David Heyman on “Half-Blood Prince” Delay


Oct 30, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC

Harry Potter film producer David Heyman is the subject of a new interview on ComingSoon.net in which he speaks more about the decision to delay the “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” film. While doing press for his latest film, “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas,” Mr. Heyman spoke in the interview to the reasons for the decision, his own feelings as a creative person, the process in which the films are completed, and his sympathies to the many fans upset by the news. Mr. Heyman is quoted as saying in regards to the decision:

“I think that there was some people… kids were definitely upset, and I’m really sympathetic to that. I would love the film to come out in November; we would have been ready, but the fact is partly because of the writers strike and for whatever reason, Warners didn’t have any movies next summer. They had Batman this year which was bigger than they ever thought it would be, so they came to me, and they said, ‘David, we want to move it.’ Warners has been really good to us. They’ve given us lots of money and lots of independence. It defies belief how much independence we have on these films. They give us the money, they read a draft of the script. I choose the director, we make the film, they come and visit. We show them a cut of the film, they say they like it, they give us some notes, we make the changes that we want to make. We test screen it once and show it to them, and then the movie is released. They’ve been so supportive that one has to support… they needed it. It’s a film business.”

Mr. Heyman goes on to speak further of this decision in relation to the creative process of creating a series films. He says:

“It’s a shame and it’s frustrating in a sense as any creative person, it’s nice to put what you’ve done behind you before you move onto the next and this is still lingering over us until July next year, but also, we’ll have to take a week off shooting to do publicity, which is a little bit disruptive. It’s not ideal but at the same time, I fully support it, because as I say, they give us the freedom to make these films, and they pay a lot of money.”

In the last part of the interview, Mr. Heyman confirms that the film is “done,” and filming for the final installments of the seires, Parts One and Two of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” will not be affected by the “Half-Blood Prince” move. Filming for “Deathly Hallows,” he says in the article, will still begin in February. Mr. Heyman offers some details on the unique process of finalizing a film in an environment where piracy is a major issue by relating that “We’re just mixing and there’s a slight tweak we’re going to do but actually, if the film was coming out tomorrow, we’d have done it but we have the time. One of the issues that’s come up is security so we are not putting a married print together. We’re keeping all the elements separate until we start to make the prints, which will be six weeks before the movie comes out. Piracy is such a huge issue.”

“The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” is based on the novel by John Boyne, stars actor David Thewlis (Remus Lupin) as a commandant of a Nazi concentration camp, and will be released in select theaters on November 7th.

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” will be in theaters on July 17, 2009.

