Micah: Over the next three weeks MuggleCast will be teaming up with Teddy Bears for Hope, a nonprofit organization that provides teddy bears to children affected by homelessness, disease and neglect.
Andrew: It's time for the show and its fans to help give back to those who really need it. Visit MuggleCast.com to learn about this great charity and how you can make a difference.
Laura: The Potter fandom has always prided itself on rallying around great causes. No amount is too small and all funds go directly towards providing children with hope for the future through the comfort and security of a brand new teddy bear.
Andrew, Laura, and Micah: Thanks.
[Intro music begins]
Andrew: Hey, Mason. Did you know that on July 1st Yahoo! Domain renewal pricing increased to $34.95 per year?!
Mason: $34.95 per year? No way! Ridiculous! That's not a deal at all.
Andrew: You're right. It's not. And I do need a deal.
Mason: You need a deal? I got the deal you need, Andy! Check this out: transfer your domain to GoDaddy for as little as $6.99 and get a free one year extension, plus guaranteed renewal pricing. GoDaddy.com makes transferring easy and offers loads of extras including hosting, a five page site builder, and much more. Oh yeah! Plus, as a listener of MuggleCast, enter code Muggle, that's M-U-G-G-L-E, when you check out and save an additional 10% on any order. Some restrictions do apply. I want you to see the site for the details. Get your piece of the Internet at GoDaddy.com.
[Harry Potter theme plays]
Jim Dale: [as Professor McGonagall] This is Professor McGonagall welcoming you all to MuggleCast hoping you enjoyed - Dobby! Dobby, come here! Here! Dobby! [as Dobby] Yes, I'd just like to say how very pleased I am to introduce MuggleCast to all of you! Thank you! Thank you!
[Show music begins]
Micah: Because at least we're not making you wait eleven months until our next show - well, maybe we are - this is MuggleCast Episode 157, our final weekly episode, for August 17th, 2008.
Andrew: All right, well, it is time for our final weekly episode of MuggleCast. And, you know, at first it was just going to be the show where we looked back on the show and we do all the segments that we've ever done, and it's still going to be that, but now there's this big news that Half-Blood Prince is being delayed until 2009, and now that's the big focus of the week.
Jamie: Yeah, it's a huge surprise. It's ridiculous. But, you know ...
Andrew: And Jamie's back! It's even bigger news than the movie delay.
[Jamie and Kevin laugh]
Eric: I agree with that.
Andrew: Oh, and I can't forget Kevin either. Kevin's here too. Hello, Kevin.
Andrew: It's been awhile for both of you.
Jamie: Well, it's nice to be back.
Andrew: Welcome back.
Jamie: I tell you, it's absolutely very nice to be back. I've missed it a lot. I can feel the serotonin cascade down into my brain now...
Jamie: ...from being back this week.
Andrew: And how about you, Kevin? The same feelings?
Andrew: All right, good. I'm Andrew Sims.
Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.
Jamie: I'm Jamie Lawrence.
Eric: I'm Eric Skull.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: I'm Matthew Britton.
Elysa: And I'm Elysa Montfort.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: All right, Micah Tannenbaum, we're not going to have big focus on the news this week, but what is the big story? I know you're very upset about this, so try to get through it.
Micah: You mentioned it before. The big story...is...it's our last weekly show.
Andrew: No. No.
Eric: It's sort of pressing.
Andrew: Let's be modest. What's the real big news?
Micah: All right, well, the big news is that Half-Blood Prince has been delayed until July 17, 2009.
Micah: Eight months after the original date in November. And this is just, in my opinion, one of the most ridiculous moves that Warner Bros. has ever made.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Micah: And it is completely, 100%, revenue generated. There's no other reason!
Andrew: Oh, Micah!
Matt: Is this bugging you, dude?
[Laura and Matt laugh]
Micah: It's bugging me a little bit.
