‘Goblet of Fire’ Director Recalls ‘Potter’ Pic Experience

Harry Potter rests behind a tombstone, his leg throbbing, his arm cut, the taunts of Lord Voldemort growing louder. Desperate, alone, and wickedly outmatched, Harry decides to stand up and fight like a man, to die on his feet like his father.

It’s a brilliant Old West “shootout” with “one of the meanest bad guys that’s ever been” enthused “Goblet of Fire” director Mike Newell. In retrospect, it also happens to be the climax of the whole Potter series. Everything in books 5, 6, and 7 lead from Harry’s decision here to actively fight Lord Voldemort and, more importantly, his willingness to die doing it.

But now that “Deathly Hallows” has been released, we wondered if Newell was aware of any of that, meaning did author J.K. Rowling happen to let slip any of Harry’s ultimate fate, like she did with some of the film’s young stars.

“No. Absolutely nothing. I asked her and she wouldn’t [say a thing]. She was very funny about that,” Newell recalled. “I asked her questions [and] she simply said ’I’m not answering them. Not that. Not that. Not that.'”

“I remember we went up to see her in Edinburgh and her little daughter was in the room and she started to say cute things like, ’Are you going to do this mummy?'” Newell continued, amused. “And [Jo] said ’Sweetheart, why don’t you go into the other room and play?'”

Forget the Fidelius Charm, this is a lady who clearly knows how to keep a secret.

But even given a chance, there’s nothing Newell would want to change anyway – or add. Not S.P.E.W., not Dobby, not Rita Skeeter’s capture or Dumbledore’s “gleam of triumph.” Nothing.

“There was something in the book that was absolutely glorious and would produce this great driven vehicle which would really hum along. It was a God given thriller. It’s like ’North by Northwest.’ That’s how the strong story in ’Goblet’ worked,” Newell said. “I thought that was a colossal way of structuring the story, and would work really well. You would dilute that if you went into all the subplots.”

It would be especially diluted, Newell continue (breaking every fans’ heart at once)if it were to be two movies.

“There’s a whole storyline for [Hermione] that’s all about free the house elf, and it was okay. But if that was going to be shunted into a second movie I couldn’t see what was going to keep that second movie afloat,” he said, defending his choices.

And J.K.?

“[She] was happy as a lark,” Newell insisted. “She says the book is the book and the movie is the movie.”

But what do you think? Could a two-part movie have succeeded? How would you have expanded “Goblet?” By cutting so much, have the filmmakers painted themselves into a corner for “Hallows?” Sound off below.