Warner Bros. officially announced this morning that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie will be released in two parts and will be directed by David Yates.
In making the announcement, Warner Bros. Pictures president Jeff Robinov stated:
It has been an honor for our studio to be entrusted with bringing J.K. Rowling’s extraordinary book series to the screen, and we have always felt a great responsibility to be true to her vision. In concluding the film franchise, we recognized that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is packed with vital plot points that complete the story arcs of all of its beloved characters. That said, we feel that the best way to do the book, and its many fans, justice is to expand the screen adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and release the film in two parts. We could not imagine the final chapter of the film franchise being in better hands than those of David Yates.
Part one of the movie will open in November 2010, with part two to be released in quick succession during the summer of 2011.
UPDATE: Screenwriter Steve Kloves adds that the split in the final movie is being done for all the right reasons:
Years ago, we briefly - and seriously - considered doing Goblet of Fire as two films. So this concept is not altogether new. As for Deathly Hallows, I intuited - almost from the first moments I began reading it and certainly once I’d finished - that to realize the story in a single film was going to be a tall order. Others in 'the group' felt similarly. So the idea of two films began to get kicked around as early as late summer of 2007. We didn’t take it lightly. But ultimately everyone felt that despite the challenges it would present, it was the most sound creative decision. I’m sure some will think we’re crazy. My wife looked at me cross-eyed when I first mentioned it. But I’m really excited about it because it should allow us to stretch a bit with the characters and give them the proper send-off. The story is highly emotional and those moments deserve time to breathe. And, personally, I feel we owe it to Jo - in order to preserve the integrity of the work — and the fans - for their loyalty all these years - to give them the best and most complete experience possible. I’d love to do it in three parts!
Thanks to the SnitchSeeker for the link.