INTERVIEW: Writer Michael Goldenberg on adapting ‘Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix’


Thus far in the history-making run of the Harry Potter franchise, one man, screenwriter Steve Kloves, has adapted all of J.K. Rowling's spell-spinning, ticket-vanishing yarns to the screen. With Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix -- the fifth of an eventual seven books and films -- the streak has ended. Though he has already taken on the sixth script and is presumed to be doing the seventh, Kloves took a voluntary respite on five, opening the door for another scripter to have the keenly rarified opportunity to adapt a Potter. 

This screenwriting Charlie Bucket (keeping in genre) is Michael Goldenberg, a former New York playwright and Carnegie Mellon drama graduate whose screen credits include 1997's alien contact drama Contact. Though he fell short in a bid to win the Potter job at its outset, he had impressed and befriended David Heyman, one of the franchise's main producers. So when Kloves stepped aside, Heyman rang Goldenberg and that was that.


“The truth was it was a bit of a complicated reaction,” says Goldenberg of the initial phone call. “At first I was just stunned, then excited of course, and then simultaneously relieved and dismayed that I'd just lost control of my life for the next couple years. And then I sighed, looked around my kitchen and thought, 'Well, now I know what the first thing in my obituary will be.'”

(Source: WGA)


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