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Warner, Potter Cast Prep for ‘Deathly Hallows – Part One’ Blu-ray

4 Apr, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Harry Potter fans wait at Discovery Times Square in New York City for the opening of Harry Potter: The Exhibition April 4.

NEW YORK — The difference between the first “Harry Potter” films and the last ones shouldn’t be of any surprise to those who read the books, the film’s cast said April 4.

“The first ones were the quiet before the storm,” said actress Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy). “Now comes the thunderclap.”

That first bolt of lightening hits home video April 15 with the DVD, Blu-ray Disc and digital download releases of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One, the lead-in to the final film in Warner Bros.’ massively successful franchise. There’s little of the light-heartedness of the first films, and nary a whiff of the fun that is Hogwarts, as Harry, Hermione and Ron, on the run from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, seek out the Horcruxes that contain pieces of the Dark Lord’s soul.

“It’s like the complete opposite to the first film,” actor Oliver Phelps (George Weasley) said of these final installments. “It’s fantastic.”

His twin brother, James Phelps (Fred Weasley), noted how close to the end this franchise is (July 11 in theaters for the final film, with a likely November 2011 release date for home video). For the cast members who’ve been there since day one, it’s going to be the end of an era.

“I know I’m going to be coming back from that last [premiere], and it’s really going to knock me out,” James Phelps said. “[But] it’s a great way to finish.”

Added actor Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick and Griphook): “The films have grown up with the books. Things are getting serious now. It’s darker … and it looks great in high-def.” And actor David Thewlis (Remus Lupin): “We haven’t seen anything like this. All the stops have been pulled out.”

Sir Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore} joked with fellow cast member Robbie Coltrane (Rebeus Hagrid) that only three things await him when the final film is released: “unemployment, misery and despair.”

The faithful have little to despair about when it comes to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part One. The Blu-ray combo pack comes with a DVD and digital copy of the film, and the bonus features are among the most extensive yet for a Harry Potter release.

“I’m keen on seeing the Blu-ray,” said actor Mark Williams (Arthur Weasley). “There are deleted scenes with me in them!”

And a lot more: There’s the best Warner Home Video Maximum Movie Mode to date, with actor Jason Isaacs (Lucius Malfoy) and other cast and crew taking the audience on an interactive journey through the film. There’s a scene showing actors Daniel Ratcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson turning a scene into a running competition, a soundtrack featurette, and a promotional trailer for the Harry Potter theme park in Florida.

Another bonus shows the Phelps brothers, Grint and Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) unwinding on a golf course.

“It’s a totally relaxing environment,” James Phelps (Fred) said of the off-the-set bonus features. “You see how we keep ourselves entertained.”

And a featurette showing how the multiple Harry Potters scene was created may be the best of the all, Coltrane said.

“It’s incredibly complex, and absolutely fascinating,” he said.

Besides promoting the release, Warner Home Video and the cast also were at Times Square to help launch the final stop of “Harry Potter: The Exhibition,” a 14,000-square-foot experiential exhibit featuring displays inspired by the Hogwarts film sets, original props from the seventh and eighth films, and costumes. The New York exhibition — the final stop of a tour launched in April 2009 — opens to the public April 5, and was an unscheduled stop on the tour. It goes international next.

“From the moment they step inside, visitors to [the exhibition] are immersed in the fantastic world brought to life in the blockbuster films,” said Karen McTier, EVP of domestic licensing and worldwide marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “New York is the perfect location for our last stop in North America. We think fans will be thrilled to have one more opportunity to experience firsthand the magic of this incredible exhibition.”

Though it’s a good thing they let the cast check the place out before the doors opened to everyone.

“They had my wand upside down,” said actress Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks). “It’s great to see it in this setting. It’s like an art gallery.”

About the Author: Chris Tribbey

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