Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Movie Trivia
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- While visiting Slughorn to get him to teach again, Dumbledore asks him if he can have a knitting magazine. On the cover is J.K. Rowling, the author of the beloved series.
- The length of the 35mm film is 4194 meters.
- Director Guillermo del Toro turned down the chance to direct this film so he could work on Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008).
Helen McCrory had been cast to play Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007), but had to back out because she was pregnant. She will play Bellatrix's sister, Narcissa Malfoy in this film.
Jessie Cave beat over 7000 girls to win the role of Lavender Brown, Ron's "love-interest" from the book.
Hero Fiennes-Tiffin who plays Tom Riddle, Age 11, is the nephew of Ralph Fiennes who plays Lord Voldemort (formerly Tom Riddle).
Robert Knox, who plays Marcus Belby, was tragically stabbed to death on May 24, 2008, just days after filming wrapped. The film is dedicated to him.
Christian Coulson, who played Tom Riddle in Chamber of Secrets, expressed an interest in returning as the teenage Riddle for this film, but David Yates felt that Coulson was too old for the role (he is close to 30).
Thomas James Longley auditioned for the role of 'Tom Riddle', but lost out to Frank Dillane.
- Dame Maggie Smith completed filming this film whilst undergoing radio-therapy as treatment for breast cancer.
- Alan Horn, President and Chief Operating Officer of Warner Bros. stated that due to "repercussions of the writers' strike" they were offered "new windows of opportunity that we (Warner Bros.) wanted to take advantage of." The films release date was then moved from November 21, 2008 to July of 2009.
- The original script included all of Dumbledore's memories about Voldemort as outlined in the source novel, but the director insisted on trimming them down as, according to Steve Kloves, "..he wanted to showcase Voldemort's rise without getting overly involved with his past as Riddle."
- This is the first Harry Potter film to be rated PG by the MPAA since Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).
- There is a scene in this movie in which Death Eaters, led by Bellatrix Lestrange and Fenrir Greyback, attack The Burrow where Harry, The Weasley's, Lupin, and Tonks are staying. This particular scene was not in the book, but was made just for the movie to serve as a representative of all the news reports, which are scattered around in the source novel, about various attacks by Death Eaters on the wizard community. It was considered to provide better pacing for a movie to have Harry actually experience one such attack first hand, rather than hearing/reading about those that kept happening to some other students, or their relatives.
- Shipped to some theaters under the moniker "Candlelit".
- 'Bruno Delbonnel' was chosen to be the film's cinematographer by 'David Yates': "The choice of angles, the extreme close-ups, the pacing of the scenes...It's very layered, incredibly rich."
- According to production designer Stuart Craig, Tom Riddle's Orphanage is based on buildings from the Liverpool Docklands, and it is influenced by Victorian-Georgian architecture. In fact the Orphanage's exterior uses original Victorian glaze bricks, to give the set a very hard structure.
- According to VFX supervisor Tim Alexander, completing the Inferius attack took several months: "It was much bolder and scarier than we imagined that they'd ever go in a Potter movie. David Yates was really cautious of not making this into a zombie movie, so we were constantly trying to figure out how not to make these dead people coming up look like zombies. A lot of it came down to their movement - they don't move fast, but they don't move really slow or groan and moan. We ended up going with a very realistic style." He also noted that Inferi are skinnier than zombies, as well as being waterlogged and grey.
- Dumbledore's ring of fire took computer graphic artist, Christopher Horvath, eight months to complete.
- Over 7000 girls auditioned for the role of Lavender Brown, and read from a scene with Madam Pomfrey, Hermione and Ron. Ironically, Emma Watson recommended Jessie Cave for the role, although Cave hadn't attended any auditions.
Jamie Campbell Bower hoped to be cast as a young Riddle. He was instead cast as the teenage Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Terry Gilliam, who was J.K. Rowling's personal choice to direct the first film, was approached to direct this film. However, Gilliam said, "Warner Bros. had their chance the first time around, and they blew it."
Bill Nighy was interested in playing Rufus Scrimgeour, but there was no place for the character in the film. He will play this role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows instead.
- The night scenes were filmed in the quaint village of Lacock and the cloisters at Lacock Abbey for three nights, 25-28 October 2007. Filming took place from 5 PM-5 AM, and residents of the street were asked to black out their windows with dark blinds.
- When Draco Malfoy goes to the room of Requirement for the final time, you can clearly see the harp that put Fluffy to sleep and the King from the game of chess that were in the first movie.
- The second film to NOT open with a "Harry-centric" event. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire opened with a scene from a chapter of the fourth book, "The Riddle House". Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens with an event which is mentioned in the first chapter of the sixth book, "The Other Minister", where the Death Eaters collapse the Millennium Bridge in London. (Although the first images in this film are of Harry and Dumbledore at the Ministry of Magic after the battle with Voldemort in the fifth film, the first legitimate and complete scene is the Death Eater attack.)
- The tapestry seen near the Room of Requirement is the last of seven in "The Hunt of the Unicorn" (or the "Unicorn Tapestries") series, called "The Unicorn in Captivity." The real tapestry can be found at the Cloisters in New York City.
- Mr Weasley's shed of Muggle artifacts contains, among other things, two Remington Noiseless Portable Typewriters and an HP Laserjet 4.
Eleanor Columbus had originally reprised her character of Susan Bones but her scene was cut.
Timothy Spall plays Wormtail for the third time (fourth, if one includes a photograph in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)), and is credited on the poster for this film, but he does not have a single line of dialogue.
- This is the first Harry Potter film that does not feature any aspect of Defense Against the Dark Arts classes on screen, either direct (second through fifth films) or indirect (first film). The only mention of the subject occurs when Dumbledore announces Snape's appointment to the open teaching position.
- When Harry is in Dumbledore's office at the end of the film, a bowl of lemon drops can be seen on his desk. This is a throwback to the first film, when Dumbledore announces they are his favorite Muggle candy.
- At the beginning of the film, the Death Eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge in London. The bridge is not specifically named in the book. The book is set in 1995 - 1996, according to the Canon time line. The Millennium Bridge was not constructed until 1998, and opened on 10 June 2000.
- The omission in this movie of the battle at Hogwarts between members of the Order of the Phoenix and Death Eaters was due to the fact that they writers did not want to seek repetition when they film the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I (2010).
- Much like the first book, some difference exist between the British and American editions of the text. One such difference is in the scene where Dumbledore takes Harry to meet Slughorn. In the American edition of the book, Dumbledore excuses himself to use the bathroom. In the film, he uses the more British term, "loo." This is in contrast to the first film, in which such references were shot twice to accommodate American and British audiences.
- This is the second time Tom Felton and Jim Broadbent have worked together on film. The first time being on the 1997 film The Borrowers (1997) as members of the four-inch tall family; son Peagreen Clock and his father Pod Clock respectively.
- In the flashback scene in which Dumbledore visits the young Tom Riddle in the orphanage, a photograph on the wall of Tom's room depicts the same place that Dumbledore and Harry travel to in search of the third Hocrux (the locket). There are also seven rocks on the windowsill, which is the same number of Hocruxes that Tom/Voldemort created.
J.K. Rowling read through the script for this film, and found a line where Dumbledore mentions a girl he had a crush on when he was younger. After reading it, she informed the filmmakers that Dumbledore is in fact gay, and that his only romantic infatuation was with the wizard Grindelwald, whom he later had to defeat in a wizard duel. She later made this information public while promoting the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
- Originally, the shooting script was written so that Harry takes possession of Dumbledore's wand after he is killed. Shortly before filming began, the final book in the series came out, in which Dumbledore's wand, and who possesses it, turn out to be major issues, so the script had to be changed.
- Dumbledore's fall from the tower filled Alan Rickman with nostalgic glee, as it harked back to his first hit Die Hard (1988), where his character fell from a tall building. Rickman felt at least "he was on the other end in this film!"
- After Dumbledore's death, Harry visits his office one last time. As the camera scans Dumbledore's desk before stopping on the wand, there is a quick glimpse of a letter. It looks like it is addressed to Rufus Scrimgeour, the new Minister of Magic, and is possibly a copy of Dumbledore's will, which comes into play in the seventh book.
- This is the first film in which the US and UK age rating has differed. (Submitted by staff member Nick.)
Some of the information above is courtesy of IMDb.
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