J. K. Rowling Recounts Collaborative Relationship with “Potter” Screenwriter Steve Kloves for Written By Magazine

106

Apr 19, 2011

Posted by EdwardTLC

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has written for the Writer’s Guild’s Written by magazine about her collaborative relationship with “Potter” Film screenwriter Steve Kloves for their April/May issue. The full piece, which can be read in its entirety via this link, details the 12-year-long “email correspondence” which resulted in seven adapted screenplays of Ms. Rowling’s book series. Rowling and Kloves began their work together following an early film production meeting in Los Angeles, California when the screenwriter shared his knowledge of the books and favorite character (Hermione) with the author. The three-page article revisits a handful of moments throughout the 12-year correspondence which crafted the film’s scripts, as well as details some of the moments in which Kloves was let in on secrets of the stories early, in order to ensure continuity of the story.
To read this fascinating piece by J. K. Rowling, please do click here!





54 Responses to J. K. Rowling Recounts Collaborative Relationship with “Potter” Screenwriter Steve Kloves for Written By Magazine

Avatar ImageMimblewimble13 says: Hey, did you hear? Hagrid is actually real and JKR is building him a hut in her backyard!Avatar Imagecrikeyhunter says: you don't say!? How cool is that! Avatar ImageNick_Jonas_Potter_343 says: lol... typo. "Herminie"Avatar Imagetealover says: The writer must have been channeling Viktor Krum!Avatar Imagesidnandragin says: Happy Birthday Bonnie!... Too bad TLC can bring us a terrible article but not remember Bonnie's birthday.. Incredible. Avatar ImageBeazle says: What a surprise- Kloves favourite character is Hermoine ...I couldn't half tell !Avatar ImageJoRowlingRocks says: Sidnanragin did you just say something written by Jo Rowling was terrible?! I'm sure someone will be posting for Bonnie's birthday in due course. Not that birthdays are important stories seeing as they're not actually news!Avatar ImageJoRowlingRocks says: I just looked, Bonnie's birthday was over 2 months ago!?Avatar ImageFleur-de- Lily says: you don’t say!? How cool is that!Avatar ImageSmitch says: Awesome article. Jo is very candid!Avatar ImageRosie016 says: This article was a very enjoyable read.Avatar Imagecritterfur says: Maybe this article will quiet some fans who believe that Steve Kloves is constantly "butchering" the books and doesn't get any of the characters right (I've noticed they tend to think he builds Hermione up too much and takes away from Ron). However, if they actually took a fair look at the films, Ron is pretty much written the same way he is in the books...Ron's still the one who helps win the chess match at the end of PS/SS, he's still the one who knocks out the troll, etc...he doesn't always supply the same information that Ron does in the book, but this is probably because Kloves wanted to make it obvious to audiences that Hermione usually sounded like (and this is a direct quote from one of the books) she had swallowed the textbook. I know that people get attached to certain characters in the course of reading, and then feel very protective of any changes made to them in the process of adapting a story...that's totally understandable. Even I've had some qualms about stuff Steve Kloves chose to do (I really wish he would have included the whole Marauder's Map story and revealed more about the Marauders themselves, for instance), but I'm also smart enough to know that often enough he DID include those details but they got edited out by a director or producer in the post-production process, or sometimes even before a final draft of the script. For example, look at how many people were upset that the Petunia and Dudley farewell scene from Deathly Hallows wasn't included in the film, and I can remember seeing post after post when the movie came out blaming Kloves for this. The recent Blu-Ray shows that Kloves did write those scenes, albeit in a truncated form, and that it was David Yates' decision to cut them for pacing reasons, just like it was probably Alfonso Cuaron who made changes for Prisoner of Azkaban, etc. Also, not to make this post go on for too long, but I've noticed that even super-fans of the series get details wrong sometimes, because they don't necessarily hold the image of a character that the author intended in their mind, but rather their own idealized image. A good example of this can be heard from some of the audio commentaries recorded by Melissa, John, Sue, and Frak for the individual films...I've noticed a bit where in one film Harry "shushes" Ron and Hermione, and Melissa actually gets mad on the commentary and says, "Harry would NEVER tell his friends to shut up like that". Then, upon re-reading the books, I've noticed something like 4 or 5 instances in the first two books alone where Harry literally tells his friends, "Shut up." So sometimes facts get lost in emotion and love for a character. Avatar ImageGiant Squid says: Yay! Something new that Jo has written! I didn't know they had such a close relationship or that his favourite character is Hermione but thats all great!Avatar ImageA Chocolate Frog says: @critterfur Of course it's good to make Hermione sound like she swallowed a textbook, and it's logical for her to explain things in the films that are explained by minor characters or by text that isn't dialogue in the books. My big problem with Kloves's portrayal of Ron (and I know many other people who agree) is how often Ron gets completely passed over for lines in scenes that are not purely comedic. Perhaps the most glaring example is at the end of the HBP film, when Hermione promises Harry that she and Ron will go with him to hunt horcruxes. It's meant to be a truly touching moment and one that demonstrates the incredible bond among the Trio, yet Hermione does all the talking and Ron just watches Fawkes fly around, which makes him look like he has no depth at all. On many occasions in the books, Ron himself voices his support for Harry, which is a very important facet of his character. Also, Rupert is a great actor and I hate to see him get shafted like that. Fortunately, I felt that the DH part 1 film was a lot better in this respect, with the really well-written scene where Ron catches Harry sneaking out of the Burrow and Rupert's brilliant performance when Ron leaves the tent in the woods. But overall, Kloves has totally dumbed Ron down way too many times for me to consider him a good screenwriter.Avatar ImageMariaKeis says: Fantastic :) -Love the Bonnie Comment xDAvatar Imagecritterfur says: @RavenclawDancer...And yet the article clearly shows the Rowling supported Kloves handling of her characters, and her actually hoping Kloves didn't like Ron as his favorite character because Ron was "so easy to like". Movie Ron is probably a bit less vocal than Book Ron, since apparently Rupert Grint is sort of a quiet fellow by nature. It's true that Ron is made into much more of a comedic figure in the movies, and there are some decisions made with his character that I don't quite understand (like the moment in Prisoner of Azkaban when Snape calls Hermione an "insufferable know-it-all"; in the book, Ron angrily leaps to Hermione's defense, while in the movie, Ron mumbles to Harry, "He's got a point, y'know." Movie Ron is not necessarily out of character; Book Ron has probably said a variation on the same thing to Harry about a hundred times, and has said it directly to Hermione's face. It's just that in the book version, Ron won't allow an "outsider" to criticize his friend; that's his job. In some ways Movie Ron is more of a complex character than his book counterpart; Movie Ron seems more prone to jealousy and petty behavior than the eternally noble Book Ron, which actually makes Movie Ron more down-to-earth and accessible for some people...he's not perfect, or the perfect friend. If Jo Rowling had had any qualms about Kloves' depiction of Ron in the films, she had 10 years in which to voice those concerns, and she never did, which makes me think she likes what he did with the character...maybe she regretted making Ron so likable and loyal to Harry in the earlier books (since he does do his fair share of grumbling and grousing about Harry in the later books, whether it's jealousy of Harry and Hermione, anger about Ginny's relationship with Harry, anger in general of Harry's beloved stature in the Wizarding World (and Ron's own family), etc. Everything that Ron was REALLY thinking all those times he loyally stuck by Harry in the books came out during the scene with the Horcrux versions of Harry and Hermione, and I think Kloves simply portrayed that version of Ron earlier on...Ron isn't just a clown, he's a tragic clown. Avatar Imagecritterfur says: Sorry my posts were so long, I just think that Steve Kloves had a really hard job to do with adapting the books to film form, and that while he didn't do a perfect job by any means, he doesn't deserve the vitriol and hate that constantly gets thrown his way by some fans. And like I said earlier, a writer is only one cog in the machine that is film-making; a writer can write a perfect script that is translated badly into visual form, or edited down by a director or producer's decision...every director of the Potter films should be challenged just as much as the screenwriter in