Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (lost original unmuted audio of scene from fantasy film; existence unconfirmed; 2007)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 film based on the 2003 novel of the same name. It is the fifth installment of the Harry Potter series. The film follows Harry Potter's fifth year at Hogwarts, balancing his academic studies with the looming threat of the evil wizard Voldemort’s return. The film ends with a massive fight between Harry and his friends and some of Voldemort’s followers (called Death Eaters) in the Ministry of Magic. Bellatrix Lestrange, a Death Eater, ends up killing Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. After Black’s death, Harry screams agonizingly, while Remus Lupin holds him back. In the final cut of the movie, Harry’s scream is muted entirely. According to director David Yates, he wanted to slow the scene down to allow the audience to allow themselves to process the death without interruption. However, rumor also has it that Daniel Radcliffe's (Harry Potter) scream was so painful that it made multiple actors cry, so they decided to mute it in post-production. Nonetheless, the original audio of the scene has never been released.
During the special 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments, director of Order of the Phoenix David Yates, talked about Sirius's death scene. He stated the following about it:
"I wanted it to feel quite operatic. That’s why it’s slowed down. And yeah, I wish I'd slowed it down even more, actually. In hindsight, I sort of wanted to really milk it."
This implies that the scene was muted and slowed down in an effort to milk the scene's emotional content, making it more potent for the audience. By slowing and muting it, it would allow the audience to process the death on their own terms, instead of hearing the characters’ audio reactions. This is the official explanation for the muting.
Rumors and speculation have flown for years that Radcliffe's scream may have been too painful and emotional, causing the directors to not feel comfortable putting it into the film. According to legend, Radcliffe had lost a family member shortly before filming, allowing Harry’s scream to act as his own form of grief. Legend also has it that Radcliffe's performance made Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Helena Bonham Carter (Bellatrix Lestrange), and Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley) all shed tears. There is currently no evidence of these theories being true. However, Watson did state in an interview that watching Radcliffe’s performance did bring tears to her eyes.
Since the audio was most likely muted during post-production, it is believed that an unmuted version may exist, either in the form of the original raw footage or the original audio. There is currently no solid evidence proving that an unmuted version does exist, and it is unknown if the studio still has the footage.
Many fans of the series wish this audio to be released in order to see Radcliffe's performance and experience this scene from a new perspective. Many fans have made their own versions of the scene with audio, but none are official.