David Heyman: Harry Potter Films Reflect “Issues of Loyalty and Trust and Friendship”

121

Dec 10, 2007

Posted by SueTLC
Uncategorized

The popularity of fantasy films at the box office is the subject of a new article in the LA Times, and mentions the impact and influence of such films as the Harry Potter series. Producer David Heyman is among those interviewed for this piece, and he notes that while there is a fantasy element in the movies, the themes often relate to real world issues.

“Fairy-tale endings aside, the fantasy world is not always a pleasant place. Harry Potter has lost one classmate and a surrogate father, and readers of the books know there’s more carnage in store. Even tranquil Narnia is beset by war….”The best fantasy films reflect what is going on today,” adds David Heyman, currently producing next year’s “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.” “I think the Potter films reflect, in some form, issues of loyalty and trust and friendship, and of propaganda and misinformation and people not being prepared to see what is before them, wanting to see only what they want to see.”

The article continues to describe how the success of the Harry Potter series broke through previously held conceptions by the studios, and showed how American audiences would react to fantasy films with a non American cast such as the popular “Chronicles of Narnia”series.

“Lord of the Rings” was the first to demonstrate the box-office might of the fantasy genre, but producer Mark Johnson says the “Narnia” series owes its life, and particularly its fidelity to its source, to the Harry Potter films.

In the pre-Potter era, Johnson says, studios assumed that American children were unable to relate to British characters. His 1995 adaptation of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s “A Little Princess” was forcibly relocated from London to New York.

“After that, Harry Potter came along, and all those cultural or geographical lines were broken,” he says. “When ‘The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe’ was being developed at Paramount, the imperative was to set it in the U.S., and it just doesn’t hold. You can find some way to adapt it, but it’s not the book.”





13 Responses to David Heyman: Harry Potter Films Reflect “Issues of Loyalty and Trust and Friendship”

Avatar Image says:

David Heyman’s great! Interesting article. I completely agree with Heyman, “Fairy-tale endings aside, the fantasy world is not always a pleasant place.” Indeed it’s not! Thank you for the update on the Potter world!

Avatar Image says:

Or maybe the films just REALLY reflect issues of loyalty. :D

Nice article, glad to see the attention shared around some great films in such a positive light.

Avatar Image says:

The HP movies are horrible compared to the books. They’ve got no profundity at all. I’ve never liked them, but I know I’ll be going to watch the sixth and seventh movies the day they are released :D

Avatar Image says:

Props to David Heyman and a very intriguing article. I am gratified knowing that fantasy books/films are being acknowledged for their deeper messages and hidden contexts. I also found it interesting that research had previously shown that Americans didn’t originally take to fantasy films set in Britian. I remember seeing an original version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (and reading it) when I was a child (I am 26 now)...and I loved it. In some capacity I understood that the story was set in England, and I thought that was just so neat! I think I appreciated it more. So I guess I was destined to become a Potter fan!

Avatar Image says:

i know right?

Avatar Image says:

The Harry Potter films are great like someone said you take any book to film adaptation and the book is always going to be better of course- books are rich with detail and they can take your mind to places movies cant- but all these movies are very good coming from the books. As is Narnia, LOTR, and the Golden Compass- they better come out with a sequel it really left you hanging. I also highly agree that there is alot of realism in these books- that is why they are all so loved- you can still read the Golden Compass and not be drawn into atheism as these fundaMENTALists are claiming, as wise Obi Won Kenobi said ” you will find that what we believe all depends on our own point of views.”

Avatar Image says:

the harry potter movies are great. and as someone said you take any book to film adaptation and the books are always going to be better, books are rich with detail and they can take your mind places that movies can not. But these movies are great coming from books, as is Narnia, LOTR, and the Golden Compass. I also highly agree that all these stories contain realism in them that is why they are so loved. You can still read the Golden Compass and not be drawn into atheism as these fundaMENTALists are claiming. As wise Obi Won Kenobi said ” you will find that alot of what we believe all depends on our own point of views.” By the way the Golden Compass movie was very good there better be a sequel because it really left you hanging.

Avatar Image says:

um, I know that looks stupid but my post wasnt up there so I typed it all over again thinking it got erased- so forgive my regurgitation of the same thing. thanx. RIP Severus Snape and Bellatrix Lestrange

Avatar Image says:

““Lord of the Rings” was the first to demonstrate the box-office might of the fantasy genre…” No, actually, the Potter films were. By a month. :)

But anyway, interesting article, and always lovely to hear from David Heyman of course – although the article fails to mention the fact that The Golden Compass officially bombed at the box office.

Avatar Image says:

The Golden Compass has so much controversy surrounding it that I think it hurt its movie sales. BellaSnape: Of course theres gonna be a sequel, the book series is a trilogy, and the next one is called the Subtle Knife. I have to say that the Golden Compass was adapted from book to film almost perfectly, unlike the HP movies. So if you’ve read the books the movie was very satisfying, although the ending was cut short because well, if they did it book style that would be a depressing way to end a ‘holiday film’.

Avatar Image says:

Someone said that movies can’t take you places that book can, but I disagree. If a movie doesn’t make you feel something, it’s a failure in my opinion. On the top of my head, I’ll name the bridge to terabithia (sorry if i misspelled. I really loved that movie because it was very emotional, the characters were developped, you grew attached to them. In that sense it’s true that the potter films lack something most of the time, thought there are some scenes that turn out to be jewels (imo), like the chess game, too many in the third to name, Harry asking Cho to the yule ball, voldemort’s ressurection, Harry and Luna scenes… those prove that the movies could be much better.

Can’t wait to see golden compass even though I know it’ll annoy me that they cut the end, because sometime you gotta end a movie the way it should even if it’s sad.

Avatar Image says:

I hate that these movie studios think we Americans can not comprehend a story set somewhere other than here. These stupid comments are why people in other countries think we are all idiots. Most of my favorite book and movie adaptations are set in other countries. I would hate if they set these movies in America just to bring in more box office money. Like someone said earlier, I also watched/read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a child in the 70’s/80’s and I understood it.

Avatar Image says:

“So if you’ve read the books the movie was very satisfying, although the ending was cut short because well, if they did it book style that would be a depressing way to end a ‘holiday film”

Heh, I wonder if they’re going to avoid the horribly depressing ending of the final book too.

It pretty much ruined the series for me (as good as it was), and is the reason I’m not seeing the movie adaptations.

Write a Reply or Comment

Finding Hogwarts

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.