Last night, in part to raise some Oscar buzz for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Variety hosted a screening of the film followed by a Q&A with director David Yates, producers David Heyman and David Barron, and Bellatrix actress Helena Bonham Carter.
Hypable was present and we have some choice quotes to share with you throughout today!
Producer David Heyman spoke at a deeper level about their Part 1 and Part 2 split point decision, noting it shifted around numerous times for various reasons:
Initially we were nervous about ending Part 1 with Dobby’s death. Because the previous three films had ended with a death, and we thought, “Oh my gosh, this is a repetitive structure, we don’t want to do this again.” So we actually shifted [the split] to the arrival at Malfoy Manor. With Harry’s hair being pulled back, and you see the scar, and ending it on a cliffhanger. But during the editing process is became very clear that you needed some closure. And also, if we had set up Dobby in the beginning of Part 1 and then his death happened halfway or a third of a way through Part 2, we felt that wouldn’t be emotionally satisfying. So David [Yates] ultimately made the decision.
Director David Yates explained why they moved Harry and Voldemort’s final battle outside rather than keeping it in the Great Hall (like it was in the books):
In the book Voldemort confronts Harry in the Great Hall. They’re together and surrounded by children. And, because we waited so long for this final confrontation it felt more primal and spectacular to have them alone up in the ramparts of the castle. I love this notion of Harry pulling Voldemort off this high point and then conjoining in this weird and wonderful way. Because they’re sort of twins in this series of stories. And I just felt the image of them two separately in that courtyard was more iconic. And in the book, the book was terrific, but tonally it was slightly different than what we wanted to do. We went a bit earthier and a bit more grown up. Whereas in the book it’s slightly – it reads slightly younger. And Voldemort’s undermined before he’s ultimately dispatched. And so we tried to avoid that. Working with Steve [Kloves] with came up with our alternative, which felt more spectacular as well. Whizzing around Hogwarts. Together. Trying to pull each other apart. I felt that would be a more cinematic expression of what Jo started.
Later today we’ll share additional quotes from the Q&A, including Helena Bonham Carter on a “brilliant” but rejected dueling scene between her and Gary Oldman for Order of the Phoenix.