This Week's Cover: Harry Potter's Final Act

Potter fans, take heart: The top-grossing movie franchise of all time will not end with a whimper. “The new film is just a relentless action movie,” says Daniel Radcliffe of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2. “It Just. Does. Not. Stop.” In this week’s cover story, we visit the stars and filmmakers on the set and learn secrets of the final, climactic installment, which hits theaters July 15. Such as? Well, for one thing, the final showdown between Harry and evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) in a wand duel at Hogwarts will be a little different from what author J.K. Rowling described in her 2007 novel. This time, the chase leads through Hogwarts and culminates in a very physical brawl as the two foes “apparate” (i.e., teleport) toward and away from each other. 

Speaking of action, Deathly Hallows — Part 2 features the long-awaited first kiss between Harry’s pals Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). “It has be to the most anticipated moment between the two of them in the whole series,” says Watson. “In general, though, Part Two is just plain hell-raising and scary. I get to get my Lara Croft on.”

For Radcliffe, one of the biggest challenges this time around was relishing the moment and taking nothing for granted. “I’ve become particularly aware on this film that I’m not always going to be able to play these action-hero-type parts,” says the actor, who’s currently starring in the Broadway musical revival How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. “You really have to enjoy it, make the most of it, have fun with it.”

For more on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2, plus scoop on 100 other summer movies, pick up the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands Friday, April 15.

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  • Ina

    You can’t apparate at Hogwarts. I have faith that the stuff that they added to this movie will be ok. I thought the first movie didn’t suffer from the additions that weren’t in the book.

    • TaylorBot3000

      That can easily be explained by saying that because Hogwarts has been taking over those protective spells have been disactivated.

      (I know we are a couple of nerds!)

      • Molly

        If the protective spells were broken when Hogwarts was taken over, (which was actually a long time before the battle, when Snape became headmaster and the Carrows became professors), then why couldn’t Harry, Hermione, and Ron have apparated directly into Hogwarts, say Gryffindor Common room, instead of into Hogsmeade?

      • john

        It’s possible that they just simply did not know. If they expected to not be able to apparate into Hogwarts, it’s possible that they just never tried until they were actually their and the need to try arose, or they saw others doing it.

      • john

        Crap. “there”.

      • Silv

        @Molly: The new Ministry had put tracer spells out that would immediately alert all the Deatheaters when Harry, Hermione & Ron tried to apparate into Hogsmeade. It stands to reason these would work in Hogwarts as well.

      • Michael

        Harry Potter nerdiness is 100% acceptable! I’m living to see this movie! (And SO sad at the same time that it’s ending…)!

      • Maddie

        Actually you can apparate within Hogwarts you just can’t apparate in and out of the grounds. How else would they have apparition lessons?

      • Marie

        Well, between the trio entering Hogwarts, and the end of the battle, a WHOLE LOT OF MAGIC will have been cast back and forth throughout the school and grounds-most likely all the top evil and good wizards and witches of England battling it out might take out the protective spells on the castle.

      • anna

        I thought that the taboo of saying “Voldemort” removed all protective enchantments? Isn’t that why Kingsley almost got killed in Book 7?

      • Jem

        @MAddie

        The enchantments were only lifted in the great hall alone and it would be unwise to try and apparate elsewhere.

        That’s not the exact quote from the 6th book but it sure went something like that.

      • Caracticus

        I’m gonna go with “it’s a plot hole to allow apparition within Hogwarts and not have HRH just pop into hogwarts directly, but all the apparition makes for a visually interesting scene”.

        I’ll just pretend it’s not happening but watch the black puffs of smoke anyway.

    • Jackie

      I was just gonna say. The protective spells around Hogwarts were breached, so apparating would probably work.

      • Jason

        Yup, like that shot of the protections on fire, that would probably take away any limitations to magic the school had.

    • Liz Lemon

      There’s a part in the trailers that shows Voldemort removing the protective charm from Hogwarts, so I guess that’s why they can apparate.

