Another of MTV's big gets for the evening is the dark and moody new teaser trailer for "Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part One," and until I saw this trailer, I guess it really hadn't hit me that they're going to really screw with audiences this time around.
It's brilliant, since anyone who wants to know how things end has already read the book, and they know that the film is absolutely going to end the same way, but that doesn't begin to address the separate and urgent emotional connection people have to seeing these films bring the books to life.
Stopping the last book halfway, leaving the characters emotionally ruined... that's the "Empire Strikes Back" trick, and it's a GREAT TRICK. No one has the stones to do this anymore because they're afraid of the audience walking out of the theater on a down note, but if you can do it... if you can genuinely crush your heroes and end the movie at that point and leave them hanging for six months... that is a gift. A gift it looks like the producers are going to exploit to tremendous effect.
In the end, unless something goes horribly unexpectedly awry with these last two movies, the "Harry Potter" films are going to stand as one of the most creatively successful and expansive film series of all time. Watching this cast grow up, and watching the films change and grow and redefine themselves midstream, has been exhilarating, and not just for what happens in the movies. Ever since they started, it's been a race against the clock. Could they make these movies while the cast was still able to play the parts?
Well, here's the latest trailer. You be the judge:
I love it. I think it does exactly what it needs to and no more. I think it is uncanny timing that Universal Studios is opening their Harry Potter theme park attraction this summer. Think about it. Think about all the uber-fans who are going to shell out to fly to Orlando this summer and this fall before this first movie comes out. These are the people who have been diehards for years now, who have seen all the films, read all the books, and who just plain love the world of Hogwarts and wizards and Muggles and Voldemort and all of it. They're going to finally get to walk around inside the school, stand in Dumbledore's office, drink butterbeer, and more. It's going to be a tactile memory for them of a fictional world, something that Rowling's books already pretty much accomplished for fans.
But now, when these same fans go to the IMAX 3D presentation of these last two films, the emotional connection and investment they're going to have is going to be unreal. They're going to be facing the loss of something that is real to them. I think these last two films are going to destroy the fans.
And I'm willing to bet they wouldn't want it any other way.
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