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?