Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Getting Cut in Two and Yates Directing

March 12, 2008
Source: LA Times

Harry Potter

Last month we brought you a bit of news that Harry Potter producer David Barron was inserting an additional scene into the currently in-production Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - an unconventional move since the Potter series' sheer volume has more often necessitated cutting material. While we don't yet expect a similar move with the seventh book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, we did receive news today via the LA Times that director David Yates is confronting the Potter material in an equally interesting way: cutting the final story into two movies.

Did I also mention that Yates will, in fact, return as director? Despite many rumors and speculation to the contrary, including the idea that Guillermo del Toro would helm the film, Yates is our guy. (Somewhat sad, since I love del Toro). So, being the captain, Yates and crew have decided that Deathly Hollows will be a two-part conclusion. The news is a bit surprising, but the execution seems even more difficult.

Firstly, the idea of separating Deathly Hollows is rife with greedy speculation. The decision seems like it would be an easy one for Warner Brothers given that the series has made more than $4.5 billion at the box office worldwide. Of course, they'd want to double their fun in the last installment. However, producer David Heyman pleadingly denounces such a hypothesis: "I swear to you it was born out of purely creative reasons. Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book."

Franchise star Daniel Radcliffe echoes this sentiment, as well. "I think it's the only way you can do it without cutting out a huge portion of the book." And to be sure, a lot would have to be cut from the 759-page tome before it would fit comfortably into a single movie. And while you could rightly point out that Order of the Phoenix was lengthier at 896, Heyman has a perspective on why Deathly Hollows is harder to piece out. "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."

So all in all, it's surprising that this move is not overtly monetarily focused and actually makes sense for the adaptation of the story.

However, it's not going to be easy. While Radcliffe supports the creative reasoning for the separation, he contradicts himself a bit in the next breathe. "There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut…but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go."

So how do you divide "one driving pounding story" into two parts? At least Heyman accepts this as being the major question at play. "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."

The largest fear in breaking the story is loosing the momentum and magic of the Potter stories. Deathly Hollows is the final chapter in one of the most compelling fantasy tales of our time. I'd hate to see a stutter-start to the series' powerful conclusion, and hope Heyman, Yates and others can still mold a complete, satisfying and fitting end.

Harry Potter fans - what do you think, is this a good idea or a bad one?

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions



Great, great idea! I love it! Shit, I can not wait to have them all. I'm hoping they make them around 2 and a half hours each though. This makes me very excited (and Yates especially, as I loved OOTP!) Woohoo!

Sam on Mar 12, 2008


That's one way to milk a franchise.

Nunya on Mar 12, 2008


They did it with Kill Bill. Make them into 2 movies and release them a couple months apart.

Heckle on Mar 12, 2008


I was hoping they'd do something like this. Good on them.

Rob on Mar 12, 2008


Just how I wanted it. It will break with suspense I assume. I can't remember the book very well right now for some reason, but (this is a SPOILER, i guess, if you havent read the book/s) the book revolves mainly around the searching for and destroying items called horcruxes, which will hopefully defeat voldemort, and so it the film will break with the group about to find one, finding one, or setting off to find one? I truly can't remember the details of the book at all right now or Id make a guess at where it would break.

Keith on Mar 13, 2008


i can guess where the movie might split up, and this is a pretty big SPOILER if you havent read the last one, it might be split right after ron abandons Harry and Hermione. this is a good way to avoid losing bits of the book cause it really is just one story with no sub plots, but i hope it doesnt just suck. thats all i want

Alexander on Mar 13, 2008


I like the fact that its split in big of a book to cut it in half I do however want a new director. Yates has done a good job with the last film and he is doing HBP right now. They need to give it to someone else. TIM BURTON or STEPHEN SPIELBERG would make a great Deathly Hallows give them chance. Its the last books give them the BLOCKBUSTER status they deserve ...JMO

SHANE D on Mar 13, 2008


#6, that is a real good place to cut it! This is one decision I like and DO NOT think this has to do anything with "milking" the franchise but I am sure the guys in suits didn't mind the decision either. I just hoped they are released close together. Maybe one in early summer and one in December?

Ryan on Mar 13, 2008


IMDB said Part 1 will be for May 2010 and Part 2 Nov. 2011. That sux.

Ryan on Mar 13, 2008


Finally, the smartest thing they ever done. The fifth movie skipped so much and disappointed many Potter fans. I heard the Deathly Hallows 1 releases November 2010 and #2 releases May 2011. Thats great being only 6 months apart! This would not disappoint Potter fans like the fifth one. I CAN'T WAIT!

Brie on Mar 13, 2008


Ryan, luckily imdb is not a credible source when it comes to release dates that are years off. What Brie said makes a lot of sense, as the second half of the 2-parter will do HUGE box office, and so a May release date makes the most sense, not November.

Keith on Mar 13, 2008


its a awsome idea for making suspense but i think that the two parts shouldnt be released too far apart id say no more than 3 months otherwise you'd watch the first part and be like wow but then by the time you get to watching the 2nd part you would have to watch the first part again to get into it. one other thing i dont think that they should call the films deathly hallows part 1 and 2 they should split the name or something. the title is one of the things that attract people. kcrazy monkey, cya dudes....

