Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Perfect Collaboration

As directed by David Yates, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” concludes the most commercially successful series in film history on a high and satisfying note.

The film ends an extraordinary cinematic journey of a boy whose name became synonymous with magic: Harry Potter.

Over the past decade, the film franchise that bears his name changed movie history while also changing the lives of its multi-generational ensemble cast and the filmmakers who devoted themselves to bringing J.K. Rowling’s seven-volume literary masterpiece to the screen.

Commencing with 2001’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and culminating with the two-part adaptation of the final title, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” the films have become the top-grossing franchise of all time, capturing the imagination of audiences around the world.

Impact on Pop Culture

Like other influential literary and cinematic works, both the books and the movies have been woven into our culture, adding words like Muggle, Quidditch, Hogwarts and even Expelliarmus! to the global lexicon.

David Heyman, who, in 1997, discovered the as-yet-unpublished Harry Potter manuscript and has produced all of the movies, acknowledges, “I could never have imagined when we embarked on the first film the level of response from audiences through the years. It’s been beyond my wildest dreams, so I look back on it with great pride and with gratitude, for the fans and especially for Jo Rowling.”

Collectively, the Harry Potter movies were an unprecedented undertaking for all involved—no other motion picture series had ever followed a linear story surrounding the same characters over the course of eight full-length features.

Rich Source Material

Producer David Barron notes, “It really has been unique, but it was entirely dependent on having rich enough source material, and that, of course, began with the books.”

Author and producer J.K Rowling says that the single thread of the story was very much by design. “I had a very, very clear idea of where Harry was going to go. This was just one story that I wanted to tell. For me, that was key if the books were ever going to be made into films; it had to be done that way. When I met David Heyman, he completely understood.”

Kloves Got the Books
Rowling found another invaluable collaborator in screenwriter Steve Kloves, who has adapted six of the seven books. “Steve really got the books,” she says, adding, “I was always accepting of the fact that changes must occur in the process of moving from the page to the screen. But even the scenes that were different were always very true to the spirit of the books.”

Cohesive Tale

Kloves remarks, “We had one cohesive, bracing tale that literally had no end when we began, since only the first three books had been published. Although that sometimes made for challenging circumstances, my instincts were pretty true. But in those instances when I was in need of assistance, I had an ally whose counsel I felt was reasonably sound: Jo,” he deadpans. “While she was never explicit, she was always available and highly adept at gently nudging me in the right direction. In the end, one principle proved pretty reliable: follow the characters.”

Director David Yates says, “In following the characters, many of the values that Jo Rowling celebrates in the books come to the fore in the films—the value of loyalty and love and friendship and understanding versus intolerance and evil.”

The Power of Love
“The power of love is a huge theme throughout the books and the films, as well,” Rowling adds. “There are lots of different kinds of love expressed over the course of the story, but friendship is probably the strongest form of love that you see in the movies.”

The love between friends is embodied most in the characters of Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. They were portrayed by three young actors who literally grew up on the screen: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson.