MuggleCast 205 Transcript
[Intro music begins]
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["Hedwig's Theme" plays]
David Heyman: Hello this is David Heyman and I'm the producer of the Harry Potter films and this is MuggleCast.
[Show music begins]
Micah: Because, by the way, this is MuggleCast, Episode 205 for August 14th, 2010.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome, everyone, back to the show. It's a different show this week. Well, slightly different. We're not talking Chapter-by-Chapter because we've got some other chapter analysis to talk about this week concerning the big Deathly Hallows split. It was finally revealed, but lots of questions. Right, guys? Lots of questions surrounding the split. Personally I'm wondering, is it a good split? And was this intentional? Or is W.B. furious now? We have Nick joining us, too, and it's been a while. Hey Nick!
Nick: Yeah, hey, how're you doing?
Andrew: Good to have you on, wanted to get the British perspective, of course.
Nick: Oh, thanks for having me back.
[Andrew and Eric laugh]
Andrew: So let's get into it. It's going to be a big Deathly Hallows day as we catch up on news, read some e-mails, and a lot more. I'm Andrew Sims.
Eric: I'm Eric Scull.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Matt: I'm Matt Britton.
Nick: And I'm Nicholas Myers.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, what's in the news? Come on, don't hold out. Let's go.
Deathly Hallows Split Revealed
Micah: All right, well earlier this week Entertainment Weekly revealed where Deathly Hallows will be split. For those of you who don't want to know where the movie is going to be split, please, skip ahead...
[Laura and Matt laugh]
Micah: I'm not sure how many minutes to skip ahead...
Matt: Just skip the entire episode.
Micah: Yeah, just skip the entire episode...
Andrew: I would say...
Eric: Actually, go back. Just review older episodes of MuggleCast, like that one where we interviewed David Heyman, that was kind of cool.
Andrew: That was a good one. Well, I'll put in the show notes how far people should skip ahead so there's no question. you can do an exact skip ahead. All right? So, go ahead, Micah, now that the people who don't what to be spoiled are covering their ears. Where is it split? Dun, Dun, Daa...
Micah: Well, as I tried to say the first time around it will be split, according to Entertainment Weekly, at about Chapter 24 of the book, which is where Voldemort goes and gets the Elder Wand from Dumbledore's tomb...
Micah: Yeah, it's very dramatic, I know. Hold on to your seats.
Andrew: Had we considered this?
Matt: No! We haven't, and that's why it's so awesome.
Eric: No, because...
Andrew: Micah, are you - do you think - and Eric...
Eric: ...that scene...
Andrew: ...you don't think so?
Eric: That scene where Voldemort's actually at Dumbledore's tomb and grabs the wand and is mirthful...
Matt: The lightning comes out...
Eric: ...that only appeared in the most recent trailer that was a few weeks old. So I don't think we guessed, simply because we didn't really know that this was going to be a pretty big deal that he shoots lightning up into the trees and he's all happy. We didn't even know that scene existed.
Matt: But Eric, if you think about it, I just watched the trailer a couple of minutes ago, and it kind of has a little bit of a hint that that would've been the split because that's the point in the trailer where it goes to black for a few seconds after that scene.
Eric: Oh, oh...
Eric: What, do the credits roll? Do the credits roll, Matt Britton?
Matt: No, the credits don't roll!
Matt: No, no, they cut it before the credits are rolling...
Eric: Is there, like, a "Produced by..." voom!
Matt: No! It's already done, it's already edited and everything, it's in the trailer! You're just waiting on "Directed by David Slade."
Eric: I don't know think that that's going to be - I don't know about that. That would be...
Matt: No, I'm just kidding.
Eric: ...because that's the very, very, very, very end. I feel like - yeah, but I feel like it's a - I fell like they need to end on Harry, like maybe Harry waking up from a dream in which Voldemort just had the Elder Wand. Doesn't Harry see, through Voldemort's eyes, the opening of Dumbledore's tomb?
