Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Close Up

An LA Times interview with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince director David Yeats has given fans of the franchise something nice to contemplate as they prepare for the upcoming release of Half-Blood Prince — specifically what Yeats has in store for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

That would be parts I and II of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Presently there are only seven “Harry Potter” books from J.K. Rowling, and most fans of the books and films know the final novel will be broken into a two-part film.

Fair enough. Ah, but where in the final novel will Yeats and the producers decide to close out part 1 and set the stage for the final chapter?

During the interview Geoff Boucher asked Yeats if he had figured out where to end the seventh film and pick up with part 2 — in effect creating a much-needed cliffhanger.

“Yes, I think we have,” he said. “Things can change when you edit, of course, but the idea now is that it will be not long after the sequence that we are filming here today. That’s what we’re experimenting with. We’ve had three or four different ideas about where to cut off the seventh film. Traditionally, the movies have ended with a death or a bereavement, some sort of passage or arrival.

This time we think we will end with more a cliffhanger. Again, though, that’s the thought as of this moment.”

One could make the case that splitting the final installment into two films is just a studio ploy to extract as much profit as humanly possible, but Yeats defends the two-part decision:

“I will get the benefit of two budgets, the running time of two films and all the resources that brings with it to tell this huge adventure; more time, more money, more special effects. There are always things that are lost when you adapt a book to a film. With two films, much less will be lost.”

So we can chalk that up in the ‘good news’ category. We definitely do not want major plot points left on the cutting-room floor.

Of course there’s the title to think about: Will it be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, or will they tweak the second part and give the last film a more definitive title?

What do you think about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows being split into two films? Is that better, more Harry Potter awesomeness to enjoy?