    • Kristin

      I had the same reaction to that when I first read it. But, being a nerd like everyone else, I decided that since the protective spells would be breached, they could get around it.

    • Luddite

      Just want to get my nerd on with y’all – didn’t Dumbledore set those protective spells? I’d think even Voldemort wouldn’t be able to break them. Especially since I imagine if he could have, he would have done so ages ago.

      • Chelsea

        Voldie now has the Elder Wand in Part Two, though, so I think he COULD break Dumbledore’s spells with it. Also, YAY for nerds!

      • Liz Lemon

        Well technically speaking, he has the physical wand, but not the power.

      • Chelsea

        No, I know that, but even so, Voldemort is stronger with the Elder Wand (even without “owning it”) than with just his regular wand.

      • Chelsea

        Actually, I’m second-guessing myself now. Did the wand work better than his regular one? I know he wasn’t master of it, but still, it’s THE elder wand. I can’t remember, I need to reread the book.

      • Liz Lemon

        I remember him saying that he still had his same power with it. That’s why he kills a certain character, because he thinks that character is the owner of the wand.

      • MM

        One detail from the test screeners, was that when LV uses the wand to take town the protections, the wand starts to crack, so he then knows that he’s not the true owner of the wand. That’s when he confronts Snape, in the boathouse.

      • flower

        When the person dies, the magic dies with them. Remember Lily and the “fish” story from Slughorn? He knew she had died when her fish magic disappeared (from the movie). Remember that Dumbledore’s binding spell on Harry “came off” when Dumbledore got hit by the “killing curse” (that’s from the book). So the magic dies when the person who cast the spell dies. OK, I am seriously a nerd!

      • Ina

        @Flower, you are incorrect. Dumbledore completed the magic that allowed Harry to return home to Privet Drive and be safe from Voldy until the enchantment broke. I don’t think it works that way, I think that was just a movie plot device. Haha! Nerd alert. I heart Harry Potter.

      • Liz Lemon

        @flower: You’re right though. The same thing happens with the protective charms around Grimmauld Place after Dumbeldore dies. He was the secret keeper and after he died, all the OOTP members became secret keepers.

      • Danno

        Okay nerd time for me. When Dumbledore died, any and all of his spells become null and void. If you will recall in book 6 that is how Harry knew for sure that Dumbledore was dead because the petrificus totalus spell he had cast on Harry lifted.

      • District 12

        He would not be able to master the elder wand because the wand was technically Draco’s, not Voldy’s, in the book he (voldy) says the wand is no more special than his old wand

      • ash

        @flower
        Please don’t remind of me of the stupid fish thing from movie 6. Never happened in the books, and it serves no purpose when added to the movie.
        If they had to change it couldn’t they have come up with something a little less pathetic?

      • I

        OKAY FIRST OF ALL DUMBLEDORE DID NOT CAST THOSE PROTECTIVE SPELLS THEY ARE LINKED TO THE CASTLE. AND DURING APPARITION LESSONS TWYCROSS SAYS SPECIFICALLY THE ENCHANTMENT HAD BEEN LIFTED IN THE GREAT HALL.
        AND THERE WAS A CATERWALLING CHARM ON HOGSMEADE AND IF YOU WILL RECALL THEY COULDNT APPARTATE OUT OF HOGSMEADE WHEN THEY TRIED. WOW IM A NERD. LOVE IT.

      • Jane

        If Dumbledore cast the spells then when he died the spells died too just like at Grimwald place, as secret keeper everyone who he told the secret too was able to get inside.

    • BFD

      The magic that protected Harry at Privet drive had nothing to do with Dumbledore and everything to do with family bonds.

      • noam

        i think you’re right. it was only partially dumbledore. aunt petunia was really who was keeping harry safe.

    • tom

      At the point in time when Harry and Voldemort duel, all of the protective curses on the school have been destroyed. So apparating would be entirely plausible. God, I feel like such a nerd after typing that.

    • David

      With all the magical defenses taken down, you can do anything at Hogwarts. They show that in the trailer.

