David Yates Talks Burrow Scene, Deathly Hallows Film, and Life after Harry Potter
July 24, 2009, 09:09 AM
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
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."
I just cant wait for the scene of harry walking into the forest to his supposed death, its going to be incredible
All I coule think when I saw the movie was “what the hell”. But then I saw the movie a second time and I thought it fit in really well and I didn’t hate it.
as long as they keep as many scenes as possible, and don’t completely slaughter the book, i’m okay. but since this is the last film and the last chance i am going to be VERY nit-picky
It was strange that Ron and Ginny didn’t say anything about their house being burned down just a few days before after they return to school.
That makes since, I agree.
I quite liked that they put it in there.
I just don’t like how the books and movies have difference between each other because, it’s kinda like you know two Harry Potter worlds instead of one.
I like the Burrow scene but it’s weird thinking where the Weasley actually live now ? Maybe they repaired the house with some magic who knows ?
Concerning the absence of the battle scene, Yates told us a long time ago that it was not in the movie because they were afraid of a repeat with the en of part 2.
Don’t worry when will see the true Hogwarts battle we will forget the absence of this one !
I can’t wait for Deathly Hallows (both parts). I’m just going to put faith in him that he won’t disappoint. It’s going to be incredible!
I understand the need to put stuff in like The Burrow. Things true to the books that don’t have backstory in the movies, like children being attacked by werewolves, inferi and killings of people we know, need to be replaced by movie characters and situations we do know. But, I disagree that they have to add things that are hugely different from the books.
I was fabulously disappointed that Dumbledore’s lines like “flighty temptress, adventure” and “I am with you” were replaced with dribble like “take my arm Harry, do it now” or omitted all together. And, important things like Voldemort’s horcruxes having the possibility of being anything rather than being Riddle’s personal “trophies”. Even some unknown auror replacing the well known Tonks. I just don’t get it.
I’m betting that Filch or Sprout replaces Charity Burbage in the DH1 opeing scene…
I was wondering about the Burrow scene, and I couldn’t believe that J.K. Rowling let the Burrow burn down. :(
Makes sense now to add the Burrows scene. Didn’t really understand why
Add me to the list of those who saw no use for the destruction of the Burrow to inject a sense of danger, then forget about it with the non reactions of the family to the loss of their home, or concern of where the wedding will be, etc. Yes, magic can repair many things, but if waving a wand can fix the Burrow at no cost, why wouldn’t the Weasley’s have had a huge house to start with since it would have been made from nothing with magic?
The early books establish many of the “rules” of magic, among them being, you can’t make something from nothing. Somewhere along the way, there is a tradeoff. Molecules of some sort are needed to be transformed into something else, etc. Even with magic, IT AIN’T FREE!.
Though I am disappointed with some of the compromises and changes made for cinematic reasons, I still enjoy the movies for what they are. One person’s view of what the world of Harry Potter is like, committed to film for others to see.
Good interview. But I still don’t know what they’ll do in DH at the Burrow if there’s already been an attack there …
While his explanation about the Burrow scene makes sense, I don’t think it really worked. It didn’t come across as an orchestrated attack with a purpose. And the idea of giving viewers the sense of menace that existed in the wizarding world was totally undone by the ending, which lacked any sort of menace at all. It seems like Death Eaters came to Hogwarts merely to break a few windows.
The Burrow scene does still seem out of place, and whereas Jo might agree to including it I can’t see her ever writing it that way. I can’t see Harry running after Bellatrix (he does tend to act incautiously immediately after something like Sirius’s death, but it is out of character for him to do something that reckless after he has had time to think it over) into an obvious trap when he should be defending the Burrow, the Weasleys and Ginny. Also the Burrow would have more protection against attack (other than it being moved to a completely different location, presumably so the death eaters can’t find it) even if the Ministry had failed to decide to protect the Chosen One.
I could see them using a repaired but blackened Burrow (in another new location) for the start of DH1 and the wedding, but they might also decide to move the Weasleys to Aunt Muriel’s ahead of schedule.
Interesting to hear a full explanation of the Burrow scene, and I’m so glad the interviewer asked if Jo was okay with it.