The Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will begin filming in Liverpool, England, in just a few weeks. This is one of the many filming locations revealed, but it’s the only non-studio shooting location.
Apparently, the makers of the film never had any intention of filming in New York City, much to the chagrin of American fans. All of the New York scenes will actually be filmed on location in Liverpool, which will be disguised as 1920s New York.
There are currently 530 members of the cast and crew, and in an effort to accommodate all of them, the city and crew has sectioned off a large area of the St. George’s Plateau and the Tree Graces and Mersey waterfront. They will use many of the city center buildings there to replicate what 1920s New York looked like, hoping for a more realistic view of the time period without the cost of filming in the United States.
Producer David Heyman, who also produced all eight of the other Harry Potter films, said that the city would be the most logical location for the film. He explained as follows to the Liverpool Echo.
“We are thrilled to be bringing Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them to Liverpool, a city which has such fond memories for me. My mother is from Liverpool and, as a child, we would often visit family there. The architecture in this beautiful city works perfectly for our film, set in 1920s New York, and I know we will receive a very warm welcome.”
The film follows Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, and his adventures as he researches and documents dragons and other magical creatures. The book he writes throughout his adventures will eventually become the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
At one point, Scamander stops off in New York very briefly on his journeys, which has American Potter fans extremely excited. The scene will be brief, but it still puts the United States on the Harry Potter universe map.
The Liverpool City Council seems to be thrilled that the filming will take place among their streets, as well. Councillor Wendy Simon, the assistant mayor who is also in charge of the Liverpool Film Office, told the Mirror as follows.
“We are absolutely delighted that this huge production is taking place in Liverpool. We were one of many locations the production team were looking at, and for us to come out on top is a testament to the expertise, experience and enthusiasm of our Film Office, packaged with the stunning venues we have to offer.”
Simon also admitted that this isn’t the first time they’ve had this honor. She states that they have had many big movies filmed on their city streets, but that “without a doubt, J.K Rowling’s new adventure will cause a real buzz and re-emphasizes Liverpool’s reputation as one of the most filmed cities outside of London.”
She wanted the cast and crew to know that they would have a warm welcome when they come, and an unforgettably delightful experience.
It turns out that Liverpool is actually in high demand for filming this year. They are contracted as filming grounds for a television series and another film. “It really does go to show we are a city in demand,” said Lynn Sunders, manager of the Liverpool Film Office.
Aside from Redmayne, the Liverpool streets will be graced by such famous actors as Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol.
Filming should end some time towards the beginning of next year, and the Harry Potter prequel, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will be released in theaters all over the world in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.
[Image via Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images]