Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows: Was It Necessary to Split into Two Movies?

David Yates is the director of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint. The film, which is the second to last in the Harry Potter series, is being released by Warner Bros. on November 19.

For more than a decade, David Heyman has been immersed in the world of Harry Potter, as the producer of all the films based on the best-selling books by J.K. Rowling, who also served as a producer on the film adaptation of her seventh and final title, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows."

But as Heyman approached the last installment in the record-breaking film franchise, he realized that it presented some unique challenges, not the least of which was how to encompass all of the series' interwoven story threads as they sped toward the climactic conclusion. 

Splitting the films

Breaking from the tradition of the film series, the decision was made to split "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" into two full-length parts. "When Steve Kloves began working on the screenplay, it became clear we would have to omit too much to do justice to Jo's book in one film," Heyman explains. "There were simply too many details that were integral to the resolution of the series."

Producer David Barron adds, "With the previous books, the decision was always to follow Harry's journey, so it was possible to pinpoint specific scenes that, while immensely enjoyable to read, didn't necessarily advance his story. However, the seventh book is all about resolution–the dotting of all the i's and the crossing of all the t's."

An intricate plot

Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the title role of Harry Potter, offers, "The intricacy of the plot Jo had mapped out from the beginning is a fantastic feat of storytelling. It has twists and turns, mystery and romance, comedy and action…all the brilliant things people have responded to over the years. It was the only way we could tell the story in a complete and fulfilling way."

Breaking tradition

Helming his third Harry Potter feature, David Yates says that Part 1 of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" also breaks tradition by taking the central characters away from the familiar surroundings of Hogwarts. It is actually the first film in the franchise in which the iconic School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is never even seen. "I think that's one of the most intriguing things about Part 1," the director states. "We're away from the magical environment of Hogwarts, which felt very safe even when the characters were in utter jeopardy. Suddenly Harry, Ron and Hermione are trying to survive out in the big, bad world, and it's a dangerous place. They feel isolated and alone and very vulnerable. It makes the adventure much edgier and more grownup, which really appealed to me, and to Dan, Rupert and Emma as well."