Following the release of a best-selling original play based on the series, the famous wizarding world and associated multi-media Harry Potter franchise created by J.K. Rowling is once again at the forefront of the popular imagination. Furthermore, with director David Yates (Harry Potter 5-8) all-set to deliver Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them later this fall, Rowling’s Wizarding World might soon become the top-selling property among general moviegoers once again.
Supporting an original screenplay penned by Rowling herself, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) as protagonist Newt Scamander. Yates and company seem all set to deliver another thrilling entry in the whirlwind fantasy-adventure franchise, and Redmayne certainly sounds like he’s ready to go along for the ride.
Speaking to EW, Redmayne was eager to discuss how he and the props desginers came up with the wand that was to be used by magizoologist Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Taking care to keep the character’s fairly unassuming demeanor and concern for the general well-being of creatures both big and small (magical and otherwise) in mind, Redmayne finally settled on an aesthetically sturdy and conservative wand to be used while filming. Describing the process behind the selection of Scamander’s wand, Redmayne explained:
“I sort of assumed that I would have a wand sort of plopped in my hand. But the reality is that these amazing props designers come, and then you have really a quite intricate discussion with [director] David Yates about what qualities Newt has. He’s not a showy guy, Newt, so I wanted it be to quite simple. So we decided to have the wand be made out of ashwood, and it has quite a few scratches and sort of burn marks, so that you could get the sense that he’s been traveling the world with it, and it’s got quite a history to it.”
Deciding on such a conservative make and model for Newt’s wand in the film certainly sounds in keeping with the protagonist’s overall character as described by Redmayne, though design was obviously not the only concern in said selection. Speaking to the material makeup of Newt’s wand, Redmayne stated:
“But for the handle, they were sort of talking about whether it should be horn or leather, and I didn’t like the idea of like animal products being used, given that he’s a zoologist. So in the end, they came up with this idea of sand shell…and it has a slightly mother-of-pearly feel. So we had all these discussions and went back and forth with designs, and when the thing arrived I was pretty excited. My inner 9-year-old was having a disco, and then I was actually presented with it!”
It’s heartening to discover how involved and excited by the process of selecting a wand Redmayne was, and should serve to bleed through into his performance in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them proper. Yates and Rowling appear to have quite the return to the Harry Potter feature franchise in store for both die-hard fans and general moviegoers alike, and with any luck Redmayne’s selection of wand will prove to be the right one going forward.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016, followed by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 on November 16th, 2018.