62 Responses to David Heyman on “Half-Blood Prince” Delay

Avatar Image says: Well, It was pleasant to read what Heyman says about this. But I still don't have good feelings about this.Avatar Image says: The decision was made almost like a long time ago. I was upset. I moved on. Christmas is near. Merry Christmas, all!Avatar Image says: At least, unlike the Pres of WB, David is point blank and doesn't beat around the bush about why the film was moved. Ah well, July will be here before we know it and I'm almost glad it was moved because remember, once these films are done, they're done! There's no more... :(Avatar Image says: David has put it in a much nicer way than the other reports we've had. I think I've kind of moved on now anyway, I've got lots of other lovely things to look forward to next month instead :)Avatar Image says: We have Beedle the Bard. We're just going to have to wait unfortunately. I think i've made my peace with it nowAvatar Image says: I suppose it's better that the films been moved to july now we have something to look forward to.Avatar Image says: I get the impression tat David Heyman was not very happy about the change of date. I actually imagine he probably got quite angry with WB at the time especially considering he announced that HPB would be the Royal film performance and how good that was just days before the announcment of the change (So he obviously wasn't in the know). I really like David Heyman and understand that he can't slag off WB in public as they are his bosses.Avatar Image says: it's still upsetting but i'll wait loyally for nrxt july and your right Kiwi we do have Beedle The Bard which i am SO excited about and we have Harry, A History too which is pretty cool... i loved the trailer but it did make me want to see it more again when i was just getting over having to wait... Fraz xAvatar Image says: it's still upsetting but i'll wait loyally for nrxt july and your right Kiwi we do have Beedle The Bard which i am SO excited about and we have Harry, A History too which is pretty cool... i loved the trailer but it did make me want to see it more again when i was just getting over having to wait... Avatar Image says: it's still upsetting but i'll wait loyally for nrxt july and your right Kiwi we do have Beedle The Bard which i am SO excited about and we have Harry, A History too which is pretty cool... i loved the trailer but it did make me want to see it more again when i was just getting over having to wait... Avatar Image says: oops sorry my browser said my comment wasn't going but i guess it was =)Avatar Image says: I could hear the frustration in David when he said that they would have to take a week off shooting DH to promote HBP. I would too if I wanted to focus 100% on the last 2 movies of the series. I guess I'm over it too but it was the only thing I was really looking forward to this year. It would have been so much better since I am extremely stressed out this time of year that HP was my escape. Looking on the bright side, I'm attending Azkatraz in San Francisco next year and we will have a whole theater to the attendees for the midnight showing so that would be really exciting!! Anyone else here planning to attend?Avatar Image says: If David Heyman was a US presidential candidate, I would vote for him regardless of what party it is! Everything he says always seems so clearcut. Very good diplomacy unlike Alan Horn who seriously has to improve his public interfacing. Its also pretty clear what David Heyman says is true. From using a an all British cast (a frightening prospect I'm sure for WB before Philosipher;s Stone!) to giving Rowling a concultancy role for the scriptwriter, to the magnificent films we have been graced with so far, it so clear that WB has treated this franchise with exceptional care by employing the most talented crew and staying out of their way! As for the delay, I am well over that, many moons ago. We have got a most special Xmas ahead of us with Tales of Beedle the Bard and Harry, A History (which is so far getting tremendous reviews from US folks, I got to wait longer fo UK release though). And books last a lot longer than watching a 2.5 hr movie :) Avatar Image says: I think David Heyman was too nice. Of course now that HBP is being released in the middle of DH filming, they will be behind and there is another excuse to delay that release. And for Dan, it will be more than a week for publicity because he goes to all the big premiers IE Japan, UK, USA and Austrialia and he is in every scene. But oh well, only 269 more days to wait. Continue the WB boycott!Avatar Image says: I understand their decision to move the film to next summer, but I hope they aren't expecting Batman turnouts again. Let's face it, many people saw that film because of the Joker.Avatar Image says: Why is the only word i can really see, the word 'MONEY'? -.-' i still like David Heyman though.Avatar Image says: David, Warner Bros. may give you lots of money, but Warner Bros. gets lots more from the fans...Avatar Image says: Maybe "independence" wasn't such a good thing considering the last 3 movies are crap.Avatar Image says: Finally got an honest answer out of them.Avatar Image says: I can definitly understand the decision to move it to July. I'm glad Heyman was honest with us, ulike Horn who kept making excuses.Avatar Image says: I laughed. All you poor pathetic people "Boycott WB!11!" "WB may give you money but Warner Bros. gets lots more from fans!!" and then the most rediculous of them all: "Maybe "independence" wasn’t such a good thing considering the last 3 movies are crap." Are you daft? Yeah, let's all go back to kiddie corner! Chris Columbus made big-budget cheesy family movies. That was it. The kids couldn't act at