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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 Dumbledore is just one reckless educator, this is MuggleCast Episode 211 for October the 17th, 2010.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Welcome everyone to MuggleCast Episode 211. It's Micah, Jamie, Nick, and I this week. Two English accents on the show.
Jamie: Yeah! We're going to outrank you soon. We're going to take over this show.
Andrew: Well, hopefully we can decipher the difference between your two voices.
Jamie: You should be able to, Andrew, you should be able to. You should know what I sound like after all this time.
Jamie: 211 Episodes!
Andrew: I do, but it's still - you still both have that accent, and it still throws me off.
Jamie: Wait. Sorry, sorry, sorry. 211 Episodes and some IRL time, as all the kids are saying now.
Andrew: [laughs] Oh, you mean "in real life"?
Jamie: Yeah, and you don't even know who I - that's just charming. That is excellent.
Andrew: I do, I do. It's just - I can kind of tell - Nick, no offense but your voice is just a bit higher than Jamie's, so...
Andrew: ...I can decipher it that way.
Jamie: That's because he's two years younger though. Give him two years, and he'll [drops voice down lower] probably be speaking like this.
Nick: I'm going to try that for the remainder of this Episode.
Jamie: Okay, go, see if you can pull it off.
Micah: Jamie, Jamie, I don't have to do the show anymore because you can do my voice too.
Jamie: Yeah, yeah, I'll do yours. There you go, it'll just be a one-man show. Andrew, you're going to have to find a new job.
Andrew: Oh, no! Well no, we need everyone for the show this week because there is lots of news to talk about, and of course we have Chapter-by-Chapter, and a fun Dueling Club segment, so let's get to it! I'm Andrew Sims.
Jamie: I'm Jamie Lawrence.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Nick: And I'm Nick Myers.
[Show music continues]
Andrew: Micah, we're just a month away from Deathly Hallows: Part 1 now, so lots of news to talk about.
Jamie: And it's come up so quickly.
Micah: I know. I was going to say, it's amazing that it's only 30 days away. It's just - it seems like only yesterday Eric and Emerson were going to the theatre to see...
Micah: ...the screening.
Jamie: What actually was the story behind that? Because I read it and it read to me like, "I was walking past a building and suddenly someone came out and said 'Do you want to see the new Harry Potter film?' And I said yes. And I went in and saw it."
Andrew: [laughs] Well, that's...
Jamie: And to me that just didn't sound real.
Andrew: Well, it is very odd that - of course it would be Emerson that got selected for this, but that's the truth. This is where they go to do these screenings - these test screenings in Chicago. And Emerson was already going to see a movie and somebody there said "would you like to see a movie?" They didn't say it was Harry Potter. But Emerson sort of guessed that it was Harry Potter since it was getting close to the release and they always do the test screenings in Chicago for whatever reason.
Jamie: Or did he just say that he guessed it after he saw it?
Andrew: I don't know...
Jamie: Because then he'd sound cool.
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Andrew: No, he guessed before and he had emailed me, he was like, "I think it's going to happen tomorrow."
Jamie: Oh, right. Cool.
Andrew: Yeah, so...
Andrew: So what's going on in the news?
Micah: Well, Deathly Hallows finally got a rating here in the United States. The MPAA gave it a PG-13 rating. I don't think there's really too much of a surprise there.
Andrew: We - it was a bit worrisome because with Half-Blood Prince it was rated PG. So question was would they rate Part 1 PG-13? And they did.
Micah: Well, when you...
Andrew: It's not that big of a deal because it doesn't impact...
Micah: When you start killing people I think you have to rate it PG-13. And Dumbledore's death, like I said on the last Episode, it kind of looked like he was just floating.
Jamie: But don't you think it's weird though?
Micah: It wasn't very dramatic. What's that?
Jamie: Don't you think it's weird that if you start - if you create a film and people die you have to rate it PG-13? Whereas in life people die, so it's just a reflection of what happens in everyday life, yet you don't need a PG-13 rating to live?
