Dobby, the house elf who got no respect (and now that I think about it, he does look like Rodney Dangerfield) in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secretscontinues to be dissed by the powers that be behind the Potter films. The good-hearted but troublemaking imp has appeared in all of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels since his first appearance in Chamber of Secrets, but has not appeared in the film adaptations of the subsequent books. Now, according to actor Toby Jones who gave voice to the character, it's been revealed that Dobby will not be appearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the David Yates directed sequel that's due in 2007.

"I know that the filmmakers have a problem with each new film because the books are getting longer - there's so much to include in them," Jones has said. True enough. The longest book in the series is Order of the Phoenix with a page count of 870. I suspect when the as yet untitled seventh and final book in the series is released it will be thick enough to choke a hippogriff, and with stories this rich in detail some elements just won't survive the translation to the screen. Harry's abusive Uncle Vernon Dursley and his family were missing from the film version of Goblet of Fire, as was Molly Weasley, matriarch of the ginger-haired Weasley clan. Like Dobby, all of these characters lent nuance to the story, but while the hardcore Potter fans may be willing to sit through a twelve-hour movie, the average filmgoer will not.

While MTV News is pointing out the fact that Dobby's absence from the new film will require another character to perform certain crucial actions to propel the story, this is hardly a new issue. In the book version of Goblet of Fire, Dobby was the one to give Harry the gilly weed that allowed him to breath underwater during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. The filmmakers found a way around Dobby's absence from the film, and I'm sure they can do it again.

Jones appears to be taking it all in stride. "The thing I feel very, very proud of is the fact that I get mail just about every week of the year from all parts of the world -- very nice mail thanking me for that way I voiced the character and saying how accurately I did it," Jones commented. "So it's a great addition to my life and a very unexpected one. I had no idea that the character would have that much impact."

If you just can't bear the idea of another Potter film without a house elf, fear not -- Kreacher, servant of Sirius Black's family will be appearing in Order of the Phoenix.

categories Cinematical