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Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?



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  #61  
Old April 15th, 2008, 8:40 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Why is it unlikely that they'll do seven? It's been confirmed that all seven Narnia books will be filmed (Unless one completely bombs at the box office). There's bound to be a fan who becomes a director/writer who'll want a shot at it. If anything you forget that Hollywood understands one thing and one thing only when it comes to something like this. Money. Willy Wonka was remade three decades later and the way things are going now I doubt that Potter will take that long.

Though they might just use computer animation, considering the advancements in the last decade they could be amazingly realistic now. It still depends on who makes the movie, will it still be more family oriented and looking closer to stuff like "The Incredibles" or will you get a maverick who decides that he wants to go as close (darkness/violence wise) to the source material and come out looking closer to the final fantasy projects?


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  #62  
Old April 15th, 2008, 9:09 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Why is it unlikely that they'll do seven? It's been confirmed that all seven Narnia books will be filmed (Unless one completely bombs at the box office). There's bound to be a fan who becomes a director/writer who'll want a shot at it. If anything you forget that Hollywood understands one thing and one thing only when it comes to something like this. Money. Willy Wonka was remade three decades later and the way things are going now I doubt that Potter will take that long.
Narnia is not a remake. And Harry Potter hasn't made nearly enough money to catch a studio's attention decades later. These will not be movies that they will look back and think, "Hey, this is pretty profitable." They will look back and see that these movies were expected to be far bigger than they actually turned out to be.

I don't doubt that there'll be a director that wants to do it one day, but I doubt that any studio would commit to remaking seven movies that didn't do all that spectacularly the first time around.

And hopefully by that time Hollywood will have gotten out of the creative stagnation it's in now, and we won't have to stomach millions of remakes anyway.


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  #63  
Old April 15th, 2008, 9:25 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I wasn't implying that they were remakes I was making the point that there are seven books and all are being made. Further more how much money do they have to make? I don't like what the series is becoming and yet I can't deny that it's making money, the true test is whether or not it can keep doing it without the source material acting as a safety net, no new books means less hub bub.

A studio will do it because it'll be a generation later and Potter will have had time to rest, to take it's place in literary history and, lets be honest, are we really expecting originality from Hollywood?


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  #64  
Old April 15th, 2008, 5:30 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I am not convinced, to be honest.

We are getting endless re-interpretations of various franchises 9especially those of the superhero persuasion) - but that's a very different game, because you can devise your own script, as long as you stick to basic parameters - that's how you can do lots of remakes, even 'reboot' a franchise, like Superman and Batman!

But an adaptation of SEVEN books remade so on? I can't see it. These are the sort of books you have to remake quite faithfully, and i don't think that this will change anytime soon.

No-one in their right mind would remake HP any closer to the books than Columbus did - so I am not quite sure what sort of venture this would be.

A move to another medium (TV miniseries) or visual medium (cartoon, anime) is a possibility, perhaps. But I think even that is a pretty long shot.


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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:19 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Maybe a cartoon or CGI series, that'd actually be pretty sweet, they did it with Clone Wars for Star Wars, it helps cause you can stretch it over years and the problems with child actors isn't there because once someone's voice breaks you can call someone with a similar voice or have a female voice actor do the early voices. Say an hour for the show either half and hour or a full hour per chapter, depends cause some can run though they'd probably would want to keep it the same length all around.


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  #66  
Old April 16th, 2008, 12:02 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Further more how much money do they have to make?
I like this point. If you realize the magnitude of Harry Potter fandom, I could definitely see in twenty years or so a bunch of our generation getting together to remake the HP films in a way that will please the fans. As for me, the chance to do that, in either directing or writing a screenplay, I would be so honored to be a part of it, that I would be helping to pay for the film, not worrying about how much money I'm making.


