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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 the Floo Network just got X-rated, this is MuggleCast Episode 210 for October the 1st, 2010.
[show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast! It's Episode 210, Micah and Laura are here, and - well, Eric's supposed to be here, but as we all remember with Episode 208, he delayed us so long - if you listen to - I think I put in the bloopers, I'm not sure - he delayed us so long that poor Laura was on for only a half hour or 45 minutes, so this time we're just starting without him!
Micah: We know how much everybody wants to hear Laura, so...
Andrew: And less of Eric. [laughs]
Micah: Yeah, we can't only have her on for a half hour. That's just not enough Laura.
Laura: Well gosh, Micah...
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: ...I'm all flattered and stuff over here.
Micah: Well, it's...
Andrew: Maybe I should leave.
Micah: It's not me, it's what the people who write in the e-mails have to say.
Andrew: Oh, sure.
Andrew: Sure, Micah.
Andrew: We're on to you.
Micah: Oh, damn.
Andrew: Well, as always, there's plenty of Deathly Hallows news to talk about, and we're going to continue our Chapter-by-Chapter series, and also bring back an old favorite segment. And that would be Favorites.
Laura: Oh, man.
Andrew: The favorite Favorite segment.
Laura: I forgot about that one.
Andrew: So everyone get ready. I'm Andrew Sims.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: And I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah Tannenbaum, give us the news! What's going on?
Micah: Well, actually today, Warner Bros. released hi-res versions of Deathly Hallows: Part I posters...
Micah: ...and I was wondering, did you guys have a chance to take a look at these yet?
Andrew: I - [laughs] - it's funny, there's this big emphasis on Part I with the, "they're not at Hogwarts." So we see these posters, and it's Harry, Ron, and Hermione each behind - you see some London landmark in the background. [laughs] And Ron, he's...
Andrew: ...in front of power plants, which is so funny to me!
Laura: [laughs] I know!
Laura: I just like the "nowhere is safe." [laughs]
Andrew: [laughs] "Not even a power plant, because it's toxic."
Micah: Yeah, what's up with that, though? To be honest with you, I really didn't like the posters. They were a little weird, they didn't really seem to fit with the whole Harry Potter theme even though, like you said, they're not at Hogwarts anymore, but it just didn't look right to me.
Laura: Well, it seems like they're definitely trying to play up the action element of this, and I swear to God, every poster we get, they're all cut up. [laughs] And I like how these, there's blood splatters in them, I'm like "Really?" [laughs]
Andrew: I - yeah. [laughs]
Micah: Who's doing the Photoshop?
Andrew: That is very odd, the red at the bottom of all of them. What's going on there? What does that even mean? It looks like it's out of V for Vendetta or Watchmen or something - another Warner Bros. film. But yeah, it's definitely action-oriented, these posters. The camera is nice and low, and you're sort of looking up at the actor, and it's sort of god-like, and I like them actually. I don't think they're bad. My favorite one is actually Harry, maybe just because I have a crush on him, but the Ron and Hermione ones aren't as cool as the Harry one I don't think.
Laura: No, well, and...
Micah: It looks like armageddon, though...
Laura: [laughs] Yeah!
Micah: ...in Harry's poster.
Laura: And Andrew, you're totally right, the Ron poster - he's just not even in front of anything remotely significant. You look at...
Andrew: [laughs] It's like it's out of The Simpsons!
Laura: Yeah! You look at Harry and Hermione and they're clearly in London, but Ron could be anywhere. It's just - maybe - I don't know, maybe that's when he runs away. I don't know, but it's kind of silly.
Andrew: Well, there's definitely - what happens with - we sort of get the idea from a couple of screen-caps we saw from the video game, the Snatchers find the trio around a power plant. Now...
Andrew: ...of course, this isn't in the book, but obviously between the stills from the video games and now this poster, we know there's definitely going to be some action-oriented scene - [laughs] - around a power plant.
Laura: Oh! Well great, so on top of the fact that they're being sought out by the Snatchers, they're going to get radiation poisoning. Awesome.
Andrew: And see Homer walk out of the office after a long day.
Andrew: [laughs] What else is going on Micah, in the news?
Micah: Author J. K. Rowling will appear on the Oprah show...
