Nikki Finke at Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that Warner Bros is moving Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince off their slate for this year and repositioning the film in July of 2009. The reasoning, which she attributes to Alan Horn, is that the writer’s strike left the 2009 summer fairly free of tentpoles. Spaketh Horn, the strike opened “new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We
agreed the best strategy was to move
Half-Blood Prince to July, where
it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.”

So now it’s July 17th, 2009 when you get to see [spoiler!] Snape kill Dumbledore. That’s a pretty long wait – almost a year from now! – and I imagine that Potter fans are going to be fairly seriously bummed out. I know I’m a little let down.

The move apparently changes nothing when it comes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which is still in production and still has the same November 2010 release date.