terms of how Ron was portrayed, as should Rupert Grint himself...they all contribute to how the character is portrayed. Avatar Imagekbicprez says: @RavenclawDancer, I totally agree with you about Ron. I’ve never understood why he was dumbed down so much in the films. That last scene in HBP was unbelievable to me. Once again Ron is off in the background when he should have been standing with Harry & Hermione. I thought it was ridiculous. I also think Rupert is a GREAT actor. It was wonderful to watch him shine in DH1.Avatar ImageWeenyOwl says: Although I have a lot of problems with the liberties that Kloves took with many parts of JKR's story, his 'dumbing down' of Ron hardly seems like a major one - largely because of what he had to work with from the author. I always thought that Hermione nailed Ron when she said that he had 'the emotional range of a teaspoon.' I was rather shocked at JKR's statement in this article that Ron was 'so easy to love,' because I found it really difficult to warm up to him. He is quite cruel to Hermione in the first book (even given that her intellectually superior attitude is rather annoying), and throughout the series he remains always too quick to put people down who are a little different. Luna's comment that while he often can be funny, he is also sometimes unkind is an understatement. I suppose that if you are a dog person like JKR you might find his doglike loyalty endearing, but to me he remains a shallow character whose conversion to concern for house elves at the very end seemed totally unconvincing and forced. He is clearly the Trio's weak link; and he is also not very verbal even in the books, so it makes perfect sense to give Hermione a lot more lines in the movies. Also, if you are going to argue that Kloves gave him too little screentime, then on what would you base the contention that 'Rupert is a great actor'? I don't think that we've seen nearly enough of his work yet to draw that conclusion, but time and future acting projects will tell.Avatar Imagehorsepatronus64 says: i think Kloves did suceed on some points (Slughorn's confession, anyone?) but i don't like the way he writes the trio. Its just so... off balance... because of his bias towards hermione. I mean, look at the ending scene of Half-Blood Prince! Ron doesn't even get one line! He just sits there while Hermione says his lines for him, along with her's. Its mostly how he writes Ron that irks me... he gives him none of the substance in the movies that he had in the books. It also seems like in the movies he's just a comic relief, and you just laugh at his fear of spiders and clumsiness... rather than the witty jokes he makes in the book. He just gets pushed into the background. Maybe thats why I liked Order of the Phoenix so much. Yeah, they cut A LOT, but I think the dynamic between Harry Ron and Hermione was the most accurate...Avatar Imagekbicprez says: @WeenyOwl, how much of an actor’s work should one see before forming an opinion? My opinion of Rupert as an actor is based on 6 1/2 films. That’s enough for me although it may not be for others. Frankly, if I were Hermione, I would have chosen Harry over Ron. It would have been an easy choice. Ron is just not my type although I never considered him "shallow". I remember JKR saying that Ron didn’t mature as quickly as Harry & Hermione. That's clear from her writing, but I don’t think he was nearly as dim as portrayed in the films.Avatar Imagej@m says: It's highly ironic that a guy who names Hermione as his favorite character has managed to make her quite different from the canon (book) version. Kloves is a hack.Avatar ImageWant to be a Weasley says: Well, just consider me a "dog person" from here on out. I couldn't imagine the trio with anyone other than Harry, Ron and Hermione. I personally think they are all fine actors and as was stated in an earlier comment the screenwriter could write a "perfect" script and it could still be hacked up in the process by the others involved in the film's making.Avatar ImageYodatheHobbit says: j@m is a hate-filled exaggerator.Avatar Imageapril_showers says: I am SHOCKED to learn that Hermione is Steve Kloves' favorite character. SHOCKED. Avatar ImageJeannine says: It was easy to tell Hermione was Kloves favorite character from watching the films Avatar ImageJeannine says: One of my BIG problems with Kloves writing of the scripts was he never, ever GOT Jo's ability to show both the sorrowful side of each book or the extreme humor that is combined in the whole series. I read and read and read (etc)them over and over and wept and laughted till tears roled down my cheeks.. often times and I was rolled in the floor from laughing as intencely ...while tears of the wet my face from my laughter .. Kloves transformation from book to script never affected me like that, ever!!!!!Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: To quote Mr. Spock... "Fascinating"...Avatar Imagecritterfur says: Good comments all around, folks, but once again, if Kloves is so bad, why did the creator of the series give him such a glowing review? (And she's done so in multiple articles in the past). Like I said before, I think we tend to idealize certain characters and give them traits that they don't necessarily always have...we tend to "fill in the blanks" if a character isn't completely flushed out, and then later on remember those things as being "canon", when they actually came from our own mind and not the author's (don't worry, I'm including myself in that above statement). I'm not saying we should all hate Ron and love Hermione, but I'm saying that Steve Kloves decided to take a different approach with Ron in the films, portraying him as Harry's good friend and ally, but showing him to be prone to jealousy, worried about whether he is loved or valued, etc...the scene in the Mirror of Erised shows that Ron has MAJOR problems with self-worth and his own identity, and that he's constantly been overshadowed by his brothers in his life, and that Harry is just another person, in some ways, to overshadow him and make him feel small. A lot of you use the example of Ron sitting in silence at the end of HBP, while Hermione does all the talking, taking Ron's silence as a sign of non-commitment to Harry's cause. I took it as being partially a set-up for the events of the last film...Ron sees Harry and Hermione being close, once again, right in front of him, and while he's committed to Harry's cause (and probably feels he doesn't even have to tell Harry as much) you can see the seeds of jealousy and doubt growing in his mind, as well as worry about what's coming, fear of the mission ahead. Rupert Grint doesn't just sit there and stare blankly...look at Ron in that scene...he's thinking some heavy stuff, rolling it over in his mind. How is his distance from Harry and Hermione in this scene (both emotionally and physically) disconnected from what happens in Deathly Hallows? The last book had come out by the time Kloves did the screenplay for the 6th movie, so I think he snuck some hints of future plotlines into HBP. Also, for the life of me, I really can't understand people who say that Movie Hermione is not remotely close to Book Hermione, and Kloves screwed her character up. In what way? Because Emma Watson is actually quite beautiful, and Hermione is supposed to have bushy hair, big front teeth, and be more homely? Not Kloves' fault...the behind the scenes material on the Extended Edition DVDs shows that the decision was made early on to remove the prosthetic teeth given to Emma Watson, as well as the green contacts given to Daniel Radcliffe, pretty much on the first day of filming. It wasn't Kloves decision to play up Watson's emerging beauty, and there's virtually no situation where Hermione comes to the rescue that wasn't also accomplished by her in the books. Avatar Imagecritterfur says: ...And just to once again bring up the point of Mega-Fans remembering things incorrectly from the books, in their commentary on Sorcerer's Stone, not just Melissa but also John makes mention of the absurdity of the fact that Hermione lights Snape's cloak on fire, stating that in the book that just didn't happen. Nope, that's exactly what happens in the book...why they remembered it differently, I don't know, but it shows that people remember what they want to remember, and some people were so dead-set that Kloves was doing nothing but making changes that they were seeing it even in places where he was being devoutly faithful to the books. And for every Potter fan who loves a purist approach to the books, where characters and plotlines remain unscathed and whole, there are non-book fans who wanted Kloves to mess around with canon even more...most people who hadn't read the books claim PoA as their favorite film, even though it takes a lot of liberties with characters, simply because it is visually stunning, well-paced, and easier to understand (since Kloves cuts out a lot of backstory and detail that's in the book). So Kloves is being pulled in two or three different directions, being told to write the screenplays one way by the creative minds behind the films, another way by one camp of fans, and another way by another camp of fans. There is no way he's going to please everyone. I know a lot of people think they're really snubbing Kloves by praising Michael Goldenberg's script for Order of the Phoenix, saying Goldenberg got the Trio right, but again, for the life of me, I see no discernable difference in their back-and-forth patter. Ron is still portrayed as being condescending towards Hermione (his claim that he'll "go easy" on her during dueling practice, and then Hermione blasts him away...if Kloves had written that, critics would have claimed he was making Hermione into "Super-Hermione" again). Give me an specific example of how Goldenberg got the Trio "right" and I'll serve myself up a slice of humble pie, but I really don't see much of a difference between his take and Kloves (or Rowling's for that matter). Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: Prisoner of Azkaban - Shrieking Shack - Harry under invisibility cloak after sneaking out of castle. They combined two scenes for the movie but that's fine. That will happen in the interest of time. My problem is that in the book, Ron thinks it's a great joke and played into what Harry was doing to Draco, Crabbe, and Goyle. In the movie...where do I begin? Okay, first of all, when Draco threatens Ron, Hermione leaps in front of Ron to protect him and Ron cowers (yes, cowers) behind her. When Harry assaults Draco and company with snow, Hermione thinks it's great fun and Ron was terrified and said it wasn't funny at all. The movie goes completely against the innate characters of both Ron and Hermione in order to present Hermione in a better light and Ron as a farce of a character. It also bothers me that Harry stole Neville's lolly in Honeydukes. I have read a couple of different interviews with Kloves wherein he has said that he will always choose to write for Hermione if given the opportunity. He admits that he gives her the lines of other characters. I love canon Ron and Hermione. I think Ron is a great mate. He had a lot of growing up to do but don't we all. He has a great sense of humor and will always go to any length to defend a friend. Hermione had a great journey in the books as well. She's not perfect. She's not always right. She panics under pressure. These things make her lovable, charming, real, and human. In the movies, Ron is background noise and Hermione is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfect. There is nothing about movie Hermione that is appealing to me. If all I had to go on was the movies, I would not like Hermione at all and I would not understand the point of Ron even existing. Thank God for the books. They enable me to love both Ron and Hermione. That said, as much as I adore and respect Jo Rowling, I will never need anyone to tell me what my opinion is. This article changes nothing about my opinion of Steve Kloves. I think he is a fine script writer and a subpar adaptation writer. I'm glad that Jo is happy with the adaptations. I, however, am not. I don't intend to offend anyone with that statement. It's just what I believe and I am entitled to state my opinion without being attacked for it which I have been, on this very site, in the past. Avatar Imagesiskiou says: IMO, JKR made a big mistake (money most likely played a large role) in allowing the movies to be made before the series was fully written, and by allowing the movie makers to change characterization. As the previous poster said, it's good to know that JKR likes the adaptations, but many of her readers do not. The first film was the closest to the books, but after that, the characters became more and more distorted, and directors/Kloves added/changed things to their liking. I once joked (a long time ago, in a forum that no longer exists) that I wouldn't be surprised if Hermione got Ron's line in PoA, and of course, she did, plus many more. A scriptwriter/director admitting a huge preference for a certain character is a problem, and I'm fairly convinced that JKR's later books were influenced by the movies. There were even fans speculating that in the movies Hermione would choose Harry instead of Ron, since in the movies the relationships were very much changed, and so were the characters, to the point that Ron became an unrecognizable parody. Rupert is a very good actor (watch his range in the first movie, and the last one, and his other works), so saying that he is a quiet person and therefore Ron is, too, makes no sense. So, no, this article did not change my opinion on Kloves' skills in any way.Avatar Imagepaskunia says: Look at it this way, ye complainers- if Jo wasn't fazed by how Steve altered the books to make them filmable, don't you be, either. There is plenty of parts I wished he had left in but didn't. But, overall, what he DID leave in was gospel, more or less. And any minor changes he made were done so with Jo's blessing, based on her comments about him in the article.Avatar Imagemoisenallie16 says: That was really interesting to