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David Heyman talks Half-Blood Prince cuts & Deathly Hallows final battles
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Written by Red   
Thursday, 16 July 2009 22:29

David Heyman had a long, in-depth interview with Collider yesterday about the omissions in Half-Blood Prince, and setting up the final sequences of Deathly Hallows (which is currently well into production).


So I definitely have to ask, did you ever have, at any point, the beginning of book 6 in script form to do it? With like the Prime Minister and stuff?
Oh, yes. In the very first draft the Prime Minister did a scene in it and I loved that scene, but again what it seemed to lead to as we developed it as too many beginnings, which again, was one of the reasons why we cut out the funeral which is one of my favorite scenes in the book. But again, what we felt was with the emotion of Dumbledore’s death and after the fight and then coming back and having the scene in the courtyard when Harry is there with Dumbledore’s body. To then have the funeral felt like it was one step too many.

I loved that scene in the book, but it just…it’s part of the adaptation process, you know? It’s capturing the-and I think this really began with the 3rd adaptation with Alfonso Cuaron-where we began to tell the story from Harry’s point of view and things that didn’t relate to Harry were often excised which meant killing some things that you really loved, of course. But we did that and I think with this it’s about capturing the spirit of Jo’s books as much as being literally faithful. I think if we capture the spirit then we’ve done a better job properly than if we were just transposing the book to the big screen.
I am curious, for the DVD and Blu-ray, about how many deleted scenes do you think will make it onto that that fans can look forward to?
You know surprisingly few, oddly enough. This is a film that the script was pretty lean or the film that ended up on the screen is quite close to the script on the screen. There are a few scenes…I mean one of the things that the fans will get to see on the Blu-ray and DVD is Jim Broadbent-Slughorn, there were quite a few portraits we did of him with in various situations. You know, putting his arm around celebrities. There were probably around 25 or 30 of these and only a handful ended up in the final film. So David Yates put together a little montage of all of those, which I think is a treat.

But in terms of scenes, and we have a…I think it’s going to be on the Blu-ray and the DVD, is casting for Lavender Brown, which is really fun, where David Yates did this improv with Rupert and Jessie Kay and it was really funny. Letting them.. just seeing them get to know…just doing a bit of scene and then just being…actually they were just improvising and it’s really funny and Rupert’s brilliant. The awkwardness is quite voracious, aggressive, enthusiastic young girl is trying to get Ron’s attention. It’s very funny.

On Deathly Hallows' production, including the Hogwarts battle and final sequences:

With the 2 parts that you’re filming now, what is the longest part of the shoot? Like what scene are you guys planning on spending the most time on?
The final battle.

And how many days have you allotted?
I don’t remember and it’s evolving because we’re still…David Yates is still determining how he wants to do it.

I’m a huge fan of the book. The ending of Book 7 is really climatic in so many ways. Is that going to be like a 20-minute part of the movie or a 30-minute part of the movie? Have you guys already started thinking about that?
Absolutely. I mean we’ve got a script version of it. I think it’ll probably be 30 minutes, they get the Hogwarts fairly early on, but there’s a lot of build up before the battle happens, you know? And there are 2 parts to the battle. There’s the first part and then there’s the post-death of Harry part, if you know what I mean.

I know exactly what you mean.
Yeah, so in a way there’s a couple of different parts to that battle.

Well, it’s almost like the ending of Book 7 and the ending of movie 2-part 2 is almost like what people have been waiting for all the movies to see, which is the big, big showdown.
It’s funny, yes I think that’s true and the showdown will be…that poses its own challenges in terms of adaptation. Not only the expectation of that final showdown but also what I love about Jo’s work is that’s it’s emotionally rooted. And in the book, actually, Harry doesn’t do much fighting back. In fact, he’s…I’m not going to use the word but he has the “blank” beaten out of him. I just said well, there’s more engagement in our version of the final battle.

I was going to ask you about that because that’s one of the things, to me, is amazing about the ending of that book is that Harry accepts his fate without knowing what’s going to happen. It can go either way, you know? And it’s sort of he’s…
That’s true up until…when he’s reborn, Harry is aware that Voldemort is vulnerable and is a defeated man. And that’s something that we’re wrestling with and determining right now just so that it works in cinematic terms and not just on a…yeah that it works cinematically.

The full interview can be read here

Last Updated on Thursday, 16 July 2009 22:38