Andrew: "The spider-like hands swooped and pulled the wand from Dumbledore's grasp and as he took it, a shower of sparks flew from it's tip, sparkling over the corpse of it's last owner, ready to serve a new master at last." And that's what Harry sees through Voldemort.
Matt: Oh! You guys are right. Damn it, that's so hardcore.
Eric: So does Harry have a reaction shot?
Andrew: Today I decided to read Chapters 23 and 24, sort of to get a good idea of what the end of Part 1 will be, and I think it's perfect now because there's a big action scene, and then there's the calm point at the very end where it's sort of a resolution, but it's also a huge cliffhanger! So it's got everything an end of a film should have!
Eric: Well, Chapter 23 ends with Dobby's death...
Eric: ...which is very, very, very, very sad.
Andrew: Right, so you have action, sadness...
Eric: And then...
Andrew: And then cliffhanger.
Matt: Well it's such a perfect cliffhanger, too, because the way that the movie's laid out, that's right after you figure out what exactly the Elder Wand is and how important it is in the final battle. It's the one that everyone needs because it cannot be - you know, there's no other spell or wand that can overpower that wand - and then we finally see at the very end of the movie that it's Voldemort who has the Elder Wand.
Andrew: And they'll spend a lot of time on that scene with Ollivander at Shell Cottage saying how, "Oh yeah, P.S., this wand, the Elder Wand, is huge, you need it." And then a few minutes later you see Voldemort taking the Elder Wand and everyone's going to be thinking "well how the hell did this happen? How is Harry going to save the day now?"
Eric: [in an English accent] "You're really not prepared at all for this."
Micah: Well I wanted to read what David Heyman said to us when we spoke to him back in June, he said "the script for Part 1 was written with an end in mind. The first draft was written with one ending and as we developed it we went to another ending. And then we reverted in part to the original ending because we felt it allowed us a more emotional conclusion, and felt it was more complete. But we've added this other scene which I think is really amazing, and I can't tell you where the break is, I'm sorry, but I do feel it will be incredibly dramatic, very moving, and make people want to watch the next film." So do you guys think this fits in with what he said? I don't think that we've yet figured out what that additional scene is, because this is obviously in the book.
Andrew: Well wait a second, in that original preview of Parts I and II we see Ollivander talking about the Deathly Hallows, "It's rumored there are three." So what if that's part of the new scene?
Eric: Yeah - so all these scenes are going on - why would they have needed to add a scene if the book is - or if the movie's ending after Malfoy Manor, Dobby's death, finding out about the Deathly Hallows, and Ollivander talking about the Elder Wand. Where would they have any room, and what purpose...
Eric: ...for storytelling could it have served if they added a scene now after all that stuff takes place?
Micah: I don't think it's a new scene. I think it's exactly what Nick just said - I think they possibly have created this three brothers scene where they casted the three brothers, they've casted Death, and they're going to tell the story, but the viewer is going to be able to see it instead of just listening to it. And I think that that is...
Eric: Well they should do that anyway.
Micah: Well, I mean...
Eric: But even when Hagrid is telling Harry about Voldemort killing his parents, they cast his parents, they showed it on screen. Reading a story out of a book is dead air in a movie. I don't see how there's ever a way that they wouldn't have cast the Three Brothers and Death and showed it. However, I think that's a great ending, and I think it's a good idea that that could be the ending. But now with Malfoy Manor - if the movie had ended - if Part I had ended with the Tale of the Three Brothers - it would have meant that both Part 1 and Part 2 of the movie opened at the Malfoy Manor, which I think is good.
Matt: The whole scene with Voldemort taking the Elder Wand - it basically shifts the plot of the story, too. Wherever things were going, the game is changed now that Voldemort has the Elder Wand. And I think that's probably a wise choice to end the first part.
Nick: Yeah, definitely.
Andrew: Yeah, because now the focus - because that leaves - the focus is "Harry needs to somehow defeat Voldemort." How is he going to do it knowing - now the audience knows that Voldemort has this wand that apparently nobody can defeat, unless there's a flaw in the plan of course.
