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JK Rowling

Final Potter to get 2011 release


Via:  The BBC News Online

The final instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise is to be released in 2011, it has been announced.

Fans of the boy wizard will get to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in cinemas from 15 July.

Warner Brothers decided to split the seventh book in JK Rowling’s series into two parts as it was impossible to cram its 608 pages into a single film.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is set to be released on 19 November 2010.

Stuntman David Holmes suffered serious back injuries on the set of Deathly Hallows last month practising an aerial sequence.

The set was closed for a week for investigation before being allowed to re-open by the Health and Safety Executive.

It was announced in August last year that the release date for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince would be pushed back eight months to July this year.

Warner Bros president Alan Horn said the decision was taken to guarantee the studio a major summer blockbuster in 2009.

He also blamed the Hollywood writers’ strike, which hit the film industry hard in 2008.

The first five movies have made $4.5 billion (£2.2 billion) worldwide – making it the biggest film franchise in box office history, surpassing both James Bond and Star Wars.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The sixth Harry Potter movie is continuing to creep toward its Nov. 21 opening.

The trailer for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince arrives today online and makes its debut in theaters Friday before The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Film editing is complete, says director David Yates, and studio officials will soon see the finished product.

Then next month, test audiences will get a sneak peek — something that doesn’t seem to faze Yates in the least. “That’s an incredibly useful process,” he says.

The big reveal in the trailer (and in this exclusive photo from it): a glimpse of the young Tom Riddle, who grows up to become the wizarding world’s most malevolent force, Lord Voldemort.

Voldemort is played by Ralph Fiennes, and his 11-year-old incarnation is played by 10-year-old Hero Fiennes-Tiffin, the actor’s nephew. Not only does he bear a resemblance to the grown-up Voldemort, but he also has the requisite intensity, Yates says.

“His mother (Martha Fiennes) is a film director, and Hero was very focused and disciplined,” Yates says. “The fact that he’s related to Ralph wasn’t the primary reason for choosing him. It was an advantage that he looked very similar to Ralph. Of course that was useful. But primarily I went for Hero because of this wonderful haunted quality that seemed to bring Tom Riddle alive on-screen for us.”

Yates stressed how hard it can be for very young actors to find the necessary dark place to play such a creepy character.

“But even though he’s the nicest child you’d ever want to meet, sweet-natured and pleasant, he got the corners and dark moods and odd spirit of the character.”

Audiences also will meet a teenage Voldemort, still known as Tom Riddle. He’s played by Frank Dillane. The character made an appearance in the second Potter film, Chamber of Secrets, played by a different actor.

“Even at a very young age, Tom Riddle shows tendencies toward cruelty and maliciousness,” Yates says. “And it’s a very unsettling thing to see.”

From MTV Movie Blogs:

Only hours before the debut of the first “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” trailer (we’ll have it right here VERY soon) and we’ve got your first look at three newly released images. Enough to tide us over for these few minutes at least, right?

You think the Harry Potter movies are all about Harry Potter? You think he’s the only poor orphan who started manifesting strange and potentially dangerous powers at a young age only to discover he was actually a wizard and would get to go to Hogwarts and escape his miserable life? “Half-Blood Prince” is where you start to realize that Harry is a lot like Lord Voldemort — and by understanding how the Dark Lord came to be is the best way to defeat him. Kind of like “Star Wars” and its treatment of Anakin Skywalker as a kid and teenager, but much, much better. So how does Harry learn all this? From Dumbledore’s handy dandy memory collection, which he pours in the Pensieve.