Andrew: Well, didn't you see the - a few years ago they decided to rate life PG-13. So...
Andrew: Yeah. Like, life.
Jamie: Oh, you...
Andrew: The world.
Jamie: Like actual life? Oh...
Andrew: Yeah! [laughs]
Jamie: Right! I thought...
Jamie: I thought I was really clever there and that had gone way over your head, but apparently...
Andrew: [laughs] No.
Jamie: ...it went way over my head instead!
[Andrew and Jamie laugh]
Micah: Jamie, that's an excellent point, though. Because they didn't rate The Lion King PG-13.
Jamie: No, and that was really sad, so...
Andrew: That was sad.
Micah: Not to spoil the film for people. [laughs]
Jamie: Yeah. Well, you only said it was sad. Or, like Up. I haven't seen Up, but quite a grown man in my office confided in me that he cried! [laughs] So...
Andrew: [laughs] Confided! "I have a deep secret to tell you. I cried during Up."
Jamie: Did you - what, did you as well?
Andrew: No, I'm...
Jamie: Oh, you were paraphrasing him.
Andrew: It was - the beginning was very sad...
Jamie: Our chemistry is gone Andrew.
[Jamie and Andrew laugh]
Andrew: The problem with the MPAA is that it's a bunch of parents just rating the films. So I don't think...
Jamie: Oh, really?
Andrew: Yeah, I don't think there are many standards. It's sort of just like what they feel. It's very - there's a whole documentary on it called, This Film Is Not Yet Rated, I think.
Jamie: That's weird - it's...
Jamie: It's parents doing it.
Andrew: It tries to track down people in the MPAA and they're very secretive about it. It's - it was a pretty interesting documentary.
Jamie: That's pretty stupid.
Andrew: So - yeah, it's all over the place.
Micah: And the film hasn't been rated in...
Andrew: What else has been going on?
Micah: ...the U.K. yet, either, right? But we would...
Micah: ...expect that it would receive, what, Nick? A 12-A you said?
Nick: A 12-A again, yeah.
Andrew: That's the PG-13 equivalent here.
Micah: But Half-Blood Prince also got a 12-A in the U.K. which, like you said, Andrew, is a PG-13 equivalent. But it was rated PG here in the United States, so it seems like there's no consistency.
Nick: We have a - strict guidelines here, so if it has dark, dark horror, threatening and deaths and stuff, it would get the 12-A rating. So - whereas in America they just have the parents doing it. [unintelligible]
Jamie: How weird is that? Nick, can you imagine if in The U.K. they said, "Oh, we're going to get the parents just to rate something"? There'd be...
Nick: That'd be the Daily Mail readers.
Jamie: ...an uproar! The Daily Mail readers, yeah! [laughs] God, that would be insane! I can't believe - oh you just do things weird in America.
Micah: Yeah we do. Well, the other big news about Deathly Hallows is that Part 1 will not be available in 3D and W.B. released a statement a couple of weeks ago saying that, they weren't able to finish everything from a technical stand point and I think this is a good thing. I mean, why put a movie out that is not going to meet fan needs if it's not complete and it's going to look like crap.
Nick: It shows their commitment to quality.
Jamie: Yeah, it does and also we don't have one more film where it's in 3D and you get there and the first 20 seconds are in 3D and the last 2 minutes and then you think, "Well, that's not really a 3D film, is it?" That's just...
Andrew: Yeah, I have to admit that was - the way the marketed Half-Blood Prince was... [unintelligible]
Jamie: That it was all in 3D, yeah.
Andrew: Yeah. They didn't say just the first 5-10 minutes. However Part 1 was going to be - I'm pretty sure the plan for Part 1 and now Part 2 is that the entire film's 3D which you've seen in quite a few films recently. I mean, Avatar and pretty much every film now has a 3D version. But good on W.B. for deciding that the quality just wasn't there and they couldn't get it done in time.
