Last night I attended Fantastic Beasts Live, a fan event that took place around the world and J.K. Rowling dropped some big, big news.
As far as press gigs go, last night was a whopper! At the Empire theatre in London’s Leicester Square I had the privilege of attending Fantastic Beasts Live, a fan event to promote the film that took place simultaneously in London, New York, L.A, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Rome via the magic of satellite link up.
Lead actor Eddie Redmayne (Newt Scamander) sat alongside Katherine Waterston (Porpentina Goldstein), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), and Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski) with director David Yates, and producer David Heyman at the London location whilst Colin Farrell and Jon Voight joined from L.A.
Fielding questions from each of the locations around the globe the stars gave some insight into the movie making process whilst Redmayne acknowledged the tremendous pressure he felt as the focus figure of the new film which follows the unprecedented success of the Harry Potter franchise.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the latest film to take place in J.K. Rowling’s ‘Wizarding World’. Set 75 years prior to the events witnessed in the Harry Potter films, the viewer follows the adventures of Newt Scamander as he travels from Britain to New York where he will discover a hidden world of magic.
The evening really took off though with a clever deception and some dramatic reveals. Firstly Director David Yates and producer David Heyman confirmed what fans had heard in preceding footage, that the new film will include a cameo from a young Albus Dumbledore and that Gellert Grindelwald, a dark wizard, will feature.
When asked ‘what next for Newt Scamander’ the pair teased that the character would return in another film in another capital city. The two seemed to confer amongst themselves, apparently discussing how much they could give away. The conclusion… they couldn’t say any more, but there was someone else who could. Enter J.K. Rowling to the delight of a packed auditorium.
What happened next blew the roof off as Rowling first explained that she’d had to learn how to write a screenplay, whilst writing a screenplay. ” I wouldn’t recommend it” she quipped. Quickly though excitement rose as the author/screenwriter confirmed what Yates and Heyman had already stated – that they had always known that Fantastic Beasts would be more than one film. Originally they settled upon a trilogy, but it quickly became clear that the series would consist of five films. At this point the room went wild!
As if the night needed any further highlights theatre audiences were then treated to an exclusive viewing of the first ten minutes of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the IMAX screen. The film opens with Newt Scamander arriving at customs in New York with a suitcase that clearly contains more than just clothing. Later in the streets of ‘the big apple’ an anti-magic demonstration provides the perfect distraction for Newt’s stowaways to make an escape. Meanwhile investigators follow the trail of unseen beasts.
Fantastic Beasts will be a tremendous success, I have no doubt. From the ten minutes I’ve seen the film manages to evoke a sense of the familiar whilst developing in a more mature way with its existing Harry Potter fanbase.
You can relive the live feed below, which was broadcast on YouTube. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be in cinemas from this November.