April 19, 2009 -- The opening dates have been changed a few times (it's now July 15), and the series of books is complete. We know who dies and who lives. We even know who marries whom and what they become when they grow up.But the makers of the sixth film in the franchise, "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," are convinced the boy wizard remains a draw.
The final trailer made its online debut Thursday at harrypotter.com and debuts in theaters May 1 with showings of "Ghosts of Girlfriends Past."
"Once you're hooked into these stories, it's really difficult to let go," director David Yates says. "The audience has grown up with these characters. I think that gives them a very special relationship. I can't think of any other movie franchise that has had that. They started out at 10 or 11, and now they're 18 and 19."
In "Half-Blood Prince," Harry and Hogwarts' headmaster, Professor Dumbledore, journey through time and space to discover the whereabouts of the pieces of the evil Lord Voldemort's soul, even as Dumbledore faces several assassination attempts.
Yates believes Harry's fans will stick around for movie No. 7, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," due in two parts on Nov. 19, 2010 and July 15, 2011.
Says the director, who also is at the helm for the final chapter: "If there were 10 or 15 books, that might be another thing."