Micah: But we wanted to read a couple of tweets that people sent along as to how they felt about this, about the film not being available in 3D. So, Andrew, did you want to read some of them?
Andrew: Yeah, the first one's from 'KirpalJutla' says:
"Bit disappointing that 'DH Part 1' isn't going to be in 3D but at least they didn't move the movie back six months again for it."
That's very true. Can you imagine if it was their fault for the delay and then they just decided to push it back? [laughs] 'ItsLaurenYvonne' says:
"I think it's great because I don't have the option to waste money to see if it's any good. We all know 3D is cool but crap."
Jamie: I think that's a great slogan if you see, "Harry Potter coming soon in 3D, cool but crap!"
Andrew: 'Jessicayeto' says:
"I'm disappointed it's not in 3D. I was really looking forward to it. I don't get why some people are so happy either."
"I was personally excited for the movie in 3D but I was going to watch it in 2D. Either choice is just losing them money."
Finally 'z00here' says:
"Kind of happy about no 3D. When films are shot in 2D but are 3D-ized in post production, 3D is subpar. See 'Alice in Wonderland'.".
Nick: That is so true.
Andrew: What if they're not happy with Part 2? Because now Part 2 has to be really good, because they're like, "Yeah, Part 1 we did you guys a favor. We didn't show you it because it was so bad."
Micah: Yeah. Is there a potential though for them to re-release the movie in 3D?
Andrew: Oh, yeah.
Micah: Sometime early next year?
Andrew: Part 1, and put in in theaters, as 3D. I bet they would do that right before the release of Part 2.
Nick: I bet, if it would make up the thirty million they've invested in it already. And it would build the hype up.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah. And actually, it would be really cool to see Part 1 and Part 2 back-to-back in a theater.
Jamie: I'm sure they will do that.
Jamie: They are going to do that, aren't they, and just run them together completely.
Andrew: Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Jamie: I don't see why they wouldn't.
Micah: Well, Jamie, you mentioned earlier that there was a lot of promotional posters you saw when you were going to the movie theater.
Micah: And I'm not sure that all of these were there, in your theater, but there's been quite a few. Have there been any that have stood out to anybody?
Jamie: I have to say that, this year, I thought they've been a bit poor. The ones I've seen tend to just have "HP7" on a backdrop of Hogwarts, and that's about it. Perhaps my movie theater's just crap. [laughs] But...
Andrew: [laughs] Well, the recent ones - MuggleNet was able to release two exclusively - which was really cool - and they were posters of Snape and Voldemort, and they have Hogwarts castle in the background. Those were nice. And then, we've been getting these beautiful profile shots of all the main characters. And we got Dobby, Harry, Ron, Hermione...
Andrew: ...Snape, Bellatrix, Greyback - who else? A couple others too. And they're beautiful, because they're close-up shots, and you can see every little pore on their face. [laughs]
Jamie: So, proper HD, yeah.
Micah: I was going to say though, the Dobby one I don't think is good from a promotional standpoint, because nobody knows who he is. The last film he was in was Chamber of Secrets. He's been absent.
Jamie: Yeah, that's a fair point. I guess they're just trying to cover all characters.
Micah: Yeah. It was like using Fenrir Greyback for Half-Blood Prince. Nobody knows who he is, so why are you promoting that?
Andrew: Yeah, I agree with that.
Micah: And I thought the "Seven Potters" one is terrible.
Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I think that one leaked a little too early, before it was complete. I don't think this is the finished product. We posted it on MuggleNet a couple of days ago. It's a very wide banner showing Harry - the Seven Potters, on one side...
Jamie: Oh yeah, that's awful.
Micah: It looks like it's from the video game.
Nick: The slogan, with "trust no one," did anybody else think that was really, really weak?
Jamie: It's a bit cheesy as well, yeah, "trust no one."
Nick: It's so overused.
Jamie: This one looks like my grandma photoshopped it. It's terrible.
Jamie: She can't even...
Micah: I think I see her there.