) on Mar 14, 2008


I think 3 months would be better than 6 too. 6 is too long... It would even be cool if they were released at the same time and you could see them back to back with like a half hour or hour intermission. I'd do it. Other big fans would.... if its not about the money then why not?

Matt on Mar 17, 2008


Not Yates! Please not Yates! He can't get a single good performance out of any actor, and he butchered OOTP to pieces. We want Alfonso Cuaron!!!!! And also, why spend so much time on Deathly Hallows, it was by far the worst of the books.

William on Apr 3, 2008


I think its a great idea to break deathly hallows into two movies because there is so much they have to go over and if they cut a lot of things out it just wouldn't be right. There has been so much cut out of the other movies and it was kinda disappointing so i would hate for them to destroy the story in the 7th movie just so they can rush it into theaters.

Brittany on May 16, 2008


This is exactly what I hoped for since I read the book! My friends and I all said we would hate the world if they cut up Deathly Hallows like they did with the last three! I'm still smarting from the complete cut of every house elf but Dobby, I REALLY wanted to see that kitchen! Anyway, hearing this made my day!

Jocie on Jun 3, 2008


I think that cutting the book into two seprate movies is a good idea. I have always felt that JK ROWLING needed two books to finish up the story properly. I read the final book several times and I always feel a bit rushed. ๐Ÿ™‚

rangermouse on Jun 24, 2008


Didn't they do that with Lord of the Rings? Well, to me it might as well have been what they did with that movie since it stopped and restarted in the middle of their journey.. I'm guessing that they'll end the first part somewhere in the middle of the book while Harry is in search of the horcruxes with Ron and Hermione. I'll be completely honest, as much as I loved Deathly Hallows, I did start to get a bit bored in the middle when Harry wasn't doing anything. So, they just need to find a good suspensful part that comes right before an exciting one (or, a part of the book where it starts to get exciting the stream/pond in the woods during winter). You know what I mean?

Jordan on Jul 5, 2008


This will give them at least 5 hours total to get DH right in a way that NONE of the other movies have captured since POA. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

LemonFaerie on Jul 7, 2008


I agree with comment #6, that would be a really good place to end it. It would leave you on a cliffhanger and yuo'd be concerned about the characters. The only think im worried about is that in the books you REALLY have to pay attention to follow everything and if you go for more than a couple of days without reading, you lose track because it's all ACTIONactionACTION. I think that if it takes a year between the two films, interest may have dwindled, especially amongst the younger fans who won't want to re-watch the 1st part of the deathly hallows again. Are both the films giong to be called the deathly hallows? Or are they going to be deathly hallows 1&2? Also, the film makers will film continuity really challenging. What ifthere's another accident, like Emma Watson breaking her arm in PoA? Really looking forward to these movies, but I don't want to be let down, especially since GoF was a let-down after the brilliance of PoA (which, to me, remains the best film so far).

gig girl on Jul 30, 2008


I think the best place to split the book, is actually when they get captured by Greyback and the other wannabe death eaters and are taken to Malfoys mansion. That would leave it as an excellent cliffhanger ๐Ÿ™‚ Because it would show that they have the sword, destroyed one horclux, and as they had done something productive, are cast back down and are near complete death. Plus, that means that the 2nd part of the movie, won't have to seem them in the tent anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

Omni on Aug 5, 2008


Personily, I was a bit dispointed to hear that david yates was directing the 7th instalment the six movie looks great, but the 5th one wasn't that good it was kind of patchy, and parts didn't match. It was an improvement from the awful directing of the 4th. The first 3 were pretty well made. If i had a choice on directer, it would have been de toro, but I would not have minded Alfonso Cuarรณn to come back, I like the feel he gave to the 3rd movie, and he did a good job with children of men.

danielle on Jan 6, 2009


Part 1 and 2?! yaaaayyy!! what a great idea! hurrraaahhhh! And when they graduate at the age of 42 from Hogwarts, they can all go have tea and wonder where the time went

NorthDude on Jan 20, 2009


i think to heck with it make one long move i am talking a good solid 5 to 6 hours no splitting it up and if people are as committed to the harry potter saga as i am they will sit that long without even a slight complaint. i know i would have no problem what so ever maybe throw a slight intermission in at the movie theater and roll with it that way there is no extra waiting no having to split it and you would still make the same money well to some extent because if the director sucks it up then a lot of fans might not return for the next. i liked the twilight series but after seeing how poorly they did on the first movie i dont know if i want to watch another in fear that it might ruin the experience that the book gave me

Trenton on Mar 26, 2009


i'll be very dissapointed if half blood prince doesnt live up to the book, it was my favourite. and when i heard that hallows would be 2 movies i thought that would be great, the more the merrier. the book did drag on but on page that was fine,on screen might be harder. think it would be good to end the 1st movie where ron returns to save harry from the pond and then they all set off on the remainder of the journey not knowing what would become of them. 3 was my favourite movie direction was fantastic. can't wait, can't wait.

ky on Apr 20, 2009

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