As a former art history student and someone who has labored over the Lexicon’s pages on the Black Family Tree I was ecstatic to see the first images showing Warner Brothers’ interpretation (right; click on image to see larger version). The tapestry appears to be huge, with a dark green background and portraits of the family members instead of just names. And the names are written on scrolls similar to the movie version of the Marauder’s Map. Do they move like the chocolate frog cards? I’d love to know.
This image is from the British version of the Warner Brothers OotP website. So far it is not on the American WB site, although over there you can get an awesome desktop of Sirius standing in front of the tapestry.
I think the portion of the tapestry we can see is supposed to show the Black family during the late Medieval period. Compare them to artwork by Jan Van Eyck (“Man in the Red Turban” 1433), Hans Holbein (“Robert Cheseman” 1533). They are even more similar to 19thC Medieval-revivalist paintings by the Pre-Raphaelites (Tempting of Merlin) and tapestries by William Morris (Flora) (Knights of the Round Table). Even the Morris font and scrolls look similar. Are the turbans the set designer’s idea of what a wizard hat might have looked like in the 1500s?
I can’t wait to see the rest of the tapestry.
Update: In a recent Empire Magazine (“Deconstructing Harry,” July 2007) article, David Heyman is quoted as saying “Jo keeps the books and films very separate,” says Heyman. “I’m the one calling her up, making sure we don’t do anything that will mess with her fiction. She really wants the films to be as good as they could be. We needed to visualise Sirius Black’s family tree, so we told Jo. And she said ‘I understand.’ Fifteen minutes later a fax came through with the entire Black family tree which had the family crest, their motto, with eight generations of Blacks with all their names. Her world is embedded in her.” No transcript yet, but there are scans over at Leaky’s Galleries. Thanks to Jules and everyone who sent that to me! By the way, All we have so far is a partial tree with 6 generations.
Update #2: an Italian fansite has posted an image of the tree that appears to have a burn-out. I would have noticed sooner but I was distracted by Sirius’s dressing gown.
Update #3: Wow, I think this Italian stickerbook is eventually going to show the whole movie! Here’s one more of the tree, this one showing several burn-outs and what might be the crest (above Harry’s head). Thanks to Bandersnatch and Jules for the nudge. Belated thanks to Portkey.it for posting all these new images!
Update #4: David Heyman is now saying that Jo provided a tree with six generations, not eight. Quotage:
Heyman still marvels at Rowling’s mind. A scene in “Phoenix” features a tapestry embroidered with the ancestors of Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black. The book mentions a few names, but the filmmakers needed to make the whole thing. “So I e-mailed Jo and asked her if she could give us a few more names,” Heyman says. “About 15 minutes later we received a family tree that goes back six generations with names, birthdates, family crests, a motto. It was all in her head.” Source: Newsweek, June 18, 2007
Update #5 (June 22, 2007): In a press conference, Heyman has mentioned the tree a third time, telling reporters that Jo gave them a tree: “with seventy-five names covering five generations, birth dates, marriage dates and family exorcisms.” The tree as is currently known only has forty-three names on it so when and if Jo’s full tree is ever released we will know quite a bit more about familial relationships in the Wizarding World! Source: The Leaky Cauldron special report