read. I liked seeing the book page and the script, but the script wasn't final because there is a line that wasn't in the movie. It was really cool!Avatar ImageBeazle says: Give me a break- of course Jo is not going to publicly criticise Kloves. There is too much money involved with film 8 due soon and then videos etc. This so called praise means nothing. Anyway- Stephen Fry has had a bigger influence on HER actual writing of the books than anyone- see the BBC conversation-Roling and Fry- Christmas 2006.Avatar ImageEeyore says: I loved hearing Rowling's comments on Steve Kloves and his writing, understanding of the characters and his collaborative relationship with her. It should really put to rest all the criticism of his scripts. I said a long time ago that if JKR was happy with the script writing, the rest of us should get over it. I have always felt that the things that are missing or not properly done (imo) in the movies was more the fault of the director and producer. The director is at fault for leaving things out or putting things in (Cuaron's shrunken heads) or the producers for insisting on marketing the films as children's films after the first three or four. It was also a great insight into what it must have been like for Rowling to share her vision with someone else. That would take such an enormous amount of trust, and if she trusted Kloves that much, then it's good enough for me.Avatar Imagesiskiou says: Beazle said: Give me a break- of course Jo is not going to publicly criticise Kloves. There is too much money involved with film 8 due soon and then videos etc. This so called praise means nothing. Exactly. It would be monumentally foolish to put down the last movie, or any of them. We'll probably never quite know how JKR really feels about the adaptations. She wasn't nearly as involved in the later ones, as she was in the first film. I hope that there will be a remake some day, taking its time with the books. Maybe a mini series. Just because JKR says she loves the films doesn't mean that everyone who has loved the books needs to agree, or keep quiet about the shortcomings.Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: Exactly. I am not going to have my opinion told to me. As I said previously, if Jo is happy with the adaptations, I'm very pleased for her. That does not change what I think of them. Jo is not telling us all that we have to like the adaptations just because she does. Why are some of you saying that our opinion must mesh with Jo's? I was happy enough with the first two movies despite the differences because, however little the changes made sense, they were small enough not to bother me over much. When the third movie opened with Harry doing several spells in a row in his room on Privet Drive whilst on summer vacation and not getting in trouble with the Ministry for it, I knew we were in trouble. Turns out I was right (in my humble opinion).Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: Exactly. I am not going to have my opinion told to me. As I said previously, if Jo is happy with the adaptations, I'm very pleased for her. That does not change what I think of them. Jo is not telling us all that we have to like the adaptations just because she does. Why are some of you saying that our opinion must mesh with Jo's? I was happy enough with the first two movies despite the differences because, however little the changes made sense, they were small enough not to bother me over much. When the third movie opened with Harry doing several spells in a row in his room on Privet Drive whilst on summer vacation and not getting in trouble with the Ministry for it, I knew we were in trouble. Turns out I was right (in my humble opinion). Avatar Imageandibeth82 says: Do you like writing? Do you like Harry Potter? Do you like anything that amazes you? Well, Check out our new site!!! Its Speechless!! http://resapotterandfiaweasley.webs.com/Avatar ImageCatherine says: awesome article! i love Jo's openness, she is remarkable! however...i just have one ittsy-bittsy question about the "only table we were allowed to smoke at" part...Jo "with me its 40 a day or its nothing--i cant smoke" (documentary 2007). im confused... Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: I don't understand the confusion, JK jr. As you quoted, with her "it's 40 a day or nothing". Clearly, if she opts to smoke, she smokes constantly so it's better if she doesn't smoke at all. It's very straight-forward. Or are you employing this a not-so-subtle dig at the fact that she does sometimes choose to exercise her right to smoke? (I'm teasing, just now. Please don't take what I just said as being mean because it's not. I'm just playing.)Avatar Imagekyrstalkris says: J.K.Rowling is so amazing. :D Did you guys hear that she's making a Harry Potter Encyclopedia? I can't wait!Avatar ImageMiss.Weasley says: I just love how she 'melted' when she understood that he really gets Hermione and 'Please don't love Ron. Ron is so easy to love, please don't love Ron' made me laugh out loud!Avatar ImageMiss.Weasley says: Just read it, it's such a sweet article ;) The two are just so smooth working together!Avatar ImageethanHP says: critterfur, can you tell me a single time in the films where Hermione does something wrong? No. She never makes mistakes. In the books she is not always perfect, but in the films it looks like she is the one who always saves the day. Emma and Rupert have the tendency to play their character as if they were flawless, but in Hermione's case is a bigger problem because she is helped by a terrible script. I have nothing against the scritwriter, but I have never understand why they hired him. There are so many great scriptwriters out there, they could have made these films to be great, instead of just good or acceptable.Avatar ImageEileenPrince says: I've been a Harry Potter fan since before book 3 came out (so before the movies) and I have to say, J.K. Rowling is oh so impressed with Steve Kloves because the adaptations could have been a lot worse than they were. A lot lot lot worse. If you read the article, you see that they pair met with a studio exec who had not read the books, and didn't think he needed to. At that time there were great fears of a "Hogwarts High" and the setting being transplanted to America. People who don't read Harry Potter think the books are about an orphan boy who discovers he's a wizard, gets to leave behind a miserable life with his foster family, and becomes popular at wizard school and saves the day. Which is all true, but doesn't capture the essence of the books and it would have been highly likely that without the right people, those would have been the ONLY things preserved in the movies, making sequels impossible. But Kloves had read the books, loved them, and wanted to get them on the screen *as written by Rowling* to the best of his ability. Note that Jo says Kloves thinks like a writer-- anyone who has written fanfic has learned this stuff too- the need to realistically get people from one situation to the next, and to keep people in character when you have to change stuff around-- and Kloves recognizes all of these things and he thinks about them, and when he doesn't get something-- he checked with Rowling. I (and perhaps many other people) like to think that we could do a better job than Kloves, that we could snip out parts of such a complex series and piece them into a coherent whole. But the fact remains, that unless you have written a full script from scratch in isolation, only Kloves has gone from raw book to movie. We are going from movie to a better movie, but we are building on the framework Kloves had to build from scratch. We don't appreciate that Kloves did an incredible amount of work to get where he even did. Folks, Harry Potter is a complicated book series. That being said, I am in the "Kloves stinks" camp, and while due credit should be given to the director, actors and editors for screwing things up too, I think that a large number of the things I don't like about the movies can be blamed on Kloves, and that's who I blame when I say I don't like the movies. He had the right ideas, but he just didn't make it all the way. Here's what I don't like about Kloves: 1. A lot of times, stuff just doesn't make sense. I sat through the movies thinking "why did X say that?" or "I think I would want to explain to my neighbor what just happened because he's leaving something out" many many times. Or "how are they going to deal with that in a future movie"? I didn't feel that way with movie 5. The fifth movie made sense in a way that the other movies never did. In general, things that required an explanation, especially after the fact, were never well explained. This is often because when the action is over, movies end as quickly as possible (see LOTR and the complaining about the movie seeming to end several times over, and the removal of the "crucial" scouring of the Shire scenes). Take the fourth movie: My immediate reaction to seeing movie 4 was "I need to go-reread book 4, I didn't realize what a well-crafted book it was and that it all made sense". Heh. GOF is one of the most non-sensical books in the series. Kloves doesn't do "whodunits" well, he doesn't do backstory well, and since the entire book only makes sense after a *chapter-long* confession by Crouch, Kloves is never able to scatter that where it needed to go. 2. Kloves loves Hermione, but he