When the “Harry Potter” saga ended in July 2011, fans of the most famous wizard of all time wondered if author and creator of the magical universe JK Rowling would explore this incredible world again.
It wasn’t long before a new franchise was announced, and in 2016, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” hit theaters and made a huge hit at the box office and to critics (over 800 millions of dollars).
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, and several others, the tale follows an eccentric magizoologist who carries a briefcase full of magical animals collected on his travels around the world. However, when the creatures escape from his suitcase and get lost across New York City, it’s up to him to team up with a Muggle and use his abilities to safely capture them.
To celebrate its impending five-year anniversary, CinePOP has put together a short list with some behind-the-scenes anecdotes – which you can check out below:
Redmayne plays the protagonist Newt Scamander in the feature film, a name very familiar to fans of the magical saga. Scamander appears briefly in the Marauder’s Map in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” released in 2004. In the Harry Potter Universe, Scamander’s book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was originally published in 1927 and became a best-world-seller, as well as an approved book for the Hogwarts program. In the mid-1990s, the novel was in its 52nd edition. Scamander also earned the Distinguished Honor of obtaining his own Chocolate Frog Card.
The gray and yellow scarf that Newt has in his briefcase and that he wears in the last scene of the film and in the promotional materials is an allusion to the fact that she belonged to the Hufflepuff house at Hogwarts (information confirmed by Rowling she -same). Before filming began, Rowling detailed the tale and Scamandered to Redmayne – something that was only revealed to him. One of the scenes would feature Scamander shirtless, showing all the scars he had gained from his work with dangerous animals. Redmayne had even practiced to do the sequel, but she was removed from the final cut.
In the film, one of the characters exclaims, “Mercy Lewis! at another point, Tina Goldstein (Waterston) says, “Why in the name of Deliverance Dane did you let this thing slide?” Mercy Lewis and Deliverance Dane were two of many women accused of witchcraft by their neighbors during the Salem trial in the 17th century. Prior to playing Scamander, Redmayne had auditioned to play Tom Riddle in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” in 2002, but was turned down after reading only one line of the script. Eventually the role went to Christian Coulson. In the 1920s, the word Muggle (Muggle, in translation) was American slang for marijuana cigarettes. This may explain why members of the magical community in the United States do not use this term to refer to non-magical, but non-maj, people.
Despite having created the magical universe, Rowling was never in charge of writing a feature film (the work was intended for Steve Kloves). However, the novelist decided to make her screenwriter debut with “Fantastic Beasts”, reprising her role in the sequel “The Crimes of Grindelwald”. According to Rowling, Queenie’s performer Sudol made up the lyrics for the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Witchcraft hymn. Originally there was a scene before the climax, where Tina and Queenie sang part of the song to Newt and Jacob (Dan Fogler). The sequel, however, was cut from production.
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