Andrew: Let's be happy. This is a happy show. No. Well, honestly, when I heard this news I was like, "Oh, I'll never forget where I was when I found out."
Andrew: We were in Target, about to check out, and Eric called me, and then Ben called me and, honestly, a little part of me died inside when I found out. I just felt so empty and betrayed.
Jamie: No, Andrew! That's not true, is it? That's not true!
Andrew: No, I am dead serious. Matt, what did I say in the Target? What did I say?
Matt: I said, "This is awesome."
[Andrew, Laura, and Matt laugh]
Andrew: No, I actually felt like a little part of me died. I'm not even kidding!
Jamie: Andrew, that's not true though, is it?
Andrew: It was kind of depressing. No, Jamie, I'm not kidding you. I really did.
Jamie: You're still going to see it.
Andrew: What was your reaction?
Jamie: I was like, well, fair played, these things happen in Hollywood. You know, I wasn't going to...
Jamie: Like, fair enough. If a part of me died, like, parts of me die when, like, there are world tragedies, Andrew.
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Jamie: Or like when somebody close to me gets hurt.
Andrew: That's a world tragedy!
Matt: Yeah, kind of like when Russia was invading Georgia or, you know, something's going on in the world, but [whispers] Harry Potter's been delayed.
Jamie: Yeah, it's sad, but, you know...
Andrew: I'm just really...
Jamie: These things happen.
Matt: Yeah, it's very sad. It really is though.
Eric: Well, can you guys name the last big movie that did this? That totally delayed eight months? I mean, I'm not going to say it's unprecedented, but...
Jamie: Matt, you need to teach Andrew to suck it up and start, you know, hiding his feelings.
[Andrew and Matt laugh]
Eric: Oh - oh no. I'm fully backing your moral example there, Jamie.
Matt: Mhm. Well, this is just a big shock, though, because, I mean, Harry Potter is such a huge franchise for Warner Bros. and the fact that they delayed this movie is just kind of shocking.
Jamie: But it's Dark Knight mania, isn't it?
Andrew: Here's my main problem: it was so late in the game to make this decision. I mean, we just got under a hundred days. And I was about to e-mail our coder and be like, "Yeah, you can take the zero off that countdown, that third one, since we're at 98 now, there's no reason for that." And, you know, and then this happened. It's just really surprising. Now, Micah in particular, and I'm not even joking, he's very upset on this issue.
Andrew: I guess we'll go through some of the concern. And let's face it, a very large part of the fandom is very upset about it.
Jamie: But it's brilliant when you think about it. Like, there are, you know, a hundred days to go and they put it back and the hype gets built up and, you know, I just think - anyway, it brings Harry Potter - sorry, it ends - Harry Potter's going to end even later now, so I don't know why people are complaining, you know?
Eric: Well, actually, Jamie, I'm going to disagree with you. They said that the Deathly Hallows filming would still be on schedule so that will not be affected and, therefore, end later. And I don't think that the...
Jamie: Oh. [laughs]
Eric: ...excitement is what's being built up here. I think that what they're building up here is the lynch mobs who are going to go out to WB and cause some...
Laura: The lynch mobs?
[Jamie and Laura laugh]
Eric: You know. The riots!
Kevin: People are going to watch it either way.
Laura: Yeah, really.
Matt: Well, it's just sad because you waited like an entire year for this movie and then you find out that you have to wait completely another year.
Eric: And for what reason? And for what reason? Because Dark Knight over-performed at the box office and they no longer need the money this year? But they said, "Hey, wait a minute, we could use it next year"?
Eric: That's the reason they gave. Now whether or not you want to believe that and, you know, there are a few e-mails and stuff that we read, but whether or not you believe that, that's kind of crappy.
Matt: Well, what I didn't get was, did Warner Bros. really doubt that The Dark Knight would do so well in the box office?
Jamie: No, they knew!
Andrew: That's a good question.
Jamie: They knew it was going to clean out.
