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Official: Two Parts for "Deathly Hallows" Movie, David Yates to Direct Both Films

DH Film
Posted by: sue
March 12, 2008, 08:41 PM

Big News everyone! The L.A Times is reporting an exclusive today: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be made in two films, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" , and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II. Furthermore, the paper cites producer David Heyman confirming the return of David Yates as director for both films, with Steven Kloves to finish out his duties as screenwriter for both Harry Potter movies as well. The movies are to be filmed at the same time, and will be released several months apart, with Part One due November 2010, and Part Two, May 2011.

Update: The article has additional information now, with quotes from producer David Heyman on his conversation with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling on splitting the book into two films. "Heyman said he approached Rowling with some trepidation about the strategy but found that she signed off on its logic rather quickly. "I went to Jo and she was cool with it," Heyman said, "and that was quite a relief."

The newspaper continues saying "Producer David Heyman said the decision was made with some anxiety and only after considerable deliberations. The producer joked that "while my wife and Warner Brothers were pleased" to hear that the Potter movie magic will continue into the next decade, he himself fretted that the cynical observers would see the decision as a purely mercenary move."I swear to you it was born out of purely creative reasons," Heyman said during an interview in a converted airplane factory outside London that has been home base to all of the "Potter" productions. "Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book. You can remove scenes of Ron playing quidditch from the fifth book, and you can remove Hermione and S.P.E.W. [Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare] and those subplots . . . but with the seventh, that can't be done."

Actor Dan Radcliffe who portrays Harry Potter in the film is quoted as saying "I think it's the only way you can do it without cutting out a huge portion of the book," Radcliffe said recently during a break on the set of "Half-Blood Prince," the sixth "Potter" film, which is due in theaters on Nov. 21. "There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut - although those cuts were still to the horror of some fans- but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go."

Of interest to many fans is the spot in the book where the films will break, and producer David Heyman addresses this as he notes: "The question will be, where do you break it? And how do you make them one but two separate and distinct stories? Do you break it with a moment of suspense or one of resolution? These are the interesting challenges. But each book has presented its challenges."

Warner Bros. Chairman Alan Horn and Jeff Robinov, president of Warner Bros. Pictures Group, are expected to discuss the new plans for "Potter" on Thursday during a presentation at ShoWest, the convention of movie exhibitors in Las Vegas.

UPDATE 2The LA Times has a second story now online, containing new comments from WB Chair Alan Horn on the decision to split and the additional film time for the story "This way, we have an extra hour and a half, at least, to celebrate what this franchise has been and do justice to all the words and ideas that Jo has put in the amazing story," Horn said. "This is the end of the story too. We want to celebrate it. We want to give a full meal." Mr Horn continued on, remarking about the epilogue to "Deathly Hallows" regarding the beloved trio and how that would be translated to the big screen. "Horn said that particular denouement has the filmmakers fretting about how to keep the young familiar stars on the screen just before it goes dark. "That," Horn said, "is something we will need to deal with. People have watched these kids grow up, and it's been very special to do so. That's important to us."

Thanks much to the LA Times, Jimbo, and TML!

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Personally, I don’t believe them. The splitting of the last movie was done to keep the money train rolling for another year, and milk the last book for all its worth. True, their stated logic is sound, in that they want to do Book 7 credit and not cut anything out of the plot. Each of the LOTR movies told the story in one film per book, and they clocked in at 3 hours each. The same could have been done for Book 7 in the HP universe. However, the film makers want to prove that they are splitting the book strictly to tell the best story possible, then let us use the theater ticket from the first part as free entry to the 2nd. Either that, or cut the ticket price in half. I doubt they’ll step up.

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