all, everything was far too bright, and the special effects were deplorable at best. Then along comes Alfonso Curan, and he has enough independence from WB to change the way things work. And guess what? You get the best HP movie so far. Amazing what a little independence can do to your film. As for HBP, who cares? Bard comes in December, Harry a History will be out in a few days, it's the movie BUSINESS. This is not arthouse crap, this is an industry! The movies are there to make money. Jo might not want the money, but WB does. Why? Jo is an author. She doesn't need the money. WB is a corporation, and they need the money, since that's the reason it EXISTS. You guys really need to get a reality check. Props to Heyman for just cutting through the BS.Avatar Image says: Are we all still in agreement to boycott the movie in the first week? I know i am for sureAvatar Image says: Pffft. I'll be there opening night, as I expect, will most of us. heheAvatar Image says: I know there are people (like Brad) that think the boycott is stupid, but many of us are not going to be quiet when someone walk all over us. I am going to see it during Azkatraz 2009 (I would not do this but this is the only time I see most of my HP friends) but I am going to watch pirated copies. They are so worried about money and not about fans, that I am not going to care about their profit.Avatar Image says: Finally nice to have someone treat us like adults, not imbecils (are you listening Alan Horn?).Avatar Image says: Nice words he choosed, is ok i dont mind waiting anymore i am looking foward to twilight now...Avatar Image says: I do agree with Brad to a certain extent (PoA is my favorite film thus far). However, I disagree with Brad on his assessment of Columbus's films. I think the first two books are much lighter, P/S Stone in particular, so a more family-friendly treatment makes sense. Before I saw the first two films, I had not read the books, and was not intending on reading the books because of the subject matter. Seeing Jo's wizarding world interpreted on screen is really what pulled me into the series (and, boy, am I glad it did!). I will see HBP on opening weekend, probably opening night at that. The bottom line is that WB is out to make a profit, whether you like it or not. I know that's not a popular opinion, but it's true and I'm okay with it. It sucks that we have to wait 9 months for the movie to come out, and it is very frustrating. Kudos to David Heyman for being straight with fans. Could you imagine if Jo had no input whatsoever?! I shudder to even think of that horrendous possiblity!Avatar Image says: I'm still disappointed and don't like having to wait until July to see it, but I'm kinda over it now, and can wait, besides it's not like I've got any choice now, eh? :( Oh well, Christmas is on its way pretty soon and Halloween is tomorrow, and I'm gonna see Twilight in November, so I'll be occupied between now and then with other things to look forward to and I'll definitely be busy with school and homework. And on a positive note, having the movie in July, gives kids more of a reason to look forward to summer vacation, right? Anyway, I'll be waiting like everyone else and I hope that it's worth the extra ten month wait!!Avatar Image says: Personally, I am sick of their excuses. It's not coming out yet, there's nothing we can do to change that fact, and you better give us some really good stuff to satisfy us until then. Just stop explaining yourself. It gets very annoying after awhile.Avatar Image says: I could not possibly boycott this movie. Not because I don't want to protest, but because there is no way I could wait that long. I will have to figure out some other way to express my feelings while I work on my self-control.Avatar Image says: "but the fact is partly because of the writers strike and for whatever reason, Warners didn't have any movies next summer." Too bad. They shouldn't have announced it for November then. So far I have deliberately skipped 10 Warner Bros. movies. I would have been buying the new HP game as a Christmas present for my son-in-law, but it won't be out then. I saw V three times. I will see VI no more than two times in the theater, and I will wait two weeks before going. I urge others to do the same. Don't let them have a big weekend, and withhold profits for them until you do see it. No, you can't change their minds, but you can push back.Avatar Image says: To be honest, i am completely pissed that they changed the release date. I understand why they did and it may make sense for them, but that doesn't mean i am not pissed about it. I really was looking forward to seeing the film. On the other hand, this also does not mean that i am going to not go see HBP. I saw OotP twice on opening day. If i don't do this for HBP, i will be much surprised, but those of you can stand to not see the film, you have more willpower then me. At least when it comes to this. Avatar Image says: It really bothers me that the WB is so greedy. As long as it's going to be till July I expect a freakin awesome movie. I hope I'm not disappointed. The trailer looks great I just hope they leave Dumbledore's funeral in. It's just so important. Avatar Image says: Well, that first long quote was an honest explanation. Though at the end he went a bit softie ;-) And, oh yeah, I'm not a kid anymore...Avatar Image says: All I kept hearing was "they pay a lot of money". :PAvatar Image says: well at least he did not say anything to set off the Hp fandom this time and i applaud him for his honesty and openess, and i am glad they showed the good sense to take a very good precaution against a copy slipping out pre theatrical release, and I agree with H alot of the box office on Dark Knight was due to