Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix (2007)(Warner Bros)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The third in a series of modern classics presented by Monster Island News.

WARNER BROS. PICTURES Presents
A HEYDAY FILMS Production

FILMMAKERS
Directed by..........DAVID YATES
Screenplay by..... MICHAEL GOLDENBERG
Produced by.........DAVID HEYMAN & DAVID BARRON
Based on the novel by ...... J.K. ROWLING

Cast:
Harry Potter ........DANIEL RADCLIFFE
Dudley Dursley ........HARRY MELLING
Piers......JASON BOYD
Malcolm ........RICHARD MACKLIN
Mrs. Arabella Figg ........KATHRYN HUNTER
TV Weatherman .........MILES JUPP
Petunia Dursley ........FIONA SHAW
Vernon Dursley.........RICHARD GRIFFITHS
Mafalda Hopkirk........JESSICA STEVENSON
James Potter........ ADRIAN RAWLINS
Lily Potter......GERALDINE SOMERVILLE
Cedric Diggory...........ROBERT PATTINSON
Lord Voldemort ........RALPH FIENNES
Nymphadora Tonks ........NATALIA TENA
Alastor 'Mad-Eye' Moody........BRENDAN GLEESON
Kingsley Shacklebolt ......GEORGE HARRIS
Elphias Doge ......PETER CARTWRIGHT
Emmeline Vance .......BRIDGETTE MILLAR
Sirius Black........GARY OLDMAN
Arthur Weasley .......MARK WILLIAMS
Remus Lupin........DAVID THEWLIS
Minerva McGonagall......MAGGIE SMITH
Mrs. Weasley......JULIE WALTERS
Kreacher .........TIMOTHY BATESON
Hermione Granger........EMMA WATSON
Ron Weasley ......RUPERT GRINT
Fred Weasley.......JAMES PHELPS
George Weasley........OLIVER PHELPS
Ginny Weasley ........BONNIE WRIGHT

It has been a long, lonely summer for Harry Potter as he awaits his fifth year of study at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It’s bad enough that he must endure living with the odious Dursleys, but he hasn’t received even a note from his classmates and closest friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. And there has not been any word from anyone in the aftermath of his confrontation with the evil Lord Voldemort. The letter that does arrive is not the kind for which he was hoping—pronouncing that Harry is about to be expelled from Hogwarts for illegally using magic outside of school and in the presence of a Muggle, namely his obnoxious cousin, Dudley. Never mind that it was in defense against an unprovoked and inexplicable attack by two Dementors.

Harry’s only hope is to defend himself at what amounts to hardly more than a kangaroo court orchestrated by the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, who has his own reasons for wanting the young wizard to be gone for good. Much to Fudge’s chagrin, Harry is acquitted—thanks largely to the intervention of Hogwarts’ venerable Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore—but his return to Hogwarts is, for the first time, apprehensive and uncomfortable. Harry has learned that much of the wizarding community has been led to believe that the story of the teenager’s recent encounter with Voldemort is an outright lie, putting Harry’s integrity in question.

Feeling ostracized and alone, Harry is beset by nightmares that seem to foretell sinister events. Worse, the one person whose counsel he needs most, Professor Dumbledore, is suddenly acting strangely distant from the confused and hurt young wizard.

Meanwhile, in an effort to keep an eye on Dumbledore and keep the Hogwarts students—especially Harry—in line, Fudge has appointed a new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the duplicitous Professor Dolores Umbridge. But Professor Umbridge’s “Ministry-approved” course of defensive magic leaves the young wizards woefully unprepared to defend themselves against the Dark Forces threatening them. So, at the prompting of Hermione and Ron, Harry is convinced to take matters into his own hands. Meeting secretly with a small group of students who name themselves “Dumbledore’s Army,” Harry teaches them how to defend themselves against the Dark Arts, preparing the courageous young wizards for the extraordinary battle that he knows lies ahead.

Warner Bros. Pictures Presents A Heyday Films Production, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” The film stars Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane, Warwick Davis, Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Brendan Gleeson, Richard Griffiths, Jason Isaacs, Gary Oldman, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, Imelda Staunton, David Thewlis, Emma Thompson and Julie Walters.

The film was directed by David Yates and produced by David Heyman and David Barron. Michael Goldenberg wrote the screenplay, based on the novel by J.K. Rowling. Lionel Wigram served as executive producer.

The behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Slawomir Idziak, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, costume designer Jany Temime and composer Nicholas Hooper.