    • chris

      when dumbldore died that and other spells broke. the other teachers put up other spells but no one can replicate dumbledore’s anti-Apparinate spell

  • Stef

    Oh, can’t wait to see this and dreading the end, all at the same time. I will miss these characters so much…

    • Lily

      x 2

    • Alyssa

      It may be ending but it will live on in cinema history forever…dont worry. We are all going through morning and withdrawals.

      • @Alyssa

        And literary history.

      • @Alyssa

        **mourning**

      • Alyssa

        yes…literary history too. yes I meant mourning. I type too fast.

      • Mariah

        Dude, this is going to be so hard. Im re-reading the books. and i will again, a month before it comes out:) Im sad

  • jodipo

    aaaaan que all the idiots saying how they will HATE HATE HATE it if anything is changed from the books, and how much better the books are and how they ruined it in 3…2…1…

    • megan

      HA! some of the changes annoy my too, but I don’t let that take away my enjoyment of the films! I can’t wait for Hallows part 2

      • Jeff W

        The book final duel was so anti-climatic. Glad they have the balls to make it into the show down it deserves to be and not just some long monologue about wand ownership.

        What is more interesting to me is if everyone that dies in the book actually dies in the movies. That aspect could really change and would be a shame.

      • @Jeff W

        I know Wormtail wasn’t killed in Part I (like he is in the book) and I haven’t seen him in any of the trailers. But I actually liked Voldemort and Harry’s battle of wits in the book. There’s so much physical fighting going on for like 10 chapters that I like that their final confrontation was so intense and collecting.

      • Ina

        I hope Wormtail gets his in the second movie. That was the only change that I was actually upset about. If Wormtail isn’t killed in front of my eyes I will be disappointed. I blame him for Sirius’ death and feel that justice needs to be served.

      • Jason

        Ina, they aren’t going to show Wormtail’s death. They aren’t going to show him at all.

      • TheAconda

        @Ina, blaming Wormtail for Sirius’ death?? Not sure how to interpret that, given that I am currently scratching my head trying to recall Wormtail even making an appearance in OOTP…Maybe I’m missing something…In terms of characters who ‘might’ feel slightly responsible, there’s Dumbledore, Harry, Bellatrix, other members of the Order, Kreacher for sure, and possibly Sirius…Just putting in my two cents.

    • anna

      what was annoying was that the people working on the movie said everythings the same and that no changes were made.

      For me, as long as the people who make the movies own up to the fact that changes are made, there isn’t an issue.

  • Matt C.

    Could they have chosen a creepier picture of Harry for the cover image? Wow…but anyways, I’ve never been as excited for a movie as I am for this one. Yet I’m also dreading seeing it since it’s the last one. I’m bringing a box of tissues to the midnight showing, I have a feeling I’ll need it!

  • Danny

    THE movie event of 2011. Maybe, finally, “Harry Potter” will get some Oscar love.

    • Liz Lemon

      They always get nominated, but I would like for them to actually win one. I bet Oscar gives the whole film series some kind of honorary award like the Baftas did.

      • crispy

        Don’t count on it. The Harry Potter movies are fun, but they aren’t good enough for Oscars. Sorry, but it’s true.

      • Alyssa

        OH and LOTR are? I wouldnt count them out yet. If Alice can win for costumes and Special FX, and Wolfman for makeup, Harry can win something.

      • crispy

        The LOTR trilogy is far, FAR superior to the Harry Potter movies in every way imaginable.

      • Dave

        I think Harry Potter is worthy of Oscar nominations at least. If Avatar can be nominated for Best Picture, then Harry Potter should be as well.

      • @crispy

        I think the Visual Effects, Production Design, and every technical aspect of the HP films are definitely Oscar-worthy. The quality of those films has vastly improved every year, which is astounding considering it’s been going on for 11 years. No other film series can say the same. No even LOTR (which were all shot within the same 17 months and then released over the course of 3 years). The HP series has made a huge impact on the film industry. Those filmmakers have worked SO hard and I think they deserve to be recognized for it.

