Good News, Movie Fans!

Thee best part of a Harry Potter movie release is the run-up to the event and the anticipation everyone feels as the day approaches. Warner Brothers announced today that they are moving the Half-Blood Prince movie premiere from 21 November 2008 to 17 July 2009 (the day before the HPEF Conference Azkatraz 2009 opens in San Francisco). Their reasoning? They can make more money. Nice of them to be upfront like that.

Rejoice! We get more than six extra months to think about this… (HT to David!)

UPDATE: And Harry/Daniel to appear in the buff in Half-Blood Prince! Who knew Equus was a warm-up?


  1. I kind of don’t mind. I almost like it when studios take just a bit longer then planned then trying to rush it. Perhaps we’ll see this play out in more positive ways then making money.

  2. Yes, more time to dread Gambon’s performance. Just what I was hoping for! πŸ˜‰

    Ah well, WB is in the business to make money & they know that HP fans will see the movie no matter when it is. Still not too happy, though.

  3. Ha! Nice to see a Potter fan happy about it! I was really annoyed at first, but I have to say…I’m really looking forward to joining hundreds of Potter fans in San Francisco for opening night. HPEF staff has already booked one theater for the midnight showing, and they’ll be looking to add others.

  4. bugger! (a word I learned from HP)


  5. Travis said, “I’m really looking forward to joining hundreds of Potter fans in San Francisco for opening night. HPEF staff has already booked one theater for the midnight showing, and they’ll be looking to add others.”

    Yeah, but you already have your wife’s permission to go. I’m still working on mine, without much success. πŸ˜‰

    To go to San Francisco, that is.

  6. RATS!!! I was planning a wonderful birthday-night-out on the 21st for my husband…guess we’ll have to settle for seeing HBP in Texas with the rest of the family πŸ™‚

    All tongue-in-cheek aside, I’m not really happy about this change. Like Warner Brothers doesn’t think the movie won’t bring big bucks in November in combination with promotional packaging of all things Potter pre-DH 1&2? Give me a break.

  7. Nicholas,

    Well, teens are well known for having no perspective. I can’t remember if it was on The Simpsons or South Park where one of the kids was upset because their parents wouldn’t let them do some inconsequential thing & the child’s reply was “This is the most unfair thing in the history of the world!”

    Strangely, I have these vague memories of being the same way when I was a child. πŸ˜‰

  8. Reading the comments from the kids over at Mugglenet is truly amazing – one would think the world were ending and everything we knew about Christ was wrong in that regard. It isn’t just disappointment, it’s incredibly bitter invective against the studio, comments about their entire year being ruined, plans for boycotting the film next summer, and so on. Granted, teenagers don’t understand much about running a business, but the lack of perspective over having to wait a while to see a movie is a bit distressing.

    The funny thing, of course, is that next July, the same kids will be posting “OMG, I am so psyched!!!!!!!!!”

    Just to stir the pot a bit, I posted a comment about how I have plenty to do for the next eleven months, so I have no problem with the delay. Amidst the more than 1200 comments, it didn’t inspire any responses – probably a good thing, in retrospect.

    And for my fellow new calenderists – Sprasnikum!


  9. One media outlet puts forth another explanation for the delay. Radcliffe will be right in the middle of his “Equus” performance on Broadway and WB doesn’t want the Harry image tarnished by Radcliffe’s “Equus” character romping around naked on stage right as the film premiers. Apparently, there is quite a bit of advertising already throughout NYC showing the half-naked Dan.

    Quite amusing.

    John – can we get Janet to comment, here? I love her insights into the behind the scenes goings-on in Hollywood.

  10. I was surprised at how articulate most of those children were who left fan responses. Pretty refreshing. I especially liked the one girl who said it was no big deal because the movies had been appalling lately. Unfortunately she never elaborated on why she thought that. I will imagine, though, that they involved the portrayal of Dumbledore. πŸ™‚

  11. John, I checked out the update…I hope “trousers” doesn’t mean “no underwear”!!!!!

    Janet…can you bring us some insight, please?

  12. Gladius Terrae Novae says

    Which scene is he nude in? I don’t remember one in #6.

  13. I was annoyed at first too, but I hope this means that the final HBP movie will be even better than it already looks to be. I always look forward to seeing something in the November/December time, but now I’m not sure what it will be. (One thing is certain–it won’t be Twilight.)

    As for the update–why would Harry/Dan be in the buff in HBP? I can’t think of a scene that is in the book. Only in DH at the end is he supposed to be without clothes at King’s Cross, but in HBP? Maybe they got the wrong movie–I hope.

