New HBP photos show Weasley joke shop and more New HBP photos show Weasley joke shop and more

Two new behind-the-scenes photographs from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today. Both pictures originally appeared in Empire Magazine and show director David Yates and cast on set.

Tom Felton visits Universal Studios in Florida Tom Felton visits Universal Studios in Florida

Tom Felton, Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, recently visited Orlando's Universal Studios along with girlfriend Jade Gordon. During their visit, Tom posed for a photograph beside a Ministry of Magic proclamation teasing construction of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter park.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is currently being built at Universal's Islands of Adventure park and will be open to the public in 2010.

Emma Thompson on why she passed on Trelawney Emma Thompson on why she passed on Trelawney

emmathompsonEmma Thompson, Professor Trelawney in the Harry Potter films, has squashed rumours that there was any bitterness in her decision to appear in a Nanny McPhee sequel instead of reprising her role in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The two films have a conflicting filming schedule, forcing Thompson to make the choice.

"I wasn't being rude at all. I was never going to be in the next 'Harry Potter.' I sort of put that to bed." She has chosen to star in the sequel to "Nanny McPhee" as the title character instead.

Dan Radcliffe discusses 'Half-Blood Prince' scenes Dan Radcliffe discusses 'Half-Blood Prince' scenes

Dan Radcliffe has provided some commentary on two scenes in a new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince preview piece by Entertainment Weekly.

"danbonniekissHarry's got a real thing for her [Ginny], and that is slightly odd, because when we met, I was 11 and she was 9, and she was only ever Ron's little sister," says Radcliffe, now 19. "But that all changed, and here we are snogging."

Shooting Dumbledore's funeral was another tough scene for Radcliffe, as it took on the personality of an Irish wake thanks to some not-so-mournful extras: "Because there's a lot of people there, it's one of those things that takes on a party atmosphere."

Emma Watson on 'Deathly Hallows' split Emma Watson on 'Deathly Hallows' split

watsonEmma Watson, the actress who plays Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, is intrigued by the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows split, according to a new interview with MTV. She's yet to receive the script, and is unsure at what point the story will be split.

"I don’t know [on the point at which the split will occur],” she replied. “I am as intrigued as you are. I am waiting at the moment to receive the script. It’s a tough call. I’m sure it will be some cruel cliffhanger."

Watson also commented on the feelings associated with her imminent departure from the franchise.

"It’s really mixed feelings," Watson gushed. "It will be bittersweet. It will be very scary because it’s been such a massive part of my life. It will have been nearly over a decade that I’d been playing Hermione. It’ll be tough but I’ll be ready to go I think. I’ll be ready to take on other projects. It will be exciting."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be released on 19 November 2010. Filming begins in February.

Happy New Year! Happy New Year!

From everyone here at Harry Potter Fan Zone, Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays from HPFZ! Happy Holidays from HPFZ!

081224 HolidaysFrom everyone here at Harry Potter Fan Zone, happy holidays! Hopefully you, unlike Ron Weasley, don't receive another maroon sweater this holiday season.  We hope you enjoy the rest, relaxation, and time with friends and family.

'Half-Blood Prince' set report preview 'Half-Blood Prince' set report preview

Earlier this year I had the privilege of visiting Leavesden Studios, the film set where Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was shot. Whilst at Leavesden, I was given a guided tour of the sets (both new and old), conducted interviews with the cast and crew, and watched filming. Read more from my visit to the set by clicking here.

One of the first things we are treated to upon arrival at Leavesden Studios is a look at some drawings and 3D renderings of the much-hyped cave sequence. The rocky grotto is awe-inspiring on paper, but even more so when brought to life. As we enter the stage, two mucky boats can be seen resting against the stage wall.  Isolated in the middle of the room and set against giant green-screen walls are segments of the cave. At the heart of this jagged construction is the set’s centrepiece – a lavish stone basin – the resting place of a potential Horcrux. At the entrance to the room is a giant board plastered with shot-by-shot drawings of the cave sequence. The scene is so hush-hush that even we aren’t allowed a peek.

