Of Phoenixes and Princes: The Year in Harry Potter FilmsMovies
It was quite the year for Harry Potter films in 2007, with the release of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” hitting theaters in July, and production beginning on “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” in September. Let’s take a look back at the year in film that was.
The New Year kicked off as we revealed our New and Improved OotP Countdown Clock, and new updates found themselves on the official Harry Potter site along with the announcement of new High Def DVDs for all. Director David Yates and actor Jason Isaacs gave the first of what were to be many interviews while we found out actor Dan Radcliffe’s newest project, the film “December Boys” was to debut in August. We learned that OotP may do extra filming in Scotland, and Britons spent more on film production the past year, thanks to Harry Potter. Dan Radcliffe let us see a new side of him with some promo pictures from his play “Equus,” while Jason Isaacs shed some light onto his character. Finally, Evanna Lynch was the subject of an interview where she speaks on auditioning for the character of Luna Lovegood in the “Order of the Phoenix” film.
This month began with Dan Radcliffe who spoke on “Equus,” discussing this departure from his role as Harry Potter. Next, it was confirmed that the newest edition of Harry Potter Scene It would indeed feature clips from the “Order of the Phoenix” film. Photos galore from that very film show OotP Stamps, Tom Felton as Draco, Neville Longbottom, Hermione, Umbridge along with Dumbledore, Luna, Harry, and the much talked about Aberforth in the fifth Harry Potter film, while Alfonso Cuaron lets his wishes known about the seventh. In a new piece with Newsweek, production designer Stuart Craig says he has begun work on the Astronomy Tower for the Half-Blood Princefilm, while MSNBC shows us 360 degree looks at the OotP sets. Later in the month, Richard Griffiths spoke of his character Uncle Vernon. More DVD news came in the form of a magical review and new images. Dan Radcliffe’s “Equus” received more time on the front page with an official show of support from WB along with rumors of its bound to Broadway and new images. Electronic Arts prepared for its video game launch while even more photos of Young Peter Pettigrew, Grawp, and the Weasley Twins made it online. Finally, Dan made his long awaited West End Debut in “Equus” where was mobbed at the stage door.
As the fifth film neared its release, talk of the sixth and seventh came about when Dan Radcliffe announced he would return as Harry Potter in those installments. Further news came when Variety reported the film was set to be seen in 10,000 screens and the first early screening took place in Chicago. Additional reviews followed here, along with interviews with its director, David Yates. While the final touches were being made on the film, WB sent out word that co-stars Emma Watson and Rupert Grint were also confirmed to return for the final two installments. Later in the month we found out that the beloved Hogwarts train was damaged by young vandals in its depot. Entertainment Weekly also reported that “Order of the Phoenix” director, David Yates, was likely to return for the “Half-Blood Prince” film.
Spring sprang with a few updates on the Order of the Phoenix video games with news regarding the Wii platform along with an interview with one of the games’ producers. TLC cleared up some misinformation about the OotP script, and we had the pleasure of meeting new screenwriter Michael Goldenberg for his first interview with the fans. A slew of new movie images surfaced from OotP sticker books along with new official stills from the film picturing Dan Radcliffe and Imelda Staunton. In addition to this, the video game news kept coming with a look at the Wii platform game as well as even more stills from the game here. Evanna Lynch then sat down for an interview again while we learned that casting continued for the next film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Warner Bros. then gave us a treat and sent over a few new High Res stills from the OotP film; additionally, we found out that the final 20 minutes of that film, will be shown in 3-D at IMAX enabled theaters.
Our galleries continued to get a work out this month when we received two more images from the film, a slew of multi-platform screenshots, and a new IMAX poster. EW’s summer preview provided more on Order of the Phoenix. IGN’s provided several looks at the video game and at long last we got a first look at the UK and International OotP trailer with a description, then images. The big event came when the International trailer was released, with a second main trailer to follow. Stills galore came from these releases, while more descriptions came online. The first of many behind-the-scenes looks premiered before the Domestic trailer debuted along with a new promotional poster.
Late in the month, it was announced that the “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” film would premiere in London on July 3 and stateside in Los Angles on July 8. Next, MTV honored the not-yet-released “Order of the Phoenix” film with a nomination for “Best Summer Film You Haven’t Seen Yet” and WB opened a new Dumbledore’s Army website. Finally, Emma Watson discussed her character, Hermione, and Ron as a perfect couple while Time Magazine profiled the villain of the films, Dolores Umbridge.
