“Deathly Hallows” Split Confirmed; David Yates to Direct

UPDATE: As expected, this morning Warner Bros. issued a press released about the split. No new information is revealed.

Story highlights:

  • Part 1 to be released November 2010, Part 2 May 2011.
  • J.K. Rowling was “cool” with the idea, according to Heyman.
  • Warner Bros. to make an official announcement tomorrow at ShoWest.

It’s official! The LA Times has confirmed that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two films AND will be directed by Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince director David Yates. Quotage from the article:

Producer David Heyman said the decision was made with some anxiety and only after considerable deliberations. The producer joked that ‘while my wife and Warner Brothers were pleased# to hear that the ‘Potter’ movie magic will continue into the next decade, he himself fretted that the cynical observers would see the decision as a purely mercenary move.

‘I swear to you it was born out of purely creative reasons,’ Heyman said during an interview in a converted airplane factory outside London that has been home base to all of the ‘Potter’ productions. ‘Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book. You can remove scenes of Ron playing quidditch from the fifth book, and you can remove Hermione and S.P.E.W. [Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare] and those subplots . . . but with the seventh, that can’t be done.’

Heyman said he approached Rowling with some trepidation about the strategy but found that she signed off on its logic rather quickly. ‘I went to Jo and she was cool with it,’ Heyman said, ‘and that was quite a relief.’