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Kloves on Adapting Harry Potter: "Books Are Difficult to Wrestle to the Screen"

Posted by: sue
April 30, 2009, 08:40 AM

The Baltimore Sun is running a new article today, featuring an interview with Harry Potter film director David Yates, and also contains new comments from screenwriter Steve Kloves. Mr. Kloves is very complimentary of working with David Yates, and also speaks to the task of transforming the beloved Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling to the big screen.  Of interest are the following comments: "Kindness, decency and patience are the personal qualities that draw the loyalty of Yates' collaborators. Screenwriter Steve Kloves, a distinguished director himself (The Fabulous Baker Boys), has been working with Yates back-to-back-to-back on Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows I and II. He says Yates' "vast resources of patience" are good to have on Potter films, "since the books are difficult to wrestle to the screen." Kloves, the adapter of all but one Potter novel (Phoenix), writes first drafts that tend "to be both wishful and practical" in his desire to retain Rowling's details and plot twists. "Wishful in the sense that I want to get the entire book on the page and practical in the sense that I know the wishful side of me is insane."

The article also contains more from Steve Kloves on the decisions he and director David Yates made regarding which and how many Pensieve scenes to include for Half-Blood Prince.

"Prince presented challenges because of "a series of memories that inform the past and the present." While Yates "enjoyed the flashbacks enormously as separate incidents, he didn't feel they were satisfying within the whole. In other words, they diluted the dramatic experience from his point of view and he felt we needed to concentrate exclusively on those memories that informed one particular thread of the story - the story I was, by and large, telling."

Yates says, "We often have conversations which go along the lines of 'Will the fans really like it if we lose that?' Some choices may be right for the framework of the film but will put the fans out." Yates wants "to make sure the fans are happy" and says he always lets pieces of the book go "regretfully," but his goal is to make "the best adaptation that will warrant spending two-and-a-half hours in the dark."

Finally of note are high praises from director David Yates regarding the performance of actor Rupert Grint in Half-Blood Prince."He's always been the funny one, but he has so much more as an actor than that. In Prince, he has lovely stuff that's funny and true, but in Deathly Hallows, he must be defensive and haunted, and Rupert took to that like a duck to water. I'm always thankful that Jo Rowling gave us a world that allowed us to turn corners with the actors."

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149 Points

I am so nervous at a return to Kloves as screen adapter…

Posted by SnapesSilverDoe on April 30, 2009, 08:52 AM report to moderator
3124 Points

Nice interview, but nothing really too new imo.
I agree with Yates, I really look forward to seeing Rupert on DH, if he can pull it off, he’ll be great.

Posted by Daniela [WBM] on April 30, 2009, 08:53 AM report to moderator
3124 Points

Argh, I hate mi connection! Every time I feel like I’m gonna be first, it freezes and I can’t post!

Posted by Daniela [WBM] on April 30, 2009, 08:54 AM report to moderator
398 Points

Yeah, it would be hard to turn a book into a movie. I wrote a short PoA screenplay for one of my classes. Was way too true to the book. I wasn’t creative enough.
LOL @ a third person talking about Rupert’s performance. He must be good. I can’t wait to see HBP now.

Posted by TheSortingHat[ROAR] on April 30, 2009, 09:01 AM report to moderator
2482 Points

Am I the only one who has noticed that almost anyone mentions Dan’s performances in HBP or DH?? that’s weird

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on April 30, 2009, 09:09 AM report to moderator
2482 Points

?I really really really hope it will be good as PoA has been?

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on April 30, 2009, 09:10 AM report to moderator
12005 Points

I hope someone is saving those first drafts. In a few years, There might be an opportunity to do the series as a television or DVD series, or even a new movie series.

Posted by budgie on April 30, 2009, 09:10 AM report to moderator
2482 Points

@ budgie: gosh, that would be awful!! Harry Potter——-tv series. Absolutely NOT!!!!!!!

Posted by ele0206 -ROAR- on April 30, 2009, 09:12 AM report to moderator
107 Points

it seems ron is hero of this movie

Posted by hbp will be betterthan tdk on April 30, 2009, 09:16 AM report to moderator
4481 Points

As long as they honour the book as much as possible in the film, fans will be happy.

Posted by Smitch on April 30, 2009, 09:19 AM report to moderator
2408 Points

Could have just used some of that, I finished a dissertation on the Harry Potter screen adaptations last week

Posted by KiwiMcI on April 30, 2009, 09:28 AM report to moderator
107 Points

well i was shocked to hear yates want ootp movie to be as close to book……since he has totally messed up ootp movie ……..i cant find worst adaption

Posted by hbp will be betterthan tdk on April 30, 2009, 09:29 AM report to moderator
1642 Points

I don’t know why so many people don’t like Kloves. I adore him.and thank God he’s back. because I didn’t like OOTP like first 4,and I think its because of the screenwriter.

and I am so happy that we’ll see much more of Ron (and also Hermione) in the movies. again,in OOTP it was all about Harry, but I think its important to show the rest of the Trio as much as possible.

Posted by Matea on April 30, 2009, 09:35 AM report to moderator
28416 Points

I really liked how OOTP was brought to the screen, I felt the overall feel was right, it is such a long book it must have been a real challenge. I am interested to see how Steve Kloves has adapted HBP as the trailers have looked really good. I am glad that Rupert is now getting a chance to be the real Ron, this was one of the things I liked about OOTP so have hoped that Kloves would take up this idea of a proper Ron and run with it, I think the character has been ill served by some of the writing in the past.

Posted by moglet [ITC!] on April 30, 2009, 09:40 AM report to moderator
1603 Points

Well, I’m glad that steve kloves has returned…and yay rupert!

Posted by vandy[FTC] on April 30, 2009, 09:42 AM report to moderator
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