The Harry Potter movie franchise is one of the most successful franchises of all time, grossing over $8 billion in gross revenue and entertaining children and adults alike since 2001.
Here are 42 facts about Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
52. Dressed to Impress
The dress that Luna Lovegood wears to Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party took two months to make.
51. Eggspert ingredients
The foam in Ron’s mouth after he is accidentally poisoned is made from egg whites.
50. Potion of Deception
The potion that Dumbledore drinks get the locket in the cave was just milk thinned down with water that was then fine-tuned using CGI. The liquid in Dumbledore’s pensive was created entirely with CGI.
In previous films, Lavender Brown had been played by black actresses. Kathleen McAuley in Chamber of Secrets, and Jennifer L. Smith in the Prisoner of Azkaban. The change of her race as the character moved into a main role was not well received, to say the least.
48. Near Tragedy
Emma Watson almost quit the Harry Potter franchise prior to shooting the The Half Blood Prince to focus on school. She didn’t because she couldn’t imagine anyone else playing Hermione, and we couldn’t either!
Even though they are in the book, the Dursley’s are not in the movie at all. This was the second time that happened; the first was Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
46. The Wand Changes Hands
The script originally called for Harry to take Dumbledore’s wand after he died but the final book came up just before filming began and since who possess Dumbledore’s wand is a major issue the script had to be altered.
45. Forgotten Memories
The original script for the movie included all Dumbledore’s memories of younger Voldemort, as they were in the book, but they were cut from the final version of the script.
44. Quest for the Director
Terry Gilliam, of Monty Python fame and J.K. Rowling’s original pick to direct the first Harry Potter movie, was approached about directing Half-Blood Prince but turned it down saying, “Warner Bros. had their chance the first time round and they blew it.” The man knows how to hold a grudge… I’ll give him that.
43. Coloured Recollections
The green tint to the film during flashback scenes with young Tom Riddle are a nod to the fact that Riddle was the heir of Slytherin.
The film was directed by David Yates, who directed the fifth film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix as well as both installments of the Deathly Hallowsfilm. Yates was the most used director of the franchise. Chris Columbus directed two of the movies, with Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell shooting one apiece.
41. Big Break
Romance is a major theme of the movie. Harry is drawn to Ginny Weasley and Ron attracts the advances of Lavender Brown. The actress who plays Lavender Brown is Jessie Cave. Jessie beat more than 7,000 girls to win the role. It is her first major film role.
40. Brotherly Love
Robert Knox, who plays Marcus Belby, was stabbed to death outside of a bar in Southeast London just days after filming wrapped. Knox intervened in a fight in an attempt to protect his brother. The assailant, Karl Norman Bishop, was sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum 20-year non-parole period.
39. Family Tradition
Young Voldemort/Tom Riddle is played by Hero Fiennes-Tiffin. Fiennes-Tiffin is the nephew of Ralph Fiennes, who plays adult Voldemort/Tom Riddle. Director David Yates said he did not get the role due to his relation to Ralph Fiennes that he cast Fiennes-Tiffin due to his ability to find "the darker space" in his line readings.
38. That’s A Lot of Voldemorts!
The Half-Blood Prince marked the fifth and sixth actors to play Voldemort. In the first film Philosopher's Stone, he was played by Richard Bremmer and Ian Hart; in Chamber of Secrets he was portrayed by Christian Coulson; Ralph Fiennes plays the adult Voldemort, and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin and Frank Dillane play young and teen Voldemort in the sixth film.
When JK Rowling read through the script for the film she noticed a line where Dumbledore mentions a girl he had a crush on when he was younger. She informed the filmmakers that Dumbledore was gay. When this information was later announced, it caused a flurry of controversy and celebrations as the public processed the author’s true vision of the beloved character.
36. Sore Sport
This installment, a full game of Quidditch returns. There had not been a full game depicted in the films since the second film - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Daniel Radcliffe did not like filming Quidditch matches and said that it was the worst part about making the movies.
35. Good Sport
Although Radcliffe was not pleased about filming more Quidditch scenes since his butt would get sore from sitting on the broom, Rupert Grint was excited because he didn’t get to play Quidditch before. Grint had to do weeks of stunt training to get ready.