      • crispy

        Yes, you’re probably right about Production Design and some of the other technical awards.

      • Alyssa

        Crispy…LOTR…is not much different than HP. That is YOUR OPINION-that its far superior. You dont like Harry Potter than go away. Billions of people all ages do.

      • crispy

        Sigh. Alyssa, I was talking about the artistic merits of filmmaking that are honored by the Academy Awards. In every single category from screenwriting to acting to directing (and most certainly the original source material, though not exactly an Oscar category), the LOTR films are vastly superior to the Potter films. The only one, Alfonso Cuaron’s Prisoner of Azkaban, even remotely approached some sort of artistic achievement, while the rest have been passable Hollywood excursions. If you enjoy the Harry Potter story more than LOTR, more power to you.

      • Jaida

        @Crispy The Harry Potters’ are TOO GOOD not to win an Oscar!!!! But I REALLY think that Harry and Voldemort should have a showdown EXACTLY like in the book! Because wasn’t 10 chapters of violence enough!?!?!?!?!

    • Jessie

      Definitely. Oscar for Harry!

      • Terina

        Hey i’m from nz where lotr was made and live close to some of the sets that were used and very much a fan and let’s face it Peter Jackson and his crew YOU ROCK. I think Harry Potter is a fantastic story and the movies are great too. It does deserve an oscar somewhere along the line. I have faith that it will. Even though it will be sad to see it end i think to all those nerds out there it’s pretty safe to say it will live on.

  • ron b

    I have to admit this series is as big/ bigger then what Starwars has evolved to. With all the side-story potential this has it would be wonderfull to see some aggressive spin offs of stories left unanswered.

  • Le HIROSHI

    KUDOS to those responsible for the artwork of this issue; I think you guys really made it. I do especially like the orange* [*for lack of a better word] shades strategically goin’ against the main black, white and blue colors. Sometimes it’s nice just to remain minimalist a style.

    – –

    BTW, this time Hairy’s really lived up to his name, I suppose. Will check it out when it comes chez moi. Et all the best to Daniel-kun.

  • Kelsey

    As far as I’m concerned (and I’m sure a lot of others, too), this is THE film of 2011.

    • chris

      Heck, I am planning my summer vacation around it.

    • megan

      Yep, it’s the only movie I’m looking forward to this year not to mention this summer!

    • Liz Lemon

      Agreed. I’m nervous because I heard AMC and Regal theaters are threatening not to release it, because WB is one of the studios who want to start renting out their movies (one week after they’re released in theaters) for $30/per film. Theaters don’t like it, because they think they will lose money. But so help me, if the theater I’m planning on going to at Midnight doesn’t show DH Part Two…all hell will break loose.

      • MM

        :O Are you serious?! That’s not good. I hope they seriously do NOT do that.

      • dizzy

        I heard about this too and am worried. Hopefully it gets resolved because all the theaters around this area are AMC.

  • Le HIROSHI

    “Will check it out when it comes chez moi.”

    – –

    It = YOUR MAG.

    • Eduarda

      I absolutly love harry potetr movies books and all my favorite characters are Harry Potter,Hermione Granger,the weasleys,Sirius Black,Dumbledore,the ordr of the pheanix, and Dumbledore’s Army i love them all iam the #1fan of Harry potetr Thanks very much J.k Rowling

  • Beth

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for putting this on your summer movie preview cover!

  • crispy

    So I guess Game of Thrones will get the cover story treatment after it becomes a hit show. Welcome to EW, we used to be the tastemakers, now we’re barely relevant.

    • @crispy

      Well it did take them, what, like a month to put Avatar on the cover, and that was after it had already exploded everywhere. And let’s not forget the Year of the Seven Twilight Covers.
      They’re not perfect. Although I, too, would like to see a Game of Thrones cover. But I’m being realistic. True Blood didn’t get its own cover until the third freaking season.

    • William

      They had a Game of Thrones feature last week! And considering it pulled a weak 750,000 viewers in its first preview, I doubt they’re trying to showcase it now.

