WB turns last 'Potter' pic into pair

'Deathly Hallows' installments set for 2010, 2011

The seventh and final "Harry Potter" book, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," will be adapted into two films, Warner Bros. said Wednesday.

Titled "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1" and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the movies are set to be released in November 2010 and May 2011.

David Yates — who is directing the adaptation of the sixth novel, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince" — will direct both "Deathly Hallows" movies, which will be shot back-to-back. Steve Kloves, who has written all but one of the "Potter" movies, also is returning to script the two-parter.

"Hallows," which sold more than 11 million copies in its first 24 hours of release in July, is J.K. Rowling's biggest book, weighing in at 784 pages. Adapting the novel would have resulted in truncating large swaths of it or making an extra-long feature in order to fit everything in. The studio found itself in a situation similar to Quentin Tarantino with "Kill Bill," where splitting one long movie in two worked best creatively.

The decision makes financial sense for Warners because the movies are sure hits, and the "Potter" franchise has brought in billions of dollars for the studio, which distributes the movies worldwide and has no financial partner on them.

The five "Harry Potter" films released to date make it among the most lucrative franchises, bringing in $4.4 billion at the boxoffice worldwide.

It has been confirmed that the cast of the sixth movie, led by Daniel Radcliffe, will return for the final adaptation.