for the delay, because that means I have more time to go back and read the books again before the movie release… because I have way too many other things going on that are getting in the way of my reading time…. Looking forward to seeing the movie with a bunch of my Harry Potter friends in July!

Posted by Emily Erland on November 04, 2008, 07:33 PM report to moderator

Actually – it confirms what we all thought – they (WB and Alan Horn) believe that FANS DON’T MATTER. I know it’s a business, but it’s only a successful business if it has a following. It’s clear that their own people (from actors, production staff, EA Games and Potter page admins) – NO LIKES THIS DECISION !! That makes the virtual slap in the face even worse. WB just keeps on thinking they can do what they want by threatening everyone with the big money. EA game is going to loose millions on games sales (HBP was already for Christmas sales) – fans could have at least enjoyed the game while we waited for the movie – Wrong Again (thanks Alan – hope you have fun this Christmas counting your money and ruining a franchise).

I don’t see how any real fan could watch the new international trailer and still state – ’I’ve moved on’…maybe some people just don’t care enough anymore. YOU have the power to be heard – don’t be afraid to use it.

Posted by Moody on November 05, 2008, 09:29 AM report to moderator
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