Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in the series, is to be split into two parts for its cinema release.

According to industry bible Variety, Warner Bros studios have taken the decision to split the seventh novel in Jk Rowling's hugely successful saga into two films, so as to pay suitable attention to its 784 pages of wizarding action.

And though the studio's strategy for splitting the book smacks of the similar plans afoot for the upcoming adaptation of The Hobbit, it is believed Rowling's tome will reach the screens in the same manner as Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill films, with the two movies filmed back-to-back and hitting cinemas some six months apart.

Producer David Heyman told the Los Angeles Times the decision to release two films was born "out of purely creative reasons".

"Unlike every other book, you cannot remove elements of this book," he added.

"You can remove scenes of Ron playing Quidditch from the fifth book, and those subplots, but with the seventh, that can't be done."

And leading man Daniel Radcliffe added his support to the studio plans, saying that splitting the seventh book was "the only way" to do justice to Rowling.

"There have been compartmentalised subplots in the other books that have made them easier to cut - although those cuts were still to the horror of some fans - but the seventh book doesn't really have any subplots," he went on.

"It's one driving, pounding story from the word go."

British director David Yates, who helmed the fifth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, is to return to shoot both Deathly Hallows films while Steve Kloves is attached to adapt the novel - making Order of the Phoenix the only Potter film on which he will not have worked.

The first Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film is set for release in November 2010 with the second following in May 2011.

13/03/2008 09:32:51