doesn't understand her because the reason Harry Potter is the powerful hero and she's not is because Hermione cracks under pressure and confrontations which Harry manages to do the right thing. Exhibit A: "There's no wood" was butchered from movie 1 to create a scene where Hermione doesn't act like an idiot before saving the day. The whole point is that it was really dumb for Hermione to remember one thing but forget the other until Ron bridges the gap. Very smart people do choke up all the time, especially when angered or frightened, and movie-Hermione never freaks out when it isn't justified but book-Hermione does. She's insecure and just a little insane at times. In the movies, Hermione comes off as faultless. Kloves manages to tell a fantastic story adequately which translates to good enough in the minds of less extreme fans and non-fans. The movies are missing that indescribable element that would say "SEE? This is what I have been talking about" to the non-obsessed who don't read. I don't feel I can use them as a tool for sharing. If done well, the movies should tell a complete story and convey to people who only see the movies why the books are *that darn popular*. I don't think that they do, though knowing what happens removes a certain bit of the surprise. But seeing the movies doesn't spawn that obsessive high I've gotten walking away from the Incredibles or Star Wars that leaves me wanting more NOW. Avatar ImageKayWeasley says: Bittersweet. I can't help but think it's another thing come to a close. Avatar ImageDeliaDee says: Wonderfully said, EileenPrince. I think, in short, Kloves was far more interested in writing scripts based on a series of books entitled "Hermione Granger and the ...". As I've said before, Kloves does quite a good job on original screenplays but just because one can write a script it does not necessarily follow that one can write a good adaptation. One should understand one's limitations and work on improving them in a less public (and globally adored) environment. (Are you listening David Yates?)Avatar Imagekiwimci says: When people complain about Kloves I just don't think they comprehend just horrendously different things could have been in these adaptations. I thank my lucky stars everyday that they stand up proudly as companion pieces and are great films. In saying that I agree that the lack of Ron speaking at the end of HBP was so irritating. I did want an affirming trio moment like the one in the book. That would have hit the spot. BUT if you've actually read Kloves' HBP script it is quite different. For instance Ginny is there too (thank God Yates changed that decision, it has to be the trio)Avatar ImageSmitch says: I think Kloves has done a wonderful job, and I really enjoyed reading this article. It's always lovely to see what Jo has to say - she is continuously candid and so well spoken in her interviews. I feel like when she speaks, she lets her audience into her world, and that is why we feel as though we actually know her. It's satisfying to know about the nature of her relationship with Kloves, and the fact that she approves of his interpretations and adaptations of her wizarding world. Avatar ImageSmitch says: And to add my thoughts to some of the well-written comments - I know many will disagree with me when I say this, but in my opinion, the movies are largely made for the readers (the true Harry Potter fans). As fans, shouldn't we be generally satisfied? Not with everything, of course - but with a lot of it. I don't believe that these films are made for non-fans. Sure, a non-fan could watch and be entertained, albeit confused for a lot of it - but that is their call to watch it, and their responsibility to become familiar with the series if they are to fully appreciate the films. We can't expect the movie-makers to do absolutely everything for us. Like EileenPrince mentioned - Harry Potter is a complicated (and lengthy) series. Are we really to expect that the films will capture and convey *most* the series? It is supposed to be an interpretation; an adaptation, and with that understood, I think they have done a splendid job. Sure, I am disappointed with several aspects, such as Harry and Ginny's awkward kissing scenes, or how they didn't include Dumbledore's funeral. I could go on! But, I digress, because when thinking back on my Harry Potter film experience, I feel that the folks in charge worked as true fans, and true masters of their craft. Avatar Imagejhangelgurl says: Thanks for posting the article.

Write a Reply or Comment

The Leaky Cauldron is not associated with J.K. Rowling, Warner Bros., or any of the individuals or companies associated with producing and publishing Harry Potter books and films.