Ben [Show Intro]: This is MuggleCast - Episode 2 for August 14, 2005. If you haven't finished the 6th Book yet, please do not continue listening, because there are spoilers abound.
Andrew: Hey Guys! I'm Andrew Sims.
Kevin: I'm Kevin Steck.
Aris: And I'm Aris Janetakos.
Andrew: And welcome to this week's edition of MuggleCast. And we have a special guest this week. Yes, you heard right, it's Aris Janetakos from Veritaserum. How you doing Aris?
Aris: I'm good. How are you guys?
Andrew and Kevin: We're pretty good.
Andrew: As you might notice Ben Schoen has had a couple of technical problems, so he's not here this week unfortunately, but I think we've made up with Aris being here.
Aris: He's with us in spirit.
Andrew: He is…he is…
Andrew: So we're going to start off with our top story and our main topic of discussion this week. It's what WB had…in my opinion, had feared the most. Warner Brothers announced to the company this week that Goblet of Fire received a PG-13 rating "for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images". Kevin Steck, what is this going to do to the movie? How is this going to effect who sees it?
Kevin: Well, I don't think it's going to affect it too much. I think that most of the parents have read the books to their children, so they know what to expect. But I do think that WB's initial intention was to keep it PG, and the fact that they got PG-13 was probably upsetting to them. I don't know why they weren't able to keep it PG, but in the end it's up to the MPAA and they made their decision…unless they go back and edit it.
Andrew: I like how ComingSoon put it. It was basically a slap in the face. WB had said their goal was to keep all the movies rated PG and this one being PG-13 obviously, I think it is going to help in a way that a lot teens are going to be more appealed to it. Because a PG-13 rating…to a lot of people…that's like American Pie gets that kind of rating and people are going to say it's not going to be American Pie, but it's going to be more intense.
Andrew: Aris do you have anything to say about that?
Aris: Yes, personally I think it'll actually help bring a new audience possibly to the Harry Potter franchise. Because I think most people will see: "Oh PG-13, well it's not PG anymore, obviously there must be more to it. A little bit more violent than it was before."
Because as the books develop they have been getting darker, and I think it is time they get a PG-13 rating. Just because in Book 4 there is a death…we have Cedric Diggory die. There's blood violence in it. Somebody is being reborn…this graveyard scene. So it is a little bit scarier. So I think it does, in a way, deserve the PG-13 rating.
Just as Order of the Phoenix will.
Kevin: Now do you think that they intended for them to hit that PG-13 mark or was it just the MPAA going against their initial intention?
Andrew: You know what, like I said…Emerson asked David Heyman when Emerson visited the set of Goblet of Fire and he talked to him and David Heyman (who is the producer…one of the producers of Goblet of Fire) actually said that: "No, their goal was to make all of the movies PG." So, the MPAA thinks what they want to think, and that's their final rating and it has to be final.
Kevin: One thing I did find funny though is that, after the MPAA makes their decision, the movie company has the ability to edit the movie before making that final. And just the fact that they made it final at that rating, it sort of indicates that they said to themselves: "You know what, I think they were right, and I don't think we can cut out the scenes that they want us to cut out to make it PG."
Aris: Right. Exactly. You have a death, a death pretty much…that's a given PG-13 rating. Not to mention there's blood in it, there are violent and frightening scenes, it's not like it's a cartoon…like a Disney movie.
The mother is getting killed, but this is real life. There is blood, and somebody's dying right before your eyes. And there's language to be said in it. I think it's time that the Harry Potter franchise has expanded into a PG-13 rating. Order of the Phoenix is going to be PG-13. It has to be. You have another death in that book, and you have a lot of violence towards the end of the book. It's hard to sugarcoat something like that. You really can't change it. How do you make a death PG? How do you make blood PG? It's difficult. You can't really cut out those parts. They are crucial to the plot and to the story.
Andrew: Goblet of Fire was screen tested in Chicago a few weeks back and someone sent in a report to us. And the person described that when Cedric died, it was very graphic. Harry carries his dead body and you know, it's got to be what it's got to be.
Aris: Right you can't really change that.
Kevin: And it's not so much that someone dies, as much as it is the manner in which they die and the violence involved. There are plenty of movies out there where someone dies but they candy coat it, and I don't think had the ability to can candy coat it. That's what led to this.
Andrew: So how about future movies? Order of the Phoenix, there's another death in that one. Half-Blood Prince, there's another death in that one. To me the rest of the movies could be looking at PG-13 ratings.
Aris and Kevin: Absolutely.
Kevin: I think Aris was right it's about time the movies grew into that role.
It gives them more flexibility as well; it makes it so that now they can push the boundaries of the PG-13 rating. One death is not really that great of a reason to make it PG-13. That's probably what upset WB at that juncture. They probably hit that and said: "Wow we should have put some of the scenes that could have been put in, but we didn't because we want to keep it PG."
Andrew: How about parents who take their little kids to this? There are always a couple parents who take eight and nine-year-olds because they are into Harry Potter. Will this effect what they see? Will they be going to see this if they see PG-13 and maybe they haven't read the books, and are just moviegoers? What are they going to do?
Aris: It is parental guidance suggested. I would probably have them read the book first to make sure that it would be safe for their child to see. It is Harry Potter and most parents would take their children to see a Harry Potter movie because they do know it is fantasy and most children do know real life from fantasy. And there is just that there is nothing much we can really do. They had the argument over the spiders and the basilisk in the second movie. Yeah, it might be scary to some of the kids, but they can read the book and imagine it their heads. Sure, it might be a little different, but this is what it's all about. You can't really change anything about it.
Kevin: I think that there will be some parents that won't bring their children to it. There always will be that group. Even with the PG rating, with spiders as you said, there were parents that did complain about that. But so along as the parents have read the book themselves and know what scenes are coming up, and follow the general outline of the book, they can realize what scenes they need to lean over to their kids and touch them on the shoulders, and reassure them during the scenes as to not let them get scared.
Aris and Andrew: Exactly.
Andrew: I think that pretty much covers that topic. Warner Bros. will just have to deal with the PG-13 ratings. I think in the end it will help sales.
We've received such an overwhelming response from this podcast. Were at the last check No. 5 in iTunes. In international stores, we're far up in the Top 100. We just want to thank you guys. The support has been overwhelming, and we appreciate every one tuning in, listening, subscribing, and sending us all the great feedback.
Kevin and Aris: Definitely.
Andrew:We've been getting hundreds of emails, and the feedback, all the suggestions…It's just big! Kevin, you've seen me complain all week. It has just been big! So we've taken everyone's suggestions. We have made changes! For one, you should notice our voices should be cleared. We're recording this a little bit different way this time.
A lot of people also asked about transcripts. At this time we're not really going to be able to do transcripts because that would be too much extra work for us right now. [Transcriber's note: obviously this has changed]
We'd also like to thank the people who've done production offers, who've offered to help with production, and a lot of people who have asked for a mix of hosts, to get a couple girls in here. What you guys don't actually know is Kevin is actually a girl!
[Laughs all around (minus Kevin)]
Kevin: Funny. Very funny.
Aris: It's actually Kevina!
Andrew: I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. Sorry, Kevin.
Aris and Andrew: Ben still loves you.
Kevin: That was a low blow!
Andrew: I'm sorry! I had to do it. For the show, Kevin. For the show.
Andrew: Moving on to our topics of discussion. This week, we're going to take emails, questions we've had from people who want us to answer some of your questions.
Kevin: It is going to fill some time too.
Andrew: Oh, it's going to fill a lot of time. We have so many questions. We have read all your emails. I did start replying to them, but then I realized it takes up too much time, but we are going through them all. We are pulling out people's questions.
This first one comes from, actually from quite a few people. The current poll on MuggleNet asks which side is Draco on? And Lacey J. (14) from Greenville, Tennessee, Amanda (17) from Ontario, Canada, and Mel (17) from Missouri all ask: Who do you guys think, whose side Draco is on?
Kevin: I don't even think Draco knows what side he's on at this point. It seemed as, especially in that last scene when Dumbledore was talking to Draco, as though Draco himself was very confused.