May began as we were able to confirm previous rumors stating David Yates will indeed take position in the directors chair for the next film, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, while we also got a look at the Centaurs in OotP. WB released new character posters while also revealing that the newest OotP trailer will start running on the big screen in front of Spider- Man 3 . On May 5th, WB removed a certain enhanced movie poster from its promotional material for the film due fan feedback about Emma Watson’s changed figure. We next got the opportunity to hear from Dan Radcliffe and Evanna Lynch who were profiled in two interviews this month, and Nicholas Hooper spoke about scoring for OotP. May 10th brought us a new UK trailer for the film, which was followed by the news that fans on the other side of the pond will now have OotP released on July 12th. Leader of the rebellion, Dan Radcliffe, was then interviewed by SiFi Wire; while footage of the latest Potter film appeared on Entertainment Tonight in addition to an additional spot airing on US TV.
MTV, who took great interest in the Summer of Potter, then spoke with a number of high profile directors, asking them what they would bring to the final films of the series. Even more promotional images came online, this time showcasing Dumbledore and Harry. More details came online previewing the premiers of the film, and a new set report surfaced online. Auror Dawlish was then featured on the UK OotP site when it was updated along with the US site. Gamers then got a treat when a trailer for the Wii platform of the game came online with a TV spot soon to follow. New preview clips aired on the Ellen Show, as well as commercials during NBC’s “Heroes,” via Empire Magazine, and the WB, who provided us with much material on May 22nd. In addition to a set report, we also found out that Japan would host the world premiere of the film. A further honor was bestowed on the Harry Potter trio when WB announced they would be having their hands, feet, and wands imprinted in the famous sidewalk in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater after the film’s premiere in LA. Interviews with Jason Isaacs, who plays Lucius Malfoy in the films, and with Bill Nightly, who would like to take up a role in the film, came online, along with a quick interview with Heleana Bonham Carter on her character, Bellatrix.
The film’s running time was announced followed by new information about early ticket sales for the film. Soon after we received our first look at Young Lily Potter, along with additional looks at Arabella Figg and Luna. It was then announced that US fans would also see a change in the upcoming film’s release; it was now scheduled for July 11th. Late in the month, video came online showing Harry, Dudley and his gang. Finally, EA launched their official “Order of the Phoenix” video game website, as more images came online showing the inside of Grimmauld Place while, on May 31st, NECA launches their new OotP action figure series.
More recognition came in June for the OotP film with a Trailer Award, this was followed shortly by news about the set design and inspiration for the Ministry and screen saver updates on the official Harry Potter site. Evanna Lynch was then interviewed about her role in the “Order of the Phoenix” film, while scans the film itself appeared online showing Percy Weasley. New high res photos from the film appeared online. Information came online regarding the OotP soundtrack June 10th as a sampler of the music, a confirmed track list, and a release date were later announced. Also on that day, Dan Radcliffe finished his West End run in the play “Equus” to many positive reviews.
We then found out this autumn would bring us the release of High Def “Order of the Phoenix” DVD. On the 19th, the official Harry Potter website was updated again along with the release of IGN’s virtual tour of Grimmauld Place; a tour of Professor Umbridge’s office followed. David Yates then discussed taking up the challenge of directing a production as big as “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” As the release date drew near, we heard from Matt Lewis, Katie Leung, Bonnie Wright, and Evanna Lynch. A casting call for “Half-Blood Prince” took place in London while a large press junket containing new video and images of OotP were released. Additional high res images from the film were available to view online along with a demo of the OotP video game and a special IMAX film trailer.
Book and film news merged on June 25th when MTV revealed the identity of the character that was too important to be cute from the fifth film. We then got a treat from Warner Bros. who sent us 11 preview clips from the film. As the film’s premiere was near, the first newspaper review came to us from The Times paper. The end of the month saw the world premiere for OotP take place in Japan.
The Harry Potter premiere news kept coming in July with the start of TLC’s coverage of the event in London. This massive event produced many photos, videos, and press reports showing the actors and actresses in interviews from the red carpet. We were also able to see the actors as their characters in even more clips shown online. In a first for a lead actor in the Harry Potter films, Emma Watson launched her official website on July 5th. Emma, along with her two co-stars Dan and Rupert, set off on an interview tour around the world of sorts. Ending up in Los Angeles, the trio takes their place in the sidewalks for the Hand, Foot, and Wand Imprint Ceremonyjust after attending the LA premiere. Many media outlets were on hand to cover the event; photos, video, as well as reports were in abundance after this event.