34. A Real Hero
Dame Maggie Smith (Professor Mcgonagall) was undergoing treatment for breast cancer during filming. Although she doubted being able to continue acting, she made a full recovery after bouts of chemotherapy.
33. No Rest for the Wicked
Jim Broadbent made his debut in the franchise as Dumbledore's old friend Horace Slughorn.
Broadbent arrived to set shortly after filming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Both he and Warwick Davis - who plays Professor Flitwick, have appeared in the Potter franchise as well as the Chronicles of Narnia.
32. Artistic Liberty
Script writers made a number of changes from the book. The climactic battle found in the book was removed in order to avoid repetition with the forthcoming Deathly Hallows films. We wouldn’t have complained if we had gotten TWO climactic battles, just saying...
31. Timing is Everything
The film was going to be released in November 2008 but was bumped to July 2009 to take advantage of an open summer weekend. Studio executives at Warner Brothers received hate mail and death threats because of the decision to postpone the release.
The film opened in 4,325 cinemas and three weeks later the number rose to 4,455 three weeks later, becoming the largest number of cinemas until The Twilight Saga: Eclipse surpassed it by opening in 4,468 cinemas.
Fans were disappointed about test screenings saying that the movie contained "pointless" scenes and missed out many crucial characters and plot lines. Everyone’s a critic!
28. Hyped Up
The then 18 year old Daniel Radcliffe compared the sixth installment to Trainspotting, a movie based on the Irvine Welsh novel about a group of heroin addicts in late 1980s Edinburgh. Radcliffe said "there's a fair amount of sexual energy and there are some drug parallels."
27. You Look Different
More than any other character, Professor Slughorn’s appearance in the film is very different from his description in the book. In the book, he is described as being bad and very fat with a “walrus-like” mustache. In the film, he is barely overweight, his hair barely thinning, and he doesn’t sport any facial hair. His character is quite similar in both the book and the movie though.
26. Step Right Up!
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened in 2010 as the franchise's first theme park. It is now a chain of themed areas at Universal Parks & Resorts based on the Harry Potter media franchise, adapting elements from the Warner Brothers' film series and original novels by J. K. Rowling.
25. Don’t Be Fooled
Despite being sworn enemies in the books and movies, Radcliffe counts Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy as one of his really good friends. Felton’s convincing portrayal as the bad guy earned him two consecutive MTV Movie Awards for Best Villain in 2010 and 2011. What an actor!
24. Tight Circles
Dame Maggie Smith who plays Professor Minerva McGonagal, and Sir Michael Gambon who plays Dumbledore starred together in the British mystery film Gosford Park together in 2001. History repeats itself!
23. Keeping Score
The musical score for the sixth film was composed by Nicholas Hooper who also wrote the music for the franchise’s fifth; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. John Williams scored the first three movies and Patrick Doyle did the fourth. Alexandre Desplat scored the subsequent installments.
22. Let’s Go!
Much of the filming took place in Fort William, Scotland which is a major tourist destination and the second largest settlement in the Highlands of Scotland. It is home to approximately 10,000 people and 7.3% of the population can speak Gaelic.
21. The Giggles
Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint kept bursting into fits of laughter while trying to film the scene in which Ron squeezes in between Ginny and Harry to break them up and offer them a pie. The scene had to be filmed more than 20 times to get it right. Back to ones everyone!
20. Hope They Had Insurance
A giant swing was used to send actors flying across the room for scenes in which Quidditch players fells off their brooms. No wonder Rupert Grint had to undergo weeks stunt training to film these scenes!
19. Dedicated Actor
Just 19 years old at the time, after the movie came out Daniel Radcliffe said he hated watching himself in it because his acting is very "one-note." Radcliffe went on to challenge his acting abilities by taking a lead role in the controversial play Equus.
18. Color Me Inspired
David Yates, the film's director, sites Rembrandt was an influence for Half Blood Prince's color palette and lighting. Rembrandt used dark earth tones and golden highlights in his paintings creating the illusion of strong lights and heavy shadows.
17. Dried Up
Daniel Radcliffe admitted to often arriving to work on the movie drunk. Radcliffe stopped drinking entirely in 2010 and has become an inspiration to people who struggle with alcoholism. Way to go Daniel!
16. Owl Many?
A total of 27 owls appear in Half Blood Prince. Each owl had at least three doubles on set at all times. Every owl used for the film came from animal sanctuaries, and none were harmed in the making of the film.
Bonnie Wright who played Ginny Weasley in the series is really into art. She spent a week in the film’s art department to expand her work experience. Wright helped decorate the Weasley house, and said it was funny filming around objects in the home that she helped make.
The scene in which Hermione hits Harry on the head in the library had to be re-filmed because Watson did it so hard you could hear the bang against Radcliffe's head. We wonder how Radcliffe felt about that!
13. That’s Cute
Tom Felton who plays Draco Malfoy said that whenever director David Yates got a shot he liked, he got excited and jumped around like a 5-year-old. Any time he didn’t jump around like a 5-year-old, the cast knew they had to do another take.
12. Set Life
The production designer Stuart Craig who designed sets for the first five films was called back to work on Half-Blood Prince. He created over 80 sets for the film.
11. Movie Magic!
Over 1500 special effects were used for the film and not all were CGI. The magical knitting needles for example were remotely controlled by a specially made machine.
10. Yes, and.
Of the 7000 girls who tried for the role of Lavender Brown, the final seven had to improvise on screen with Rupert Grint over a five-hour period. Jessie Cave, the young woman who landed the role said she wouldn't have minded if she didn't get the part because the screen test was exciting enough. Yeah right.
9. A Slughorn Never Forgets
The actor who played Professor Slughorn - Jim Broadbent - played Tom Felton's on-screen dad in an indie/ fantasy movie The Borrowers. Felton was just 7 years old at the time and didn't think Broadbent would remember him, but on the first day the two filmed Half-Blood together Broadbent called Felton "Peagreen", which was his character's name in The Borrowers.
8. What a Legend
Dave Legeno, who played the werewolf Greyback, was a professional mixed martial artist in real life. Legeno tried to change his name to Legend but due to his handwriting it was read as Legeno.
7. We’ll Make it Up to You
Four make up artists spent a total of five hours working on "tattoo man", who was scripted to appear on Knockturn Alley. Although “tattoo man” was never seen, you can see some examples of magical tattoos by visiting Markus Scarrs Indelible Tattoos wizarding tattoo parlour in Knockturn Alley when you visit Wizarding World Park - the Harry Potter themed amusement park.
6. Make Up Your Mind!
During casting for Half-Blood Prince Bill Nighy was hired to play Rufus Scrimgeour, but the character ended up getting cut from the film. Instead they used the character in Deathly Hallows: Part 1 and gave Nighy the role.
5. Sing it Boys!
Author J.K. Rowling wrote the drinking song that Hagrid and Slughorn are singing. The author called it “Odo the Hero” and only the last four verses are known. I think you only need four verses for a drinking song anyway.
4. Glory Days
Alan Rickman was filled with nostalgic glee when Dumbledore fell from the tower. It harkened back to his break-out role in Die Hard (1988), where his character fell from a tall building. Rickman found it amusing that “he was on the other end in this film!”
3. Hard Work Pays Off
The fact that Professor Slughorn seemed to play favorites with students did not sit well with many fans. J.K. Rowling explained that Slughorn shows interest and appreciation towards those who are smart and capable. She went on to say that if a student wishes to gain attention in his class they need to excel in their work. By being choosy with his favors, Slughorn (and Rowling!) spurs young people to try harder in their endeavors.
2. Dean who?
In the movie Harry and Ginny started a relationship together during the Christmas holidays; this was not in the book. Although not fully explained, Hermione hinted during the slug club scene that Ginny and Dean broke up because the two fought a lot.
1. It’s Complicated
The actor who plays Dumbledore, became a father for the third time at aged 68. Sir Michael Gambon’s mistress - set decorator Philippa Hart - gave birth to Gamdon’s third child on June 22nd, 2009. Gamdon has another child with Hart and one with Lady Anne, his wife of over 50 years.
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