Matt: They knew it was going to be awesome.
Jamie: They knew it was.
Matt: Wouldn't they have put that in consideration for the Warner - for the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince release?
Jamie: It's timing, isn't it?
Andrew: I think, well - let me tell you. Here's a couple things that bother me.
Andrew: First of all, two weeks ago - two weeks ago, the teaser trailer comes out. What does it say? November. A week later on HarryPotter.com, they publish all the Half-Blood Prince release dates, you know, and they're like November, whatever. It's the 21st, a couple days later, blah blah blah. And there was one more thing that I can't remember right now. But it's just all these different things, and it's like, you realize that this was actually a very late minute decision.
Laura: Yeah, but I don't believe for a second they didn't know it was coming. I mean, they try to make it sound like...
Laura: ..."Oh, we just made this decision yesterday, really, no one knew!"
Laura: Yeah, no. I think that's crap.
Matt: Yeah, I don't really buy that whole "Harry Potter is a summer movie."
Eric: Yeah, yeah, that's crap.
Matt: Because if that was true then they would have made it a summer release at the get-go.
Matt: Yeah, that was lame.
Eric: Absolutely, absolutely, you're totally right, Matt. You can't tell me that the - there's very little going on this weekend if you look at the Entertainment Weekly - er, sorry, this fall. It's a holiday movie season. You can't tell me that Harry Potter - I mean, Harry Potter has always been holiday movie season with the exception of Movie 3 and 5. You know, most of the time.
Matt: And they're always released for Thanksgiving weekend, too.
Eric: Exactly! And Christmas and they stay over Christmas. There was something in the press release about giving it a longer box office stay. That's absolute crap, because the next big movies to hit after the Thanksgiving or Christmas are, like, February, March. You know, Harry Potter would be, you know, assuming it's a good movie, would stay through months.
Andrew: Micah, what was the point you brought up earlier today about kids being out of school in the summer?
Kevin: I think we lost Micah.
Andrew: Oh, did we? Oh, woops!
Andrew: No, what I was going to say, the point Micah made was that this movie was coming out over Thanksgiving anyway. So it's like, kids are going to be off anyway. That was the point that Micah had.
Andrew: Here's something else that bothered me: this release date was set before Order of the Phoenix came out. We were - I was on the Order of the Phoenix set September 2006, and right before that was when they announced the release date. And when we were interviewing David Heyman, I said to him, "Why set the date this early?" And he says, "Well, we want to set our schedule ahead of time because, you know, we want to know what we're doing," and, you know, the gist of it was that they wanted to be, you know, a little more organized with, you know, setting the dates. And I wonder if they actually waited to set a release date, you know, maybe until, I don't know, Order of the Phoenix was out. Then they would have decided to release it in the summer.
Jamie: No, but, Andrew...
Andrew: ...instead of making this decision before Order of the Phoenix was even finished filming!
Jamie: Andrew, it's so approximate though.
Andrew: It's just - it felt so absurd from the beginning.
Jamie: But movie making takes so long to do.
Kevin: And it seems strange that they delayed so long to tell everyone.
Kevin: If that was the case, you would think that they would...
Matt: Yeah. They delayed after they gave us the teaser trailer.
Kevin: Yeah, exactly.
Andrew: You know, there was a blogger a few weeks ago - somebody sent this in as a news tip, there was a blogger who made a post about maybe the reason why we haven't been getting the teaser trailer is because they're delayed. And I'm thinking, "Oh my God. First of all, this guy's insane! How could they delay the movie this late in the game? There's no way!"
Andrew: And [laughs] it came true! And I think that's partially why a part of me died inside...
Andrew: ...because, like, when somebody suggested that to me - well, when I read that blog first I was like, that is the biggest bunch of B.S. I've ever read. There's no way they're pushing this movie back.
Matt: Well, I don't know if a part of me died inside when I found out. It kind of felt like someone just kicked me in the stomach or something.
Andrew: I kicked you in the stomach. In Target I was so freakin' angry.
Matt: Oh, that's why I blacked out.
Laura: Yeah, you guys were really upset. I saw your reaction video on YouTube. It was very sad.
Andrew: Yeah, of course we had our reaction video too. [laughs]
Elysa: You did? I didn't see that!
Laura: Oh, they were in tears, Elysa. It was - oh my gosh.
Elysa: Oh my God.
Andrew: There have been so many people submitting petitions.
Andrew: You know, e-mailing in their petitions and stuff, you know, complaining like, "Sign these petitions. MuggleNet, please post this."
Matt: Oh my god, I - I - what were we talking about?
Jamie: Yeah, but... [laughs]
Matt: That's what I was talking about. I got like thirty plus...
Kevin: Oh my God.
Matt: ...invites, and they're like all different groups saying, "Boycott WB." "WB sucks."
Kevin: Yeah, they're all unique.
Matt: "Let's all not even see the movie."
Matt: "WB is the devil."
Elysa: That's not going to work.
Laura: That is all such a load of crap. Seriously? None of these people are going to boycott the movie. They're all going to go see it.
Matt: I mean, but you can understand their reaction to it. But, I mean, just some of them are so extreme. You're just thinking, "oh my goodness."
Laura: Yeah, I've gotten a few e-mails from people who are like, "Yeah, we want you guys to promote this on your show, and we're going to lead a boycott against Warner Bros." I'm like, oh my God! Calm down! Breathe!
Eric: 25 to 250 separate groups.
Matt: I mean, we can agree that the decision wasn't exactly, you know... [laughs] ...a positive on our side, but I don't hate - we don't WB for it. Do we?
Micah: Sure, why not?
Andrew: I don't know, that's debatable.
Micah: I don't hate them; I think this was a pure business decision...
Matt: It was definitely business.
Micah: ...and from a business perspective it makes a whole lot of sense. From a fan perspective, it sucks. I mean, there's - that's kind of the two different sides of all this.
Matt: Yeah, it really does suck.
Eric: We were expecting a movie here, in November.
Andrew: Jamie, you don't seem to be as hurt by it. I mean, what's your - what's your take on it? I mean...
Jamie: I think it's, as Matt says, it's business. You know, it's going to happen. When you - [headset makes noise] Sorry, my headset flew off - when you said...
Jamie: ...that you were talking with Heyman, and, you know, when they sort of set a release date that far in advance, then, you know, movies, you can't tell. When you're spending $100 million on anything then there's so many things that could go wrong, even if one tiny part of it gets put back, then the entire project gets put back, so these people who have to set a release date have to work within tiny, tiny windows. So even though it probably is a complete business decision and it's all about making more money, 'cause, you know, they obviously learned quite a bit from The Dark Knight and all the hype surrounding that. I wouldn't be surprised if there was a couple of things that also should have edged them towards moving it back, so they can relax in other areas as well.
Micah: I really believe the point that they gave us about how the writer's strike could have impacted other films that were slated to be released in 2009 and maybe something very recently happened that caused one of those films to not go into its final production.
Eric: Writer's strike? What writer's strike?
Matt: Yeah. Well, earlier on in the announcement they said that the writer's strike had some effect, or something, to this delay, but...
Andrew: On future films.
Matt: I think that was just a quick cop out that they could think of.
Laura: Yeah, I agree.
Matt: I don't think there really was any real...
Elysa: I agree.
Eric: What writer's strike?
Micah: You don't think it's possible that they lost a movie slated for that 2009 summer month? And just decided...
Eric: No because everything right before that is coming out now.
Matt: The only thing that I can see that the writer's strike had some effect on it as, I think you're right, Micah, I think it had something to do with a separate movie, maybe?
Andrew: Right, that's the issue, yeah.
Micah: Right, so say Movie X was supposed to come out...