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Old April 16th, 2008, 2:04 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Maybe a cartoon or CGI series, that'd actually be pretty sweet, they did it with Clone Wars for Star Wars, it helps cause you can stretch it over years and the problems with child actors isn't there because once someone's voice breaks you can call someone with a similar voice or have a female voice actor do the early voices. Say an hour for the show either half and hour or a full hour per chapter, depends cause some can run though they'd probably would want to keep it the same length all around.
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I like this point. If you realize the magnitude of Harry Potter fandom, I could definitely see in twenty years or so a bunch of our generation getting together to remake the HP films in a way that will please the fans. As for me, the chance to do that, in either directing or writing a screenplay, I would be so honored to be a part of it, that I would be helping to pay for the film, not worrying about how much money I'm making.


With the utmost respect, I don't think that either of these plans are feasible. A chapter-by-chapter adaptation, even in cartoon form for TV just wouldn't work. Adaptations from book to film just can't work THAT 'literally'. They are very different media, and story-telling in these different media HAS to be different. The same is even more true for a fan-led 'faithful' adaptation for cinema.


A completely faitful adaptation would be a) tedious and b) commercially not viable. The Harry Potter fandom isn't large enough to make anything of this kind viable at the box office or on TV - you need to rope in lots of people who aren't worried about small details being in or out, and you gave to offer gripping story-telling to keep them coming back.

It's not going to work....



Sorry to spoil the party, but that's the realistic assessment, and I don't think that this will change in the close(ish) future. yes, effects are getting cheaper, but at the same time the big blockbusters will keep upping the ante, and the price for really GOOD SFX-led films will remain high....


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  #68  
Old April 20th, 2008, 6:08 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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The question here is whether or not the movies should've been held until the series was over and I feel, seeing what the series is becoming, that they should have but that doesn't really matter since they'll be remade. Or do you disagree?
I doubt that the series will be remade any time soon: WB did not make quite the money that they expected (HP was supposed to be Star Wars, and it fell well short of that, especially in North America which is what counts from WB's perspective).

As for "what the series is becoming," that simply was never relevant. Each story was its own story: the gathering darkness of Prisoner did not make the light-hearted nature of Stone any less light, nor did it change Stone from a story about right vs. easy choices in desires to something else. The desolation of Order did not make the mere melancholy of Prisoner somehow darker, and nor did it change Prisoner from a story about right vs. easy choices concerning ironic truths to something else. We knew what each story was at the end of each book: just in case someone missed it, Dumbledore provided a neat little summary each time!

So, the issue for each and every film is the same thing as it is for any other film: communicate a story. In this case, they (ideally) want to communicate the story that Rowling told. Trying to communicate things from "future" stories will only muddle the story that they are trying to present

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Are those not things to point out as bad work on the part of the film makers?
The problem is that although you do not like them, all of these are examples of good filmmaking. Brevity is the soul of wit, after all, and good film-making is succinct. The Seamus example is a good one. Seamus is a quaternary character who is the "face" of the students who doubt Harry. The escape of Bellatrix and others from Azkaban is an event that causes some of Harry's doubters to question that doubt. So, for the movie to communicate this, the face of those doubters has to do this. (Doing it in two steps, as the book does, was poor writing in a book - even Rowling admits that Order was poorly written - and cramming in the irrelevant Quibbler would be disastrously bad filmmaking when the breakout both was adequate to explain Seamus' conversion AND demanded Seamus' conversion.)

Other things are simply a difference between literature and cinema. For example, Moody was going to be comical onscreen no matter what: he is comical on page.

Ultimately, what happens to Moody and Seamus and other quaternary characters in movie X+1 has little bearing on how they are presented in movie X: Joe and Jane Public are not going to remember nuances about them as they do not think about Harry Potter in between films.


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With the utmost respect, I don't think that either of these plans are feasible. A chapter-by-chapter adaptation, even in cartoon form for TV just wouldn't work.
You are entirely correct. Each TV episode would have to be a self-contained story. Battlestar Galactica or Babylon 5 offer some examples: and you would have to heavily rewrite the chapters to turn each of them into an episode.
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The Harry Potter fandom isn't large enough to make anything of this kind viable at the box office or on TV - you need to rope in lots of people who aren't worried about small details being in or out, and you gave to offer gripping story-telling to keep them coming back.
11 million books is unspectacular TV ratings and appalling ticket sales. Moreover, it is improbable that most of the book readers would want to see the stories shown like that.

