David Yates Talks Burrow Scene, Deathly Hallows Film, and Life after Harry PotterYates Interviews
Director David Yates has given a new interview to Vanity Fair, where he discusses again the decision to add the attack on the Burrow scene to Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, as well as weigh in with some thoughts on the look of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two and his career plans after the series has concluded. Notable quotes are as follows:
Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult choice you had to make in this last film? "One of the things we did was we added a sequence in the middle of the movie—the sequence in the reeds when death eaters try and attack Harry—and that sequence never existed in the book. In one sense it seems mad to add something to Jo’s [read: J.K. Rowling’s] world and Jo’s book. It’s already full of pretty rich, fantastic stuff—why on earth would you add anything? But in the sort of two-and-a-half hour structure of a screenplay there was a lack of a sense of jeopardy from the outside. We were in all these romantic entanglements and I needed to audience to be reminded of what the threat was from the outside world. Jo talks about those things in the background in the book but halfway through our book we needed our audience in the theater to be aware of them and to experience them. So we added a sequence that didn’t existed in the book but was there, I guess, in spirit because it was happening beyond Hogwarts."
Did you run it by J.K. Rowling? I’m sorry: by “Jo”? "Yeah, Jo was totally cool about it. She recognized the challenge of it and the need for it."
On Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: "It’s just edgier. It’s a little rawer. It’s more contemporary. It feels more modern. Shooting in the way we’ve been shooting, doing a lot of hand-held camera work, all that stuff, I’ve never got a call from the studio. They just phone up or email and say we love the dailies even though I am doing things that feel very not Harry Potter. So I feel I have a freedom and the elbowroom to do what I feel the story requires.
So you’re hearkening back to your gritty days of State of Play? "Yeah, indeed. In Harry Potter Seven, part One, very much so. But, of course, Hallows part Two brings that fantasy world back in full cinemascope. It’s full of dragons, and big wizard battles, and magic. To keep the thing interesting for me as a filmmaker, I want to serve the wonderful stories Jo has given us but I need to move it around a bit. I can’t feel that I am making the same film. Tonally, I need to shake it up a bit. Like Half-Blood Prince had a lot more humor in it than Order of the Phoenix and that was important for me, and I think it was important for the audience to not get the same journey. And Hallows part One will feel very different than Half-Blood Prince."
What’s the first thing you are going to do next? "I’ve got a couple of things. I want to do a war picture. I’m developing a war picture called Saint Nazaire that’s about a reckless commander raid in the Second World War. I want to make a movie version of the TV thing I did called Sex Traffic, about trafficking. There’s a whole pile of stuff coming out. I am reading stuff all the time."