idea that the next Harry Potter movie will have to be cut in two
because the source material is so sprawling is one that’s been popping
up since the fourth film. It went into overdrive for Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix
, which was the longest book in the series…
and ended up being the shortest film. The truth is that JK Rowling’s
books are filled with wonderful world building details that either
don’t belong in a movie or can be part of the set dressing; out of the
long Potter novels only Goblet of Fire really feels packed with events
and plot*.

All of this is preface for a story that appeared in the Daily Mail
today, which claims that folks working on the latest Potter film, Harry
Potter and the Half Blood Prince
, are being told that the next and
final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be released in
two parts. I don’t really know why the crew on the current film would
be told this at all, to be honest. Even if everybody would be coming
back for Deathly Hallows, how does this effect them right now?
Obviously you want the crew to know when the time is come – otherwise
you’re pulling a Salkinds, releasing two Musketeers movies and only
paying everyone for one – but as they’re working on a whole different
film? It sounds to me like a rumor that has hit the crew, if the Daily
Mail isn’t just making this shit up. I’ve come to stop trusting almost
any unsourced stuff I read in the English papers when it comes to
entertainment – they make WENN look respectable.

Most suspect, though, is the article’s claim that splitting Hallows in
two would be done for artistic reasons, rather than financial ones (ie,
to milk the series’ close as much as possible). I doubt there’s even a
script for the seventh film (is veteran Potter screenwriter Steve Kloves back for the finale, or is he
only back for Half Blood Prince?), so all of this talk is especially
premature. At any rate, Deathly Hallows as a book feels packed to the gills with filler, especially the scenes where Harry, Hermione and Ron are on the run in the countryside. That’s about 200 pages that can be done away with in one montage.

*Although to be fair, the film version of Order of the Phoenix went too
far overboard for me, cutting the story way too closely and leaving a
rushed film.