Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.
Yes, we are a tad excited here at Showcase Cinemas to once again immerse ourselves into the wonderful world of J.K. Rowling’s fantastic imagination.
Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything,” “The Danish Girl”) stars in the central role of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters. And yes, we are a tad excited here at Showcase Cinemas to once again immerse ourselves into the wonderful world of J.K. Rowling’s fantastic imagination.
The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose seven beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.
In addition to David Yates, the film reunited a number of people from the “Harry Potter” features, including producer David Heyman.
Although “Fantastic Beasts” unfolds in an entirely different time and place, it has an organic connection to Harry Potter, as Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was one of Harry’s textbooks at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. J.K. Rowling, who made her screenwriting debut on the film and also served as a producer, recalls that she initially brought the primer into being as a project for charity, “During the writing of that book,” she says, “I became interested in its ostensible author, Newt Scamander, and he took on quite a bit of life for me. So I was very enthusiastic when the studio came to me and said they wanted to make it into a movie because I already had the back story in my mind and it just so happened that they’d optioned the very thing I was most interested in. And I knew if it were to happen, I would have to write it because I know too much about Newt to let someone else do it.”
Found within the tale are other, albeit more subtle, links to J.K. Rowling’s previous works. Producer David Heyman, who also produced all eight of the “Harry Potter” films, confirms that amidst the magic and fun, are concepts that have become hallmarks of her writing. “Many of the underlying themes of the Potter books are in evidence here: the virtue of tolerance in contrast to the dangers of intolerance and repression; being true to who you are; outsiders coming together and connecting… There is an emotional universality and relevance to those ideas that are utterly relatable to people across the globe. The beasts may be in the title, but it’s the humans who are the heart of the story.”
Regarding J.K. Rowling’s writings, director David Yates observes, “There is a grace and humanity in Jo’s characters…a celebration of being who you are without apology, and not overly trying to conform or hide your potential to be everything you can be. She cherishes individuality.”
Eddie Redmayne, who stars in the central role of Newt Scamander, relates, “A theme at the core of this film is the fear of things we don’t understand and also how people react to that fear by taking extremes. It’s why wizards are living in hiding in New York and there’s absolutely no interaction between them and the Muggles, which is permitted to some degree in the UK, where Newt is from. And it’s why they want to destroy magical beasts, who might inadvertently reveal the existence of magic. Those are notions that J.K. Rowling explores and they seem to be at the forefront here.”
“My heroes are always people who have the courage to say, ‘I see how it is, but it doesn’t have to be that way,’” Rowling asserts. “They are the ones willing to ask, ‘Why is it this way?’”
Well some of the answers will be revealed when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is unleashed to legions of fans worldwide!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens at Showcase Cinemas from November 18