2008: A Year in Review, the Movies

Dec 29, 2008

Posted by: SueTLC


It’s the end of the year, and it time for our annual comprehensive year in review news posts.
First up, the Movies. Quite the banner year for Harry Potter films that was, or…almost was.


As fans began the year anticipating the November release of the sixth Harry Potter film, rumors began to swirl over a director for the seventh. Meanwhile OotP and the cast continued to top 2007 year-in-review lists. The cast worked on other projects; Dan Radcliffe’s My Boy Jack from last year will air on PBS this spring. Dan also accepteds the People’s Choice Award for Order of the Phoenix, and was named, along with co-star Emma Watson, an IMDB Top 25.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix won a Golden Tomato and earned nominations from the Costume Designers Guild and two at the BAFTAs for F/X and Production Design. Designer Stuart Craig was also slated to be given a Lifetime Achievement honor from the Art Directors Guild.

On Jan. 13 rumors grow stronger of a two part Deathly Hallows film, as Tim Spall confirmed his return as Wormtail, as did Brendan Gleeson as Mad Eye. The next day WB says no decision had been made on the number of films yet, but Steven Kloves will return as screenwriter. Steven Speilberg, along with Guillermo Del Toro, was mentioned as director possibilities, but later Potter producer David Heyman said Del Toro was not really in the running. Meanwhile production continued on Half-Blood Prince, as we learn crews would return to the halls of Gloucester Cathedral
for filming in February. Helen McCrory talks about her role as Narcissa
Malfoy, and new prep photos from the cathedral filming surface.


OotP gains more award nominations, including six from the Empire Awards, and nine Saturn Awards. Filming took place the Cathedral, with photos, video and interviews galore.

Feb 11 brought big news as Potter producers David Heyman and David Barrow say filming on Deathly Hallows would begin February of 2009,
and a two-part DH is under consideration. David Barron also confirmed a new scene, an attack on the Burrow that was added to HBP. Meanwhile Dan Radcliffe shot down rumor of Speilberg directing Deathly Hallows, and later in the month children’s author Lois Lowry accidentally confirmed David Yates will be directing Deathly Hallows.


OotP gained even more notice this month, winning Best Score from a video game, and gained a nom for a Hugo Award. Work goes on HBP, with Helen McCrory filming as Narcissa, Ralph Fiennes said he is not in movie six but wants to return in seven as Lord Voldemort, crazy tabloid rumors surfaced of streakers on the set, and crews worked at the Millennium Bridge in London. March 12: Warner Bros. announced that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be a two part film, directed by David Yates. Screenwriter Steve Kloves said they almost split Goblet of Fire, and began thinking of a two part DH in late summer 07. David Heyman said both films could possibly be two and half hours long each.

Later in the month, work rolled on with Half-Blood Prince, as new interviews with Tom Felton, Dan Radcliffe and Rupert Grint went online. We heard that the film will screen in IMAX and the ending will be in 3D. WB released high res photo of trio with the Half-Blood Prince’s potion book, and we learn of Slughorn’s party via a teaser report. Dame Maggie Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer, but the prognosis is looking good.


We learned Sanguini the Vampire, the Carrows, and Regulus Black have been cast for Half-Blood Prince. We also hear from Julie Walters, Helen McCrory and Jim Broadbent on his role as Professor Slughorn.

April 22, EA formally announced they are producing a Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince video game, and next day we saw the first review for the game. April 25 we got official confirmation that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One will be released November 19, 2010. Also WB announced Harry Potter, the traveling exhibition.


Young Lucius was cast for HBP, a new profile on Lavender Brown actress Jessie Cave was posted online, and Natalia Tena talked Tonks and the attack on the Burrow. Radcliffe and Watson won Otto Awards.

Meanwhile the BBC aired great new footage of the Burrow, Privet Drive, Hagrid Hut sets and more, as more new high res OotP photos surfaced, including two hilarious ones of Jason Isaacs as Lucius: one as Prisoner in Azkaban, the other as Lord of Malfoy Manor.

A major HBP set visit report surfaced online, as did new images contained on new Harry Potter yarn packages.
Reports said Shirley Henderson will not be back as Moaning Myrtle, and John Hurt pondered his return as Ollivander for Deathly Hallows. Rumors swirled touting a return of John Williams to help score part of Half-Blood Prince, as Emma Watson says filming for HBP finished on May 17. May 24 brought the sad news that the young actor who plays Marcus Belby in HBP had been tragically murdered in London.


Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths presnted at the Tony Awards. Dan, OotP, Watson and JKR were nominated at the Syfy awards. Warwick Davis talked Flitwick for the remaining Potter films, and Jason Isaacs confirmed his return as Lucius for Deathly Hallows. Moviefone named Arthur Weasley as one of best movie dads, and stills and trailers for Devon Murray‘s new film appeared online.

Previews, photos surfaced for the HBP video game, as pre-orders became available. Finally, UK tabs were at it again, claiming JKR wrote new movie for theme park. WB debunked this a few days later.


The month opens up with a big bang as David Yates says HBP will open with a big attack, and Empire magazine published new photos from the film. Later we learned about the Inferi and saw a new photo of Luna Lovegood with her Spectrespecs. USA Today also previewed the new film, and we got our first look at Jim Broadbent as Slughorn. WB later hit the fandom with a slew of high-res versions of these photos, the same day as releasing the first trailer for Half-Blood Prince Video game, opens website.

Rumors swirled that Deathly Hallows would split at Ron’s return. New HBP photos surface: color, sticker books, calendar scans. EW unveiled a new Harry, Slughorn and Felix Felicius photo, and a short “teaser” appareadn before the IMAX edition of the Dark Knight.

