Harry Potter: A Look Back

Harry Potter: It All Ends

Please see the video below for the touching ending to the 10 years of incredible work done by the
Harry Potter cast and crew.

Harry Potter: It All Ends

Emotional Goodbyes

J.K. Rowling, Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint Give Emotional Goodbye to 'Potter' Series

J.K. Rowling, Dan Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint Give Emotional Goodbye to 'Potter' Series

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Harry Potter' Cast On An Emotional Roller Coaster: Films End, Park Opens

Last week was one of the most emotionally tumultuous times for the British cast and crew who have been working for more than a decade on the Harry Potter films. Over the course of just a few days, they experienced a dramatic culmination and an exuberant beginning.

Director David Yates shot the final frames of the eight-part series June 12, and four days later, a group of cast members and production folks boarded a flight to Florida for the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando.

The series of movies, based on the massively popular seven novels by J.K. Rowling, began filming in 2000, and the moviemakers have just called it a wrap. The movie adaptation of the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, will hit theaters in two parts, the first opening in November.

When shooting came to an end, "a few tears were shed," says producer David Heyman, who has been associated with the films since obtaining the rights to the books in 1999 and pitching the movies to Warner Bros.

"A few of us gave speeches —Daniel Radcliffe (who plays Harry), David Yates and myself," Heyman says. "It was very moving. We all talked about how it's like being part of a family. It was very intimate and lovely."

Then, about 20 key players flew to Orlando to take in the 200-acre Potter theme park. Sadness turned into awe and even elation.

"It was like a family outing coming out here," Heyman says.

Radcliffe has called the theme park "awe-inspiring." And Rupert Grint, who plays Harry's best buddy, Ron Weasley, says: "It's been quite an emotional few days. We wrapped the film on Saturday, and so to come here and see this place is amazing."

Though they had been surrounded by elaborate sets constructed with painstaking attention to detail, actors and filmmakers alike were impressed by the effort in Orlando to get Potter's magical universe just right.

"It's a completely immersive experience," Heyman says. "In a way, it feels like the film has come to life."

Visitors can walk through Hogsmeade Village, sample Bertie Bott's candy at Honeydukes, get matched up with their very own wand at Ollivander's, take a dragon challenge and a hippogriff ride, explore Hogwarts Castle and even lurk about in Professor Dumbledore's imposing office.

"There's a four-minute-long ride where you can fly by the seat of your pants," Heyman says.


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