Aris: He was afraid.
Kevin: Of course, and not only that, but he's starting to realize, this isn't fun and games, this isn't pranks or anything, this is real life. You're killing people. I think he's starting to ask himself is it really worth it? Is it really going to lead me on the right path, or am I going to have to make a big decision and try to break off from Voldemort? Which as you know will almost definitely be deadly.
Aris: Personally, what I think will happen is…yes…Draco is confused, and he may be having second thoughts. I think it was a big responsibility for him to prove himself, when the first type of proof would have to be killing Dumbledore. If great wizards couldn't even do it, or Death Eaters, or even Voldemort himself, what makes him think that he can do it? And on top of it all he's confused. Maybe he now realizes "Is it worth going to Azkaban for? My father's in there." His father's powers will be draining in there anyway. I think he will have second thoughts and end up somehow helping the trio and the good side in the end.
Kevin: I have the same feeling.
Aris: It may take the whole book. I think he'll be there for Harry, Hermione, Ron, and everybody else at the end. He'll surprise everybody.
Andrew: So you guys think Draco is going to make a full turnaround?
Kevin: I wouldn't say a full turnaround, but I think some of his actions are going to have an effect in the end in helping Harry. He's either going to do it unknowingly or he's going to knowingly go "Wait a second, after I've done all this bad, maybe it's about time to do good."
Aris: Right, I think it could be a temporary alliance. Help them get to a certain point and then sever ties. Kind of like what you see in other stories. The enemy will help to a certain point, to rectify a common problem, and go separate ways after and not talk to each other. Have a temporary alliance and a temporary friendship. Call it quits after what needs to be rectified is rectified.
Andrew: Draco has obviously lost a lot fans with this book and he's surprised quite a lot of people. You guys think he's going to make a full turnaround, but I think he's gotten so deep into trouble and there's no going back for him. It's just going to be: "Now I'm on the bad side and that's it."
Kevin: It's possible, and the reason why I think he wouldn't do that...is I think he's realizing what's going on a little more. Not to sound crude. It sounds as though he is realizing that he grew into his spot. He was forced into his spot by his parents and he's starting to debate whether his parents really are the people who...
Andrew: I agree. He's been forced into this. His parents are both on the bad side. His dad is now in Azkaban. He might be thinking: "I've got nothing to lose."
Now looking ahead to Book 7, what are some possible deaths in Book 7? It could relate to the Horcrux, it could almost be Harry? What do you guys think? Who is going to kick the can in HP 7?
Kevin: I actually don't know. I think that it's possible that...not possible, but highly plausible that some of the Order is going to be killed.
Aris: Right. I agree.
Kevin: There are only so many we've seen from the Order, so we know it's going to be a select few people. I hate to say it, but I am not so sure about this whole Lupin thing because it seems as though JKR was building it up too much. It concerns me because she has a habit of building something up like that, as in Sirius' case, and then something happens to that character. So, I think that's a distinct possibility, either Tonks or Lupin. I am not sure.
Aris: I think personally that McGonagall might get killed because I think she's going to be…aside from Lupin, possibly the next person Harry will end up going to. I've been going back and forth between three people. I think Harry will probably got to Mrs. Weasley, Remus Lupin, or McGonagall. Those are the three people I think he'd look to next to find advice from. So those three people will somehow die in the next book or get really injured.
Kevin: That brings up another question. Do you think he's actually going to be going for advice or do you think he's going to do it on his own? We discussed this in the previous podcast, but I'd like your viewpoint.
Aris: He's only going to be able to do so much, and I think he's definitely going to need somebody else's opinion; especially somebody as wise as McGonagall. McGonagall spent a lot of time with Dumbledore. She's familiar with his ways and a lot of the stuff that he knows, she pretty much knows. So I think she would be the next person Harry would go to possibly for some advice or maybe even pursue some form of training. You think he is going for his Auror training so maybe she could aid him in some of that. She was weakened in the 5th Book from all the stuns. I don't think she is still as strong as she was. I think she'd be pretty vulnerable in the 7th Book somehow.
Click here to go to page two