heath ledger's tragic death and it being his last completed film Avatar Image says: one more thing i am stillholding to my personal boycotts : I will not see any WB movies or buy any WB DVDs or WB branded products until i see HBP. The boycott on wb DVDs may extend til HBP comes out that depends on how good HBP is, its its really good i forgive and end all of my bans if it isn't up to my expectations in my ill consider continuing the boycott til i get the HBP DVD, ill get it either way! Avatar Image says: I am sympathetic to Heyman, and I'm over it, but I'm still not going to see it opening weekend. So :P on WB and all their bags of money.Avatar Image says: I knew at some point that they'd blame it on the "Writer's Strike" they're an easy scape-goat. I had gotten over my initial annoyance at the change in date ages ago, I just wish people would stop brining it up and making me irritated again! Avatar Image says: i think it's good because it means they'll be a shorter wait for deathly hallows and hopefully it'll be worth the waitAvatar Image says: This Comment is at least very honest and transparent, I can only thank David. Where others are beating around the Burrows bush, his statement/interview was very direct.Avatar Image says: this actually makes me feel better sorta, they should have had him on damage control from day one, still dont like WB for it though, i havent bought any of the hbp stuff and wont until i pay to see the movie, which i am hoping gets pirated.Avatar Image says: Brad, you know, corporations have customers. Customers expect good and fair service. When they don't like the service they are getting they take their business elsewhere. You are correct, corporations need money. And WB will lose money because of this. We'll never be able to prove it for sure but I guarantee you they will make less from HBP now than they would have if they had chosen to keep the original release date. Surely you can figure out why. As for the article: wow. Talk about flogging a dead horse, haven't they spent enough time talking about this? Seriously, either bring the date forward or don't bother talking about it anymore, because bringing the date forward is the only way to clean up the mess. You want the profits on your 2009 books? No problems. Release it in January 2009! It makes no difference what time of year you release it. It's a Harry Potter film. Everyone who wants to see it will make time to see it. It's really very obvious that David Heyman didn't really want this date change at all, but had to roll with it because WB hold the purse strings and he can't criticise them. So thanks David, for being as honest as you could be, you managed to get your real feelings across subtly. I'll still see your Half-Blood Prince film at release time...just not in the cinema, I'm afraid. You'll still get your pay-cheque no matter what, but there are thousands of fans ready to push back against Warner Brothers for this stupid move by boycotting all WB/New Line films and all other Time Warner company products. Many of us are also boycotting the entire theatrical release of HBP, with still more pledging to do so as the days go by. I guess this move somehow made sense to WB, pity they failed to connect the dots. Dark Knight did so well because of the publicity surrounding Heath Ledger and his portrayal of the Joker, and especially after his sudden death. OOTP did so well because it was presented well in trailers and advertising. It had nothing to do with the summer release time, that is nonsense, PoA was the lowest grossing film released in summer and PS/SS was the highest grossing film released in fall/autumn. The only true reason for this move was WB cooking the books to make their 2009 figures look better, which serves nobody but their shareholders and makes WB look like ignorant pigs to the fans, not to mention that it has caused financial damage to all of WB's merchandisers who have produced all their HBP merchandise ready for a November release date that was snatched away from them at the last minute. Now they've missed out on the Christmas sales period and have to store their merchandise for 8 months. There are about a hundred and one reasons to boycott the HBP film. I will enjoy doing so. Doesn't stop me from enjoying it in the comfort of my own bedroom for free. Of course, all of this may end up being irrelevant anyway because there is a very strong likelihood that the film will be leaked. It is really very difficult keep such a hugely popular film in storage for so long after it's been completed without it being leaked. We may see an unprecedented high quality leak of the full movie on the internet in the coming months before the theatrical release. I expect that someone either in WB or the production team is as disgusted with the WB execs as we are and will decide to leak it anonymously.Avatar Image says: Well I think Mr Heyman is honest, and with that he earned my respect. He had his wit to be able to say: "It was a money issue". Although I don't like that the movie was moved, this way I consider it acceptable. Telling lies about causes is (or was) just pathetic...Avatar Image says: I haven't been around Leaky much of late because I got tired of hearing about anything regarding the change of release date for HBP and about people wanting to boycott the first week or two of the film.Both of these were getting old several months ago and they are still old. Can we stop beating a dead horse already and move on to something else please? I've gotten over it and moved on. Why can't others do the same?Avatar Image says: Because some of us actually have some spine and would prefer not to let WB get away with walking all over the fans, the merchandisers and the production team. Doing