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Rejoice, Harry Potter fans! J.K. Rowling may have decided that the adventures of your favorite boy magician will come to an end after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”, but that doesn’t mean Warner Bros. feels the same way. The studio has announced plans to split the final installment in the “Potter” franchise into two films. The films will now be called “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″ (to be released in 2010) and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2″ (to be released a year later, in 2011).
“Hallows,” which sold more than 11 million copies in its first 24 hours of release, is J.K. Rowling’s biggest book, weighing in at 784 pages. Adapting the novel would have resulted in truncating large swaths of it or making an extra-long feature in order to fit everything in. The studio found itself in a situation similar to Quentin Tarantino with “Kill Bill,” where splitting one long movie in two worked best creatively.
The decision makes financial sense for Warners because the movies are sure hits, and the “Potter” franchise has brought in billions of dollars for the studio, which distributes the movies worldwide and has no financial partner on them.
Wow, they were actually planning on squeezing 784 pages into one movie? Okay, so this not only makes sense, but it’s probably the best to go. Of course, the fact that it’ll double the profits for Warner Bros. is purely incidental. Ahem.
David Yates, who will direct the upcoming “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, will direct both “Deathly Hallows” installments. Steve Kloves will write, and the films will be shot back-to-back.
You know, I get a feeling that when the Potter franchise finally wraps, the cast and crew will be throwing a party. Can you imagine devoting that much time (I’m talking a full decade!) to one thing? God, I can barely type this post without my eyes wandering over to the TV next to me…