Written by Matt Goldberg
I have been less than pleased with Warner Bros. decisions regarding the “Harry Potter” franchise as of late. Yes, hiring David Yates to finish out the series was a wise move, but then they decided to split book seven into two films, which was deemed necessary not because it’s the best way to tell the story, but so that we can probably get two bloated films and Warner Bros. can double up on their cash cow’s last entry.
Today we have the news that I and all other “Potter” fans will have to wait until next Summer for the series’ next installment. I imagine this pushes the two parts of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” six months as well if not longer. That’s just angry speculation on my part, but at least I have that since I no longer have a “Harry Potter” film to look forward to this year.
You can read the full press release. It won’t give you comfort, but you can read it and practice your Unforgivable Curses.
Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that it has moved back the release date of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” to Summer 2009. The sixth installment of the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise will now open day-and-date domestically and in the major international markets on July 17, 2009. The announcement was made by Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer, Warner Bros.
In making the announcement, Mr. Horn stated, “Our reasons for shifting ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writers’ strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other films—changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move ‘Half-Blood Prince’ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.”
Jeff Robinov, President of Warner Bros. Motion Picture Group, confirmed, “The release date change does not alter the production schedule for this or future Harry Potter films. Post-production on ‘Half-Blood Prince’ was completed on time, and the studio’s release plans for the two-part ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ will not be affected by this change. We know Harry Potter fans are eagerly anticipating seeing the final chapters unfold onscreen. In fact, the good news for them is that the gap will now be shortened between ‘Half-Blood Prince’ and the first part of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’”
Commenting on the release date change for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” David Heyman, the producer of all the Harry Potter films, offered, “When Jeff Robinov explained the rationale behind moving the release date of ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ to July 2009, it was immediately apparent that this offered us the potential to reach the widest possible audience. I am extremely proud of this latest film and of the work of David Yates and our incomparable cast; I believe we have developed and pushed the series further still. We are all looking forward to sharing it with Harry Potter fans around the world, even if we have to wait just a bit longer.”
David Yates, the director of both “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” and who will also helm “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” added, “It has been a joy to work on ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.’ Dan, Rupert and Emma and all our returning young cast continue to blossom, and our new cast members bring fresh color and life to Hogwarts. Even as we put the finishing touches on this latest film, we are already beginning preparations on the final two films—we start filming in February—and I am excited to bring this remarkable series to the exciting and moving conclusion its loyal fans deserve.”
In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Voldemort is tightening his grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds and Hogwarts is no longer the safe haven it once was. Harry suspects that dangers may even lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle that he knows is fast approaching. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as teenage hormones rage across the ramparts. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films production, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” David Yates, who directed last year’s summer blockbuster “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” returns to direct “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” David Heyman and David Barron are the producers, with Lionel Wigram serving as executive producer. Steve Kloves wrote the screenplay, based on the book by J.K. Rowling.
Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson are reprising their roles as young wizards Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. The film also stars Jim Broadbent, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall, David Thewlis and Julie Walters. The cast also features David Bradley, Jessie Cave, Frank Dillane, Tom Felton, Matthew Lewis, Evanna Lynch, Helen McCrory, Natalia Tena, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, and Bonnie Wright.