David Yates Snags Director’s Chair For ‘Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows’?

Is the “Harry Potter” film franchise done passing the wand? After the first two films, Chris Columbus stepped aside as Alfonso Cuarón, Mike Newell and then David Yates expanded the Potter-verse. But could it be that Yates, who shot “Order of the Phoenix” and is in the middle of “Half-Blood Prince,” will be the last one to leave his mark?

Children’s writer Lois Lowry thinks so, as she wrote on her blog Tuesday, telling her fans that Yates had pulled out of shooting an adaptation of her book “The Giver” so that he can do “Deathly Hallows” instead. “He has just decided he wants to do the final ’Harry Potter’ first,” she wrote, “thereby postponing ’The Giver’ for several years.”

Now, just last week, producer David Heyman told the Daily Telegraph that a few directors were still under consideration, and the studio hasn’t announced whether Yates or someone else will helm “Hallows” — as rumors circulate that everyone from Steven Spielberg to Guillermo del Toro is in the running. When asked by MTV News, a rep for Warner Bros. said that there’s “nothing official yet” but an announcement is expected “within the next week or two.”

Until then, we’re left to speculate — is Yates the last director to take on Voldemort? What could have “Hallows” looked like if someone else came aboard? Will having the same director for the last three book adapations provide continuity? And will “Hallows” actually be one or two films, as has also been rumored?

Producers Heyman and David Barron did little to dispell the possibility that “Hallows” would be split in two when talking to the Daily Telegraph. Their worry was that if they did, “people could possibly perceive it as being one last chance of cashing in,” Barron said. ” But the real positive, if we were to do that, would be that we wouldn’t have quite the battle we always have of ’How do you compress all that book into just over hours of screen time?’ It would be brilliant not to have to cut anything. But at the same time, we have to think it through properly. We’d have to be very certain that there were two proper, stand-alone films that could be generated from the source material.”

Either way, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” isn’t slated to start filming until February 2009. Until then, might we make a few suggestions as far as directors and casting are concerned?