nothing and going along to see the film anyway sends a clear message to WB that they can do this sort of thing as many times as they like without any consequences. If they get a higher gross from HBP than the other HP films they obviously won't worry about pushing a release date back at the last moment again and will so it freely when it suits their purposes.Avatar Image says: I'm very disappointed that people are publicly advocating piracy here. I understand that people feel the way they do but we are talking illegal acts here and I think if you want to make a point you should have the guts to simply boycott and not carry on with all this crap about piracy and so forth. It's illegal, it's irresponsible and you know what - moving the movie sucks but it wasn't illegal.Avatar Image says: MattyJM, I completely agree with you, you expressed my feeling perfectly. I am frustrated by people 'getting over it and moving on'. WB only cares about the money, never about us, and David Heyman is the same. For his information, the "lot of money" that WB pays basically comes from all of us. "Some people... kids were definitely upset..." Kids don't care much, kids get over it. Many adults are upset. Harry Potter is not simply kid stuff, hasn't he understood that yet? Then, he had the nerve to say "...and I'm really sympathetic to that." How? The only thing that worries him is taking a week off shooting to do publicity because it is disruptive. They have walked all over us, and I will certainly boycott the first few weeks.Avatar Image says: "Are we all still in agreement to boycott the movie in the first week? I know i am for sure" ALL? I for one was NEVER in agreement to support a pathetic tantrum, I mean boycott. Heyman spoke plain -- it's the movie BUSINESS, and the films are well-worth waiting for. I will be first in line for the midnight opening, and go as many times the first week to help offset any "boycott" that may still be in the offing.Avatar Image says: Hmm, as we thought, it IS all about the money. WB are not poor, but they want maximum profit. Shameful. As much creative freedom as Heyman claims they have, that's what pulls the strings. Avatar Image says: Yeah I was never in agreement to boycott either. Probably because I was never under the impression that it was about anything more than money. I'm not surprised it is revealed as being a about money, I don't even care that it is about money - it always was about money. I don't want to boycott it, I want to see it! I hate the penchant this fandom has for thinking a vocal minority speaks for everyone - I LIKE Narcissa too and I don't care that Slughorn doesn't have a moustache! There. I said it. I am even looking forward to the added scene at the Burrow and all the silly Lavender stuff. I don't even care about Ron's Quidditch hat! And next July I am first in line :DAvatar Image says: its not that big of deal, twilight still comes out this month :DAvatar Image says: Hagiographer13, it was a rotten business move as well. The only logic in this business move was to make WB's 2009 gross look bigger. Their overall gross will be about the same, or possibly less (for reasons I have explained in my previous post i.e season of release having nothing to do with gross on HP movies). So WB makes the same profits. Apart from increasing shareholder confidence this does effectively nothing for WB. They are expecting a higher gross due to a summer release but the season of release has never had any effect on Harry Potter ticket sales, so that is a load of tripe. It's a completely selfish move because WB has ignored all the knock-on effects. By stealing the hugely profitable pre-Christmas sale period away from their merchandisers and forcing them to store their already-produced merchandise for another eight months they've blown a huge hole in their profits. Electronic Arts have announced that they would lose 120 million dollars in profits from the pushback, and they are one of the more financially well-off merchandisers, imagine the financial damage to the others. They have, as David Heyman has said, created difficulties for the production team and cast, who will now have to go on hiatus in the middle of filming DH to promote HBP, attend premieres and such, and because of that they probably won't be able to spend as much time promoting it as they would for other films, which could possibly result in profit loss. It's a really shoddy move, pushing a film back so close to the release date on a whim, when so much promotional work has already been done, the merchandise is produced and ready to go, they were even ready to show the movie at the Royal Film Performance for goodness sake. That is why we're boycotting. Because it was NOT a sound business decision at all. They've not only upset the moviegoers needlessly, they've caused big problems for a number of other parties, and the benefit to WB is extremely negligible, especially balanced with the damage they've caused. WB didn't even think about this, didn't think about their business partners, only their own small benefit for their own company. So when you say it's just business, it isn't. It's just a horrifying lack of integrity. Business should treat their customers and business partners with respect. Corporations need to make money with integrity or they will find themselves without business partners or customers.Avatar Image says: It doesn't matter when it comes out anymore. We already its going to yet another let down compared to the book. A fire at the burrow? Hagrid with a wand? Fenrir attacks Arthur instead of Bill? And no wedding? Most of these are vital plot points. Just makes me wonder how badly they will screw up Deathly Hallows too.Avatar Image says: I dont care what they say, that