July 14, 2011


It’s not easy to adapt a book.  If it were, we’d have better movies.  Also, it’s next to impossible to adapt a series like Harry Potter, which has so many fans invested in every scene that choosing what to use and what to omit is like walking through a minefield.  And that’s the reason why Steve Kloves needs to be congratulated. As the screenwriter of all the movies except Order of the Phoenix, he’s done the impossible, and made it look easy.

A few days ago, I was in New York City for the big Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 press junket and I was able to sit down with Kloves for an almost thirty minute interview.  If you’re a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, I promise you this is a must-watch interview.  He talks about how he writes, does he read message boards, has JK Rowling told him any secrets that haven’t yet been revealed, what is he happiest with in the series, what mementos did he manage to keep, deleted scenes, is he nervous to write another franchise, and so much more.  In addition, he also talked about what it was like to work on the script for Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man.  Again, I can’t recommend this interview enough.  Hit the jump to watch.

For more of my exclusive video interviews for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, here’s director David Yates, producer David Heyman, Rupert Grint, and I also stopped by Harry Potter:  The Exhibition at Discovery Times Square while I was in NYC.  And if you just want to watch what Kloves said about Spider-Man, we posted it earlier this week.

steve_kloves_harry_potterAs usual, I’ve time indexed the interview so you can watch the parts that interest you.

Finally, if you haven’t read the books, you might want to watch the interview after you’ve seen the movie.  Or avoid 10:30 – 12:00 as we talk about the ending.

Steve Kloves Interview Time Index

  • :20 How much does he read the message boards? Says he doesn’t read them anymore. He stopped because some of the people online were diametrically opposed to what JK Rowling is all about, they would resort to threats of violence, name calling, etc.
  • 2:26 Talks more about intolerance from some of the online community and how that clashes with JK Rowling’s philosophy.
  • 3:50 Has Rowling told him any secrets that haven’t yet been revealed? He says she has.
  • 4:58 Talks about how Rowling knows an astonishing amount about the Harry Potter world, and says he thinks some of the small nuggets she’s shared with him will end up on Pottermore.
  • 5:54 Says he’s happiest with the dance sequence in Deathly Hallows – Part 1. Explains how he came up with idea for the scene and what the reaction was like from his other collaborators and Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson.
  • 7:40 He says he wishes he had written Order of the Phoenix.
  • 8:20 Talks about deleted scenes from over the years.
  • 9:23 What mementos he has from the series. Says he has a book from Jo Rowling made up of their correspondences while she was writing Goblet of Fire. Rowling also gave him a cup that was engraved with something from Hermione, since she is Kloves’ favorite character.
  • 10:34 Talks about the ending of Deathly Hallows – Part 2. Says there was never talk about doing a Return of the King-like ending where the conclusion is a bit more drawn out. He sees Part 1 and Part 2 as a whole. They work as two separate movies, but they can play like one big movie, so they wanted to make sure the ending worked rhythmically well. He says they didn’t want to overstay their welcome.
  • steve-kloves-harry-potter-and-the-dealthy-hallows12:04 Is he nervous to attach himself to another franchise? Says nothing’s going to match up to Potter. He talks about the fandom of the franchise and how it all started and ends with a book.
  • 13:18 Was he hesitant to get involved with The Amazing Spider-Man? Says he initially declined doing script work for the film, but was eventually won over.
  • 15:04 Talks about how they’re approaching the reinvention of Spider-Man. Are they going for a more cartoony tone of the first three films, or are they grounding it more in reality like Iron Man? He was concerned at first about it being too hammy, but the studio wanted him to write Peter Parker like a real character, grounded in reality. He also talks about his impression of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films.
  • 16:44 Would he come back to write the sequel if Sony makes it into a trilogy? He says they had talked to him about it, but he declined. Also talks about Marc Webb’s approach to the film.
  • 18:03 Talks about the mechanical webshooters and how Webb and the producers had a reason for it. He also talks about Marvel’s involvement in the film.
  • 19:26 He talks about the film being in 3D and Webb’s approach to shooting it in 3D.
  • 20:17 What’s he doing next? Will he be directing again? Says he never knows what he’s going to do next. He talks about wanting to do good work, and how we responds quickly to good material (Wonder Boys and the first Harry Potter book).
  • 22:23 Talks about working with Warner Bros. He says they care about making money, but they also really want to make good films.
  • 24:07 His writing process. He wrote The Fabulous Baker Boys from midnight to 4am, but he had to be disciplined when writing Harry Potter. In 13 years he says he doesn’t think he was ever more than 72 hours away from Rowling’s text, it was all-consuming. Years ago his most enjoyable time to write was 5am to noon.
  • 26:08 When he wrote Deathly Hallows, did he write the two parts separately? He says he wrote them as one long movie.
  • 26:24 Did it take twice as long as the other scripts to write Deathly Hallows? He felt it was important for the movie to be emotional, he wanted each death to be significant. He says he worked at least twice as much on Deathly Hallows than the other films. It took him over a year. He said he wasn’t very happy with his first draft of the script, but he was really happy with his second draft, which is uncommon for his scripts.


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