    I do remember those days when something like a movie release being delayed would have been catastrophic. Well, actually, no I don’t. Back in the 60s we didn’t know when a movie was coming out till the title appeared on the sign at the local theater. So, I’m having trouble emphathizing with the whiners who think their lives are over. Nice to know that they, too, will grow up some day.


  14. I was baffled a bit about Harry appearing in the buff in HBP – but reading closer, the headline writer said “Sixth” film, but the story says ‘Deathly Hallows”.

    This could mean either of two scenes, perhaps one in each of the two halves.

    Imagine trying to think through the whole sixth book – “Where the heck is Harry naked? Are they throwing in a Romilda Vane fantasy sequence?”


  15. I’m ticked. I was so looking forward to seeing it soon, since it is my favorite book. On the other hand if they cut parts I love then I really can wait, maybe just wait for the DVD and the extras cut list.

    Why would Daniel need to pose nude??????

  16. John, isn’t great that WB can be so honest about their “money grab” by changing the release date of HBP to next July. Why would they want to slow the momentum that Dark Knight would have probably running to the end of this year!
    This gives WB a sure blockbuster next July as well as what Dark Knight will fill in their coffers by the time it’s finished in the cinemas.

    revgeorge, I have the answer to your wife giving you permission to attend Azkatraz 2009. Tell her she can come along and get two major events for the weekend. A world movie premiere of HBP and a mega Harry Potter conference with HPEF teachers,scholars, fans in costume! What more could she ask for? She could even volunteer as a prefect to keep an eye on us teachers and students!

    I know, I know, we still will cringe with every line Gambon will deliver in HBP, but maybe that’s why WB is delaying the release, to get Gambon to re-do his lines with the proper emotional responses as written in the books.

  17. Boy I’m very disappointed about this latest news concerning Dan’s acting choices. I don’t know if I’ll be seeing the film then, that’s one of the things I try to strictly avoid if I have a choice in the matter. Perhaps they’ll cut it out in the end.

  18. David wrote: “revgeorge, I have the answer to your wife giving you permission to attend Azkatraz 2009. Tell her she can come along and get two major events for the weekend. A world movie premiere of HBP and a mega Harry Potter conference with HPEF teachers,scholars, fans in costume! What more could she ask for? She could even volunteer as a prefect to keep an eye on us teachers and students!”

    David, oh, if only it worked that way in real life! While my wife likes the books & has read some of them more than once, she is not as fanatic about them as I am. Now, if there was also a paranormal romance conference going on in SF the same week… πŸ™‚

    When I told her of your idea, she was less than enthusiastic. Although she did say that Rowling is hurting herself by not putting out the books in ebook form. She’d read them a lot more then. She also said there are some people who won’t read something unless it comes out on ebook. So, maybe if I got her some HP ebooks she’d reconsider letting me go to Azkatraz. Unfortunately, I’m hesitant to do that, since there’s no legal way to do it. πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for your suggestion, though.

  19. In regards to Dan’s comments about nudity in the DH film, I’m guessing that he was joking.

    And I’m not sure WB would even add nudity in anyway. Bad business decision. While the DH film will undoubtedly have lots of violence & other disturbing imagery, that won’t stop parents from taking children to see it, even very young children. God knows why, but hey, that’s what happens nowadays. But conversely, people may feel free to let their kids see all the violence they want but will go ballistic if they see someone’s bare buttocks on the screen. Go figure.

  20. Suddenly speculation becomes great fun!

    If the scene in question is going into the water in “The Silver Doe”, any au natural shot would have to be very brief – this would come across as gratuitous, and just seems out of character for the way the films have been presented so far.

    On the other hand, it might work quite well in the King’s Cross scene. That whole setting is rather nebulous – pun intended. My guess is that the scene will open with everything very foggy, and all you’ll see is something of an outline of Harry on the bench, likely from the side. Then as Harry regains his consciousness, we cut to a facial close-up – maybe an eye shot? He very quickly sees his clothes, and the next thing we know, he’s dressed. It’s very quick, very harmless, and right in line with the book.

    But nonetheless – oh, I can only imagine the reactions on mugglenet. Especially from the girls, the ones who have vowed to boycott the movies.


  21. Red Rocker says

    I can’t see WB allowing the director – even if he were so inclined, which he may not be – showing much of anyone’s naked body in a HP movie. That’s not the kind of movie they are. And not coincidentally, that’s not the kind of books JKR wrote.