Micah: ...tomorrow - we're recording on Thursday night.
Micah: So we don't have much to say about it, other than the fact that she's going to be on the show, and it's going to be interesting to hear from Jo because he haven't heard from her in quite some time. Hopefully she'll shed a little bit of light on the encyclopedia and where she's at with that.
Andrew: I know, it's hard to say. We know Oprah's going to ask the question, as it was teased already. Oprah's going to ask the question: Will there ever be another Harry Potter?
Laura: Oh my God.
Andrew: So, we'll get an answer like that. I imagine Jo's going to give us the best hints yet. Because you know in the past when she has been asked about writing another Harry Potter book she sort of beats around the bush, and we know she's working on an encyclopedia and we know she's been busy writing, based on her tweets. So I hope she announces a - it would be very cool if she announced a book, but I'm not getting my hopes up. I feel like there would be more hype around this interview. They would want to promote that Jo was going to announce her next book with Oprah. You know what I mean?
Laura: Yeah, I just don't see it happening, I just don't...
Andrew: Me neither.
Laura: ...see where else she could go with this without being very contrived. You know what I mean? Harry's story is over, he's grown and he has kids now. So I mean, what is she going to write about, like, Harry Potter and the Diaper Genie? Like, I just...
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Laura: I just don't see it happening.
Andrew: Yeah. Well I mean for Oprah's audience, that's the way you want to tease it: Will she ever write another Harry Potter? Of course hardcore fans just want to know when the Encyclopedia is coming out. [laughs]
Micah: I think you're right though, Andrew. I think if that was going to be the case then they probably would have done a lot more PR around it.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah!
Andrew: Oprah did mention this is one of her favorite interviews she has ever done, which is pretty exciting because I don't watch Oprah that often, but I imagine that she doesn't say that with every interview. [laughs] And they released a commercial the other day, it's like a 30 second preview. And we see a couple of quick shots of Oprah firing the questions at Jo, and at one point Oprah says to Jo, "Is it true that you still ride the bus?" [laughs] And I'm like, "What?"
Laura: [laughs] What?
Andrew: Jo still rides the bus? Come on! If she says yes to that I will be very surprised because in the commercial, they edited it so Oprah asks the question and you see Jo cringe and look down and it looks all depressing. [laughs] But you know, is Oprah losing her touch? Surely J.K. Rowling does not ride public transit? [laughs]
Laura: Well, it's possible when you think about where she lives.
Andrew: What? Possible - what? Like people wouldn't recogniZe her?
Laura: Well no, I mean, it's the sort of - I've never been to Edinburgh, but from what I've heard it's sort of the - kind of a small town, like a small city-type community, almost.
Laura: And the fact of the matter is, we're one of the only countries in the world where people drive everywhere. I mean, everywhere else tends to have very good public transit.
Andrew: But come on, Laura! Jo? Jo can afford having her own private...
Laura: But she doesn't...
Laura: ...drive. Didn't you guys know that? She actually - don't you remember hearing that? She never learned to drive, or she doesn't have a driver's license.
Andrew: Yeah, I'm not saying she drives. I'm saying someone drives her around.
Laura: You actually...? I don't know. I don't know that she would be pretentious enough to have a chauffeur.
Micah: Well we - didn't we have this conversation, though, about flying, though, too, when she was writing Deathly Hallows? She was taking the manuscript back overseas with her or something along those lines and she was getting on a Virgin Atlantic or a British Airways flight, and we were thinking to ourselves, "Wouldn't she have a private plane that would take her?"
Andrew: I do not remember that, but...
Laura: Yeah, I do remember this.
Andrew: And she took a public - a regular flight?
Micah: Yeah. Because they wouldn't let her get on the plane with the manuscript, which was in this massive briefcase. And I guess she didn't want to check it.
Andrew: Mm. Oh. Oh. Right.
Micah: I wouldn't want to check it either. That's a lot of money that's in that suitcase.
Andrew: I mean, where would Jo even have gotten that question from, about the bus? Wouldn't we have known that? So why would Oprah - is there a rumor going around that Jo rides the bus?
Laura: We're clearly just not good enough fans.
Micah: For fun, she just rides the bus all day.