was a crappy thing to do to us Potter fans. I am very dissapointed. The real reason I heard was that they didnt want to compete with Twilight comingout the same week. I am pissed. I think they made an aweful decision to delay the movie. Avatar Image says: I hear you, David. They have to do what they have to do. And anyone who thought the success of The Dark Knight had nothing to do with this decision is fooling themselves. Avatar Image says: Hey Apathy, if you love the book so much read it again. It would be stupid and senseless to include every detail as it appeared in the book. The book wasn't that fabulous anyway, so I'm glad the film makers are making alterations when necessary. Some HP fans need to get a grip, seriously. Avatar Image says: Cheers to Mr. David Heyman for finally giving the HP fans the answer we wanted since the beginning of the release date move announcement. I have to admit that a part of me is glad for the delay, because that means I have more time to go back and read the books again before the movie release... because I have way too many other things going on that are getting in the way of my reading time.... Looking forward to seeing the movie with a bunch of my Harry Potter friends in July!Avatar Image says: Actually - it confirms what we all thought - they (WB and Alan Horn) believe that FANS DON'T MATTER. I know it's a business, but it's only a successful business if it has a following. It's clear that their own people (from actors, production staff, EA Games and Potter page admins) - NO LIKES THIS DECISION !! That makes the virtual slap in the face even worse. WB just keeps on thinking they can do what they want by threatening everyone with the big money. EA game is going to loose millions on games sales (HBP was already for Christmas sales) - fans could have at least enjoyed the game while we waited for the movie - Wrong Again (thanks Alan - hope you have fun this Christmas counting your money and ruining a franchise). I don't see how any real fan could watch the new international trailer and still state - 'I've moved on'...maybe some people just don't care enough anymore. YOU have the power to be heard - don't be afraid to use it. Avatar Image says: I was upset when hbp was put on hold but I've moved on, still there is Tales of Beedle the Bard and Harry a History to look forward to and I'll wait until July 17.Avatar Image says: You are all reading waaaay too much into this. We're all disappointed, but you have to be realistic. We have a collapsing economy! Everyone, even the movie industry, is affected by this serious problem. The movie industry is a business like any other, and Warner Brothers is doing Potter fans a favor by releasing it in the summer instead of this fall. If they don't make enough money this upcoming year, then it WILL affect the production values of the last two films. You have to imagine it like a small business. If they have a bad year or longer in earnings (caused overall by the writers' strike, which severely cut into the releases for 2009-2010), then everyone at every level of the business loses out and grows discontent. If WB unwisely released the movie now instead of next summer, they would take a pretty big hit financially during a time when it's just plain stupid to think that people are going to spend a lot of money on just a handful of films (compared to a normal year, again the lack caused by the strike) during an economic recession/potential depression. I hope that so far makes sense to you people who say that "your intelligence is being insulted." Back to the small business example: So let's say they released it now and set themselves up for production in third quarter of 2009 for the final two films. They would have LESS MONEY for production. With less money, they would have to scrimp on effects, cut down on the cast and crew, and cut the salaries of the cast and crew, just like in any other business. And what happens then? You end up with an unhappy cast and crew working on grueling schedule of shooting back-to-back movies with less money for production value. End result? The last two movies would suffer from it. The fans would be unhappy. So, again, to all you people who say that your intelligence is being insulted because you're being treated like naive children: guess what! Maybe you're being treated like naive children because you're kind of complaining like naive children. You get what you deserve. And in the end, don't you more than anything just want these last three movies to be as good as possible? Aren't you expecting too much of a company under financial strain by an economic recession peering at a depression? Do you think it's wise to waste the decision makers' time with complaints when in reality they're do what is best for the consumer by creating the best possible end product? I'm as much a fan as the rest of you, but you have to be realistic. You have to act like adults to be treated like adults. And to all of you who are saying that you are going to boycott WB movies until HBP is released. One: that's called a temper tantrum. Two: if Potter fans stop financially supporting the company that's making the Potter movies, you end up with the same problem discussed in the above section. You end up with a company that will have a lot less money to spend on producing the last two movies and a lot of unhappy people making those movies for a group of petulant fans who may not deserve the support of the company. It's a two way relationship. Final word: If you want to be treated like mature people, you have to think and behave like mature people. This is business, and this is in the best interest of Harry Potter fans and movie fans in general.

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