Not Potter. But smarter?
September 10, 2008 6:44 PM   Subscribe

Crushed fans of Harry Potter expressed outrage upon learning they must wait another 8 months for the newest film installment. The timing of the announcement rather handily coincides with the release of Scholastic's "39 Clues" -- a book whose blend of interactive intrigue is supposed to take over young readers' imaginations where Harry leaves off.

Already user groups are scheduling events based on the book's premise.
posted by skyper (47 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Super-)early reviews of the movie aren't good.

I know it's early, and I know they're AICN reviews, but the alterations made to the end of the story seem questionable.
posted by hifiparasol at 6:47 PM on September 10, 2008


Somwhere JK Rowling is crying into her big pile of money.
posted by jonmc at 6:49 PM on September 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


If Scholastic had any guts they'd publish My Immortal, the only book capable of filling the gap.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:49 PM on September 10, 2008


Crushed fans of Harry Potter

Really? AWESOME! Hopefully by something really heavy!

expressed outrage

...oh. Damn. Oh well.
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:49 PM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


Yikes why would you cross Potter fans?? They get all hexing on your arse.
posted by gomichild at 6:51 PM on September 10, 2008


A not-good Harry Potter movie?!?
posted by DU at 6:57 PM on September 10, 2008


Wow, those reviews sound horrific. But I'm a big fan of the books so was sorely underwhelmed by the last movie as well.

I don't suppose Warner Bros. could have simply announced, "We have discovered after preliminary screenings that we seriously fucked up, and we will spend the next 9 months scrambling to fix the damage so you Potter nuts won't boycott when this film and the last are finally released."

Yeah, guess not.
posted by chihiro at 7:01 PM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


The timing of the announcement rather handily coincides with the release of Scholastic's "39 Clues"...

I guess in the span of geologic time a mere 3 months is nothing.
posted by DU at 7:03 PM on September 10, 2008


8 months til the fat cats butcher the best book in the series?

sure, no problem, take your time
posted by mannequito at 7:09 PM on September 10, 2008


There will never be enough Draco.
posted by Nattie at 7:20 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


Annabelle: Have you ever heard of the 39 Clues?

Hannay: No, what's that, a pub?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:20 PM on September 10, 2008 [2 favorites]


I guess in the span of geologic time a mere 3 months is nothing.

Perhaps not *quite* so closely timed (3, almost 4 weeks has it been since Aug. 14?)... A quick search online showed me that the new interactive title has been getting some preliminary press for months now. I had never heard of 39 Clues until I saw it in the window of the downtown bookstore today just moments after reading the Potter article in a copy of yesterday's WSJ.
posted by skyper at 7:29 PM on September 10, 2008


Crushed fans of Harry Potter expressed outrage

I DEMAND FILMIC REPRESENTATION OF THESE CHARACTERS WHICH ALLOW ME SCANT SPIRITUAL SOLACE IN THIS COLD HOLE OF SIMULATED EMOTIONS, AND I WILL NOT FORGIVE A CORPORATE BOARD FOR DENYING ME SATISFACTION!!!</b?
posted by koeselitz at 7:30 PM on September 10, 2008 [5 favorites]


Also, the 39 Clues are apparently left on steps outside of some building in London. The publishing company is casting about trying to come up with a name for the film version they're already planning, but haven't been able to think of a good title.
posted by koeselitz at 7:32 PM on September 10, 2008


a book whose blend of interactive intrigue is supposed to take over parent's pocketbooks where Harry leaves off.
posted by Citizen Premier at 7:32 PM on September 10, 2008


</b> for you.
posted by rokusan at 7:32 PM on September 10, 2008


Thanks. >s are hard to come by these days.
posted by koeselitz at 7:36 PM on September 10, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've found that the books get better (but shaggier) as the series moves along, but I haven't read the last book yet. I don't believe I've seen all the movies yet. I wouldn't mind seeing the Order of the Phoenix, because the ending was so grim. But I can't even remember the names or the order of the books! I did waste a lot of time in 2001/2002 reading these things.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:41 PM on September 10, 2008


The wait comes from Harry's nude appearance on Broadway. Hollywood does not want that to coincide with the new movie.
posted by caddis at 7:41 PM on September 10, 2008


They're complaining about a wait of another 8 months? Do you have any idea how hard it was to be a young Star Wars fan back in the mid-80s, knowing that the prequels weren't slated to come out for at least 10 more years? Only to find out they sucked?