    What is wrong with showing the human body, you ask? Well, it makes a lot of people uncomfortable to see bare bottoms. And the reason is: sex. There are parts of the body which are sexualized, showing them on screen makes a sexual statement. The movie makers didn’t invent the cultural norm, they’re just abiding by it.

    As the parent of a 7 year old, my radar is very sensitive for sexual images, swear words, and violence in movies. This is our censoring system: mouth to mouth kissing is ok (but my 7 year old thinks that’s gross and turns away), hands on bottoms is marginal, removal of any clothes means we don’t watch that movie (this causes real problems with the movie Big which is quite enjoyable except for two scenes exploring the different meaningss of the term “sleep-over”.) In the movies, there is usually only one reason why people remove their clothes.

    No swear words are ok, but we can watch a movie with the occasional “damn” or “hell” with a discussion after about why those words are not ok. We turn off movies with stronger language. I have mixed feelings about the word “a- h-“: I don’t like it, I don’t want my 7 year old using it, but to date I haven’t turned off a movie because of it.

    Violence is a bit more problematic. Excluding it entirely would exclude the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, LOTR and Harry Potter movies, all of which I consider classics (well, maybe not each one individually, but as a body). So we watch those, although always with adult accompaniment. And having allowed those, other movies featuring swords, guns and fighting can be watched. So then I decide on the basis of how graphic or realistic the violence is, how much violence there is, and how disturbing it is to watch for a 7 year old. And the only way to know this is by watching it with him. Which is what we do.

  22. Arabella Figg says

    Cigar95, you wrote: “My guess is that the scene will open with everything very foggy, and all you’ll see is something of an outline of Harry on the bench, likely from the side. Then as Harry regains his consciousness, we cut to a facial close-up – maybe an eye shot? He very quickly sees his clothes…”

    My scenario: the scene opens with a closeup shot of only Harry’s eye as it snaps open. Camera zooms back to naked chest and bewildered face. Zoom out to foggy surroundings into which a polar bear and golden retriever wander. We hear a snarky voice say, in a southern drawl, “Well, looky here, dungbomb’s finally woken up.”

    Yes! Harry is Lost in King’s Cross!!

    Cats are never lost, they’re just “looking”…

  23. Thanks for the shout-outs, jensenly and pj… I’ve been out of town, now back and ready to jump in.

    David is partly right about why HBP-the-movie has been bumped to 2009. Part of it is indeed because Warner Bros. is so flush with cash from The Dark Knight (past $500K domestic and still going, having broken every record in the book so far). WB doesn’t want to run the risk of having next year’s box office look anemic when compared to 2008’s, and since they’ll almost certainly “win” the box office race this year, pushing a sure thing like HBP to 2009 helps in that regard.

    But why do they need a boost in their 2009 anticipated box office? Well, some of that (a very very small part) is my fault.

    Last year, when I and many, many other writers were out on the picket line, you were probably aware of your fave TV shows (assuming you have fave shows… assuming they’re scripted shows) going off the air very quickly. The WGA strike decimated the TV season.

    Lots of people, at the time, asked we feature writers when we could see similar effects in the feature film schedule. Sorry, we said. Films take at least 2 years to gear up, and the 2008 movies were already in the pipeline. You won’t see any effect of the strike on films, we told folks, until the summer of 2009, even 2010.

    And here it is.

    WB’s big, highly-touted summer release for 2009 was supposed to be “Justice League” (the melding of all the DC Comics heroes). But the script wasn’t ready to shoot when the strike hit — and the movie got shelved. Leaving them with no “tentpole” movie for summer ’09. (Movies like HP, Batman, IronMan, etc, are called “tentpoles” because they hold up the rest of the summer’s schedule of releases.)

    That’s just embarrassing. And when you compare what that means in terms of box office to this summer’s bonanza, realizing that you run the risk of having an enormous year-to-year loss… well, moving HBP is just the right thing to do.

    As for them having more time to work on HBP because of this… I doubt it.

    Deathly-Hallows-the-movie-part-1 starts shooting in February. The same director is shooting HBP and DH (David Yates), so even as he finishes final post-production on HBP (as scheduled for that Nov. release date), he’s already prepping for the Feb. start date of DH. Which means he’ll be in production (or just barely into post) when HBP is released. Really no time for him to do any extra work on it. Maybe an extra week or so, but I can’t see where they’d fit it in. (After all, these kids are growing up way too fast — we need to get the movies shot *now*!)

    Anyway, for better or for worse, you can blame me and my fellow writers at least in part for the delay of HBP. Who knew we had such power?

