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Order of the Phoenix in Italy

Published June 12, 2006 in Movie News
By Ryan Parsons | Image property of respective holders.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Hold the wand, it seems like it has been ages since we have done an update on anything new for Harry Potter. With our vast coverage of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, many of our readers have emailed in wondering when we'd start going crazy with new theories and movie info for Order of the Phoenix. Well, it looks like the end of summer will be the proper kickoff date for all that but, for now, we do have some interesting new filming news for OOTP.

Order of the Phoenix in Italy

According to BadTaste, reprinted in English over at MuggleNet, Warner Bros has been running around Italy trying to find the perfect location(s) for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Representatives for Warner Bros., the article states, have been visiting a number of small medieval towns around Italy, looking for the perfect location for scenes to be shot for OOTP.

Among the locations that were chosen and were being evaluated was the ancient Castle of Balestrino, a stunning medieval fortress around which a typical Italian village was built in the early Middle Ages. Because the Castle is private property, WB might have to ask for permission to film, not just from the local authorities, but from the owners of the building as well.

Over the last few weeks, the production company has commissioned a survey of the castle, to assess its compatibility with filming requirements. This part of Northern Italy offers breathtaking landscapes: it's a small region enclosed between the Tirreno sea and the Alps. In the area there's also a centuries-old sanctuary to the Virgin Mary, which would certainly make striking background scenery for any movie.

The mayor of Balestrino, Mr. Italo Panizza, confirms the local authorities have been contacted by WB, and that the visit actually took place, but he insists no definite arrangements were made yet, though filming for those scenes is scheduled to begin in October. Mr. Panizza added:

"Naturally, we made it clear we'd be more than happy to help. We are flattered to have been considered for the opportunity to host such a big, world-famous production. And this is why we have halted all renovation and repair work to the ancient buildings across the village: Warner Bros asked us not to touch anything."

They also have a picture with the report that looks pretty, well, medieval. Head on over to MuggleNet to check out the whole report and image.

Update: I just received an email from 'Kristen' that came with this new information: reports that the journalist who wrote the article was contacted by Warner Bros shortly after the story's publication. WB said "the deal was off" because the location had been made public. All negotiations with the local authorities in Balestrino, Ms. Andreetto says, were subject to some sort of "confidentiality clause." We will update you on any changes.

I personally think WB will continue its search in Italy and simply stated that "the deal was off" to fool us. Hmmm, or I could be completely wrong. LOL

Stay tuned for updates.

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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Image property of respective holders.

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