Matt: Why does it really have anything to do with a huge movie like Harry Potter? Couldn't they just switch out with another movie?
Micah: Well, I'm just saying, say they lost their biggest revenue-generating movie of 2009 due to some issue with the writer's strike, and they didn't find out about it until just now, or in the last few weeks, let's say, and so they handed down the decision, let's put out Half-Blood Prince in 2009, because we know that's going to make us that money.
Kevin: Yeah, that does makes sense.
Andrew: Yeah. I just - I think what it comes down to is, sure, people - be upset for whatever reason that you want, but the reason I'm upset about this is the timing of it all. They announced this too late. They should have made this decis - decis - [stumbles over words] - decision a long time ago.
Jamie: They should have done it, it's true.
Jamie: It is...
Jamie: It is kind of bad on their behalf. I don't know.
Andrew: They released a teaser trailer two weeks ago that said November, and then the following week they released release dates! It's so - it's just unprofessional.
Matt: Well, yeah.
Jamie: But it's genius too, though.
Andrew: Why? Why is it genius?
Jamie: No, you know, it's just great the way everyone's talking about it in all types of publicity.
Andrew: That's true.
Jamie: It's good publicity. Like, if you're angry, Andrew, you're thinking about it, which means, you know, you've got Harry Potter and Warner Bros. on the brain.
Eric: And you're more likely to buy action figures...
Micah: Yeah, and now you have eleven months to forget about it.
Andrew: I am so angry, I'm going to go buy the complete collection on Blu-Ray right now!
Eric: Well, you know, Jamie...
Matt: I have to say, though...
Matt: Go ahead.
Andrew: I am so angry I'm going to go see another WB movie on November 21st. Grr.
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Andrew: Sorry. I'm done interrupting.
Matt: Well, I have to say, though, that on a positive note for this delay, is that the move will be released a day before HPEF's convention, Azkatraz, in San Francisco.
Elysa: Oh, that's a good point.
Eric: Well, no, did you guys get the e-mail about that, too, they're actually - they've already booked an IMAX theater. A whole theater.
Laura: You're kidding me!
Eric: Yeah, no, Azkatraz - HPEF has really, really gotten it good here. It's very lucky for them. Very fortunate for them.
Andrew: Yes. And...
Matt: I got to tell you...
Elysa: Wow, that's kind of neat though.
Matt: I am so going to Azkatraz.
Jamie: Oh man, yeah! It sounds awesome!
Eric: I know, it's totally one great reason to go. Yeah, absolutely.
Andrew: And I'll tell all you guys about this after the show. We can't announce this yet, but already we are planning an event in relation to the movie release and Azkatraz. So put two and two together.
Jamie: It's going to be a podcast probably, since we do a podcast, eh?
Andrew: Well, okay.
Matt: Put two and two together, Jamie, very good.
Andrew: No, no. Okay, obviously it's a podcast, but it's a special podcast.
Matt: [whispers] Special.
Andrew: I'll tell you guys after the show. They don't want to announce anything yet. But they're working on it. It's going to be cool. Let's move on to some e-mails that we've received and we'll comment on them. Obviously, the fans, as I said, are very upset about these developments.
Andrew: First one comes from Ed McPherson of Anaheim. Just around the corner from the MuggleCast studios.
Matt: Oh my goodness.
"I'm a firm believer that this movie was put on hold because it is not good. It must have been previewed and found wanting. Therefore, it was decided to fix it. This also explains why there was such a delay in releasing a teaser trailer. The excuse of the writer's strike only makes sense if what they had was bad. If it has already been shot, then you do not need writers anymore. What do you think?"
Elysa: I think that would suck for us after hyping up that teaser trailer.
Micah: Well, we kind of explained this earlier, I think. I think he's confusing the writer's strike here. He's thinking that the writer's strike had an impact on Half-Blood Prince. That's not what they're saying.
