An inside look at the new Harry Potter movie and video game
The beginning of the end of the Harry Potter epic will hit theaters November 19th, and the film is staged to be more like a dark and dramatic version of a Bourne movie than a kid fantasy flick.
I went to London to tour the set of the final two films, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I and II, and to the studio of the accompanying video games to bring you this inside scoop (and, ahem, to have a seat in Dumbledore’s chair!). Here’s what I’m insanely excited about:
Harry will shed the school uniform.
No, not like in his Broadway debut, Equus; I’m talking about Harry Potter really going after the Death Eaters in his first film not set in the (relative) safety and familiar territory of Hogwarts. “We’re excited about this story because is Harry out in the wild,” said executive producer David Heyman. “He doesn’t have to obey the rules of being in school. Now he’s being hunted. He’s undesirable No.1.”
It’s confirmed: the cast and crew–and their pal Joe–are as insane as the fans.
The crew relayed that they say things in the immersive Harry Potter world that they would sound batty to the population at large: What is the motivation of this Grindylow? What happened in this dragon’s past?
Take this example: The producer once needed to complete a scroll for Hogwarts, a kind of family tree, so he emailed J.K. Rowling. An hour later he had detailed a family tree going back six generations right in front of him. And here’s the kicker: I can imagine the same conversations in line at the midnight release of a Harry book at Borders. Just sayin’!
The video game is the most raucous Potter game ever.
The Bright Light developers have always struggled with a way to make Harry look cool. After all, he was a nerdy little dude wearing a school uniform and glasses. They tried everything from baggy jeans to a leather cape (thankfully, ditched along the way), but in this new film, the characters themselves are grown up and edgy. The team used motion sensor technology to get the look and movements of the characters incredibly realistic.
Combine that will new ambient lighting technology and the fight-for-your-life story line, and you’ve got the most exciting Harry Potter video game ever. You’ll break out plenty of new spells, see areas of the Ministry of Magic never before seen and be joined by some funky woodland creatures you never could have imagined. Check it out here!
The set is as creepy as Hogwarts.
About 45 minutes outside of London, in the wet, grey, hilly countryside, you’ll find the set where all of the Potter movies have come to life, an old airplane hanger. The unmarked, fenced studio is a town itself. There’s a mill, a hospital and a fire department that serve the 800 people that work on the movie. On Dumbledore’s bookshelf there are volumes on Muggle Law and Order and The Improper Use of Magic, and–craziest of all–there’s a massive, football-fields-long storage area out back where every set piece from every film is stored, just in case it needs to be used again. Take that, Hoarders!