While Dumbledore poured many a memory drink for Harry in the book, the film cuts the boy wizard off at two or three. So we’ll get to see Dumbledore visit a young Voldy — when he was just known as Tom Riddle — in the orphanage, where he was dumped even though he wasn’t technically an orphan (dead witch mother, very much alive Muggle father). This is where his hatred of Muggles begins — even though he doesn’t know the circumstances of his birth, he knows he’s unwanted, since Dumbledore is the first person who’s come to visit him. In a neat bit of casting, Tom is played by Hero Finnes Tiffin — he’s the nephew of Ralph Fiennes (who plays Voldemort), so the resemblance is there. Young Tom reveals a bit too much in his first talk with Dumbledore, which later helps the elderly wizard and his protege (watching the memory in the Pensieve) figure out where Voldy might have stashed some important stuff. Not without some security measures, however.

What was a little kid’s secret space — a cave near the beach where the orphange kids got to have an outing — becomes a death trap for anyone who might want to invade his space later in life. The cave scene promises to be epic — with zombie-like Inferi who Dumbledore has to fight off with a firestorm, just as he’s fighting for his very life, since he’s just been poisoned as well. If you think Dumbledore has it rough there, just wait until you see the final battle of the film — perhaps some of it will be teased in the trailer to be released tonight.

From MTV Movies Blogs:

As the actor who embodies Harry Potter’s every move, Daniel Radcliffe certainly knows from heroism. There’s the type of courage needed to battle a basilisk, for instance, or the bravery required to face down several dementors. But you can keep your dragon rides and your sorcerers’ duels, insisted Radcliffe, who told MTV News that the scene from the upcoming movie, “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” he’s most looking forward to filming is the one in which Harry’s heroism manifests itself in the simple act of telling a friend it’s all going to be ok.

“I’m really looking forward to filming the cave and all the stuff in there with the lake and the Inferi,” Radcliffe enthused. “Me and [Michael] Gambon in a row boat for a few days. It’s gonna be amazing.” (Warning: spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the book.)

The climax of “Half-Blood Prince,” the cave scene centers on Harry and Dumbledore as they search for one of Voldemort’s horcruxes, believed to be magically concealed deep within a cliff young Tom Riddle stole away to while at an orphanage. The pair find the horcrux, of course, but not before passing the Dark Lord’s many booby traps – the most terrifying of which is a potion designed to make the drinker relive his very worst memories. It’s here that Harry is able to save Dumbledore, who has tasted the brew and fallen into a screaming hysteria.

Which — as readers of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” could tell you — was all for naught, since the locket horcrux was already removed from the basin by Regalus Black and the house elf Kreacher. But now that we know they got there (and out), how will Radcliffe and Gambon? Will the expansive cave with the vast underground lake be entirely digital?

Not according to Radcliffe.

“I thought it was all gonna be largely visual effects, but they have built the cave,” he revealed, confirming that the shoot will be all practical. “So it’s gonna be very interesting to film.”

Report: J.K. Rowling writing crime novel


By DAVID STRINGER, Associated Press Writer 

LONDON – J.K. Rowling has been spotted at cafes in Scotland working on a detective novel, a British newspaper reported Saturday.

The Sunday Times newspaper quoted Ian Rankin, a fellow author and neighbor of Rowling’s, as saying the creator of the “Harry Potter” books is turning to crime fiction.

“My wife spotted her writing her Edinburgh criminal detective novel,” the newspaper, which was available late Saturday, quoted Rankin as telling a reporter at an Edinburgh literary festival.

“It is great that she has not abandoned writing or Edinburgh cafes,” said Rankin, who is known for his own police novels set in the historic Scottish city.

Rowling famously wrote initial drafts of the Potter story in the Scottish city’s cafes. Back then, she was a struggling single mother who wrote in cafes to save on the heating bill at home.

Now she’s Britain’s richest woman — worth $1 billion, according to Forbes magazine — and her seven Potter books have sold more than 335 million copies worldwide.

In an interview with The Associated Press last month, Rowling said she believed she was unlikely to repeat the success of the Potter series, but confirmed she had plans to work on new books.

“I’ll do exactly what I did with Harry — I’ll write what I really want to write,” Rowling said.

The office of Rowling’s literary agent, Christopher Little, was not immediately available to comment late Saturday.