Andrew: Rides it, "Whoo!"
Micah: She could buy the bus.
Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] "Oh, I'm riding the bus!" And I mean, if she's riding on the bus, she can certainly spend some more time Twittering.
Andrew: What are you going to do when you're riding the bus?
Laura: I don't know...
Andrew: Nobody reads.
Andrew: Everybody Tweets now.
Laura: Maybe she doesn't have a smartphone, Andrew. You never know.
Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] "I am riding the bus!"
[Laura and Micah laugh]
Andrew: [as J.K. Rowling] "I'm riding it around town! It's a beautiful day!"
Micah: All right, it's time to move on.
Andrew: Yes. Before we move on, we'd like to remind everyone that this podcast is brought to you by Audible.com, the Internet's leading provider of audiobooks with more than 75,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, and featuring audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. For listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering a free audiobook to give you a chance to try out their service. One audiobook to consider is The Hunger Games, a thrilling young adult novel that's actually part of a great trilogy. Nearly all the hosts of MuggleCast have read it, and we all really highly recommend it. So for a free audiobook of your choice, such as The Hunger Games, go to AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast. That's AudiblePodcast.com/MuggleCast.
Micah: Well, we got some new casting news for Deathly Hallows: Part II, particularly for the epilogue scene. Ryan Turner will play Hugo Weasley. That seemed to be everybody's favorite choice in the comment section. Will Dunn will play James Sirius Potter and Arthur Bowen will play Albus Severus.
Andrew: Yeah, I saw - somebody did a side-by-side comparison of this Hugo Weasley actor next to the young Ron, or young Rupert Grint back when he was first cast, and they actually do look very similar...
Laura: They do.
Andrew: ...so that was a great casting.
Micah: ...and also Ellie Darcey-Alden will play young Lily Evans, and the article that we got this from also mentioned that Rohan Gotobed - that's an interesting last name...
Andrew: [speaking quickly to pronounce name differently] Gotobed.
Micah: ...was cast as a young Sirius Black, so they will be doing those flashback scenes...
Andrew: Oh, good.
Micah: ...from Part II, so I'm sure everybody is looking forward to that.
Laura: That's going to be cool.
Andrew: What other Deathly Hallows news is going on?
Micah: There's news on the music front, Andrew.
Micah: Yeah. Conrad Pope, a composer who is apparently working with Alexandre Desplat for the score of Deathly Hallows: Part I, updated his Facebook profile - we get news from everywhere...
Micah: ...with the following information: "Just finished the first week with the LSO of recording Alexandre Desplat's score for HP7. Harry Potter now occupies a new musical universe. For Lovegood, A.D. has written a charming, groovin' theme. Dobby, too, is given a new voice. The emotional music reaches its climax in Ron's speech in the wilderness where the poetry of A.D. conveys the emotion in a single chord's voicing. Stay tuned."
Andrew: Sounds very technical.
Micah: Yeah. Well, I think A.D. stands for...
Micah: ...Alexandre Desplat, or no...
Andrew: ...oh, right, of course. Yeah.
Micah: ...yeah, he's trying to get creative there, but he was not fooling me.
Andrew: Yeah, so Dobby has a new voice, that's interesting. Not literally a voice, but his new tune so-to-speak.
Micah: Does he sound like a mouse or something?
Andrew: No, no, he's saying voice like the background music for him, right?
Micah: Oh, yeah.
Micah: Interesting. Also, we got a release date for the score: November the 16th, the soundtrack will go on sale, so pre-order Andrew.
Andrew: I wonder what Dobby's old voice was - what was his old score? I don't remember that. I may have to watch Chamber of Secrets to refresh my mind.
Micah: You just might. The last piece of Deathly Hallows news was Nick Moran, the actor who's going to play Scabior, a snatcher which is a new character, not in the book. He revealed in an interview that some scenes were cut because they were too gory, and the quote was: "The scenes I did were really really dark - really really dark. Well, when I went to see them, they cut some of the worst bits out, and I was talking to producer David Heyman saying, 'Oh no - why is that gone?' He said, apparently, it was like watching Saw."
Andrew: [laughs] Ah...
Laura: I don't believe it was that bad.