[Andrew and Nick laugh]
Jamie: What, she wanted her two minutes of fame?
Micah: No, her finger actually came in front of the lens if you look at the bottom.
Andrew: Yeah, I think it's just incomplete. I don't think you'll see that one in movie theaters.
Jamie: Yeah, it's not very good.
Andrew: Because, you know how they usually have those really wide banners, and they're cool, but this one is just odd. So yeah, it's nice to see all the posters, and I'm sure soon you will see them all in the movie theater. Right now the one I think that's in all theaters is the one of the burning castle.
Jamie: Wait - in that poster have you seen how Voldemort's holding his wand? He's holding it between his two - like top two fingers.
Andrew: Yeah. [laughs]
Jamie: That looks absolutely ridiculous. It's like a Roman Centurian holding a sword and putting it between his knees. That's stupid.
Andrew: It's not good.
Jamie: That looks terrible.
Andrew: I have a feeling it's just not finished. Yeah.
Andrew: What else is going on in the news?
Micah: Well we talked a little bit about the video game when I said that poster looks like that's where it came from. But EA actually released a trailer earlier this week from the Part 1 video game, and Nick, I know you had a chance to go to EA and experience the game for yourself, but I think this game finally looks like the one we've been waiting for. Just from the action itself.
Nick: Yeah, they've gone about their approach completely differently on this game. The content has allowed them to open up what they do with it and they've brought a whole new game engine to harness the high definition controls.
Jamie: That's cool. That's very cool.
Nick: And there's now millions more pixels in the characters. They can really focus on getting the stubble on Harry's face to really shine through, and they've gone about it...
Jamie: What tasks do they do?
Nick: ...It's much more action oriented. There are going to be tasks. I'm not sure how much I'm allowed to say, but there's an element of, when you're in the campsite, you've got to go around and collect bits to make potions to heal yourself, or to protect the campsite. There are - and apparently there's some sort of goblin merchant you'll be trading objects with, and there are, then, sort of tasks, but obviously there's not going to be the Hogwarts crest style thing there used to be.
Jamie: Oh, yeah. Cool.
Nick: But yeah, it's definitely shaping up to be a much better game, more action oriented. Yeah, it should be good. A lot of people are criticizing the graphics.
Andrew: I was just going to say, I think they look incredible in this trailer.
Nick: I really like them, too. I think they look really good.
Andrew: They look very lifelike. The emotion that you see on the faces, it's very well-animated, and Hermione's hair, and Bellatrix's hair, it moves naturally.
Nick: They've even gone and done - does anyone watch Lie to Me? It's a TV show, and it's based on micro-expressions, and there's something called the Facial Action Coding System, which picks up really minute details in the face. And they're now able to animate twenty different places on the character's face at once.
Jamie: Oh, that's insane!
Nick: So the level of detail in the animation is now so good.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, it looks great.
Micah: And I've been the biggest critic, too, of these games in the past, and I think this one looks better than anything that's gone before.
Andrew: Oh, Micah, come on! You've learned this lesson before.
Micah: Well, look, when I get it and I play it, and if I don't like it, I'll retract my statement. I'll admit that I was wrong.
[Andrew and Nick laugh]
Micah: But it does, it looks better, there's more action. You get those shots of them fighting in the streets of London, they're fighting in the Ministry, they're running from the Snatchers in the forest. And they're facing all these creatures which I guess they've added in even though they have nothing to do with the storyline. Like Harry running into a dragon in the middle of nowhere. But it looks better. I think this is what people were expecting when they've gone out to buy the last two video games.
Andrew: We'll see!
Micah: We will see. Last show, we had recorded it just before J.K. Rowling's interview with Oprah Winfrey aired, here in the United States. And I think we all got a chance to see it, or at least clips from it. And to me it was a pretty standard interview. It was more focused on J.K. Rowling's life, as opposed to Harry Potter. Even though Harry Potter has been such a huge part of her life. And what I mean by that is, there wasn't a lot of Oprah going into the canon. She didn't discuss the story itself, so I don't really think we got much new information on that front. What do you guys think?
