Who said spinoffs have to look and feel like the properties that inspired them? Although Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them will soon take us back into the wizard world created in by J.K. Rowling, the film already looks noticeably different than anything seen in the Harry Potter franchise. According to Eddie Redmayne, there’s a reason for that aesthetic difference, and it’s firmly rooted in the films 1920s setting. He explained:
The first thing that’s different is it’s set in the 1920s, and it’s set in New York. And it’s this amazing age of the Jazz Age and Prohibition, and there’s a kind of vibrancy to that place at that time. But also there are rumblings of this huge war of good versus evil going on. And this Englishman, this English wizard, arrives in New York, and the beasts getting out sort of sets into motion a whole load of things. There’s that kind of epic J.K. Rowling start of a massive battle thing going on.
Eddie Redmayne opened up regarding the upcoming release of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them to EW at PopFest in Los Angeles, and addressed how the film sets itself apart from the Harry Potter franchise. In his own opinion, Fantastic Beasts really stands on its own merit because the setting and aesthetic of this new corner of the wizard world is so fundamentally different from what we’ve seen before. The film leans heavily into the trappings of the Jazz Age, and really embraces the classic visual elements of the era. In simple terms: it’s a stylish setting that harbors a classic battle between good and evil.
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J.K. Rowling shared the news in front of a worldwide audience of fans.
There’s a lot more Fantastic Beasts coming.
Harry Potter creator and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling made a surprise announcement Thursday that she has finished the plot for five films in the Fantastic Beast franchise, expanding it from the trilogy it was originally announced as. She later said that she will be the screenwriter for all five installments.
The announcement came as Harry Potter fans got a sneak peek of footage from the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them during a global event. The event, hosted by several theaters around the U.S. and London, featured new footage from the film, and a live Q&A with stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight as well as director David Yates.
The film, set to hit theaters via Warner Bros. on Nov. 18, stars Redmayne as Newt Scamander, who finds and documents an extraordinary array of magical creatures. He arrives in New York, where he misplaces the magical case housing his creatures. The escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts could spell trouble for both the wizarding and muggle worlds. In Potter lore, Scamander’s book is eventually used in Harry Potter’s studies at Hogwarts.
In addition to Rowling’s big announcement, audiences at the event also got to see the first 10 minutes of the film and heard some tidbits about the sequel.
One burning question saw Yates asked about the reference to Dumbledore in the movie, as the fan-favorite character would have been alive during this time period.
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He plays Magizoologist Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but what is actor Eddie Redmayne’s favourite magical creature?
Newt Scamanader tracks, studies, protects and writes about the magical creatures of the wizarding world.
He travels alone, and when we meet him at the beginning of Fantastic Beasts he’s been out in the field for about a year. Newt’s whole life has become about his affinity with these creatures.
Actor Eddie Redmayne worked particularly hard on making his interactions with all the beasts in this film believable, moving and real. Like Newt, he knows he shouldn’t have favourites but he does.
At this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, Eddie confessed that his personal favourite is Pickett the Bowtruckle.
During the filming of Fantastic Beasts, Eddie told me a little more about his top three beasts and he seemed genuinely attached to them.
‘It’s really difficult because I fall in love with different ones every day,’ he said. ‘Pickett is my favourite. Pickett I adore because he’s clingy and he’s got attachment issues but I also love that he’s so spindly and stick-insecty. You almost can’t see his face but he reacts through his movement.’
Eddie told me that his relationship with the Niffler was a little more complex. ‘I have a wondrous love-hate relationship with the Niffler. I think that Newt really actually adores his ballsiness.
‘The other one I love is the Demiguise.’ In fact, Eddie told me that the Demiguise appears in one of his favourite moments from the film, but we don’t want to reveal that just yet.
We can’t wait for you to get to know these creatures like Eddie has. [Source]
Eddie Redmayne has some big shoes to fill as the face of the next installment in the Harry Potter franchise. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, if it does well, could launch another series of movies (and let’s be real, with fans as ravenous as Potterheads, there’s no way this movie is going to flop).
Today Collider published an in-depth interview with the star himself in which he opened up about what it was like to be part of such a huge story, his character Newt Scamander, how Fantastic Beasts differs from the rest of the Potter universe, and what it was like to work alongside completely computer-generated characters. The whole interview is worth a read, but here are some highlights:
On being a Brit on American soil:
here are Americanisms and Newt is an Englishman in New York in the 1920s. He’s been in the field for a year. And so suddenly, he arrives in New York and everything is so huge. I remember the first time I went to New York when I was about eight or nine and staying at this hotel and just opening the window and just seeing Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in front of you and then just these buildings flying up and being kind of totally overwhelmed by it. There were things I related to, certainly, in this sort of American-British thing.
On working opposite computer-generated co-stars:
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Anticipation continues to mount for the November premiere of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne’s turn as the legendary magizoologist Newt Scamander. It’s a lot of pressure on one actor, with a rabid global fandom chomping at the bit — and, perfectionist that he is, Redmayne revealed he did have a main concern going into filming.
“My fear was doing a lot of green screen, because I have quite a dodgy imagination,” Redmayne told the New York Times. (For non-Anglophiles: “dodgy” translates as “unreliable.”)
To get around this small personal flaw, Redmayne even asked an animator to get into character as one of the creatures and act out the beast’s mannerisms on set, all so that Redmayne could really get a feel for the CGI character and perform at his best in the face of a blank green screen.