Matt: Well, because everything was towards the - the entire focus was on the Deathly Hallows, but after that now Harry knows that he has to start focusing back on the Horcruxes because that's the only way to defeat Voldemort, not with the Deathly Hallows. And it's kind of obvious now because Voldemort has one of the Deathly Hallows...
Matt: ...technically. Technically.
Micah: It's a balance of power thing, too. Because you're watching, probably through the first part of this movie, or most of this movie, I guess, Harry going about destroying the Horcruxes. And you think that he's slowly starting to gain the upper hand. And then with Voldemort coming now and taking this Elder Wand, and the movie potentially ending with this scene, it's a complete momentum shift. You're leaving it with such a huge cliffhanger as to, "Okay, Voldemort has the upper hand, and we're moving into movie two." I think it really would be a great spot to leave it off.
Matt: And most...
Andrew: I hope the last shot is not Voldemort sending that spell up into the sky...
Eric: "I can fly!"
Andrew: ...because frankly, I thought that shot was kind of corny. So maybe if it's not that shot, maybe it's that scene but a different angle or something...
Matt: Well, yeah. I mean, they probably do just like a close up of Voldemort just like laughing or something. I don't know.
Andrew: Is he sending up an announcement? I mean, what do you guys think he's doing?
Matt: He's probably just having fun with it.
Matt: We may see more spells coming out of that wand. I mean...
Andrew: Oh, does that mean he's, like, trying it out?
Matt: Yeah, it's almost like Voldemort's version of Dumbledore's gleam of triumph.
Eric: You know what he's doing? He's sending a Patronus to his BFF Jill to let her know that he's now got the Elder Wand. He's like, "Oh my god, I have to text my BFF Jill."
Matt: He's playing with his new toy.
Andrew: I got it!
Micah: Who's Jill?
Eric: His BFF.
Matt: Well most movies that end with a cliffhanger usually consist of the heroes getting a very powerful blow from their enemy.
Matt: Like in Empire Strikes Back, when Han Solo gets put - frozen in the whatever-it's-called.
Eric: Actually, that movie has no ending. I'm still convinced - I'm not convinced - because, no, they're on the ship. That's what it is.
Matt: Well no. It's a cliff-hanger. That's why it's not an ending.
Eric: They're on a ship and they're gazing at his face. It's not even...
Matt: It's a cliff-hanger though, Eric. It's not an ending. So I...
Eric: That's not a cliff-hanger. That's a - [Laughs]
Matt: It's a cliff-hanger!
Eric: All right.
Matt: It's definitely a cliff-hanger, Eric.
Micah: [laughs] I think it would be really cool if - because Harry supposedly is witnessing parts of this as he is at Shell Cottage. So if it kind of shifts back to Harry realizing that Voldemort has the Elder wand...
Micah: ...and it goes dark, I think that would be a more impactful cliff-hanger than...
Eric: Maybe if Harry turns to Ron and Hermione and says, "He has it guys."
Micah: Right, something like that.
Matt: Or even Harry or Hermione asking what's wrong and he just doesn't say anything and then it goes to black.
Andrew: Or he just goes, "Oh, Bullocks. Not again!" Cut to black.
Eric: [Trombone sound effect] Wa wa wa wah. Yeah, I think also ending the film in this point - getting back to the actual split - it allows them to resolve a lot of things. It kind of contains the first half of Deathly Hallows the story and in a really nice way. Because Ron and Harry's fight, for example, all of their traveling through the woods is now contained in Part 1 of the film. So Ron and Harry - yes they have an argument, they break up, Ron goes away for a real long time but it's not one of those things where you are going to be waiting eight months to see Ron come back and apologize.
Eric: They've already - Ron has come back. He and Harry have gotten along and now they've got bigger fish to fry. They go to Malfoy - they get snatched up and it's a big deal. So it is - I can see what David Heyman was saying as far as being a fitting emotional spot because you've been through so much...
Andrew: Oh yeah.
Eric: ...at that point and Dobby's death at the very end. So...
Andrew: And it's...