Micah: They're saying that the writer's strike had an impact on other movies slated to come out in 2009 and, therefore, Half-Blood Prince needed to be moved.
Andrew: Elysa, what did you say?
Elysa: Oh, me? No, I just said I think that would suck...
Elysa: ...after - that would suck for us after hyping up that teaser trailer. I mean, we spent two hours talking about how great it looked, and so if the reason is that the movie's terrible...
Elysa: ...we're going to come out looking like idiots.
Andrew: Yeah. Well, and - to avoid these - this type of criticism, they did say in the press release, you know, oh the film is great. David Heyman is like, "I'm so proud of David Yates and the entire cast. Incomparable cast," you know.
Micah: Those were so scripted, man.
Jamie: They have to say that, though, don't they? They're not going to say it's [beep].
Laura: Yeah, but even if the movie is good, they're still going to face this sort of criticism. Because really, when you look at a film this big being pushed back that much, that's what people are automatically going to assume. And that's a lot of the reason I feel this was a really bad move on their part. I mean, yeah, it's more publicity for the movie but it's not necessarily good.
Andrew: Hey, do you guys think - I had this idea last night too - do you guys think maybe they actually did have this decision before the teaser trailer came out? They just didn't want to announce it beforehand because then everyone would be so PO-ed?
Jamie: You're such a conspiracy theorist, Andrew.
Matt: That is such a bad tease, though.
Elysa: I'd be pissed.
Matt: "Let's tease them with this awesome teaser trailer and then just tell them, 'you know what? You're going to wait another year for this.'"
Eric: Absolutely. I mean, when I first heard this news I said, well, wait a minute, that explains why the teaser trailer was so late, because the whole movie isn't ready and it has to be pushed back. But at the same time then, I think they kind of got themselves into a pickle, which is our catchphrase.
Jamie: Yay! [laughs]
Eric: Because they waited so long to release the teaser trailer that, you know, that they waited so long so that if they hadn't released the teaser trailer at the time they mentioned the delay, it would be an even bigger issue because we would have, you know, three months anticipation of, you know, different reports saying it would come out in this movie, come out in this movie, and then WB says wait, another eight more months without a teaser trailer, that would be a bad thing. If they had mentioned it way, way long ago...
Jamie: See, that is very, very true, yeah.
Matt: Yeah. Well, how could Half-Blood Prince not be ready though? I mean, what is in The Half-Blood Prince that is so much more difficult than the other movies that they had to actually push back the release date?
Eric: It's a worthwhile - it's a worthwhile question to ask.
Micah: Nothing. That's it. It's all business.
Matt: I could understand if, like, Goblet of Fire - or Deathly Hallows - was pushed back because of the, you know, production value and they couldn't get all the CGI, special effects and stuff.
Jamie: It's a harder film, isn't it? The image is sort of like quite a bit more important in these two, in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows, than it has been in the last five.
Matt: Half of the movie is memories! Just put a fog effect in the lens and that's it.
Jamie: What, like iMovie it, Matt?
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Matt: Oh my god! Totally! Just take some ashes and blow it into the lens and then you've got it.
Jamie: And ruin your 150 grand IMAX camera. [laughs]
Jamie: That's probably why the movie's being put back. They tried your amazing idea.
[Eric and Jamie laugh]
Micah: What did you guys think about the reasoning, you know, Half-Blood Prince is now closer to the release of the first Deathly Hallows and fans will enjoy that.
Eric: Bull! Bull! Like they give a crap!
Matt: It's their movie.
Micah: I was talking to Andrew about this, I don't know, last night. What does that do for the fan, though, if Half-Blood Prince is now closer to Deathly Hallows? I mean...
Andrew: They're just trying to give everyone something positive about it. I mean, you know, that's all it is.
Micah: There's no sort of flow from one to the other, really. I mean, Dumbledore dies, that's the end of Half-Blood Prince.
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