This one made me whimper aloud: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince pushed back to summer 2009. The details are all in that link, but here's a key quote from the press release:
In making the announcement, [WB President Alan] Horn stated, â€œOur reasons for shifting â€˜Half-Blood Princeâ€™ to summer are twofold: we know the summer season is an ideal window for a family tent pole release, as proven by the success of our last Harry Potter film, which is the second-highest grossing film in the franchise, behind only the first installment. Additionally, like every other studio, we are still feeling the repercussions of the writersâ€™ strike, which impacted the readiness of scripts for other filmsâ€”changing the competitive landscape for 2009 and offering new windows of opportunity that we wanted to take advantage of. We agreed the best strategy was to move â€˜Half-Blood Princeâ€™ to July, where it perfectly fills the gap for a major tent pole release for mid-summer.â€
OK, I lied: The most disappointing bit of this release is the news â€” not new, but still, it hurts â€” that David Yates will also direct the two-part Deathly Hallows. Yates directed the last HP film, Order of the Phoenix, and to my mind stripped it of a very key point: In the film's climactic sequence, the kids hardly did any fighting. They weren't in the battle; they were in trouble, then they were rescued by adults. That's not what happens; what happens is they become really aware of the seriousness of the fight they're in â€” not just because of a certain death, but because they're casting spells and fighting for their lives in a way that only Harry has experienced before.
In Yates' film, though, the older generation saves the day. There were other changes, of course, and the film was too Cliffs-Notesy, lacking emotional heft, but that was the most egregious mistake of the lot.
Sad. Sad, sad, sad. Bring Alfonso CuarÃ³n back, damn you!
Anyway. None of this makes the first trailer for Half-Blood Prince any less awesome: