‘Harry Potter’ Finale Cheat Sheet: Everything You Need To Know

Before saying goodbye to the series, check out our handy guide.

It all ends Friday (July 15), as “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ marks the last time a “Harry Potter” movie will premiere in theaters. Almost a decade ago, MTV News was writing about how “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” had beaten Eminem’s “8 Mile” at the box office and about the exciting news that Gary Oldman, known as Count Dracula at the time, had joined the cast of “Prisoner of Azkaban.”

Our news coverage of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” began three years ago with the announcement that the big-screen adaptation of the final “Potter” novel would be split into two movies, and it’s strange to think that after all that time the film series has finally come to an end. To honor all the time we’ve spent covering “Deathly Hallows, Part 2,” we’re taking a trip into the MTV News archives to cover the entire history of the flick for our latest MTV News cheat sheet.

Filming the Final Parts
MTV News caught up with leading man Daniel Radcliffe in late 2009 when the cast was knee-deep in shooting both “Deathly Hallows” films, and he said that the set was “absolutely madness.” That makes sense considering the combined running time of both movies is around five hours and they feature some of the most emotional and climactic moments in the entire series. Radcliffe dreaded shooting the big scene where he walks into the forest to face Voldemort, while Tom Felton was really looking forward to filming the epilogue. When he finally did shoot the scene, Felton was lucky enough to have his real-life girlfriend Jade Olivia play his onscreen wife . But it was the final battle sequences that were most emotional for co-stars Evanna Lynch and Bonnie Wright , the former of whom was brought to tears by the scenes on set. Robbie Coltrane agreed with them, saying that they were among his favorite scenes in the movie. Composer Alexandre Desplat was chosen to create the score for the final film, and he chatted with MTV News about his creative process. Finally, on June 14, 2010, filming on the “Harry Potter” set wrapped for the last time .

The Decision to Shoot 3-D
But production wasn’t done yet. In keeping with the popular cinematic trend, the creative team behind “Deathly Hallows” decided to post-convert the film to 3-D. Producer David Heyman spoke to MTV News during 3-D week and said he was optimistic about the change, adding that he thought the films would be “even more epic” in 3-D. “Deathly Hallows, Part 1″ didn’t end up getting converted in time, so “Part 2″ marks the first time a “Harry Potter” movie has been released entirely in 3-D. There is also the hope that all the “Harry Potter” films could be converted to 3-D and receive a re-release.

Getting the Epilogue Right
Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and the cast of young stars who played the next generation of wizards were brought together again months after filming ended to reshoot the pivotal epilogue scene because the original scene that was filmed was not considered to be good enough. Felton was lucky enough to have his first time filming be done up to par, though, so he and Olivia did not have to shoot a new scene. A few other new stars, including Kelly Macdonald of “Boardwalk Empire,” were cast in roles that had to be added in post-production and became the final few castmembers to join the “Harry Potter” franchise. An early cut of “Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ was screened to fans in February and was received well, reducing many viewers to tears. Radcliffe’s response to that news? “Good!”

The Trailers Arrive
The first “Deathly Hallows” trailer hit the Web on June 28, 2010, and it teased both of the final “Harry Potter” installments. It would be 10 more months before a trailer specific to “Part 2″ premiered , and then new trailers came fast and furiously. Warner Bros. released one of the opening scenes from “Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ back in April, and then MTV was able to premiere an exclusive clip from “Part 2″ during the 2011 MTV Movie Awards that was received well by fans.

Saying Goodbye to “Potter”
The “Harry Potter” films have been released over the course of a decade, so it’s no surprise that the stars of the franchise are finding it hard to say goodbye. Watson planned on having a “really big brunch” after the last New York “Potter” premiere, while Grint walked out of the London premiere screening because the movie was too emotional for him. But the man finding it hardest to say goodbye is Radcliffe, who plays the series’ namesake. “I think that we proved in doing ‘Potter’ that you can bring integrity and perpetual growth to a franchise. It doesn’t have to be a law of diminishing returns after the first film comes out,” Radcliffe reflected to MTV News .

Send us your video review of “Deathly Hallows, Part 2″ and we just might use it on MTV News!