'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2' Premiere Attracts Thousands to Rainy London
UPDATED: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint greet fans, reduce author J.K. Rowling to tears.
Cheers, tears, more cheers and a couple of jokes signaled the start of an emotional send-off for the final installment of the Harry Potter franchise, Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2.
As the rain cleared, the evening sun came out and Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint cast their final spells over the thousands of fans live from London’s Trafalgar Square.
It was Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling who voiced what the thousands of fans who had gathered over the last few days to catch a glimpse of the stars and author had hoped to hear.
“Oh my God,” she exclaimed after being reduced to tears by the heartfelt thanks from Radcliffe, Watson and Grint. “You know what, maybe I’ll just write another one.”
As a wave of near hysterical cheers went up from the gathered masses, Rowling confirmed she was only joking.
But she added that the evening’s reception from the fans, the emotional end to her stories on film and the love for the Potter team over the last ten years had brought her as close as anything to else to wanting to put pen to paper to write another to keep it all going.
She was then reduced to more tears. “No story lives unless someone wants to listen so thank you, all of you,” Rowling said. Suddenly the 3,000 fans surrounding the stage struck up the simple chant “thank you” around the stage.
Watson thanked writer Steve Kloves for “giving Hermione [her character] the voice I so hoped she had.” Reacting to Radcliffe’s on stage claim that “every opportunity comes back to my getting very very lucky when I was 11,”
Watson disagreed. “You were and are the perfect Harry and will be forever,” she said.
Grint took to the floor with two words. “Oh God.” He said: “I’m not good at goodbyes. I want to thank all of you. You’ve made the last 10 years the best half of my life,” he grinned. “And look what you’ve done for ginger people,” directly to Rowling.
Radcliffe said while it may be the end of the films, the stories and the characters will live on “because people will carry the story with them for the rest of their lives.”
Introduced to the center of the specially erected stage on the iconic square by Warner Bros. chairman and CEO Barry Meyer as “the three Davids,” producers David Heyman and David Barron and director of the last three adventures David Yates all took a turn in thanking the filmmaking team and key Warner Bros. execs including Warner Bros president and COO Alan F. Horn and Warner Bros. Pictures president Jeff Robinov.
Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, described the premiere as “bonkers,” before thanking Warner Bros brass, describing Horn as the movies’ godfather.
The locale and surrounding streets were awash with Potter fanatics all hoping to catch a bit of magic as the stars worked the walk to the trio of cinemas playing host to the screenings of the final adventure.
Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Tom Felton, David Thewlis and Miriam Margolyes were just a few of the myriad stars from the films on hand.
Darren Criss of Glee, aped it for the cameras on the carpet as the movie stars took their places.
The premiere, marking the last installment in one of the most successful franchises in history with the previous seven films taking more than £3.6 billion ($6.4 billion) at the global box office according to Rentrak EDI, certainly seemed to live up to its billing as the biggest world debut movie event held in the U.K.
As Skycam helicopter hovered overhead, delivering aerial shots of the pre-premiere mayhem with pictures, red carpet moments and interviews beamed into movie theaters around the world as well as Leicester Square’s three biggest movie venues – the Odeon Leicester Square, the Odeon West End and the Empire.
The walk between the two sites -- normally less than a 10 minute stroll for most when unencumbered by muggles, magician makers and fanboys – had been transformed into Diagon Alley – the Potter high street home to shops selling the latest magical accessories for Harry and his fellow wizards.
Warner Bros. had asked premiere ticket holders to let them know in advance if the length of the carpet stroll before the event “may pose a problem.”
Attendees strolled up the route ahead of the final outing magical adventures screening in 3D. Along the route, office space with windows above it were jammed with workers clearly having Potter parties and some fans had even pushed their arms under barriers on the ground to try and grab a snap of a star’s ankles.
“I’ve been here for two nights now,” said one red carpet fan speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. “Did I get soaking wet? Oh yes. Is it worth it? Definitely.”
Many fans were reduced to tears as Radcliffe and co signed books, programs and sundry other items.
It’s the first Harry Potter to roll out globally in dual formats of 3D and 2D and kept the audience occupied over its 130 minute running time.
More than 8,000 wristbands had been handed out the day before the big event to fans allowing them access to the sidelines for the premiere.
The final film sees the battle between the good and evil forces of the wizarding worlds escalate into an all-out war.
The producers are Heyman, the producer of all of the Harry Potter films, Barron who has produced six of the films and creator Rowling.
Kloves adapted the screenplay. Lionel Wigram is the executive producer, with John Trehy and Tim Lewis as co-producers.