Redmayne also shared some inside information on a few of the creatures we’ll find in the movie, including what they look like (bowtruckles appear as a kind of cousin to the classic stick insect) and have distinctive mannerisms. (Hint: for Harry Potter know-it-alls: nifflers can be subdued with some tummy tickling.)
Clearly, the Beasts team knows its audience won’t stand for anything other than absolute attention to detail. [Source]
Eddie Redmayne knows how to please a crowd.
Thousands of “Harry Potter” fans gathered in Hall H during San Diego Comic-Con to catch a glimpse of the actor, who plays Newt Scamander in the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” and boy, did he deliver the goods.
After he was introduced by Conan O’Brien, the Oscar winner ran into the crowd and handed out wands to everyone there. According to BuzzFeed, Hall H holds about 6,500 people. That’s a lot of wands. The actor did have a little help, though.
Naturally, the crowd was loving it. I mean, who wouldn’t love getting a free wand from the one and only Newt Scamander? We bet they were really magic, too.
As if that weren’t enough, Redmayne led the crowd in casting a “Lumos Maxima!” spell to turn all the lights on, and premiered a new trailer for the “Harry Potter” spinoff movie. The one thing he didn’t do was provide any info about potential Easter eggs in the film. We can’t have everything. [Source]
Eddie Redmayne is Prada’s latest campaign face. The Italian brand rolled out its ad campaign for the fall men’s wear collection, shot by Craig McDean and featuring the Oscar-winning actor, via Instagram on Monday morning.
Redmayne won the Academy Award in 2015 for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything.” He was nominated this year for his leading role in “The Danish Girl.”
Prada has a preference for featuring a mix of both up-and-coming talent and established, of-the-moment actors. Last summer the company’s men’s wear ads included Tye Sheridan and Michael Shannon; this spring saw Matthew Beard, Billy Howle and Logan Lerman in its campaigns. Prada has previously cast Ethan Hawke, Ansel Elgort, Gary Oldman, Willem Dafoe, Jack O’Connell and Miles Teller. [Source]
Eddie Redmayne will reveal new footage from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, April 10.
Fantastic Beasts follows Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, a magizoologist with a suitcase full of magical creatures, as he visits New York City in 1928. When some of those creatures get loose and begin terrorizing the No-Majes (American Muggles), Scamander finds himself at odds with the governing body of America’s wizarding community, the Magical Congress of the United States.
Eddie Redmayne was born to play magizoologist Newt Scamander in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” according to producer David Heyman.
”Eddie was our first choice,” Heyman told tv3. “He’s very good at playing characters that are out of step, as it were, and bringing to them a real heart and compassion. He has a desire to bring truth to every moment. He’s very charming and appealing to men and women alike. And he’s a timeless actor, so he fits perfectly into 1920s New York.”
The film, written by J.K. Rowling, follows Scamander, a Ministry of Magistry employee who accidently unleashes a briefcase full of magical creatures upon NYC in the roaring twenties. Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell and Ezra Miller also star.
”Newt is someone who can communicate better with his creatures than he does with people,” Heyman said of Redmayne’s character. “He’s a Brit who finds himself in the US and the American magical universe is different to the British one.”
Redmayne said shooting the film, which wrapped last month, was “a wonder.”
“It’s just unlike anything I’ve ever been a part of,” Redmayne said. “It’s like imagination taken to the extreme.”
Rowling was intimately involved with the production process. According to Heyman, ”We’d run concepts by her, she’d give her thoughts and we’d adjust accordingly. She certainly was aware of all the lead casting choices before we finalized them.”
Redmayne said he asked Rowling “800 questions” to prepare for the role.
“I met J.K. Rowling and what’s so amazing is that her imagination is so full and thorough — it’s so encyclopedic of her world,” he told ComingSoon.net.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” directed by David Yates, opens Nov. 18, 2016. [Source]
Guests transitioned from near-blinding camera flashes on the red carpet into a dimly lit room for cocktails at Mack Sennett Studios, where Omega’s Globemaster timepieces were in full display.
The new, anti-magnetic movement was one star of the evening. The other reason for the dinner in Los Angeles Tuesday evening was for the Swiss watchmaker to officially reveal Eddie Redmayne, who inked a deal with the company last year, as its latest brand ambassador. Though despite the title, Redmayne appeared to be more off duty that evening with a spokeswoman for the watch brand saying the actor would not be doing any press interviews.
Still, Omega’s choice for its latest face was strategic in a bid to keep the brand relevant amid a younger base of potential watch wearers.
“We felt for this product and this new message we want to get across, he would be a good spokesperson for us so I think it’s a good match,” Omega president Stephen Urquhart told WWD.
Redmayne joins other celebrity ambassadors for the brand, including George Clooney, Daniel Craig, Cindy Crawford and Nicole Kidman, along with a large roster of athletes.
“I think Eddie is sort of a new generation…but very serious,” Urquhart continued. “He does some very, you know, risky films like ‘The Danish Girl.’ So I think it’s a good addition coming to our image for Omega.”
Elsewhere in the Omega business, Urquhart said additional stores are in the works but was cagey about the specifics when prodded for more details other than to say “We have one or two planned but I can’t say [where] at the moment yet.” [Source]