Based on the book published in 2001 as a part of the overarching Harry Potter universe, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is all set for a big budget theatrical adaptation from returning franchise director David Yates. Set in 1920s New York City, the new film penned by series creator J.K. Rowling will star Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) as famed magizoologist Newt Scamander in a forthcoming production that should be a welcome return to the well beloved Wizarding World on the big screen.
Ahead of the movie's theatrical release, Redmayne has been forthright when speaking to the process involved in bringing another facet of Rowling's magical world to life as an actor. Yates has also spoken to the direction taken with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - a film that will be followed by a sequel in 2018. Everything looks to be in tip-top shape for the new movie, and the latest word from Redmayne sheds some new light on a few of the magical creatures and his character's backstory.
Speaking to EW, Redmayne went at length in describing all of the many ways and avenues by which Yates and Rowling have thoroughly provided a world teeming with life, magic, and wonder for him to enter into as Newt Scamander. Despite there already being a book written by the character in existence, Newt's backstory has been kept under wraps leading up to the theatrical release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. However, Redmayne was able to speak to some of his character makeup. On Newt's biographical history, Redmayne stated:
"He’s a man with a passion, and his passion is animals. His mother bred hippogriffs, and it’s the world he’s most comfortable in. He’s not particularly comfortable with human relationships. He’s comfortable in his own skin, but he disconnects with people. People seem to misunderstand him, and he doesn’t know why, but he’s also not particularly interested in why. He has his own relationship with his animals. He’s not an astounding wizard. He’s capable. He’s used to being physically capable when dealing with animals."
Obviously Newt will have to get over his shyness around other people based on all of the human interactions soon to come in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them proper, as he will find himself in quiet a few tight spots where the assistance of other people will become a necessity. As for the animals which he so clearly loves the most, Redmayne was willing to say which ones are Newt's favorites. Citing only a few magical beasts in particular, Redmayne commented:
"There are two favorites. The Niffler — they have this wonderful love-hate relationship. It’s just incredibly aggravating and wonderful at the same time. He’s a complete nightmare, yet Newt gets off on his playfulness and single-mindedness. And the Bowtruckle, Pickett, I love him. There are many bowtruckles in the film, but Pickett has attachment issues. Newt knows he shouldn’t have favorites, but he loves Pickett."
If everything goes according to plan, Harry Potter fans should find all of the magical creatures, both big and small, as fascinating as Newt does, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will acquaint audiences with many of them anew. Yates and Rowling have set quite the stage for their cinematic spectacle soon to come, so here's to hoping that the movie lives up to all of its promise.
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.