Good news came late in the month: the long awaited teaser trailer for Half-Blood Prince debuted on AOL. A host of new preview photos were revealed, and HBP was selected to be a Royal Film event later that fall. The trailer arrived, with direct links, screencaps and high res stills galore. Rupert Grint also gave new details on Ron’s poisoning in HBP.


New publicity photos from Equus arrived.
Dan was also featured in UK Vogue magazine, and Emma Watson featured in UK Harper’s Bazaar.

International HBP release dates were published, and many new stills from HBP video game became available. EA released a new trailer for the game on August 14. However everything changed as that afternoon WB issues press release saying they have pushed back the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince until July 17, 2009. EW magazine, not told of the move, published a major Harry Potter preview, including a first look at Narcissa and the Unbreakable Vow with Snape in the same week. In wake of the major outcry over move, WB president Alan Horn gave an interview, saying WB loves its fans; WB later issues a press release saying the HBP move never intended to upset fans. The first film of the highly anticipated Twilight series quickly moved into the vacated spot for release this November.

EA continued to promote the HBP game, with talk of making a possible post book series for the game. New HBP calendar scans surfaced, and we learned of many new action figures due with the release of the sixth film. The cast kept busy, with Emma Watson attending the prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She, along with OotP and JKR, won at the SyFy Awards. OotP was also nominated as Best Film People’s Choice at the European Film Awards. Dan Radcliffe takes part in NYTimes talk event and comments on move.


Dan Radcliffe’s “Equus” began previews on Broadway. More HBP scans surface online, then big news on September 7 as a test screening for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was held in Chicago. TLC readers were attendance and bring the first and very detailed report on the cave scene, events on the astronomy tower and much more. September 9 saw EA officially delaying the release of the HBP video game until the spring of 2009, and Emma Watson made some new comments on the delay of the film. TLC interviewed producer David Heyman, who made frank comments on the move and the split of DH, saying they almost cut the Deathly Hallows subplot. He also said Kreacher will be back for the final films.

Jason Isaacs admitted he has a surprise cameo as Lucius Malfoy in HBP, and David Thewlis discussed his role of Lupin, and Deathly Hallows. Miriam Margoyles was also set to return as Hufflepuff Head Professor Sprout for DH. Emma Watson was featured in US Harper’s Bazaar and also noted that she is going to focus on getting a degree after DH.

“Equus,” starring Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths, opened to much acclaim on Broadway, and MTV published a feature on Rupert Grint in Cherrybomb. Scores of new HBP images trickled out, including Luna and her lion hat.
We learned that 25 minutes of the film will be in 3D.


Many new scans and high res images from the upcoming Half-Blood Prince film and video game surfaced at the beginning of the month. We learned of several new interviews and projects from various cast members: Emma Watson met the House of Chanel in Paris, Bonnie Wright donated artwork to Prince’s Trust Charity, Alan Rickman and Robbie Coltrane donated to Book Aid International charity auction. Actor Chris Rankin talked of Percy Weasley in Deathly Hallows, and Ralph Fiennes gave his thoughts and insights into character of Lord Voldemort, calling him a rejected person. Dan Radcliffe also taped an appearance for the Inside the Actor’s Studio program and talked of the DH epilogue. Robbie Coltrane talked of Hagrid and the flying motorbike for DH, and the BIFAs announce that it would honor David Thewlis with a special Richrad Harris Lifetime Achievement Award.

October 26: TLC first reported the new international teaser trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince goes online, and we saw new photos of Narcissa and Fenrir Greyback, and Ginny and Harry outside Burrow. Producer David Heyman commented again on the HBP delay.


More news on the Deathly Hallows front, as we heard from Tom Felton on Draco in the film,
Emma Watson said she is re-reading the final Harry Potter book in prep for filming, David Thewlis spoke again about Lupin in the final films, and on Nov 11 Emma Thompson said she chose not to return as Trelawney for Deathly Hallows.

TLC reported that ABC family would air Harry Potter weekend in December (WB issued a press release several weeks later, saying this will include new HBP footage and cast interviews). Nov 14, Warner Bros sent fansites a brand new trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Meanwhile Dan Radcliffe and Richard Griffiths gave an interview on Charlie Rose program; Rob Pattinson, who played Hufflepuff great Cedric Diggory in Goblet of Fire, was chosen as one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive, and we saw a slew of new images from HBP, including Ginny Weasley, Quidditch Player.


Rumors started the month, as a report says EA will release a Harry Potter Lego game, and we learned the top trailers for 2008 included one for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Alan Rickman said he will film his role as Severus Snape for Deathly Hallows in late 2009,
Dan Radcliffe talked of aging for the DH epilogue scenes, and OotP won the European Best Film People’s Choice Award.

Castwatch saw many nominated for other works at the Golden Globes. Emma Watson did many press interviews as her new film The Tale of Despereaux was released over the Christmas holidays.

USA Today previewed the Harry Potter weekend and new HBP footage, which aired containing new Emma Watson, Dan Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon interviews and much more, all found in TLC galleries. TLC re-released its HBP set visit preview report, as well as roundup of others. The Harry Potter exhibit announced it will open in Chicago April 30, 2009, with tickets now on sale.

WB launched new contest to win Deathly Hallows set visit, as did UK retailer Marks & Spencer. Rumors flew that WB is now planning a Beedle the Bard film, and Emma Watson said she is looking forward to filming the Ron/Hermione scenes from the Silver Doe chapter in Deathly Hallows. David Heyman noted filming for the two DH movies will take 54 weeks, and says the split in the films will be an “emotional and truthful” break. As the year draws to a close, we saw even more new images from HBP, including our first look at the Weasley Wizard Wheezes shop.


Written by Sue Upton with assistance from Edward Drogos and Melissa Anelli

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.