Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to be split in two

Rumors have been flying about on broomsticks for months over the fate of the final film installment of the Harry Potter series, the franchise that even has touring musician-types pining away. At last, a decision has been made, and it's one that many of the most fanatical of fanatics will doubtless be pleased with.

The extremely plot-packed and action-filled Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be split into two feature films, to be released in Nov. 2010 and May 2011, satiating the desires of HP fans to see as much storyline from the book pumped into the finale as possible. Though critics have already begun to grumble (like a disgruntled house elf?), claiming Warner Bros. Pictures is raking in as much cash as possible from the project, this decision is, no doubt, the best for all parties.

"I think it's the only way you can do it, without cutting out a huge portion of the book," the films' star Daniel Radcliffe told the Los Angeles Times. "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.'"

So not two, but three films remain after last year's release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. That means, folks, that complete Harry Potter withdrawal won't begin in full force until 2011, though many went through their shakes and shudders last July after last July's release of the final book. David Yates has signed on to direct the final films, which will put him at the helm of a full half of the cinematic adaptations; so has screenwriter Steve Kloves, who will, by the end, have lent his talents to 7 out of 8.

But that's not all that's whirling through the wizard world. Recently, author J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. took out a temporary injunction against RDR Books, a publisher that aims to put out a book version of The Harry Potter Lexicon, a comprehensive fan reference for all things Potter. Rowling cites that she has long made clear her intention of publishing a reference book of her own, and that their work infringes on hers. All the legal details are outlined on The Guardian's website, but basically the case could set a precedent for copyright law in the transfer of material from the internet to printed form. Seems like Harry Potter's a rule-breaker in all kinds of ways.

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