A instant number one (and record breaker) at the US box office, the film also was shown to sold out crowds in many other countries as well. The media blitz continued with the ITV behind the scenes look, clips from the Today Show, and ABC Family previews. The New York Times had a most interesting look at the evolution of books and films while Entertainment Weekly featured an in- depth look at Harry Potter. Yahoo streamed TLC coverage of the premiere, in High Def, on their site. “Order of the Phoenix” rang up a total of $140 Million domestically in its extended opening weekend. Additional looks at the film’s production then came online looking at Kreacher and the Centaurs in the film, while Chris Rankin, who portrays Percy Weasley in the film, spoke about of his character and the new film in a interview. A testament to not everything that you read is true, reports claiming that Naomi Watts was cast in the “Half-Blood Prince” film were proved false. Finally, “Prisoner of Azkaban” director Alfonso Cuaron spoke once again on his wish to direct the final installment of the series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”
Photos surfaced from Dan Radcliffe’s “My Boy Jack” film, while it was announced that Emma Watson would be joining the cast of the BBC1 film, “Ballet Shoes.” EA then released some more clips from the video game featuring the cast from the films. As the box office totals continue to soar, more nominations for Harry Potter cast members were announced, with the actors and actresses attending the UK National Movie Awards. The special effects in the OotP film are discussed in detail along with the “Half-Blood Prince” script thanks to Rupert Grint. Another award win for OotP came thanks to The Teen Choice Awards while a number of the actors from the films joined their friend Patrick Doyle’s charity concert for leukemia. The first of the DVD features started to appear as a list of deleted scenes showcased some things to be included on the disc.
As expected, “Half-Blood Prince” filming news did not take a rest after OotP; Helena Bonham Carter revealed that she is to being filming her scenes for the next film in Spring of 2008. Confirmation came that David Thewlis would indeed return as Remus Lupin for the sixth film. The IMAX showings of “Order of the Phoenix” broke all records. More DVD news was revealed when we found that UK would be getting the release a month before the US, on November 11th and the US would see it on store shelves December 11th. While OotP became the highest grossing film franchise of all time, more rumors started regarding casting for HBP. We also got a look at the back cover art for the OotP DVD. On September 17th we found out that actor Jim Broadbent would be playing Professor Slughorn in HBP, which, according to director David Yates, will include the Army of the Dead. Filmmakers David Heyman and Stuart Craig were then interviewed about their roles on the production. The month wrapped up with the National Movie Awards where many actors from the films were in attendance and Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe, and the OotP film itself, were named winners. Finally, David Thewis expressed a plea to put more Lupin in the Harry Potter books.
October kicked off with OotP becoming the second highest grossing Potter film to date and the news that the actor who will play Young Voldemort had been cast. David Thewlis also speaks further on his character and the film. Filming for the “Half-Blood Prince” movie got underway this month with a slew of reports coming online. Many TLC readers mailed with the first pictures and reports of HBP filming on location. Many locations were considered for movie six filming, including in the beautiful Scottish Highlands. More information about the DVD came when we received additional info on the bonus features to be included on the versions. HBP filming continues at night and at Gloucester Cathedral. Actor Chris Rankin spoke on returning for the sixth and sevenths films, saying his return was “unlikely” for HBP, but he was hopeful for a part in “Deathly Hallows.” More nominations for OotP came thanks to the Children’s BAFTA awards and OotP and Ralph Fiennes win at the 2007 Scream Awards. More photos and reports from the location filming came up next when Michael Gambon and Dan Radcliffe filmed scenes in Lacock.
At the end of October, the DVD the launch party would bring together many of the cast members in London. As is tradition, photos of Hagrid’s Hut ushered in the true filming season; Natalia Tena will also return as Tonks for the sixth film.
November started with confirmation that Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths would make their way to New York for the Broadway debut of “Equus.” Actor Jason Isaacs made comments this month about his hopeful return as Lucius Malfoy in “Deathly Hallows.” More DVD news came in the form of a detailed report, and a new clip. On November 9th, it was announced that Helen McCroy will be playing Narcissa Malfoy in “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” while November 12th gave us the actress who will play Lavender Brown. With the casting now complete, location filming continues in the UK. As the DVD release hits the UK, even more clips appear online, along with news about a downloadable version of the film. An in depth interview with the Harry Potter Trio was next on the agenda along with a short discussion with the actor who gives the voice to Dobby.
One of the most famous moments from the film was the kiss between Harry and Cho, this clip now was shown online in addition to a OotP video game podcast and game preview updates. The Biography channel would next air a special on the young Harry Potter stars; Empire magazine also highlighted some actors from the film and named them among their 100 Sexiest Movie Stars. The HBP news gets going again with words on the meaning of the books from David Heyman and David Yates. Next, we received the first official photo from the “Half-Blood Prince” in addition to the film’s description. The Golden Globes nominated a few Harry Potter actors for their work in various projects, while one of Emma Watson’s newest project “Ballet Shoes” see a release of a new trailer and stills. Later in the month, more casting news arrives as the names of the actors who will be portraying McLaggen, Zabini, Romilda Vane, and Katie Bell for the sixth film are announced. Cinesite announced they would begin work on post production visual effects for HBP in May, 2008. December drew to a close with Dan Radcliffe taking on a new movie about photojournalist Dan Eldon.