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David Yates Talks Burrow Scene, Deathly Hallows Film, and Life after Harry Potter

Yates Interviews
Posted by: sue
July 24, 2009, 09:09 AM

Director David Yates has given a new interview to Vanity Fair, where he discusses again the decision to add the attack on the Burrow scene to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as weigh in with some thoughts on the look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two and his career plans after the series has concluded. Notable quotes are as follows:

Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult choice you had to make in this last film? "One of the things we did was we added a sequence in the middle of the movie—the sequence in the reeds when death eaters try and attack Harry—and that sequence never existed in the book. In one sense it seems mad to add something to Jo’s [read: J.K. Rowling’s] world and Jo’s book. It’s already full of pretty rich, fantastic stuff—why on earth would you add anything? But in the sort of two-and-a-half hour structure of a screenplay there was a lack of a sense of jeopardy from the outside. We were in all these romantic entanglements and I needed to audience to be reminded of what the threat was from the outside world. Jo talks about those things in the background in the book but halfway through our book we needed our audience in the theater to be aware of them and to experience them. So we added a sequence that didn’t existed in the book but was there, I guess, in spirit because it was happening beyond Hogwarts."

Did you run it by J.K. Rowling? I’m sorry: by “Jo”? "Yeah, Jo was totally cool about it. She recognized the challenge of it and the need for it."

On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "It’s just edgier. It’s a little rawer. It’s more contemporary. It feels more modern. Shooting in the way we’ve been shooting, doing a lot of hand-held camera work, all that stuff, I’ve never got a call from the studio. They just phone up or email and say we love the dailies even though I am doing things that feel very not Harry Potter. So I feel I have a freedom and the elbowroom to do what I feel the story requires.

So you’re hearkening back to your gritty days of State of Play? "Yeah, indeed. In Harry Potter Seven, part One, very much so. But, of course, Hallows part Two brings that fantasy world back in full cinemascope. It’s full of dragons, and big wizard battles, and magic. To keep the thing interesting for me as a filmmaker, I want to serve the wonderful stories Jo has given us but I need to move it around a bit. I can’t feel that I am making the same film. Tonally, I need to shake it up a bit. Like Half-Blood Prince had a lot more humor in it than Order of the Phoenix and that was important for me, and I think it was important for the audience to not get the same journey. And Hallows part One will feel very different than Half-Blood Prince."

What’s the first thing you are going to do next? "I’ve got a couple of things. I want to do a war picture. I’m developing a war picture called Saint Nazaire that’s about a reckless commander raid in the Second World War. I want to make a movie version of the TV thing I did called Sex Traffic, about trafficking. There’s a whole pile of stuff coming out. I am reading stuff all the time."

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29 Points

This fake battle in the middle is one of the most disappointing aspects of the film. It’s remarkable that they added a battle that made no sense and then skipped the climax of the book with the battle of Snape and the Death Eaters escaping. The fake battle is especially frustrating since they shot this film after the 7th book was released, thus completely ingnoring many important parts of book/movie 7. The burrow is destroyed by fire? How does the 7th movie even start? Where will the wedding be? Where will Harry, et all, make their plans? What happened to all the charms protecting the burrow? How is it that two death eaters (really one witch and a werewolf) outwit and outmagic Harry, Ginny, Ron, Fred, George, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Tonks and Lupin?!!!! They outnumber them 9-2!! Keep in mind that Tonks is an Auror, Lupin is a former DADA teacher, and Molly eventually kills the mighty Belatrix—so we’re supposed to believe these three plus everyone else can’t handle Belatix and a werewolf?! If Yates wanted more excitement he should have put in more of the memories of Riddle. The first one was very well done—creepy and intriguing—and then nothing buy Slughorn’s. The main drive of the whole story was barely touched in favour of love potions—when does Harry get his assignment and when is he told to include Hermione and Ron? I’ve read a lot of comments in papers that people that don’t know the book found the movie confusing—I can see why. And finally, not having Harry frozen in an invisibility cloak in the tower was absurd. Harry always acts, even if told not to, especially if Dumbledore’s life was in danger, and then no battle at the end? No one witnessing Snape working with the Death Eater’s but Harry? Yates feels that he needed more excitment and then edits out the most exciting part of the book? Very disappointing.

Posted by Jerry Lumos on July 25, 2009, 04:48 AM report to moderator
4138 Points

I was also annoyed at how small Aragog was at the burial!!! Anyway the burrow scene was stupid! I hate it they could have had the astronomy battle and still maybe put an explanatiton on the horcruxes, which made HUGE plotholes.

Posted by Calum Wilson (RuneDream54) on July 25, 2009, 05:31 AM report to moderator
47 Points

Oh God! I’m pretty sure the next movie will be disappointing..they’re gonna change so many things in “Hallows part 1” arrrgh!

