Children's-book writer Lois Lowry discovered the power of the Internet this week — and the power of the Pottersphere in particular — when she grumped on her blog that the film of her outstanding novel The Giver would be delayed because, she'd been told, the attached director had signed on to do a different film first. Which ordinarily wouldn't be big news, except that the director was David Yates, and the film was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The Web went predictably crazy, and this morning Lowry has had to post an apology to all involved — an apology that, notably, doesn't deny the original item.
If the news is correct, is Yates the right guy for Harry Potter 7? He certainly succeeded in giving the series a polished look and a gravitas in Order of the Phoenix; the problems with that film had little to do with Yates's direction and much to do with the overly enthusiastic streamlining of its story. People associated with the franchise had long floated big names like Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, and Alfonso Cuarón for the final film (or films?) in the series; we can't deny we would love to see what one of those directors would do with it, but — barring total disaster in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which Yates is currently directing — we're onboard to see what he can do. Let's hope the producers suck it up and give Yates the space he needs to tell the story. Remember, producers: It didn't hurt the Lord of the Rings movies to be three hours long!