In what is likely to be the final trailer released before “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” arrives in theaters July 15, Harry and Draco Malfoy get an initial spotlight, but the romantic tensions in Hogwarts take center stage.
The previous trailers focused chiefly on Dumbledore’s revelations to Harry about Lord Voldemort’s origins and dark challenges Harry must face as “the chosen one.” The new look revealed Thursday night (April 16) included Harry’s ominous gaze into Voldemort’s past, but the love triangle among Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger and Lavender Brown gets a few extra cuts as Ron starts to realize that he may be in over his head.
This sixth school year covered by “The Half-Blood Prince” presents a climactic, high-stakes invasion crossing over into the Muggle worlds of Earth and Hogwarts itself at the hands of Voldemort and Malfoy, his pawn. Unlike previous glimpses of the film that contrasted Harry’s warnings from Dumbledore with the aging wizard’s old friend and skittish Potions Master Horace Slughorn (played by Jim Broadbent), the new trailer opts for cutting between the epic evil schemes that are afoot with the personal drama surrounding Ron —as well as Harry’s ever-emerging relationship with Ginny Weasley.
The underlying theme of the trailer is summed up by its narration: “Times like these, dark times, they can bring people together, but they can tear them apart.” Hermione, who has up until this point kept her feelings for Ron as closeted as possible, lashes out with a few hard swats of her textbook to his shoulder in the dining hall for his wandering attention.
The trailer also gets deadly serious with Dumbledore’s warning to Harry that he has seen things that are truly horrific, but that Harry “will see worse.” There is a quick peek at Harry’s kiss with Ginny, but like all the fluffy moments shown, it is immediately followed by horrifying scenes from “The Half-Blood Prince” that truly set it apart from the earlier, lighter “Harry Potter” movies that preceded director David Yates.
If there were any thought that the Hogwarts students were still innocent children learning the ways of magic, “The Half-Blood Prince” is the story that brings the cast into adulthood with serious consequences for all of humanity laid out if Harry fails to fulfill his true potential.
For an extended look at the film with commentary from producer David Heyman, check back during MTV’s summer-movie preview next week!
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