Posted by roby_boh on July 25, 2009, 06:39 AM report to moderator

he has saind in another interview or it may of been the prducer he said the battle would be like 30mins of the film :D hope its more n not less than that

Posted by granger_malfoy on July 25, 2009, 09:08 AM report to moderator
61 Points

Disclaimer: I haven’t seen the movie yet.

At first, I thought adding a scene that was not in the books was a bad decision. But when I thought about it, why wouldn’t Voldemort send the Death Eaters to the Burrow looking for Harry? Where else would Harry be on a holiday if he wasn’t at Hogwarts or Privet Drive? His connection to the Weasleys is well known. Voldemort’s top priority is to kill Harry. Surely he would be watching all locations.

Peter Jackson was criticized after The Two Towers for the battle sequence at Helm’s Deep. He was told he had nothing left for the third film. He laughed it off, knowing that Pelinor Fields would top it. Yates should have thought it through, HBP’s culminating battle would set the stage, not distract, from DH’s Battle at Hogwarts, unless Yates is admitting that he doesn’t have the imagination to pull it through.

But movies are different from books. There’s no way a movie can encompass everything that the books have. I believe that eventually the BBC should produce the entire series on television, even if it was a ten year run, which would give time to develop and show all the subplots, etc. that the author created.

Posted by sampsongregory on July 25, 2009, 09:16 AM report to moderator
141 Points

I really missed the battle scene at the end of hbp. The DA and OoP battling it out with good old Neville and Ginny leading the charge. It would have taken next to nothing to add (and they had an extra 9 months to do it in!)

Posted by RaytheforgottenWeasley on July 25, 2009, 09:31 AM report to moderator

I agree with many of the comments that the burrow scene seemed a bit …… unconnected. I was also disappointed that the battle at the astronomy tower wasn’t there as well as the lack of clear explanation by Dumbledore about horcruxes. For if Harry has to find these (as in the book), Dumbledore DID know what type of objects Voldemort would be looking for …. things that were important to him that symbolised status and importance in the wizarding world like the cup, the tiara etc. However it despite these complaints of mine, it was really a good job considering all the details that are in the book. You need to see this movie more than once to pick up all the detail.

Posted by Spook on July 25, 2009, 09:52 AM report to moderator
37 Points

Fact is that no movie will ever be totally true to the book. we can waste time harping over that fact….or just appreciate the things that were done really well. I didn’t really care for the Burrow scene either…but in was… a little scary… my wife nearly jumped out of her seat.

The Inferi were very well done…and the ring of fire around Dumbledore was very well done. I do believe ..given that the next two films will be so serious in many aspects…the humor was absolutely priceless. Ron’s look (the “in love” stuff) was dead-on.

If you haven’t seen the movie yet… don’t judge it so quickly ..go see it. Take it for face value… not on what is missed from the books.

Posted by johnzonh on July 25, 2009, 10:13 AM report to moderator
240 Points

But where was the fight at end

Posted by Biswajit-ROAR on July 25, 2009, 10:20 AM report to moderator
240 Points

But where was the fight at end

Posted by Biswajit-ROAR on July 25, 2009, 10:20 AM report to moderator
135 Points

I know they cant be as good as the book. most arent but the previous 5 were true to the “spirit” HPB seems to be yates considering his “creative freedom” more important than the feel and spirit of harry potter. thats the bottom line, its why im so upset, forget the details. if OOTP wasnt decent i would be scared out of my pants for DH right, even so i still am somewhat, HBP was just….bad.

Posted by splinch on July 25, 2009, 10:39 AM report to moderator
37 Points

honestly I don’t think we will be disappointed in the DH films. We do have to remember that as films they also need to cater to the people who have never seen them before ..nor read the books. They do have to stand alone as stories. If Yates is flexing his creative muscle… well I am sure he has some limits to what he can do. It is a blend of directors vision and responsibility to the source material and the fans.

To this day I still find people amazed at what Alfonzo did with POA… I liked the “atmosphere” that was created…but some things were so dreadfully misplaced and so much of the story not explained…that we left the theater going…“HUH?..umm OK..well that was odd” As a standalone film… it was good. As a method to explain in depth the WHY certain things were the way they were… it was horribly anemic.

I do like to go back and watch the films to pick up on book details that I constantly miss.. often I find the things I was looking for… This film will be no different. One thing I would have liked to see more of… was the significance of SEVEN horcruxes. oh well.. we have a movie to look forward to in the near future.

Posted by johnzonh on July 25, 2009, 10:52 AM report to moderator
2525 Points

I totally agree!

Posted by The Nerd on July 25, 2009, 11:57 AM report to moderator
2027 Points

ahhhhh so the gringotts stuff is in part two!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by sunlitdays (ROAR) on July 25, 2009, 12:13 PM report to moderator
182 Points

What does he mean when he says “Not very Harry Potter”…this concerns me.

Posted by Britski on July 25, 2009, 01:24 PM report to moderator
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