Micah: Yeah, I don't think so.
Laura: They say this every time, they're always like, oh, this scene was really dark, so we had to cut it, because it was just too violent. And I'm like, yeah...
Andrew: It's the darkest one yet!
[Andrew and Laura laugh]
Laura: ...yeah, exactly.
Micah: Well, it would have been interesting to ask Eric about that though, because he's seen the movie, but apparently they cut those scenes out anyway, so it wouldn't have made much of a difference.
Laura: Yeah, well, Eric's not here, so that doesn't make much of a difference either.
Andrew: Well, in terms of darkness, we have an e-mail I was going to save for Muggle Mail, but I'd like to do it now since it's sort of the same topic, and I really want to get Laura's take. It comes from Sam, 19, of Toronto. He writes:
"Hi guys! After listening to Episode 209 and watching the trailer myself, I was a bit concerned with the fact that the movie will have scenes that are strongly reminiscent of the Holocaust. While I do agree that parts of the book reminded me of this, I am not sure how appropriate it is to have such blatant similarities, such as the red armbands those Ministry officials wear. Many people are likely to get offended by this. I was wondering what your guys' opinion on the matter is."
Now, Laura, did you see the Part I trailer? Yeah, and I don't know if you caught it, but during the Ministry of Magic scenes, when you see shots of the Ministry, there are Ministry officials wearing red armbands, and it was very apparent what it was and what it was resembling. What's your take on that? Do you think that's appropriate?
Laura: I don't know. I think you're going to see this kind of reflection in any film that deals with the war scenario. In Order of the Phoenix, for instance, do you remember the big black and white poster they had of Fudge?
Laura: That was very reminiscent of Stalin...
Laura: ...so I don't know, I guess it goes both ways, and I think it's one of those things where if you're looking for something like that, you're going to find it, but you can also look at these movies and these books and dig out a number of other [laughs] references to dictatorships and wars and messed-up societies, so, I don't know.
Laura: Obviously, I think World War II is more prevalent because it's the one that people are most familiar with, especially due to the Holocaust, but I don't know. These sorts of things happen with corrupt people. They come up with silly armbands, and they take symbols that were originally from Asian culture that meant peace, and turn them on their side, and then you have the swastika, so - [laughs] I don't know.
Andrew: Yeah. I think it is okay for them to have it in the film. I think it really connects the Wizarding World to the real world, and it makes you realize what it was like.
Andrew: So I think it's okay.
Micah: I think, definitely, it's a way for David Yates to be able to make the connection a lot stronger, as you were saying, Andrew. I think - there's nothing wrong with it - I think he wants to drive home the point that the Ministry is corrupt and it's an absolute power and the best way to do that is to draw the parallel to Nazi Germany.
Andrew: All right, well, let's continue with the news.
Micah: Okay. We got some clips from the Ultimate Editions of Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire, and the first was "Creating the World of Harry Potter" documentary, and it focused on Part Three, which is Creatures, and in that particular scene, crew members discussed how they designed goblins. It also features some great never-before-seen concept art, and I took a look at the clip earlier - Andrew, you have both of the Ultimate Editions for Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets?
Andrew: That's right, Micah.
Micah: You do, okay. No, because - this is the reason why you go out and buy them, right? I mean, more or less.
Andrew: Yeah. This is the best - for anyone who doesn't know, the Ultimate Editions - they released the Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets Ultimate Editions last year. They are releasing the Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire Ultimate Editions this year, and the special thing about these Ultimate Editions is that they have one part of an eight part documentary looking at everything in the Harry Potter fandom - in the Harry Potter universe! The creation of the creatures, like Micah mentioned, finding the stars, composing the scores - there's going to be one part on the Harry Potter fandom, I think on the Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hallows: Part I documentary. So, it's really cool...
Micah: Are you featured in that fandom piece?
Andrew: ...yeah, I made that whole thing.
Micah: Oh, you did? Oh.
Andrew: I made that whole part, yeah.
Laura: Andrew made the fandom, didn't you know that, Micah?
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: You know what, actually, I really hope that Warner Bros. approaches the fan sites about that because how could you not include the fan sites in a whole thing about the Harry Potter fandom?
Micah: It's true. You raise a good point.
