Few things have Harry Potter fans enthralled like the upcoming adaptation of J.K. Rowling's related work, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, so the release of the film's new trailer was met with unbridled enthusiasm. The entire event, which featured a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them panel of cast and crew, was primed with excitement from the very beginning. That enthusiasm reached a fever pitch as the film's star, Eddie Redmayne, made his way amid the audience to pass out magic wands to the unsuspecting crowd. From there, the raving crowd only grew that much more anxious.
The SDCC Panel Drops A Trailer For Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find ThemEddie Redmayne wasn't alone with his wanderings throughout the 6,500 member audience. The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Warner Bros. staff were assisting the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor, so it could be ensured that every single person in attendance received a wand. Eddie was later joined back on stage by a full panel, which included actors Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, and Dan Fogler.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them precedes the events of the Harry Potter stories and follows magizoologist Newt Scamander (Redmayne) as he makes his way to the Magical Congress of the United States of America, an event set in 1920s New York City. Adventure ensues when magical beasts flee from Newt's expanding briefcase and he is forced to scour the city in search of them.
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them panel revealed that J.K. Rowling penned the screenplay and has been involved in every aspect of production, right down to wardrobe. Rowling wants to ensure everything is perfectly in line with her vision, before it's committed to film.
"Nothing gets in front the camera before her checking it first," said Colin Farrell, who plays Percival Graves in the film.
Before the panel finished up their presentation, they gave fans the biggest treat of the day with the first look at their new trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Star Dan Folger On Creating J.K. Rowling's VisionDan Folger reveals that, while Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them does take place in the Big Apple, that's not where the film is being shot. The actor joked with Vanity Fair that he flew out of New York to fly to London, only to drive out to the Leavesden Warner Bros. studio, where 1920s New York has been recreated.
"It was incredibly surreal once the cameras started rolling; the horses were clopping along the perfectly crafted cobblestone streets, with the mist and smoke coming out of the grates and model Ts. I was in awe," says the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor.
Folger also reveals that these aren't false building fronts, as one might assume. He says the city has been reconstructed meticulously, adding that even the actors could find themselves lost in 1920s New York. Dan comments that it's entirely possible to step into a cafe and sit at a table or go browsing through one of the many shops. It might often seem like a ghost town, except when Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is filming, or when J.K. Rowling herself is roaming the streets and interacting with the cast.
"She said that Jacob was one of her favorite characters," Fogler says of meeting Ms. Rowling. "And [Jacob] reminded her of [Harry Potter's] Ron Weasley, who everybody loves. He's got a big heart, and they're kind of cut from the same cloth. That was really cool to hear... She was just bubbling and percolating with this new story that is encompassing her whole being, and she was excited to share it."
Dan says his Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them character serves as a kind of barometer for Newt and for the movie's audience, because, as someone who hasn't been initiated into the world of magic, Jacob helps to keep Newt bounded to reality. The character also gives viewers a focal point, a character to watch to judge how to interpret the events.
"Because I'm not familiar with magic, my reactions are very much how the audience would react to these things. I equate the character to Nick Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream. [Fantastic Beasts] is embedded in the classic fairytale themes," says the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them actor. "Just like Bottom, I'm a regular fun-loving guy who is very human, who gets pulled into this crazy adventure and who gets to play with the fairies and wizards and witches and creatures. It's very much like a dream."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will hit theaters on November 18.
[Image by Warner Bros.]