The fifth year of study at Hogwarts School presents a turning point, not only for Harry Potter but for his friends and classmates as well. No longer children, they are suddenly faced with the choices and challenges of young adulthood…and the consequences that come with them. Harry—dealing with the return of Lord Voldemort and the death of his friend Cedric Diggory—has been forced to grow up perhaps more quickly than the others and is compelled to take on responsibilities he never could have expected.

Making his entrance into the world of Harry Potter, director David Yates remarks, “It was exciting to me that this story takes place at a time in the students’ lives when they are maturing and everything is becoming more complicated. It is about rebellion and about understanding the limits of adulthood; it’s about discovering how difficult the world can become and how sometimes you have to make your own way in that world. So it’s a blend of all the magic and fun that J.K. Rowling puts into her books and all the wonderful and amazing things that have been set in motion in the previous films, together with issues and ideas that are a bit more complex and touching on things that are quite grown up.”

David Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter features, notes that the nature of the story was what led him to choose Yates—an award-winning British television director—to helm the fifth installment of the series. “David is a fantastic actors’ director, and he has also shown that he can handle political subject matter in an entertaining way. This is not a political film, per se, but the politics of the magic world are very much at play here. We thought David would handle that brilliantly, and he has. He came in with a great passion for the material and a great sense of the emotional journey of the characters. He understood that, for all the spectacle, what we and the audience connect with are the characters.

Returning in the role of Harry Potter, Daniel Radcliffe attests, “I loved working with David. He is a delightful man, very soft-spoken, and yet I have never been pushed as hard as I was on this film, partly because of the nature of the story and partly because of his directing. He never settled for less; he always wanted me to go deeper, which was exactly what I felt I needed. He is a brilliant director.”

“David is wicked; we got on really well with him,” agrees Rupert Grint, the actor behind the role of Harry’s best mate, Ron Weasley. “He was quite a bit different from the other directors because he has a more relaxed approach, but he always gave great suggestions.”

Emma Watson, who plays Harry’s loyal friend Hermione Granger, adds, “It was really lovely because David listened to what we had to say about our characters. He was respectful of the fact that we have been playing these people for five films now. He appreciated the history and the special relationship that Dan, Rupert and I share because it adds truth to the friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione. David really looks for truth in all of the characters.”

Yates was working from a script by another newcomer to the fold, screenwriter Michael Goldenberg. “I was thrilled when David Heyman called and asked me to be involved,” Goldenberg recalls. “The great thing about working on a Harry Potter film is that it’s something bigger than yourself, so there is no question of ego getting in the way. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s a magical thing to be a part of what has become this amazing phenomenon and to have a role in helping to bring it to the screen; I felt a great sense of responsibility in the best sense of the word. David Heyman made it fun, which is what a Harry Potter film should be, and Jo (J.K. Rowling) was incredibly sweet and could not have been more generous in giving us room to make the best film possible. David Yates was intent on keeping every moment of the story grounded in reality, and I think that’s what makes the magic even more magical.

“Obviously, it was very important to stay true to the spirit of the book,” Goldenberg observes. “This story, in particular, is so much about Harry’s journey. It’s about Harry coming of age and realizing that things aren’t as black and white as they initially appeared…and the adults he idealized are perhaps more flawed and human than he thought. We wanted to examine those themes, not only with Harry but also with Ron and Hermione. All of the kids are dealing with a more complex world than when they first entered Hogwarts.”

In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” Harry’s journey begins as he is enduring another interminable summer with the Dursleys. Making the time even more unbearable, he is feeling cut off from his closest friends, Ron and Hermione, who, inexplicably, have not written to him all summer—not only hurtful but odd, especially following the tumultuous and tragic events of the previous year.

Producer David Barron offers, “Poor Harry. After everything he’s been through, he has been shut away in Little Whinging with absolutely no news from anybody. He thinks everybody is ignoring him—Ron, Hermione, even Dumbledore—and I think, coupled with the normal stresses of being a teenager, it’s just a bit much for him to bear. It’s a side of Harry we haven’t seen before. He doesn’t start out quite as level-headed as he has been in the past…not without justification, though.”

With that in mind, the insufferable bully Dudley Dursley has chosen the wrong time to engage in his favorite pastime—trying to goad Harry—but their confrontation is abruptly halted when, without warning, a pair of Dementors attack and Harry is forced to produce a Patronus charm to save both their lives. Only moments later, a letter arrives at Privet Drive informing Harry that he has been expelled from Hogwarts for his illegal use of magic, a decree that delights the Dursleys even as it sends Harry to the edge of despair.

But hope is not lost. That night, a group of Aurors (Dark wizard catchers)— including Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody, Kingsley Shacklebolt and don’t-call-me-Nymphadora Tonks—arrive at his door and whisk him away, telling Harry that Dumbledore has arranged for him to appeal his expulsion at a formal hearing at the Ministry of Magic.