Andrew: It'd be ridiculous. What else are they going to talk about? They could talk about the fans turning up to the premieres, and the book releases, but anyway - the best part about these Ultimate Editions is the documentary because when it's all said and done, we're going to have this beautiful eight - nine - hour documentary looking at everything that the Harry Potter franchise has created. It's really special, and the packaging - you get a little booklet with each one too that has some really nice concept art and stills, so it's really cool and I can't wait to have the entire set. It's going to be great.
Micah: Yeah, so, go to the site check out the clips, as you mentioned, the one from Goblet of Fire is on the music and the composing side of things, and the one from Prisoner of Azkaban - as we talked about - has the goblins and also how they went about designing the Dementors, and both of them are on sale October 19th, so this month...
Micah: ...and we may or may not be running a promotion to give away Ultimate Edition DVDs.
Andrew: Can I enter to win?
Micah: No, sorry.
Micah: You are a MuggleNet staffer; therefore you are prohibited from entering the contest.
Andrew: [chuckles] Oh!
Micah: But it will be a great contest. We did it before with the last two Ultimate Editions. We also gave away a Blu-ray player, and we will be doing that again.
Andrew: Sweet! Blu-ray is the way to go, by the way. Especially for the Harry Potter films. They look great.
Micah: Yep. All right. Final bit of news, we touched on it briefly in the live show but we didn't have too much time to talk about it. Apparently, the Wizarding World could expand within the next 12 months.
Andrew: Well, I - see - I don't think they're going to do it in the next 12 months...
Andrew: ...but they sent out a survey to people who have visited the park and they said, "What if instead of expanding it, we double the size of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter? How likely will you be to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter again within the next 12 months to visit a Wizarding World of Harry Potter that was twice as big with twice as much of everything?" So, you select "Very likely," "Likely," "Somewhat likely," "Not very likely," and "Not at all likely," and it's very interesting! What this says is, yeah, they are - they don't want to just expand it, they want to double it! They want to see if doubling it would get everyone back to the park, and I hope...
Laura: That's awesome!
Andrew: ...yeah, and I hope many people selected "Very likely" because...
Laura: As long as we don't have to watch another freaking promotional video that's an hour long before we can get in.
[Andrew and Micah laugh]
Andrew: ...yeah. Well that was before the little party in the park, Laura. Not everyone has to see those, you know.
Laura: Yeah! Yeah, okay. You know very well that if they do this we're going to end up having another one of those night-in-the-park events.
Andrew: [laughs] Yes.
Laura: I - you know what? I'm already there, Universal. I don't need you to sell it to me, thanks.
Andrew: Yeah. So, it's exciting! I hope they do. I don't think it'll happen within a year. I think, maybe two years. Even that's pushing it, I think.
Micah: ...and just kind of a follow-up on the story - I think we did it on Episode 208 of the gentleman who couldn't ride the Forbidden Journey because of a weight problem.
Andrew: Yeah, we talked about that on the last episode.
Micah: Yeah, but apparently they fixed some of the seats so that now...
Andrew: Oh, right!
Micah: ...you can go, and you can ride, for people who might be - have a little bit more weight on them.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah.
Laura: Have different body dimensions, Micah.
Micah: What was previous - they have a whole lighting system in place now.
Andrew: So it'll tell you if you're too big for the regular seats. You have to sit in one of the larger seats, so to speak, and...
Micah: It's just so terrible though. You'd think that they would make this ride so that everybody could ride it. The fact that we're even having this discussion is a little bit unsettling.
Andrew: Yeah, I mean it can get complicated though, I mean designing these rides. I'm sure - at least they added a seat that lets more people ride it.
Laura: Yeah. I don't know. Well, I was also reading about that as well, and what Micah is describing is it's like a green, a yellow and a red light. So like if you get a green light then you can sit in any seat, if you get a yellow light you have to sit in a modified seat, and if you get a red one you still can't ride. Can you imagine being the person who still gets a red light? That would suck...
Andrew: Oh, gosh, yeah, that's not good.
Laura: ...so bad. I would be devastated.
Andrew: Yeah. That's not good. But there you go. So that's all the news, Micah?
Micah: That is all the news I have.
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