David Heyman never imagined that when he snagged the film rights to the first four of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books in 1999, he would go on to produce the highest-grossing film franchise in cinematic history.
More than a decade later, the man behind the successful series is ready to say farewell to the boy wizard as the final chapter comes to a close with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II.
Heyman, 49, talked to Parade.com about the final film and life after Harry.
On the end of Harry Potter.
“It’s mixed feelings. I’m very excited for the audience to see the film, but at the same time there’s a sadness. I’ve been working with these people for so long, and we always knew at the end of each film that we were coming back for one more, and that’s no longer the case. So that’s quite sad. Working on Harry Potter has been the most incredible odyssey. It’s been the gift of all gifts. That being said, I’m very excited about having the time to face new challenges.”
He wasn’t originally on board with splitting Deathly Hallows into two parts.
“I thought it was a bad idea, because we hadn’t done it before. We talked about doing it on the fourth film, but we didn’t do it. But when [writer] Steve Kloves started to break down the script, it became pretty clear that there was too much there for one film, and if we were to do it in one film, we’d have to leave out so much that the whole series would be compromised. So it became pretty clear that we had to make it into two films. Then Steve called me a week or so later and said, ‘You know what? There’s almost enough here for three.’ And then he said, ‘Just kidding!’ But actually, there probably is enough.”
On how Dan, Emma, and Rupert have handled fame over the years.
“I’m really impressed by how they have maintained their humility. They are not arrogant or conceited; they’re just very decent, humble people. Very much the same people I met 11 years ago, and that’s an amazing thing to maintain. I think part of it is because they’ve been working within this very safe place. A lot of the same people have worked here for 10 years, and you couldn’t get away with anything. You couldn’t get away with being too uppity. There was just no way. People would just not abide it.”
He’s grateful to the Potter fans.
“They’ve been so unbelievably supportive and incredibly generous. They have really allowed us the opportunity to make the films we have. They’ve been so loyal. It’s been an incredible journey, and the fans are really the reason why, because without them there would be no films.”
On the prospect of another Harry Potter film.
“I don’t see any future films. I think one of the reasons J.K. Rowling wrote the ending the way she did was to close it out. There’s no ‘Harry Goes to Business School.’ I think that would be inappropriate, and thank goodness it’s not something we’re going to be doing!”
He can’t wait to share the films with his 3-year-old son.
“He’s a Harry Potter nut! I’ve shown him the first half of the first film, but I haven’t shown him much beyond that. He’ll absolutely see them all in time.”
On his favorite Potter characters.
“I like so many of the characters. I like the fact that none of the characters, other than Voldemort, are pure good or pure evil. Even Harry has his demons. That’s what makes them so rich. I like characters like Lupin, and I love Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville. I enjoy characters like Bellatrix, even though I don’t want to be her!”
Praise for the final film.
“It’s a wonderful adventure. The thing I love most about these films are the characters. For all it’s grandeur and epics of action, at the same time, it’s very much a film about people. It brings this story to the end that it deserves.”
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