      Plus, this is the Summer MOVIE Preview—I know I’m pretty happy with Harry on the cover!

    • Liz Lemon

      Game of Thrones hasn’t even debut yet has it? Give it time to get bigger first then I’m sure EW will leap at the chance to put it on the cover. Although, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I don’t recall Dexter ever getting a cover.

      • Inder

        i lov harry potter so much. and the rest of them i feel a bit sorry for him beucase he just losted his parents now his godffather but still he has the best friends any one could ever have. lov u harry

    • Alyssa

      EXCUSE ME…Castle hasnt had a cover, and you dont see me complaining. Nathan was on one. But not him and Stana as Castle and Beckett. And we are going on the 4th season

      • crispy

        I’m sure Castle is an excellent show and is absolutely nothing like the hundreds of other police procedurals currently airing on television. Whereas Game of Thrones is “arguably the most ambitious fantasy TV series ever produced” (Entertainment Weekly’s own words).

      • @crispy

        Yeah, but it hasn’t been released yet. People don’t even know if it’s going to live up to the height. “Ambitious” could mean a lot of things.

      • @crispy

        *hype*

      • crispy

        I think you’re missing my original point. EW, in its prime, used to create buzz and cover things BEFORE they came out based on what real tastemakers thought was ambitious or revolutionary. Today, all these completely predictable cover stories featuring Twilight, Harry Potter, Glee, etc. are transparent grabs for newsstand sales. I mean, who doesn’t think Harry Potter is going to be the biggest movie of the year? If you want me to buy your magazine, tell me something I don’t know.

      • Sarah

        I see your point, but I also see a major recession happening all around us, and I doubt magazines are really trying to take big risks on their biggest sellers of the year…

        And to be fair, EW did put Parks and Rec on the cover a few weeks ago. It’s not like that was a blatant sales-grab.

      • crispy

        It is a combination of floundering publishing industry + terrible editor.

      • jodipo

        hahaha! I love people like you crispy! you say things like “transparent grabs for newsstand sales” about an ENTERTAINMENT MAGAZINE. WTF else are they supposed to be aiming for you moron? Yes, they want sales, and yes that means they will cover things that sell the magazine. Man, some people are just too stupid to be walking around

      • crispy

        Clearly you are a neanderthal who knows nothing of the significance of the media industry and the basic tenets of journalism. As such, I wouldn’t waste oxygen on you, much less any more of my time.

      • Liz Lemon

        I bet the next cover goes to Fast Five, Thor, or maybe Game of Thrones depending on the ratings it gets this Sunday.

    • MWeyer

      Crispy does have a bit of a point. I mean, that “Remembering Lost” cover story was a total joke.

  • RT

    I’m torn. I can’t wait to see this, but I so don’t won’t this series to be over!

  • Liz Lemon

    I love Emma’s quote, but seriously EW! Did you have to put the words, “The Final Act” in the title?! Talk about jerking at my heart strings! I don’t want it to end!!!!! I think WB still hasn’t released the trailer yet, because they don’t want it to end either.

    • MM

      LOL, There might just be some truth to that about WB.

  • MB

    I hope Molly Weasley still gets her showdown with Bellatrix.

    • Trish

      me too! Love that line.

      • MM

        Don’t worry. She does!
        Test screeners have confirmed it!

      • Alyssa

        yep…line and all.

      • crispy

        You mean the line that Rowling lifted from Aliens?

      • Jason

        Crispy, yes. I wouldn’t say she lifted it, it’s more like a nod. Just like Hogwart and Hoghead from the movie Labyrinth.

      • crispy

        Wow, didn’t know that about Labyrinth. It’s been ages since I’ve seen that film!

  • Trish

    So excited for this. I still squeal when I see HP on my EW cover (hasn’t changed in years). Speaking of nerds, I’ve been collecting every HP EW cover since the 1st movie. Can’t wait for the mail to arrive today! Thanks, EW! And, I love reading the HP discussions at this site. =)

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