Nick: In addition to that it helps with the start of the next one because you're not thrown straight into action; you're still at the Shell Cottage. They start planning their Gringotts break-in. And you're not thrust back in to your second film straight away - allows them to separate them more clearly. You end on a dramatic scene and you start back on a slow foot in it and lead up to this big battle which we know will take up most of the second film. Because I know that was one of the things people...
Nick: ...have been concerned about was the - this is, I think, two-thirds of the book will be covered in the first film. And I know a lot of people...
Nick: ...were worried about...
Nick: ...well, what's that going to leave for the second...
Andrew: I think that's good news.
Nick: But yeah.
Andrew: I think that's good news because...
Andrew: ...W.B. for a while has been saying that the second part's going to be all about the battle. And that's...
Andrew: ...been proven with this reveal of the split.
Eric: All that's left...
Andrew: And also, with the Gringotts, that's something to look forward to.
Andrew: Because we see - like Nick you mentioned, because it's going to be - we hear them planning it, but obviously we don't see it until Part 2, so that's another sort-of cliff hanger.
Nick: Yeah, definitely.
Nick: It's actually...
Andrew: Oh, we get to watch them go to Gringotts and break-in in Part 2.
Eric: In the U.S. edition, it's almost exactly - Chapter 24 ends on page 501, and the book without the epilogue ends on 749. So we're talking 500 pages in to the first movie and 250 pages in to the second movie.
Andrew: That's a third. My math tells me that's a third.
Eric: [laughs] That's absolutely, unequivocally a third, so...
Andrew: And Matt decided to take a look at all the big scenes that were in Part 1 so now we know how many major scenes we will see in that first part. And there are quite a few.
Eric: This makes me happy..
Andrew: Yeah, we have...
Eric: ...that you did this, Matt.
Matt: Oh thank you.
Eric: This makes me really happy.
Andrew: We have the Seven Potters, we have Harry and Scrimgeour talking, we have the Weasley wedding, we have Grimmauld Place, and the confrontment of Mundungus Fletcher...
Matt: Oh yeah, sorry.
Matt: The confrontation.
Andrew: The confrontation of - with Mundungus Fletcher.
Matt: Thank you.
Andrew: We have Harry versus Lupin, that little fight. We have the entire Ministry scene including some Umbridge goodness. We have Harry versus Ron, their big fight. We have Hermione and Harry's visit to Godric's Hollow and the fight with Nagini in the little children's playroom as we saw in the trailer. We have the destruction of the locket which we also saw in the trailer. We have the Tale of the Three Brothers. We have Malfoy manor, and then like we talked about, we have the death of Dobby and then Voldemort taking the Elder Wand. And I mentioned this on the last episode concerning all the footage that we saw at Comic Con, we do see that shot of Voldemort coming down face to face with Dumbledore in his grave. So that has to be one of the last shots from Part 1 and it's got to be a very epic moment because you're seeing dead Dumbledore right there and Voldemort just opening up his tomb and I think that's going to make emotions run high too leading up to this big cliffhanger or this cliffhanger that's being created right in that moment. It's seeing dead Dumbledore, that's horrible!
Matt: I'm very excited for this scene.
Matt: This is probably the best choice they really could have had if you think about it and how it falls with all the other events in Part 1. This is just so epic.
Matt: It's like Voldemort has the upper hand. It's almost like you're questioning, "wow how is Harry going to defeat Voldemort now?"
Eric: Well I was not - I got to be honest until this episode of MuggleCast and until really this list that you did Matt, I was not terribly excited for Part 1 of Deathly Hallows. I mean I feel like most of the footage we saw - I feel was from Part 2. Maybe that's inaccurate but I was convinced for a while that they were just going to release Deathly Hallows: Part 2 first, simply because of how much darn footage we saw from it. I was not getting a lot of feedback about Part 2. I did not see how it was going to play out. I didn't know what was going to be in it. Thank God now that we have the split that I can begin looking forward to all of these scenes that you've listed.
Matt: I've got a question for you guys. Do you think it was a good idea they kept the split a secret for this long?