***

We're nearing the end of the visit when we’re given a first-hand look at the construction of the Astronomy Tower. The wooden structure is enormous. Even at a place like Leavesden it looks as if it towers above everything else. I can't imagine what it’ll look like on film. Construction is well underway – the framework appears to be complete, and on one side the walls are being painted. This is a truly breathtaking spectacle.

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Slughorn's office is being dressed for the party. Shooting is due to begin very soon. Red and gold lanterns are scattered on the ground and green drapes are being hung from the roof. Back at HQ, we’re given a look at some of the costumes that will be worn at the party. Flashbacks to the Yule Ball in Goblet of Fire immediately come to mind.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is set for release in July.

'Beedle the Bard' on sale today 'Beedle the Bard' on sale today

081204 Beedle releaseThe Tales of Beedle the Bard is now on sale in bookstores. Harry Potter fans may order the book over the internet as well. J.K. Rowling admitted seeing eye-to-eye with fans who argued against requiring "two million pounds" to read the book. "I thought 'fair point', so I thought 'I'll publish it and then the charity can have that money too.'

'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' film to be in two parts 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' film to be in two parts

It's now official – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two separate films.

David Heyman (Producer):

Over ten years ago, we made a commitment to Jo Rowling that, above all else, we would be faithful and true to the spirit of her books, and ever since we have endeavored never to compromise on the creative ambitions of the films. The Deathly Hallows is so rich, the story so dense and there is so much that is resolved that after discussing it with Jo, we came to the conclusion that two parts were needed to do it justice. I am thrilled that David Yates is returning to direct ‘The Deathly Hallows.’ He is both inspired and inspiring and is a passionate fan of the remarkable world and characters Jo has created. I know he will lead our incomparable cast and crew—most of whom have been with us since the very beginning—in bringing the series to the unforgettable conclusion it deserves.

David Yates (Director):

I've had great pleasure working with a tremendous cast and crew thus far, on both ‘the Order of the Phoenix’ and ‘the Half-Blood Prince.’ It’s a wonderful world to work in and be part of and to create within, and I consider it a great privilege to continue to bring Jo’s extraordinary world to the screen, and to be the director to complete this epic and exhilarating journey.

Dan Radcliffe (Harry Potter):

I think it's the only way you can do it, without cutting out a huge portion of the book. There have been compartmentalized subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut — although those cuts were still to the horror of some fans — but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots. It's one driving, pounding story from the word go.

J.K. Rowling awards Harry Potter Fan Zone a fan site award J.K. Rowling awards Harry Potter Fan Zone a fan site award

I am both proud and overjoyed to find out today that Jo Rowling has awarded Harry Potter Fan Zone a fan site award on her official website. Of the site, Jo says:

fansiteawardHow could I not love a fansite whose contributors include people named Thaddeus and Aunna? This is a great Australian site with an impressively young staff who have produced some really insightful editorials; I wish I could highlight a couple of them, but that would be waaaay too revealing. If you head over to FAQs, however, you will see some of the open letter questions answered (at long last, yes, I know… but I had to finish "Deathly Hallows" first). So congratulations and thanks, Andy, to you and all your talented colleagues.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you Jo – this means the world to all of us here at HPFZ.

Jo answers questions from Harry Potter Fan Zone's open letter Jo answers questions from Harry Potter Fan Zone's open letter

J.K. Rowling has taken the time to answer some of the questions from the open letter we wrote last year!

Ms. Rowling answered questions about Draco's Patronus, Tonks and Myrtle's Hogwarts houses, Death Eaters (Are Alecto and Amycus, the two sibling Death Eaters, the Carrows mentioned by Snape in Spinner's End?), Tom Riddle's birth date (it is indeed December 31), and the properties of Draco's wand.

You can read the answers Jo wrote by clicking here, and the open letter we wrote at this link. Thank you ever so much, Jo!

Tom Felton penciled in for 'Half-Blood Prince' Tom Felton penciled in for 'Half-Blood Prince'

Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) gave an interview last week whilst he was in New York for a state fishing tournament. During the interview, he mentions that he has been "penciled in" for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and that he is looking forward to filming.

Further more, he expresses his desire to depict Draco in movie seven, which Felton predicts will be in theaters by 2010 if all goes to plan. You can download the interview by clicking here.

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