J.K. Rowling has admitted that the rise of populism around the world influenced the plot development of Fantastic Beasts, according to the New York Times. The Harry Potter author admitted that the story of the upcoming franchise has been influenced by the rise of populism around the world in the past few years.
Speaking at a news conference in New York City, J.K. Rowling described the creative process of making Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them happen. The film, which is a Harry Potter spinoff set 80 years before the events described in the Harry Potter franchise, has four sequels in the works.
As it turns out, J.K. Rowling drew inspiration from world events in recent years. The novelist says xenophobia, authoritarianism, and oppression are the main themes of the Harry Potter prequel, which hit theaters on November 18, 2016.
— April Spivey (@a35362) January 16, 2017
J.K. Rowling's latest film is based on the author's guide of the same name published in 2001. The film is centered around Newt Scamander, portrayed by Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne, a wizard who studies magical creatures.
J.K. Rowling takes the main character to New York City of the mid-1920s. The author depicts the city with economic inequality and an intolerant government. Rowling insists that real-life global events influenced the xenophobia, authoritarianism, and oppression described in the story.
"I hope when people see the movie, they will understand that it grew out of things that are very important to me in the world at the moment."
— Mashable (@mashable) January 24, 2017
J.K. Rowling, who is not a fan of U.S. President Donald Trump, could be referring to the Republican president's surprise victory last year and his controversial inauguration last week.
In fact, Yahoo News reported that J.K. Rowling posted a cutting tweet on Trump's inauguration day in which she accused the new president of "malignant narcissism."
The comment came as a reply to a tweet from journalist Terry Moran.
Trump says no POTUS ever had inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial. But GWB, Obama both did. Why make a claim so easily disproved?
— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) January 19, 2017
It's either malignant narcissism, or a hitherto undiscovered form of inauguration-based and triggered amnesia. https://t.co/YhmPhi5hJ6
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 20, 2017
In June of 2016, the Harry Potter author penned an essay in which she wrote Trump has "the temperament of an unstable nightclub bouncer."
There were reporters who tried to get a word on Trump from J.K. Rowling during the news conference, but the 51-year-old novelist declined to comment on Trump's recent victory.
"Today might be a day to concentrate on some good things, and putting some good things out into the world."
J.K. Rowling invented Quidditch after a row with her then boyfriend. pic.twitter.com/4o0nwgdtmV
— Harry Potter World (@PotterWorldUK) January 17, 2017
J.K. Rowling also says "a dark force" depicted in Fantastic Beasts is a reference to the rise of populism in the modern world.
"I conceived the story a few years ago, and I think I was partly informed by a rise in populism around the world."
J.K. Rowling wasn't alone at the press conference, as stars of the cast – Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol – were all present, according to People magazine.
J.K. Rowling also revealed what it was like returning to the magical Harry Potter world. Saying that she is excited for Harry Potter fans around the world to see the new film, the novelist said that she doesn't know which Harry Potter characters might come back in future sequels. It has since been revealed that a young Albus Dumbledore will appear in the second Fantastic Beasts movie.
— Stacey Cole (@SC83Inquisitr) January 19, 2017
J.K. Rowling admitted that she does her best "not to focus too much" on what Harry Potter fans may think about the films. While there are high expectations from J.K. Rowling to let fans once again dive into the magical Harry Potter universe, the Fantastic Beasts cast felt another kind of pressure.
Members of the cast felt the growing pressure of entering the world that is so beloved and admired by millions of fans around the world. Ezra Miller, who plays Credence in J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts, admits that he was even "scared" at first.
"I'd like to say that I was scared because as a big Harry Potter fan, I felt like I was running the risk of being compelled to loathe myself."
[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]