Ultimately, a "faithful" adaptation means making something work to the same end in a different way. Lizards are adapted to live on land: that means that they have to be a lot different from amphibians. However, both frogs and lizards accomplish the same end.

Here, the "end" is story. Rowling gave us seven distinct stories, and the goal of each movie should be to tell those stories. What the next story does is not too relevant: for example, Harry's hard vs. right choices in personal politics (Prince) is not too relevant to Harry's hard vs. right choices concerning personal isolation (Order). Any plot element necessary to communicate the Prince story must be introduced in Prince, regardless of whether it was introduced in Order.

Here is the big point: what Order can (or could) do for Prince is entertain them with a well-told story, and leave them interested in seeing another Harry Potter story. It seems to have done that: Prince will get back nearly all of the Order audience (which is vastly bigger than the reading audience) and Prince probably will sell even more tickets because Prince will get the big holiday boosts that Order did not. If Prince fails to tell a story, then even if it sets up dozens of plot elements for Hallows, then a big chunk of the audience will not turn up in the theater 24 months later to not remember those elements!


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  #69  
Old April 20th, 2008, 11:46 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

Great post, Whimsey..... always a delight to read your posts....


I wonder sometimes.... when did we LotR fans lose our youtful purist idealism and became realists who know how to analyse the needs of the film industry?


Ah well.....


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Old April 23rd, 2008, 12:19 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

I just want to say, that I didn't mean to suggest a completely literal, word for word movie. Kilo, I understand what you are saying completely. To make Harry Potter films exactly perfect in comparison to the books would cost a ridiculous amount of money and a studio would need to support it. And of course, sadly, no major studio would, and I don't think the majority of people in the world are going to want to sit in for a five hour adaption of Order of the Phoenix. I just think the movies could have been made better and I think that there is a chance that they will be remade (hopefully better) in the future.


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Old April 26th, 2008, 6:17 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

No.Jo Rowling made sure the movies were accurate and stayed true to the story.For example she told the filmakers that Kreachher would be important to the story in book 7.And what do you know,Kreacher becomes important in book 7.


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Old April 26th, 2008, 7:01 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by Klio View Post
With the utmost respect, I don't think that either of these plans are feasible. A chapter-by-chapter adaptation, even in cartoon form for TV just wouldn't work. Adaptations from book to film just can't work THAT 'literally'. They are very different media, and story-telling in these different media HAS to be different. The same is even more true for a fan-led 'faithful' adaptation for cinema.


A completely faitful adaptation would be a) tedious and b) commercially not viable. The Harry Potter fandom isn't large enough to make anything of this kind viable at the box office or on TV - you need to rope in lots of people who aren't worried about small details being in or out, and you gave to offer gripping story-telling to keep them coming back.

It's not going to work....



Sorry to spoil the party, but that's the realistic assessment, and I don't think that this will change in the close(ish) future. yes, effects are getting cheaper, but at the same time the big blockbusters will keep upping the ante, and the price for really GOOD SFX-led films will remain high....

Actually, making a Harry Potter cartoon or television show wouldn't be as hard as it sounds. All you need to do is not follow the storyline of the books. Just invent a new character with new adventures.


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  #73  
Old April 26th, 2008, 8:33 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Actually, making a Harry Potter cartoon or television show wouldn't be as hard as it sounds. All you need to do is not follow the storyline of the books. Just invent a new character with new adventures.
I'm afraid that would be copyright violation, i.e. illegal.


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Old April 26th, 2008, 10:47 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Great post, Whimsey..... always a delight to read your posts....
My blushes!
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I wonder sometimes.... when did we LotR fans lose our youtful purist idealism and became realists who know how to analyse the needs of the film industry?
heh, well, for us TORCers, having a few people who really knew movies did it in part, didn't it?

Also, of all things, I think that Prisoner of Azkaban played a big role. More than one Tolkien purist looked at that film and thought: "Wow: a good Harry Potter movie that actually told the story told in the book: but by doing things differently. Er, is it possible that this is how non-fans really have been viewing "our" films all of this time?"

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I'm afraid that would be copyright violation, i.e. illegal.
Yes, both Rowling and WB would have to consent. I cannot see both doing so!