First, however, they must take a detour to a secret location, where Harry will discover there has been a lot going on while he has been sequestered in Little Whinging. Arriving at number twelve Grimmauld Place, which, if you don’t know is there, is not there—Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione. And it is there that he is first introduced to the Order of the Phoenix, “a clandestine organization originally formed by Dumbledore to combat the forces of evil represented by Voldemort,” David Heyman explains. “They meet in secret, in large part because Fudge, who is in charge of the Ministry of Magic, feels threatened by Dumbledore and is trying to repress stories of Voldemort’s return. But those in the Order know that Voldemort is gathering followers and his power is growing.”

Harry learns that his parents had been among the original Order of the Phoenix, and counted among its current members are Molly & Arthur Weasley, Remus Lupin, Severus Snape and, to his surprise and delight, Sirius Black, who has opened the Black family home as the meeting place for the Order of the Phoenix. David Yates says, “Sirius can’t go out because he’s still a wanted man. He can do very little to help, so the house is his gift to the Order.”

Gary Oldman, who was introduced as Sirius Black in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” relates, “Sirius is a man very much haunted by being wrongly accused and imprisoned at Azkaban for so many years. He is emotionally rooted in the old days when they were the young Order. In some ways, his relationship with Harry is like reliving the past. Harry is so much like his father, James, who was Sirius’ best friend, and Sirius is Harry’s godfather, which is something he does not take lightly. They share a special relationship, which has progressively gotten stronger.”

“It’s similar for Harry,” adds Radcliffe. “Sirius sees a younger version of James in Harry, and Harry gets to know more about his father through his relationship with Sirius.”

Harry also sees the Order of the Phoenix as a way to connect to his past…and more. “Officially, he’s not in the Order, but he already thinks of himself as very much a part of it because so many of his friends are in it. It means a lot to him because, of course, his parents were in the original Order. So it has quite an emotional importance to Harry, as well as giving him a chance to fight Voldemort,” Radcliffe states.

Nevertheless, before Harry can think about fighting Voldemort, there is the matter getting reinstated at Hogwarts. Harry must defend his actions at a hearing at the Ministry of Magic. The décor of the Ministry’s grand atrium is dominated by what production designer Stuart Craig describes as “a Soviet-style propaganda poster of Fudge.”

The designer adds that, despite the fact that people are literally flying down the hallways and memos are sent by the wizards’ own brand of air mail, “the Ministry is a bureaucracy. In England, government buildings tend to have a 19th century Victorian design, which is very decorative. The Ministry is also underground, so one of the first things we did was visit the oldest of the London Tube stations, many of which were done with an extravagant use of decorative ceramic tile. We put that into the mix and invented this underground world that is tunneled—because that’s what you would do underground—and wrapped in polished black ceramic tile, which is very interesting photographically. It was also challenging for (director of photography) Slawomir Idziak because it’s highly reflective.”

The Ministry atrium represents the largest set ever built for the Harry Potter films, at over 200-feet long, 120-feet wide and 30-feet high. It took more than 30,000 tiles to cover it, all of which had to be individually placed. Onscreen, the atrium will appear even bigger through the use of visual effects.

Escorted by Mr. Weasley, Harry enters the Ministry through the visitors’ entrance, which, for all intents and purposes, looks like an ordinary telephone box in the heart of London. “We thought it would be amusing to put the Ministry of Magic underneath the Muggle ministries, so we positioned the telephone box on the sidewalk very close to the Ministry of Defense. So, unbeknownst to the Muggles, underneath the British Ministry of Defense lies the Ministry of Magic,” Craig smiles.

Yates asserts, “One of the most fun elements of Harry Potter is how the wizarding world exists right next to our own Muggle world. It is sometimes just next door or right under our feet, if we only took the time to look. In fact, the two worlds often touch without us realizing it.”

At Harry’s hearing, things don’t go as Fudge had planned, thanks to Dumbledore and an unlikely eyewitness. Harry is cleared of all charges, but when he tries to talk to Dumbledore after the hearing, his beloved mentor rushes away, refusing to even make eye contact with the young wizard.

Reprising the role of Albus Dumbledore, Michael Gambon says, “Harry’s view of Dumbledore is that he is Harry’s rock, but he sees his rock is collapsing a bit in this movie. Dumbledore’s power is severely threatened, but that makes him more human, doesn’t it? It also gave me another level of his character to explore, which was an interesting experience.”

Still troubled by Dumbledore’s rebuff, Harry goes back to Hogwarts. But the test that awaits him, as well as his classmates, will be unlike anything they have ever faced.

© 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R.
Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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