Andrew: Well I wanted to talk about this too. I don't think this was supposed to get out. I don't think W.B. every planned for Entertainment Weekly, of all people, to introduce it with a sentence going, "By the way..."
Andrew: "The split is at Chapter 24."
[Eric, Matt, and Micah laugh]
Andrew: That was not how they intended it to be.
Nick: I agree.
Andrew: I think somebody told Entertainment Weekly on set, and that was just a big mistake. I don't think it was Heyman. I don't think it was one of the directors. It must have been - Gosh, I don't know!
Matt: An on-set crew member or somebody?
Andrew: We don't even know - the worst part is - we don't - I hate to say it, but we don't know if it's official official.
Eric: Or we don't know who was saying.
Micah: That was the thing I was going to say. Well...
Andrew: Let's say that Entertainment Weekly went on the set three or four months ago. They could have changed their minds since then. [laughs] So we don't know.
Matt: Yeah. You would think they kept it this long, they would want to make an official announcement.
Nick: Especially now that it's out there.
Andrew: I don't think they wanted to say it at all because why bother. Why would you tell people?
Eric: Why would you not? They haven't shown a damn thing about Part 1.
Andrew: Because you want a secret left for the book fans. That's a fun secret. I think this was an accident.
Eric: I think seeing the books translated to films is a good experience. I don't think where it's split is really going to matter. But that's just me.
Andrew: Well no, because some people - some of our listeners and on MuggleNet didn't want to be spoiled and that's because they want to - they don't want to know. They want to be watching this film, and they want the cliffhanger to catch them by surprise.
Eric: I don't really call it a spoiler.
Andrew: ...they want the screen to go black and then go "What?"!
Eric: Yeah, that's a good moment. I don't really consider this a spoiler though. Because in previous movies you knew where they were going to end, because it was exactly where the book ended. So, it was never a question where a Harry Potter movie was going to end, until they decided to split this one. I don't think knowing where it ends is really...
Matt: Yeah, no, I do agree with you Eric.
Eric: ...a big spoiler.
Matt: But - so - it's kind of a new thing though, because it's not actually two different books it's the same one and they split it in half.
Matt: Like where people who knew when the movie was going to end because it was the end of the book. This isn't necessarily the end of the book, it's somewhere in the middle and they kind of wanted to surprise everybody.
Eric and Andrew: Yeah.
Andrew: I just think it's a surprise.
Matt: It's something like that though - it's something as big as the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film, Part 1 and 2, the release of the split, that's going to get leaked.
Eric: I'm surprised it hadn't before. Maybe somebody left it in a bar, and maybe someone for EW picked it up.
Eric: It happened to Apple. People said it would never happen to Apple, and it did. So...
Andrew: That's true, that's true. Yeah, I mean they've been secretive. When I was on the set, they didn't say a thing. Well, of course, everyone was asking, but every time someone would ask, it was just like, "Oh, we don't yet, we don't know yet," when they had an idea, they just don't want to tell us.
Andrew: And same thing with Heyman.
Micah: If you look at Entertainment Weekly, I mean, they're obviously a very popular magazine, and they do these Harry Potter editions right before these movies come out. So, maybe they just got an exclusive. And if you look at that whole article, aside from the pictures that were in there, really the only thing that's of any value, is when they talk about the split.
Andrew: Right! But that's why I think that they didn't know how big news this is, which is dumb for an entertainment magazine. That should be an on-the-cover!
Nick: [laughs] Yeah.
Eric: I don't think they did, no, I don't think-
Matt: Is it, is it not on the cover?
Andrew: No! Well, Harry Potter's on the cover...
Matt: No, yeah.
Andrew: But it doesn't say, "The split - here's the split."
Matt: Yeah something that huge it has to be like, front and headline news on the cover.
Andrew: Because look at all the entertainment websites today. Every entertainment website is posting - by the way - posting our article, about the split.
Andrew: It's big news!
Micah: Yeah well that's the thing. They said it so matter-of-factly in the article. It's like, "Oh it's in Chapter 24, page 477."
Andrew: And they started the sentence with, "By the way".
Micah: "By the way...".