    …Reporting from Hollywood…


  24. Thank you, Janet!

  25. Red Rocker says

    Yes, thank you for the insider information. It helps to know why something is happening, even if we don’t like the fact that it is happening.

  26. Welcome back, Janet, and thank you for the clear, reasonable explanation behind the WB decision to move HBP to July. I hope you don’t expend any amount of energy dragging a bag of writers’-strike-guilt around, either.

    I like the proposed King’s Cross scenerios…and I agree that Harry’s plunge into the pool to retrieve the SoG and his interlude at King’s Cross might be the two best possibilities for any sort of less-than-fully-dressed moments. However these two events are portrayed in DH, my sincere desire is that common sense and modesty play out foremost. How sad to think that these already-emotionally-charged reunions (Ron’s return at the pool and Dumbledore’s appearance in King’s Cross) might be twisted into something unnecessary and thoroughly misinterpreted.

    We know Harry goes into the pool in his underwear…we aren’t told *boxers or briefs*…so we could be viewing a bare-chested, brutally cold Harry close up without every glimpsing his lower half or a skimpily-clad Harry from afar as Ron might see him at the treeline around the clearing.

    As for King’s Cross…LOTS of fog and coverage, much like the bubbles in the Prefects’ Bath, thank you! This would be my choice πŸ™‚ simply because I don’t want the focus moved from Harry’s reunion and subsequent conversation with AD.

  27. Sorry…I meant to say “…without EVER glimpsing…” in the third paragraph. My fingers moved beyond my thoughts.

    pj, typing beyond the speed of sound and doing a lousy job at it, too.

  28. globalgirlk says

    I was shocked at first but I am glad now. I don’t think that I could handle too much more “Potter-mania”. Last year had me all kinds of stressed because of the excitement.

  29. Thanks, Janet! I particularly appreciate the clarification on the word “tentpole”. I had no idea what that meant.

    I had to smile at your comment about the kids getting older. Tom Felton, in particular, is really pushing the age envelope. I can live with it, though. The thought of any of the main characters being replaced at this stage of the game would be criminal.

    pj – I like your scenario for King’s Cross – I, too, like the Prefect’s Bathroom scene in GOF!

  30. Thank you, jensenly. I have to admit that my choice is purely selfish…I HATE sitting in a theater with family (or anyone else, for that matter), having paid good money for tickets and refreshments, and be subjected to uncomfortable, needless on-screen moments. I am a firm believer in using *suggestion* rather than blatant visuals. I think the power of our own imagination to fill in the gaps is much more effective and allows the viewer to integrate self into the storyline easier.

    pj, thinking like an antiquated grandmother and standing firm on her convictions!

  31. interesting:

    Pretty good for not being able to tie shoelaces! Does it apply to belts, one wonders?

  32. Here is the real quotation about “nude Harry” in the Deathly Hallows flick (from the Entertainment Weekly article, last paragraph):

    Still, it will be a while before Radcliffe knows whether his exit strategy has succeeded. At the very least, he can say that his stage work has prepared him for Hallows, which begins shooting next spring. The young actor says he’s most looking forward to the haunting, emotional sequence in which Harry walks through a forest toward his final confrontation with Voldemort, accompanied by the ghosts of Sirius Black, his parents, and others. He’s also excited to shoot Harry’s last, dreamy encounter with Dumbledore, although he recently reread the sequence in the book and made the surprising discovery that Harry is naked during the scene. ”At first, I thought I had pants on,” Radcliffe says. ”Apparently not.” Is he nervous? ”Bah, I’ve sort of done that,” he says, with mock bravado. ”It’s all old hat now, really.”

    Daniel has learned that Harry ‘wakes up’ naked in the book Hallows version of his scene in the palace/King’s Cross with Dumbledore. Not the script, not the movie, i.e., not a chance we see buff Daniel before he thinks of robes and the Robespierre, I mean, “robes appear.”

    Can the Daily Prophet get any worse than this? Look for it.

  33. Arabella Figg says

    pj, you wrote: “I am a firm believer in using *suggestion* rather than blatant visuals. I think the power of our own imagination to fill in the gaps is much more effective and allows the viewer to integrate self into the storyline easier.”

    I had an experience today that, to me, shows proof of this, for readers who love books, anyway. I’m a big Meg Cabot fan (author of The Princess Diaries and other YA and adult hysterical books. She wrote an Arthurian-riff book called Avalon High.

    When I picked up the new sequel today at the library, imagine my astonishment to discover it was a Manga graphic novel. I’d had yet to read such a book and was interested in doing so (loved comic books as a kid).

