The Order of the Phoenix is a secret organisation founded by Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambone). The Professor informs Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) that the Ministry of Magic refuses to acknowledge the return of the evil wizard Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes). Harry’s godfather Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) says that Voldemort is searching for some magical object he did not have in his previous attack.
At Hogwarts, Harry discovers that Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge (Tom Hardy) has appointed yet another Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, named Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton). She is a martinet and comes down particularly hard on Harry, forcing him to write sentences in his own blood, which scars his hand. Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) want to complain to Dumbledore, but Harry won’t have it, as Dumbledore seems to be distancing himself from Harry. But many students form their own secret group called Dumbledore’s Army, which meets in the Room of Requirement, which is a room that only appears when needed. Umbridge organizes the Slytherins to spy on them.
Harry has a vision about an attack on Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams). Dumbledore orders Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) to give Harry occlumency lessons to defend him against Voldemort. Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter), Voldemort’s raving mad cousin, escapes from Azkaban Prison with nine other Death Eaters. Umbridge’s inquisition squad exposes Dumbledore’s Army and Fudge orders his arrest. He flees and Umbridge becomes the new Headmistress, putting up edicts and running the school like a prison. Harry thinks his girlfriend Cho Chang (Katie Leung) was the snitch. He learns through Snape’s memories why Snapes hated Harry’s father, who bullied him as a young man. Harry has another vision, of Sirius being tortured by Voldemort. Harry, Ron, and Hermione try to use Umbridge’s fireplace to access the Floo Network, as hers is the only one not monitored, but Umbridge captures them and tortures Harry. Hermione tricks Umbridge into entering the Forbidden Forest. Umbridge insults the wild centaurs, who kidnap her. Harry, Hermione, and Ron, accompanied by Luna Lovegood (Evanna Lynch), Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis), and Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright), fly to the Ministry of Magic on Thestrals, which only those who have witnessed death can see.
They sneak into the Department of Mysteries, where they find the bottled prophecy that Voldemort is looking for, but they are attacked by Death Eaters, including Lucius Malfoy (Jason Isaacs) and Bellatrix Lestrange. Lucius reveals that Harry’s visions were a trap. There is a battle between Death Eaters and Dumbledore’s Army. The students are defeated, but help arrives in the form of Sirius Black, Remus Lupin (David Thewlis), Nymphadora Tonks (Natalia Tena), Kingsley Shacklebolt (George Harris) and Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson). In the resulting battle, Lucius drops the prophecy, shattering it. Bellatrix kills Sirius. Voldemort appears, but Dumbledore arrives just in time to save Harry. There is a monumental duel between Voldemort and Dumbledore. Voldemort tries to possess Harry’s body, but he is fortified by Love. Voldemort apparats away as Ministerial officers arrive. Fudge is forced to admit that Voldemort has indeed returned, and he resigns. Umbridge is removed and Dumbledore returns, admitting that he distanced himself from Harry so as not to strengthen Harry’s connection with Voldemort.
J. K. Rowling told screen writer Michael Goldenberg to take whatever liberties he needed to chop the 776-page book down to a manageable movie. After all, would fans not read the book because they saw the movie? I think not. And J.K. Rowling, if she was not already the second-richest woman in the U.K., was well on her way, and certainly didn’t need the book sales. The script concentrated on Harry’s emotional journey amid the political turmoil. David Yates was chosen as Director, who was excellent at political intrigue stories on TV. Evanna Lynch beat out a mile-long line of hopefuls (15,000 of them) for the role of Luna Lovegood, one of my favourite characters. Helen McCrory could not play Bellatrix Lestrange because she was pregnant, and the role went to Helena Bonham Carter. In a later movie, McCrory played Bellatrix’s sister Narcissa Malfoy. The set designers wanted to put Sirius Black’s family tree on the walls of his house, so Rowling created a detailed document. Paul Harris, a dance choreographer, was hired to teach everyone spellcasting with a wand. Stephen King called Dolores Umbridge the greatest villain since Hannibal Lecter.
The most expensive set was the 200-foot-long hallway in the Ministry of Magic. The cereals at breakfast in the Great Hall of Hogwarts include Cheri-Owls and Pixie-Puffs. Students take Ordinary Wizarding Level (OWL) exams and Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Level Tests (NEWTs). J. K. Rowling admitted that Dolores Umbridge was based on someone she hated on sight but could not explain why. Umbridge’s clothing turns a darker shade of pink as she goes on. The Ministry of Magic’s architecture was based on the early London Underground and a Burger King with a wonderful Victorian façade. Rose Windsor, an Art Department assistant, was a member of the Royal Family. Arthur Weasley was supposed to die, but J.K. Rowling could not kill off such a beloved character and killed off Sirius Black instead. In the final movie, Arthur was again reprieved. Ironically, Voldemort has a Muggle father, which makes him one of the half-bloods he hates.