Harry Potter Producer Talks 'Half-Blood Prince' and 'Deathly Hallows'

Harry Potter Producer Talks 'Half-Blood Prince' and 'Deathly Hallows'-photo

With Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince hitting the theaters this week, most of the attention has been focused on stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. But Collider caught up with Harry Potter producer David Heyman recently, and he was more than happy to spill dirt on Half-Blood Prince and the final two installments of the series, parts 1 and 2 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Read on, but be forewarned—there may be spoilers involved.

With regard to differences between the Half-Blood Prince book and movie—particularly, the omission of Dumbledore's funeral in the latter—Heyman notes that, while there was originally a script that adhered to the book, changes were made for various reasons.

"In the very first draft the Prime Minister did a scene in it and I loved that scene, but again what it seemed to lead to as we developed it as too many beginnings, which again, was one of the reasons why we cut out the funeral which is one of my favorite scenes in the book," Heyman notes. "But again, what we felt was with the emotion of Dumbledore’s death and after the fight and then coming back and having the scene in the courtyard when Harry is there with Dumbledore’s body. To then have the funeral felt like it was one step too many. I loved that scene in the book, but it just…it’s part of the adaptation process, you know?"

As for what kind of extras might be included in Half-Blood Prince's DVD and Blu-ray releases, Heyman notes that there are "surprisingly few" deleted scenes to include.

"This is a film that the script was pretty lean or the film that ended up on the screen is quite close to the script on the screen, " Heyman says.

He does, however, say that the casting for Lavender Brown will most likely be included, for good reason. "[Director] David Yates did this improv with Rupert and Jessie Cave and it was really funny. Letting them... just seeing them get to know…just doing a bit of scene and then just being…actually they were just improvising and it’s really funny and Rupert’s brilliant," Heyman reveals.

Looking beyond Half-Blood Prince and toward the Deathly Hallows films, Heyman points out a very key difference between parts 1 and 2 of Deathly Hallows.

"I’d say that Part 1 is a road movie," Heyman opines. "You know Harry, Ron and Hermione are on the run. It’s quite naturalistic in the way it’s been shot. And I think the 2nd half is more operatic with the huge, great battle for Hogwarts. It’s very emotional."

We're getting choked up just thinking about it.

Let us know in the comments section: Have you seen Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince yet, and if so, did you like it?



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  • Hermione

    What were they THINKING to take out ALL OF the most important scenes from the story, and then add in a bunch of fluff?? You people who go on about "oh well they can't have EVERYTHING that was in the books... get over it, blablabla" ... OK first of all, did you even READ the books? They didn't just cut things out (the most important things, too) - they ADDED in so much stuff, that was completely unimportant to the plot. In LOTR things were cut out, but the movies still had the basic plot that the books did, and I remember everyone around me agreeing that the movies felt remarkably like the books felt. Yes, felt. Like, we all read the books and imagined the world and how it felt, and then the movies brought it to life. With HP on the other hand, the movies are completely different stories from the book, almost unrecognizable. I'm not talking about a few adaptation changes here and there, I mean, completely rewritten to the point of, say, LEAVING OUT THE MAIN PLOT POINTS. Not the special little side bits, of which the books had many... I mean... leaving out the MAIN parts of the story. What were they THINKING. For anyone who wants to tell me to "get over it, myamyamya.." ...seriously, get over *yourself*. I'm perfectly fine, I have gotten over it - after watching the films once, I haven't gone back, nor have I seen them in theaters (which I would have done, many times, if they were actually Harry Potter movies). There's nothing wrong with us being disappointed and complaining when we were lied to /teased into believing that our favorite piece of literature was actually being made into movies, when it was not and never will be. The movies even damage the books now, somehow, since a lot of people who *would have* read the books and loved them will now never give them a chance in the first place - since they saw the movies and think that they have ANYTHING to do with the books, and that they know the story at all. Now kids and adults will grow up with the movies and not even get the joy and life changing experience of the literary series.

  • AngieM

    [quote=Gramma Jeannie]I can't believe JK Rowling let the producers of Half Blood Prince rewrite the most important book of her series. They took the climax of a lifetime's worth of work, her prize, and rewrote it. They changed the total impression of who Harry is, by letting him, unhindered, watch Dumbledore's murder. It makes the rest of his actions throughout his life, meaningless. Why did they change how the murder really takes place? The climax of all the books leading to this moment?What's up with blowing up the Burrow? etc etc etc OMG, thank you thank you! I completely agree! HOW could JK Rowling allow that CRUCIAL thing to be changed?!?! Dumbledore immoblized Harry and Harry COULD not help him and in the movie, they make it look like he just stands there and is too afraid or something. NO NO NO!!! It is just a horrible stain on Harry's personality to do that to him in the movie. I was so excited for a scene in which Daniel Radcliffe (an amazing, brilliant actor) would be straining in agony with the horror of what was happening and being completely unable to stop it. I just can't beleive that JK Rowling would allow that to be changed when, like you said, it is almost the biggest climax of the entire series. I completely understand that things need to be changed and compressed due to time constraints and such but changing that was just so wrong.

