With Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 getting released next weekend, Warner Bros. held a big press junket today in New York City and for the most of the day, I’ve been interviewing the cast and filmmakers. So if you’re looking forward to the final installment, every day this week I’ll be posting a new interview and I’m starting our coverage off with director David Yates.
Even though Yates might have been an unlikely choice when he was hired to direct Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I think we can all agree that he turned out to be a brilliant decision and someone that has made some of the best films in the series. And if you were nervous that the final installment might disappoint, I’m happy to report that the final Harry Potter movie is everything I’d hoped it would be and you’re all going to love it.
During the interview, Yates talked about how did he manage making four huge movies back to back, has JK Rowling ever told him any secrets that haven’t yet been revealed, deleted scenes, what props did he take home, all the offers he’s getting now that Potter has wrapped, what is he doing next, and so much more. Hit the jump to watch.
For those wondering what Yates will do next, as you might imagine, he told me that he’s getting tons of offers now that he’s done with the series (he’s been offered everything from big tentpoles to smaller films). He says next year he’s gonna make a really small film because you need to be wary of becoming indulgent as a filmmaker, so he intends to make a smaller film to help get his edge back. He’s also developing some big things for the year after. Here’s the full interview.
NOTE: If you have not read the books, I strongly suggest watching this interview after you’ve seen the movie. Or if you want to watch now, skip from the 7 minute mark until the 12 minute mark. You’ve been warned.
- :16 – Talks about letting go of the franchise. Says the 5-day junket process to end the film is kind of cathartic.
- :48 – The London premiere. Says 25,000 fans showed up from all over the world. They’d been waiting for four days.
- 1:57 – The enormity of this film being the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise. Talks about how it feels to know that the film is gonna make huge amounts of money. Says he’s more concerned with what people think of the movie than the box-office. He says whatever numbers they do this year, another movie will top it next year or the year after.
- 3:30 – Talks about message boards. Says he never reads them. He’s been on them a dozen times in the last six years, but not recently. He says what helped was reading fan letters saying what they want to see in the movies. It started on Half-Blood Prince. Says the letters help give a sense of what the fans love, but you ultimately have to serve the adaptation.
- 4:35 – Has JK Rowling ever told him any secrets that haven’t yet been revealed? He says we pretty much know all the major ones, but a few little ones may pop up on Pottermore. The biggest thing she’s revealed to him was that Dumbledore is gay.
- 5:05 – Talks about how happy he is that his brother was there with him.
- 5:36 – He says he wishes he could have taken more vacations.
- 6:15 – How has he gotten through these four movies? He says he has meditation, yoga and alcohol to thank. He also says he had a fantastic team.
- 7:00 – Talks about deleted scenes. Says he reshot the Aberforth scene, and had Steve Kloves re-write it. There’s also a different version of the epilogue that they re-shot, but he doesn’t know if he wants to put that on the DVD.
- 8:08 – The epilogue that they shot first, before the reshoot. Says he needs to look at it again before deciding whether or not to release it.
- 8:36 – Talks about props he may or may not have as mementos. He was given a big port train, a Beatle of the Bard book, a wand and he has Hermione’s bag.
- 9:55 Talks about the end of the film, did he ever have the urge to do a Return of the King ending where the conclusion lasts for half an hour. Says he wanted to avoid countless endings, and wanted to end in a way that felt satisfying, simple and moving.
- 12:01 – Talks about all the offers he’s getting now that he’s done with the series. He’s getting a wide range, from big tentpole things to very tiny things. He says next year he’s gonna make a really small film. He says you need to be wary of becoming indulgent as a filmmaker, so he intends to make a smaller film to help get his edge back. He’s also developing some big things for the year after.
- 13:48 – Since Warner Bros. is known for keeping talent in-house (Christopher Nolan, Zack Snyder), are they working on getting him attached to more of their properties?
- 14:30 – He talks more about his smaller film next year. He says there’s two or three scripts that he’s really passionate about, and he’s gonna make his decision on which one after he’s had time to unwind.
- 14:53 – Says he’s planning on reuniting with screenwriter Steve Kloves and producers David Heyman and Barron on another project (the four have been together on three of Yates’ Harry Potter films).