I’ve been wondering what kind of butchering they’re going to do to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when it comes out in theaters next July. Prisoner of Azkaban (which is where the books truly start to build to the finale, with exception of Tom Riddle’s diary in the 2nd book and a few other details) was sorely cut up and important chunks left out. Don’t even get me started on Goblet of Fire. When I first saw GOF in theaters, I started a long, long, long, and long review of the movie and how its shortcomings were going to contribute to the Order of the Phoenix director’s shortcomings and troubles, because significant things left out of GOF set up significant things in OTP (Rita Skeeter being an unregistered animagus, the missing Death Eaters from Voldemort’s circle in the graveyard – though I guess that the only huge part there was that Snape didn’t return to the graveyard and that isn’t important until the 6th book).
Anyway, Frank and I were going over the cast list for Order of the Phoenix. Lemme disclaim that I realize the movie is in filming and this is a preliminary cast list and things can change, so no one should feel the need to point this out to me. I’m saying that if this were coming out tomorrow, and if this were the final list, here are my thoughts.
* I’m very excited about Helena Bonham Carter being cast as Bellatrix Lestrange. She’ll be perfect, she has a most annoying high-pitched evil laugh when necessary.
* I’m not excited about Firenze not appearing on the character list, though I guess he’s not completely necessary. I’m sure they’ll find some way to explain why Bane and Magorian have such ill feelings toward Umbridge and Hagrid and anyone else to do with the school and why they’re no longer friendly with Hagrid and why they are willing to attack “foals”. ::eye roll:: Maybe they’ll just mention it in passing at the staff table. Though I’d love to see the look on the racist Umbridge’s face when the part-human comes to teach at Hogwarts. Alas. Earwax. At least we’ll get to see her carried off by the centaurs.
* Neville’s parents, Lockhart, and Gram Longbottom aren’t on the list. It would be a good Neville setup moment, especially for later when he fights so valiantly and urgently against the Death Eaters.
* Which brings me to my next uneasy point. Not many Death Eaters listed. If there’s no huge fight through all the rooms in the Department of Mysteries with the many Death Eaters, I just might walk out. The only death eaters mentioned are Malfoy and Bellatrix. No McNair, Rookwood, Dolohov or whatever his name is, Crabbe, Goyle. That fight is the best part of the entire book (followed closely by the D.A. scenes) and should last at least half an hour. And it’s completely left out, or they’re only fighting two before the big Dumbledore/Tom fight? I’m reeeeeally hoping this is just a preliminary list.
* Luna Lovegood looks like a decent Luna, but I’ve been picturing someone with more surprised, bright eyes, such as this girl (but younger, of course). Maybe she can do a good job acting spacier than she looks.
* We do have the young Lupin, Sirius, James, and Snape, so the viewers will know why Snape detests Harry so fiercely. I assume if this memory is in the movie, Occlumency is. But you never know. That’s kind of important.
* It looks like the entire Order are in the movie, except Bill, who they just seem to leave out of all the movies. I guess Bill and Fleur are never gonna get married if it’s up to the movie writers.
* I dunno if Quidditch is in it or not, but Angelina is cast, so it’s pretty likely. Which will be a nice setup for Fred and George trashing the school and making their most triumphant exit. Except there’s no Peeves. But he doesn’t really talk, so I suppose he’s all animation. He mostly just clubs people over the head and salutes the Weasley twins. I don’t think they’ve had Peeves in any of the movies, so I’m betting they leave him out.
* I don’t see Marietta Edgecombe cast, so I’m getting really worried about the D.A. Who’s going to be the sneak? Will there be no sneak? Nobody gets caught? Or there’s no D.A.? There’s also no Dobby, so he isn’t tipping anyone off. Of course, they can get tipped off by anyone. But seriously. If there’s no D.A., I’ll throw a fit.
* Amelia Bones and Percy are on the list, so there will be a Dementor attack on Dudley (yay!), a hearing, and the complete pratishness of Percy.
* No Tofty. No O.W.L.S.? They’re mentioned in the plot summary, so maybe they just have regular professors taking care of the testing. It just seems like a big part of the book to leave out. Especially since McGonagall and Hagrid are attacked during the night O.W.L. (get it? night owl? haha.) and since Harry gets to smugly produce his patronus in front of Umbridge during his DADA O.W.L. by imagining her sacking.
* I’m seeing no Rita Skeeter, so no big interview in the Quibbler where Harry finally gets some breathing room from a lot of students?
* Kreacher? Semi-important. Though I suppose Harry can go to the fire and just get no one at #12 when he goes to see if Sirius is dead, or they can just hop on the thestrals and forget about checking to see if it’s true altogether.
* They do list an Aberforth Dumbledore, who’s only in a picture? I’d rather have Longbottoms and more Death Eaters and maybe even that worthless Mundungus Fletcher.
* They’ve cast Arabella Figg, yay, and the actress cast to play her looks perfect.
* Almost forgot to talk about that huge Albus Dumbledore elephant. After 2 movies with Michael Gambon as Dumbledore, it’s time for him to give it up. He can’t do Dumbledore. I’m sure he’s a good actor, but to quote Hermione, “You’re doing it all wrong.” Dumbledore is calm, kind, gentle, whimsical, collected, cool, fatherly, and full of love. Gambon plays him like a crotchety old codger who doesn’t like anyone and takes himself too seriously.
Let’s hope some things change, and some things don’t, between now and next July. Ugh, a whole year until the next Potter movie, and how long until the final book? ‘Sokay. I’ve just finished another re-read of OTP and am going to re-re-read HBP.