  • Loren Button
    Loren Button

    I agree with Thalia. Although the movie may have been better for the die-hard Harry Potter fans if the movie was 6 hours long and had more of the details of the book in clear focus, it would be ridiculous in the world of movie making. For one, it would take a ridiculous amount of money to make a movie long enough to have every desired element from the book. Sure, they have a lot of money, but they have to stick to a budget or the film will never be released. Which brings me to topic #2: time. These movies have all been based on time. The actors have grown up with the films. That's one reason I believe these movies have been so realistic, magical as they are, and accessible. If a movie THAT LONG and complicated was made, it would take much longer, especially with the pinnacle of the seris, Deathly Hallows, still waiting in the wings. Everyone has been bellyaching over the fact that so many scenes have been taken out or added to this movie. Let me take you to another series that the world has both read and watched wih increible anticipation: Lord of the Rings. If you were to go and watch a verbatum film of this franchise, you would be in there for days. This film was adapted in much the same was as Harry Potter--things were taken out, added to, yet, in the end, they turned out to be great films. I'm sure people bellyached about these films for similar reasons to Harry Potter, but, in the end, they ended up with, what, 21 Oscars? Maybe more. Many things were changed in these films for similar reasons: money, time, and for one more reason that no one else has even considered: marketability. If you owned a movie theater and you were given Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a film that is 6 hours long, how are you going to cater it to everyone in your city? This film is huge, but it would take YEARS for everyone in a city to go to one, two, three, or how ever many, cinemas to see it. Both parts of Deathly Hallows would have already been and gone. You would be limited to one, maybe two, showings a day. Imagine that. What about trying to sell the DVD's? Lord of the Rings has box sets of the Extended Cut that has four discs per set: two for the four hour films and two for special features. A normal DVD is around $15-$30 at Costco where I live. These were significantly more. Imagine selling a FIVE or SIX disc set for ONE movie. It'd be close to $60 or $70, maybe more. If you're still reading, and I would be impressed if you are, bear with me, we're almost done. Let's expand on this idea. Imagine if EVERY Harry Potter film had been made this way. Do you want to pay $560 for EIGHT movies? Or $70 for ONE movie? They wouldn't sell very many movies in comparison. On the contrary, I guarantee that pirating would be VERY popular. If you're still wasting your time reading this, I thank you. Thalia is saying something I've been looking for a place to say. Movie making is a very difficult business to be in. The screenwriter had an insurmountable task, as did the entire crew of this movie, to adapt it to palatable film. They did it for us. For their sake, as for our own, we should at least be grateful for what they've given us. This terrible, caustic tongue that I've been hearing everywhere disappoints me deeply. In my opinion, it needs to stop.

  • thalia

    omg i am so sick of people complaing over deleted scenes, and oh, they cut that voldermorts family and didnt do the funeral!! SERIOUSLY GET OVER IT!! im pretty sure that any of the fans complaining could not do it any better, so please just leave it to the professionals. in the end, they had to do what they had to do, and remember that jk rowling, who ACTUALLY wrote the books oversaw all the plans, and she who would know best, agreed to the changes. ohhh gosh

  • tricia

    I too had problems with this movie that I so wanted to love! The thing that has been bothering me the most is how the Aurors were totally left out. It was not Luna who found Harry on the train and the castle was definitely not left undefended when Dumbledore and Harry went after the Horcrux. I did not shed a tear when Dumbledore died because I think I had been stupified in Harry's place at how the Death Eaters just walked into the castle without even the smallest struggle. There was no proper build up to the climax of the entire body of work so far! So much time was spent on the love lives and how the characters now have the ability to be funny that the pressing life and death issues they were facing were just totally glossed over. I read the above about how there were too many ending concepts to have Dumbledor's funeral included but with such a weak death scene you might as well have left it out and went with a moving funeral. I feel sad that this is what was made to portray this unbelievable piece of the Potter series because it is now out there and can not be fixed. I certainly hope the integrity of the final two films is not patronized by the dumbing down of what is possibly the greatest piece of literature of my time.

  • Aaron

    Mary Joyce said it best. They ruined it.... too many deleted scenes. Not enough flash backs. Voldimorts family. Finding the ring. Harry Potter not being stunned!??!?!?! I walked out of the movie theaters depressed and disappointed.

  • Gramma Jeannie
    Gramma Jeannie

    Gramma Jeannie again.... I've read all the books. Seen all the movies to date. I've loved everything given us so far. I didn't mind the scenes left out in the other movies. The movies were spectacular. Making up for items left out. Some parts that weren't in the books added in. But all in all they brought the stories to life. Beautiful, imaginative, and basically accurate. My question is, why, at the climax that we've all been waiting to see, did they rewrite most of the story? Not only leaving out so many parts, but literally adding and changing significant items and just making up their own version of JK Rowling's novel. This is one very upset Gramma =(

  • Gramma Jeannie
    Gramma Jeannie

    I can't believe JK Rowling let the producers of Half Blood Prince rewrite the most important book of her series. They took the climax of a lifetime's worth of work, her prize, and rewrote it. They changed the total impression of who Harry is, by letting him, unhindered, watch Dumbledore's murder. It makes the rest of his actions throughout his life, meaningless. Why did they change how the murder really takes place? The climax of all the books leading to this moment? What's up with blowing up the Burrow? etc etc etc

  • Mary Joyce
    Mary Joyce

    I could have cried at the lost opportunity wasted in making what should have been the most amazing movie ever and that justice wasn't done to the remarkable work JK Rowling really the directors have distroyed a golden opportunity. :-(

  • loz

    well i saw it last night, and i absolutely loved it!! I agree with Thamine as the movie was really able to connect the audience, i laughed and cried throughout the movie. I think it was a brilliant job of adapting the book, im not annoyed about what they cut out or anything, coz it didnt matter that much in the end. 5 stars!!

  • Thamine

    Half-Blood Prince was enjoyable and just truly breathtaking. It had everything to make a movie worth watching and really let the audience connect. I have to admit that there were some scenes that were not included and that made me a little upset but I understand that not everything can be added and there has to be a variety. Overall I loved it. :) I’m so excited for Deathly Hollows!!