How does Warner Bros. generate excitement for another “Harry Potter” film?
Well, throwing a huge premiere for the fifth installment, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” (one of a series splashy events from Tokyo to London) at Grauman’s Chinese Theater with mobs of screaming Potter fanatics is always a solid attention grabber.
Rupert Grint, aka Ron Weasley, was floored by the vintage venue, telling the aud at the screening, “This is the coolest cinema I’ve ever been in.”
At the after-party at Jim Henson’s studios, which doubled as Hogsmeade village with its Elizabethan-style architecture, producer David Heyman explained his reasons for selecting helmer David Yates, whose work is mostly unknown Stateside.
“Actors in David’s television projects give their best performance, often of their career. It’s important to keep pushing the actors, particularly the young ones on each ‘Potter’ film,” Heyman said. “This is a political film, not with a capital P, but it’s about teen rebellion and the abuse of power. David has made films in the U.K. about politics without being heavy handed.”
In the new pic, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) leads a student revolt and gets his face slapped by Hogwart’s headmistress Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton).”I said to Daniel, ‘I’m going to ask Imelda to hit you in one of these takes, but you won’t know which one so you don’t flinch,’ ” Yates said. “I wanted to make the material feel real and emotionally truthful, so that the magic was more extraordinary.”
Among those at Sunday’s after-party where there were Potter carnival games like “Flip-a-Phoenix,” were Potter thesps Radcliffe and Emma Watson, scribe Michael Goldenberg and Warner Bros. studio toppers Alan Horn, Barry Meyer and production prexy Jeff Robinov.