Ultimately, the bigger problem is (as has been noted) that each week needs its own story. It would be tough to maintain an overall story for (say) "A Prisoner of Azkaban" if each chapter has been turned into its own story. Ultimately, Rowlings stories work by setting up issues for Harry which are settled at the end, with the individual plots all contributing in some ways to putting Harry where he needs to be to make that choice. So, either you would have a bunch of story-less episodes that are just leading to something (and probably losing audience), or a bunch of story-telling episodes that lead to nothing (and thus losing Rowling's story).


Here is an idea for a TV series: "Cut Character Show Downs!" All of the Bombadils from Rings, Harry Potter, SpiderMan, Batman, Gone With the Wind, Les Miserables, etc., can duel to the death in a combination reality series / geekfest! (The real geeks won't realize that it is not a reality show.... )


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Old April 26th, 2008, 11:45 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Originally Posted by Bowing_to_death View Post
Actually, making a Harry Potter cartoon or television show wouldn't be as hard as it sounds. All you need to do is not follow the storyline of the books. Just invent a new character with new adventures.
Of course as it has been said, that would be copyright violation, but I think you are glossing over the fact that what Jo has created is not something that can be easily done again (done well anyway). Think of how developed and three dimensional the characters are. And how carefully thought out each adventure has been and the domino effect it has on everything. To make a good TV show out of Harry Potter, you would have to a lot more work than you are indicating (although even if the show was a bomb, I would still watch it ).


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Old April 27th, 2008, 12:20 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Old April 27th, 2008, 6:08 am
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Think of how developed and three dimensional the characters are.
Ah, but is that true? Harry is very three dimensional and very well fleshed. However, he is the only protagonist, and even prominent secondary characters have gaps in them. That could be important because it would be very difficult to have Harry be the protagonist of every episode even if he's the protagonist in (nearly) every chapter of the books.

So, say that you did an episode in which Hermione was the protagonist. You could do one of two things. You could make a "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" type of episode where the events of the book are shown, but with Hermione the center of attention. You still would have to create a lot of character for Hermione, however, as we often do not get her thoughts or reactions: if she does not voice them, then we get only Harry's guesses or (more frequently) nothing at all.

Alternatively, you could create a completely separate "adventure." You could show what Hermione does while Ron & Harry are not speaking to her: but then, of course, you'd give away the "reveal" of the time-turner. You could show Hermione's dates with Viktor Krum: but then, of course, you would really have to delve into how Hermione felt about Ron. You could develop her friendship with Ginny, which clearly evolved at some point prior to Goblet but it is not clear exactly when, how or why.

However, the big problem is: what is the story? I've outlined plots: but what is the greater point transcending those details? You can cross out "Hermione" and replace that with "Ron" or "Hagrid." You can invent what they do "off the screen" and it might even make sense, but it would be difficult for it to contribute to the season's story.


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..... Watson.....
heh, someone finally caught that! Yes, I am a walking (or typing) mix of famous detective catch-lines. However, I always catch myself before uttering a Campion-esque "You disgust me" to a veritable Bunter: I figure that the mods wouldn't appreciate it....


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Old April 27th, 2008, 3:50 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Ah, but is that true? Harry is very three dimensional and very well fleshed. However, he is the only protagonist, and even prominent secondary characters have gaps in them. That could be important because it would be very difficult to have Harry be the protagonist of every episode even if he's the protagonist in (nearly) every chapter of the books.

So, say that you did an episode in which Hermione was the protagonist. You could do one of two things. You could make a "Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" type of episode where the events of the book are shown, but with Hermione the center of attention. You still would have to create a lot of character for Hermione, however, as we often do not get her thoughts or reactions: if she does not voice them, then we get only Harry's guesses or (more frequently) nothing at all.

Alternatively, you could create a completely separate "adventure." You could show what Hermione does while Ron & Harry are not speaking to her: but then, of course, you'd give away the "reveal" of the time-turner. You could show Hermione's dates with Viktor Krum: but then, of course, you would really have to delve into how Hermione felt about Ron. You could develop her friendship with Ginny, which clearly evolved at some point prior to Goblet but it is not clear exactly when, how or why.