Andrew: Yeah, this interview was tailored towards Oprah's audience, so Oprah couldn't start asking her questions about Barty Crouch Jr. That would totally turn off Oprah's audience. So, it was an okay interview. I think one of the more interesting things that Jo said was that she has at least two or three more Potter books in her head and she would never say no to returning, and, of course, that made headlines everywhere: "J.K. Rowling says it's possible she may write another Harry Potter book!"
Nick: But it's a big change of stance as well because a few years ago she said seven and that's it, final, no more, she wouldn't even consider the possibility...
Andrew: That's true.
Nick: ...at least now it's an option.
Andrew: That's true.
Jamie: It's weird she's trying to U-turn, though. She always said - it was always, like you say, Nick, it was just - no more, no way, definitely not. It's kind of weird.
Andrew: Hm. [laughs] There was also a very awkward moment - I haven't seen the whole interview, admittedly, well, I haven't seen this part - where J.K. Rowling and Oprah are both talking about how rich they are, [laughs] and everyone I've talked to said that it was so awkward...
Jamie: Who's richer?
Andrew: For the viewers.
Jamie: Who's richer? It's got to be Oprah, easily.
Jamie: I thought so, easily!
Jamie: J.K. Rowling's probably got like...
Jamie: 1.5 billion...
Andrew: I don't know.
Jamie: And Oprah's probably got like 4 billion. I don't know, those are figures I just picked out my head, but...
Nick: It was such a funny clip, though, because they're both just trying to be really humble and say that money hasn't changed them and everything, and then they talk about how...
Jamie: [laughs] Yeah!
Nick: ...they can buy everything.
[Andrew and Nick laugh]
Andrew: Yeah, exactly! That's so awkward. Very awkward. But...
Jamie: Oh, wow, look at this list...
Jamie: Oh, sorry. Wait. By 2008 her yearly income had increased $275,000,000 and...
Andrew: Is that Jo or Oprah?
Jamie: Oprah. And...
Andrew: Oh, okay.
Jamie: According to Forbes, in September 2010 she was worth over 2.7 billion.
Andrew: I wonder what Jo is - if she has this idea to write two or three more books, what place - where do these take place in terms of the Harry Potter timeline? Is it - is it after? Yeah, I mean, they - could they be prequels? Could they be stories with Harry and Ron and Hermione as adults? I wonder where in the timeline...
Jamie: That'd be so weird.
Andrew: ...these would take place.
Jamie: It'd be so hard to pull off.
Nick: I would take it would be after because there's so much she revealed in interviews after the final book went out that a lot of the fans didn't see, and the characters still evolve in her head. I'd like to think she'd do it after.
Andrew: Yeah, I would think that whatever she wrote would have to have the trio still featured - be the main event, so to speak.
Micah: Yeah. But just some other pieces from this interview - she mentioned that the books wouldn't be what they were if Jo's mother hadn't died. She said: "At least half of Harry's journey is dealing with death. It's there on every single page. If she hadn't died, I don't think it's too strong to say that there wouldn't be Harry Potter." And...
Nick: I was going to say that things like the Mirror of Erised is a perfect example of that, isn't it? Where she drew upon that early on in the series to shape the book.
Jamie: Early on, too, Nick.
Micah: Yeah. She actually mentioned that in the interview, didn't she? Or maybe it was another interview that she brought up the mirror. Or was it Oprah that brought up the mirror? And then she also addressed people like Laura Mallory when she says: "I'm not pushing any belief system. The scene in Deathly Hallows was an illusion to a belief system I was raised on. I think if the evil makes it legitimate for parents to say if this is a little old for my child." So in there she was just talking about - she's fully accepting of parents saying, "Look, the evil that's in these books is a little bit too mature at this point and time for my children. They don't have to read it." But using the whole religious argument, I think, she's not very fond of.
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