Darn spoiled kids.
posted by deanc at 7:42 PM on September 10, 2008 [10 favorites]


fans of Harry Potter expressed outrage

In other news:

Pope says "I'm Catholic"
wishes: not horses
bear shits in woods
posted by mightygodking at 8:40 PM on September 10, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wait, diehard fans are sending death threats because Warner seems to be listening to the early complaints from the test screenings and is taking time to at least attempt to fix the film so it will be more palatable to folks who know and love the books?

Color me confused.
posted by mediareport at 9:04 PM on September 10, 2008


A lot of the fans are saying they could have understood the delay if fixes were, in fact, being made.

However, most studio communication has made it clear that they aren't, actually, making any fixes to a poorly testing film.

Rather, they've openly acknowledged they've moved the film out in order to reap a better summer net because of the dearth of big films for next year as a result of the strike.
posted by batmonkey at 9:23 PM on September 10, 2008


most studio communication has made it clear that they aren't, actually, making any fixes to a poorly testing film.

Can you point me to one of these "studio communications" that make it clear they aren't actually making any fixes to a poorly testing film? Thanks.
posted by mediareport at 9:38 PM on September 10, 2008


Oh, I found Alan Horn's message. You're right, it's just about the summer box office. Too bad.
posted by mediareport at 9:42 PM on September 10, 2008


That last movie tried to do far too much in too little time. It was choppy as hell and just, well, terrible. The books only get longer, so I expect more of the same.

600+ page books are awfully hard to jam into 2 hours.
posted by Malor at 10:01 PM on September 10, 2008


I am surprised that with the potential profits and enormous quantities of money going into these movies, that they have been getting so weak. Please, hire a good director!
posted by niccolo at 10:55 PM on September 10, 2008


All right. I think I'm finished digging around on this "39 Steps" thing.

Right now, I'm feeling like Scholastic has basically assembled one of the most lucratively cynical marketing plans in the history of youth literature and, despite my usual joy for seeing those who ply the made-up stories trade get steenkin' rich, this push feels too contrived to me, personally. Because of that, my niece and nephews will probably be begging for every item involved in this scam before X-mas.

10 total books with one available presently and the last will be in stores in September of 2010. Each book reveals one clue, so you'll get 10 clues from the books. They're about an extended family

Cards provide clues, as well, although it's not clear if the cards provide all of the rest of the clues or just a subset. They say each book will come with six cards - "the same six cards" - but, of course, you can buy (many) more. The cards are owned both physically and virtually, and comprise the basis for a game which extends, of course, to an online component. The game ends just after the last book publishes.

The first five books are written by authors who each have considerable fan bases (and bestseller-status advances) to rest upon: Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, Peter Lerangis (whom you may know better as A.L. Singer), Jude Watson, and Patrick Carman.

One of the features that's sure to draw in those with fannish tendencies is the ability to test into the featured family. Since you have to register an account to do this part, Scholastic even gets a fat email harvest out of the deal.
posted by batmonkey at 11:45 PM on September 10, 2008


oops. left out something above - "They're about an extended family, the Cahills, who are on a hunt for clues that lead to some grand reward."

dang my preview proofing block. dangit to heck.
posted by batmonkey at 11:47 PM on September 10, 2008


I am surprised that with the potential profits and enormous quantities of money going into these movies, that they have been getting so weak. Please, hire a good director!

They will probably pull in just as much money anyhow, just floating on the HP brand.
posted by Harald74 at 1:22 AM on September 11, 2008


Warners have already made a huge mountain of money from The Dark Knight this year so they may as well kick their other tent poll down the line to next years summer season, which is looking a bit thread-bare compared due to the writers' strike
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:28 AM on September 11, 2008


I'm not surprised the films got some duff advanced reviews as, from what I can remember, it was mainly back-story/filler/set-up for the finale.

That last movie tried to do far too much in too little time. It was choppy as hell and just, well, terrible. The books only get longer, so I expect more of the same.

Yeah, I think I would have a hard time following some of the plot points if I'd not read the book (not a likely happening with a Potter book - unless it's a parent taking there kid to the film). Despite done for no doubt utterly commercial reasons, splitting the final book into two films might be the best artistic decision.

Oh and the 39 Steps thing looks like complete kiddie-crack
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:43 AM on September 11, 2008


In response to Mr. Horn's apology she sent 30 angry letters to Warner Bros. in bright red envelopes -- an allusion to "howlers," a magical kind of hate mail in the Potter world that screams loudly at the recipient and explodes violently if left unopened.