However, the big problem is: what is the story? I've outlined plots: but what is the greater point transcending those details? You can cross out "Hermione" and replace that with "Ron" or "Hagrid." You can invent what they do "off the screen" and it might even make sense, but it would be difficult for it to contribute to the season's story.


heh, someone finally caught that! Yes, I am a walking (or typing) mix of famous detective catch-lines. However, I always catch myself before uttering a Campion-esque "You disgust me" to a veritable Bunter: I figure that the mods wouldn't appreciate it....
Ok, you're right, they're not all extremely developed, but I was just trying to make the point that it wouldn't be as easy as it sounds to make a (good) Harry Potter television show.


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Old April 27th, 2008, 6:20 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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Ok, you're right, they're not all extremely developed, but I was just trying to make the point that it wouldn't be as easy as it sounds to make a (good) Harry Potter television show.
On that, we agree!

However, we do stray from the topic at hand. Ultimately, I think that many fans have a belief that because Older Film X did not include Plot Element I or Character A, New Film Y cannot include Plot Element I. For example, Bellatrix was not in Goblet: therefore the audience would not know who she was in Order and she could not be used. Order did not include The Locket, so the audience will not recognize it in Prince. (Never mind that Harry somehow failed to see the Slytherin S in Order.....)

As we have seen, this simply is not correct. Just like every other movie out there, Goblet, Order, etc., were able to introduce new characters succinctly and smoothly. Moreover, and this is a key that gets overlooked, even if Cedric & Cho had been in Prisoner or Bellatrix had been in Goblet, then they still would have needed to be reintroduced in some way in the later movies. Audiences find the cast overwhelming within any one Harry Potter film: they certainly are not spending time thinking about them (and thus reinforcing memories about them) after the films!


Rowling presented us with 7 stories. The job of each movie should be to tell one of those seven stories. Chekhov's Rule works in both directions in all cases: the guns put on the wall early should be fired (i.e., do not emphasize things that are not going to be relevant to this story), and the guns fired late should be shown early (i.e., something relevant to the story or plot(s) should be emphasized before its critical moment). The wall begins blank each film, and the wall is wiped clean at the end of each film.

Given that, the movie-makers knew (or should have known) what was needed to tell that story. Never once did Rowling leave a story incomplete, after all.


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Old April 27th, 2008, 8:18 pm
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Re: Should the movies have been made after all of the books were written?

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On that, we agree!

However, we do stray from the topic at hand. Ultimately, I think that many fans have a belief that because Older Film X did not include Plot Element I or Character A, New Film Y cannot include Plot Element I. For example, Bellatrix was not in Goblet: therefore the audience would not know who she was in Order and she could not be used. Order did not include The Locket, so the audience will not recognize it in Prince. (Never mind that Harry somehow failed to see the Slytherin S in Order.....)

As we have seen, this simply is not correct. Just like every other movie out there, Goblet, Order, etc., were able to introduce new characters succinctly and smoothly. Moreover, and this is a key that gets overlooked, even if Cedric & Cho had been in Prisoner or Bellatrix had been in Goblet, then they still would have needed to be reintroduced in some way in the later movies. Audiences find the cast overwhelming within any one Harry Potter film: they certainly are not spending time thinking about them (and thus reinforcing memories about them) after the films!


Rowling presented us with 7 stories. The job of each movie should be to tell one of those seven stories. Chekhov's Rule works in both directions in all cases: the guns put on the wall early should be fired (i.e., do not emphasize things that are not going to be relevant to this story), and the guns fired late should be shown early (i.e., something relevant to the story or plot(s) should be emphasized before its critical moment). The wall begins blank each film, and the wall is wiped clean at the end of each film.

Given that, the movie-makers knew (or should have known) what was needed to tell that story. Never once did Rowling leave a story incomplete, after all.
I do agree with that. I've never heard Chekhov's Rule, but it definitely applies to these movies. I usually view the books as one long story, something that other fans disagree with, but on the matter of the movies, the screenplay should be written based off of what is important to the individual story, and then Jo should come in and edit, giving her own input on what needs to be taken out and what needs to be added in.


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