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Warner Bros. cancels 3-D version of next Harry Potter installment

October 8, 2010 | 12:16 pm

Stung by criticism that it rushed the conversion of "Clash of the Titans" into 3-D earlier this year, Warner Bros. is playing it safe with "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1."

The studio said Friday it would not release a planned 3-D version of the movie when it opens Nov. 19, saying it didn't have enough time to complete the conversion of the seventh Harry Potter film.

"Despite everyone's best efforts, we were unable to convert the film in its entirety and meet the highest standards of quality,'' the studio said. "We do not want to disappoint fans who have long-anticipated the conclusion of this extraordinary journey."

The move appears aimed at avoiding a repeat of the controversy that erupted last spring when consumers and critics widely panned the quality of the 3-D effects in "Clash of the Titans," one of a slew of movies that Hollywood studios scrambled to convert to 3-D following the huge box-office success of James Cameron's science-fiction epic "Avatar." 

"Harry Potter" director David Yates and producer David Heyman both expressed support for the decision in a joint statement. "For 10 years, we have worked alongside [Warner Bros. President] Alan Horn and the studio, whose priority has always been to preserve the integrity of Jo Rowling's books as we have adapted them to the screen, and this decision reflects that commitment."

The studio did say it planned to release the second installment of the final "Harry Potter" film as scheduled, on July 15, 2011, in both 2-D and 3-D formats.

A Warner Bros. spokesman declined to say whether or not "Part 1" would eventually be released in 3-D.

-- Richard Verrier 

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