    While the art was incredible (not to mention the female bodies–straight out of male fantasy), I found the visuals very distracting. The meat of Cabot’s books is in the thought-life of the narrator and how she describes things. With minimal narrative and Manga visuals, I finished it in less than an hour and felt cheated of a real book, one in which I was absorbed and entertained and in which my imagination was engaged.

    I’m not condemning graphic novels. They have their place and can serve as an introduction to reading. But, like you, I prefer to “integrate myself” into the story and this format prevented it. And, like you with films, I too prefer suggestion rather than blatancy.

    I doubt we’ll see much nudity in DH. It passes so quickly in the book and is so minor, compared to the converstation with Dumbledore. But then, Yates wasted all that time, in OotP, on the (non-book) Minstry Howler…. I just hope he spends his time more wisely with DH.

    Kitties are both wise and howlers…

  34. Janet, thanks for the explanation. I’d sort of figured it out from the press releases from WB (which, I think, could have been handled better) and some of the comments from the few sane people commenting at TLC. Which brings up the other thing I want to say.

    Thanks to everyone here for remaining normal and sane. It’s, unfortunately, not just the teens who think their lives are over because the movie has been moved to next summer. Some of the most vocal and vindictive commenters at TLC are adults, who I find even more disturbing than the teens. Even with the second clarifying statement from WB they are plotting revenge and vowing that nothing WB says can make any difference to them. It’s all a bit scary to read some of their comments. I really hope that it’s because they feel so anonymous on a forum and that they aren’t like that in real life.

    And I agree with what everyone has said about Dan in the buff in DH. It was handled very well when he was in the bath in CS; I’m sure that they can manage to use that fog well. Having grown up with old movies (I’ll be 60 next month) when not much could be said or shown, I am a firm believer that people have good enough imaginations to fill in what’s missing.


  35. Arabella Figg says

    It’s hard to believe people are making such a huge fuss about the delayed release of a film, about which they will then gripe, because it didn’t fulfull their expectations.

    The writers’ strike was a worthy cause, and it was made clear early on that it would effect film as well as TV. There are some good books out there to fill up the time.

    I don’t want to think how Luscious Badboy is filling up his time at the moment…

  36. Secret Reason for Film Delay Revealed! Shocking Discovery of Long Missing and Hard to Find Person in rushes means heavy editing!

    Great interview with Daniel Radcliffe about Equus and Potter subjects (love the advice Gambon gives him about learning one’s lines..), Rupert Grint is so nervous about kissing Emma Watson (“she’s like my sister!”) that he has taken a part in a movie with a nude scene in it, and, better than the rest, a romp of an interview with Uncle Vernon, OBE….

    I’m glad we have a movie thread going! If you want to read something about the books, why not “read the book” in NYC to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Harry’s arrival?

  37. Gladius Terrae Novae says

    Wait a minute! If I’d have paid attention and noticed it was DH, I’d have remembered there is a nude scene! When the seven harry’s are undressing, harry actually expresses concern that they are so comfortable showing off his body. I think that makes sense as a misread and it fits in well with him appearing nude.

    By the way, the difference between violence and nudity is that in film the people aren’t really dead, they’re not even hurt, but you just can’t fake naked. The way I was raised, I was playing Power Rangers and superman and fighting the nazis/communists since I could walk, and have watched violent movies throughout my childhood, not that we didn’t have restrictions on certain extremely violent movies with no redeeming elements. I’m not traumatized, violent, etc., nor are the many people I know who were raised that way. Anyways, I know not everyone agrees with me on that, but I wanted throw in my two cents.

  38. Hilarious “secret reason” picture, John! Thanks for the link!

  39. Hari Puttar? Too close for Warner Brothers! Back to the Bollywood drawing board…

  40. Coppinger Bailey says

    Yay Janet! Thanks for the reporting…

    I was just bummed out that this Thanksgiving/late fall was going to go by without the release & a good HP movie fix.

    I haven’t paid close attention, but I suppose this means DH1 will move to summer ’10 and DH2 summer ’11 (?), thus ensuring 3 good tentpoles for the bean-counters & stockholders.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with making lots of beans, mind you… just so long as the creative folks are actually getting some beans of their own & not just peanuts.


  41. Hmm… not sure how I’m going to break the news of the delay to my daughter. She turns 11 in November and wanted to celebrate with a ‘ready to go to Hogwarts’ Potter party, perfectly capped off by seeing HBP a week or two later!

  42. Does this mean that publication of your revised “Unlocking HP…” book will also be delayed? Or is the new “Deathly Hallows Lectures” the updated edition (just found it on Amazon)?

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