Andrew: They did not know that this was important information.
Eric: You guys crack me up.
Matt: I'm giving you one of the few secrets left of this film.
Micah: Meanwhile we've done how many podcasts trying to figure out where the split would be...
Micah: We even talked to the producer and he wouldn't help us.
Andrew: We have reported in the past alleged splits. I mean, one of the cast members a year ago said the split was - what was it? Right before...
Andrew: No - right when they get caught by the snatchers.
Andrew: So, and it's changed. It's actually around that time. The guess was pretty close.
Eric: Well, yeah.
Matt: Maybe that was when they changed it. That was probably the original idea.
Eric: I feel like if this was the last inside scoop that Entertainment Weekly ever gets. [laughs] It was worth it because I don't think there was a reason for them to withhold the split. As I've said before. I think it's good that we've finally...
Andrew: Oh absolutely.
Eric: At least it might not be official official, but Warner Bros. hasn't said, "Please take that news post down." So it's...
Andrew: Well here's the other thing.
Andrew: We got a report the other day about alleged footage that appeared in Japan during a Harry Potter event.
Eric: Right, did that not happen?
Andrew: And all the Harry Potter sites posted about it. It was fake! And W.B. did not tell us it was fake.
Eric: Oh, no!
Andrew: [laughs] They just let all the sites go. So that's why I dont really trust them if the split, whether it's accurate or not. I don't think they would tell us.
Micah: Well did anybody tell you what the actual footage was? Was it just the same stuff that appeared at Comic Con?
Andrew: No, it was different. But we have a whole description on our site.
Andrew: We have a whole description on our site, it's like a whole...
Micah: Yeah, but it's not real.
Eric: But that event...
Matt: Is it the video?
Andrew: No, it's just text but we trusted somebody...
Eric: It didn't happen at all. Like, the screening happened. Right? The screening in multiple cities.
Andrew: Right. So they should have told us it was...
Andrew: Yeah, but no new Deathly Hallows footage aired at all! They only played the ABC Family clips.
Eric: [laughs] Who sent us that review? Seriously, that's not cool.
Micah: Yeah, that's not cool.
Andrew: So anything else to say, guys, about this split that was, by the way, leaked by Entertainment Weekly?
Matt: I'm excited.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm excited, I think it's perfect. I really do. And by the way, if you look after that chapter, they practically go right into Gringotts! So Part 2 will open with Shell Cottage and they'll head straight off to Gringotts. And boom, there's the action.
Micah: Yes, what Nick was saying before I think, it gives sort of an opening to Part 2 of Deathly Hallows, that right sort of slow pace before you get back into the action. It's not just going to open up with fighting. Just the way Part 1 will open up with Malfoy Manor and the killing of that teacher.
Matt: Well, I'm looking at the U.S version of Deathly Hallows and the picture for Chapter 25, "Shell Cottage", is just Harry sitting on a cliff looking out and Shell Cottage in the background. He's just looking out at the cliffs. I think that would be an awesome scene...
Matt: ...to start the movie in.
Micah: I agree.
Nick: Powerful as well, sitting there thinking about what's ahead of him.
Andrew: "What lies in front of me?"
Micah: The question I have for you guys is - I think Eric mentioned before that this chapter ends on page 501 of the books. How long do you think that will make Deathly Hallows Part 1? In terms of time.
Andrew: I think they are aiming for about two, two-and-a-half hours for each.
Andrew: They got plenty of material to fill in Part 2. We just went through the list of big scenes, plus all that other BS in between all these big scenes, so I think that there's plenty to look forward to. [laughs]
Matt: But do you think that they probably, since it's two thirds of the book basically, that they're going to cut a lot of scenes out, if they're both going to be around the same time?
Andrew: But there's a lot of time camping in the first half of the book...
Andrew: ...so that's why I think it is good...
Matt: Yeah, that's true.
Andrew: ...that they're dedicating - they're putting two thirds of the book into Part 1. That way they can take out some of the camping stuff.
Matt: And we're all excited just for the battle, so good thing we're going to have two and a half hours...
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