Congratulations! Not only are you the laughingstock of that particular mail room (which, I'm sure, holds total executive sway over the studio's release schedule), but you've also just just earned yourself a spot on Lore's hierarchy. I'm going to put you on the sci-fi writer's branch, right next to the ones who write fan fiction starring themselves.

Have die-hard fans really become more inept at expressing their impotent rage over the last decade, or are smirking news magazines just reporting the stories more widely?
posted by Mayor West at 5:08 AM on September 11, 2008


39 Steps thing looks like complete kiddie-crack

This was the opinion of the bookstore owner where I saw the book. She used those exact words -- "it's like crack" -- referring to her *own* growing addiction to the story/game.
posted by skyper at 5:14 AM on September 11, 2008


Sent 30 bright red pieces of mail?

I'll be impressed when she sets herself on fire outside the Time/Warner building.
posted by the bricabrac man at 5:53 AM on September 11, 2008


Mayor West asked:
"Have die-hard fans really become more inept at expressing their impotent rage over the last decade, or are smirking news magazines just reporting the stories more widely?"

Both?
posted by batmonkey at 6:00 AM on September 11, 2008


Also: When I was reading through those letters a couple of days ago, I couldn't help but wonder what the effect would be if those fans were writing as profusely and indignantly to their representatives in state and national government.
posted by batmonkey at 6:05 AM on September 11, 2008 [1 favorite]


39 Clues was sounding like a really lame scam, and then batmonkey mentioned Gordon Korman, and... okay, I have no willpower now.
posted by marginaliana at 7:43 AM on September 11, 2008


I guess they'll just have to make do with their broomstick vibrators until they can get the real thing.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:47 AM on September 11, 2008


Bumper sticker I saw the other day:

"Do the world a favour,
Punch a Harry Potter fan!"
posted by chugg at 7:54 AM on September 11, 2008


I had this sinking feeling, even before I clicked on the WSJ link...

Jean Fink, a 51-year-old Los Angeles artist who also works as an administrative assistant [emphasis mine]

Yep, nothing like living the cliche!
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:27 AM on September 11, 2008


Wait, people are really complaining that the movies don't reflect the books accurately enough? Isn't the reason for this that if they did, the movies would be nine hours long and boring as hell?

(spoilery discussion ahead)

Since about the third film, I've found that the movies pretty efficiently excise a good degree of the unnecessary crap that we're forced to waste a lot of time on in the books. Goblet of Fire, for instance, left out all of the incredibly dull S.P.E.W. nonsense that cluttered up the book -- I kept thinking, when I read Hallows, that there would be some payoff where the house-elves rose up and helped the OOTP save the day in the final battle. But, no, this was just some stupid shit for Hermione to do. I'm glad it didn't appear in the movie, and as a result the movie was about ten times better than the book.

The problem the AICN reviewers in the link above seem to have isn't that the filmmakers left out too much of the book; it's that they left out the really important parts (the final battle, Dumbledore's funeral) and left in way too much of the Hogwarts 90210 snoozefest.

My girlfriend hasn't read any of the books past the first one, but she goes to see every movie on opening night. I used to get kind of annoyed about that, but more and more I think she's making the right decision.
posted by hifiparasol at 8:54 AM on September 11, 2008


In response to Mr. Horn's apology she sent 30 angry letters to Warner Bros. in bright red envelopes

Frankly I blame The Brown Shirts for encouraging this kind of nonsense
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:52 AM on September 11, 2008


I really enjoyed reading these books, but I don't remember a goddam thing from any of them. The movies? Feh.
posted by everichon at 12:16 PM on September 11, 2008


splitting the final book into two films might be the best artistic decision

According to an article I read recently in Entertainment Weekly, they are making Deathly Hallows into two films.
posted by not that girl at 5:41 PM on September 11, 2008


When I was reading through those letters a couple of days ago, I couldn't help but wonder what the effect would be if those fans were writing as profusely and indignantly to their representatives in state and national government.

Same effect: nothing.

Though, I agree, it sure is depressing that people are outraged about a 8-month delay of a movie but don't care that the government is surveilling people illegally or killing thousands of innocent people.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:08 AM on September 12, 2008


mrgrimm: Yeah, you're probably right. And, yeah, it really is depressing. I guess they care only to the level they can stand to be disappointed on.
posted by batmonkey at 2:19 AM on September 13, 2008


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