By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
If splitting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows into two films sounded like a cheap marketing ploy, the filmmakers will reassuringly explain how important it was to the story to do so. Producer David Heyman said the series has followed Potter’s perspective, so cutting elements like Hermione’s elf activism made sense. Book seven was really all about Harry, but even Heyman admits Warner Brothers wasn’t complaining.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Split
“Obviously the studio are very happy with that decision, let’s not kid ourselves,” Heyman said. “[Screenwriter] Steve [Kloves] called me the other day and said, ‘I think we can do three.’ I think he was joking of course.”
Director David Yates does have a distinct perspective on the two-parter. He calls Part 1 a road movie, following the trio fleeing from death eaters. “The first one is very verite’ and documentary and edge and on the road,” Yates said.
Part II is more of the operatic epic, featuring major battles. In fact, the final battle was omitted from Half-Blood Prince to make way for the big finish. “We all know there’s a huge battle coming in 7. We’re all looking forward to it. We’re designing and planning it at the moment. We wanted to keep our pounder dry for that really. So wait until 7 part 2.”
A major element of Deathly Hallows for fans, and spoiler alert to non-readers, is the flash forward to older Harry, Ron and Hermione. Yates is still figuring that one out.
“You know, we’re still exploring how we’re going to deal with that,” he said. “It’s an absolutely beautiful part of the book and one of the most unique things of this franchise I guess is the fact that you’ve grown up with these characters. I think it’s what makes it special for the audience. So we’ll be delivering that at the end of 7 part 2 but we’re looking at various options of how we do it. I still haven’t quite figured that out yet. Probably not Benjamin Button technology. We looked into that but we don’t think it’s the route we’re going to take.”
Producer Heyman assured fans that it would be some form of the actors they know, not just aging look-alikes. “We’re going to do everything we can and it will be Daniel, Rupert and Emma, not someone else.”
Pretty forthcoming for filmmakers of one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises. The one secret they wanted to keep was where Deathly Hallows would split between the two films.
“We do have an end point but we’ll kind of figure it out when we start editing I think,” Yates said.
As for any controversy that might arise from a Bourne style verite Harry Potter movie, Yates did not worry he risked losing the audience at this point. “I think the franchise benefits. I think the audiences will respond to us being as fresh as we can with each of these films. I believe you’ve got to kind of keep things as fresh and as different each time as you can. One thing that really excites us about what we’re shooting at the moment is it feels very different to where we’ve been with Half-Blood Prince, and very different to Order of the Phoenix.”
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens in 2010 and 2011.