London's The Mail on Sunday reports that crew members on the sixth Harry Potter movie are being told that the seventh and final film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will be split into two movies in order to leave in more of the story. We cheer this news; after all, the last couple of Harry Potter films have really suffered from needing to speed from plot point to plot point, never taking a moment to rest. The Mail also claims that a high-profile director like Steven Spielberg is being sought out for the final film in hopes of making it an Oscar-caliber movie.
Though we're glad that Warner Brothers is at least considering releasing two films of one of the books, if not the ten-hour BBC miniseries for which we'd always hoped, we're a little surprised they're finally doing it for Deathly Hallows, which of course gives over a solid 400 of its 759 pages to Harry, Ron, and Hermione shouting in tents. Nevertheless, we applaud this notion and urge Warners to follow through.
Happily, the book itself offers a great point to split the story; the scene that ends right there on page 379, precisely halfway through the book, is Harry's discovery of the Sword of Gryffindor, Ron's return, and the destruction of the locket. You could play the exchange between films one and two any way you liked. Looking for an ending with mystery? End with Harry wandering off into the woods, following the glowing Patronus. Looking for a cliff-hanger? End with Harry underwater, the locket strangling him. Looking to finish with comedy? End with Hermione beating the crap out of Ron and calling him an arse.
Either way, the first movie gets all the freaking camping out of the way and focuses on the trio's relationship, even as it throws in a couple of great set pieces — the wedding, the raid on the Ministry of Magic, the snake attack in Godric's Hollow. The second movie gets to be pretty much all action: the capture at Malfoy Manor, the plot to infiltrate Gringotts, the dragon ride, the return to Hogwarts, and the final battle. By the time they finish filming, Daniel Radcliffe and the rest of the gang should be middle-aged, so shooting that "Nineteen Years Later" epilogue will be a piece of cake.