Longtime Harry Potter producer David Heyman on the films' end—and splitting book 7!

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Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

The sixth Harry Potter movie comes out next month, and the two-part seventh and final movie is well into production, which gives longtime producer David Heyman little time to reflect on his 12-year journey as the shepherd of the megahit franchise.

But he does a little to Film Journal, and it's always illuminating to hear the thoughtful and very non-Hollywood producer's thoughts on the series that's enchanted a zillion fans.

On the impending end of the story:

"It hasn't hit yet because it's a 248-day schedule, and we're on day 67 or 68. There's 180 to go—and then there's a year of post—so the horizon looms much closer than ever before, but it's not yet upon me. I suppose there'll be mixed feelings. I've learned a huge amount. I continue to learn. The material continues to inspire and challenge. Being on this adventure, working on the Potters, has been the gift of all gifts."

On splitting J.K. Rowling's seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, into two movies:

"[It] was something we wrestled with. I'm not going to reveal where it is just yet, but there are a couple of places. I initially was not in favor of doing two films.

"In the seventh book, Harry is at the center of so much of it that, when we looked at what we would cut, it was impossible. There was almost nothing that we could comfortably cut, so it became a very clear decision that we had to make two films.

"Once we made that decision, the challenge is to find out where you cut it. I think we've made a really interesting choice. It's acknowledging that actually this is one book, and there are two parts to the story, and I think it will be really exciting.

"Actually, there's almost enough material in here to make three films, but I think that would have probably tipped it over the edge. The book is a very rich canvas."

We're glad they didn't go that far: Three movies? Really?

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens July 15.