So I said this last week in another Look Forward To… post for Marvel’s Dr. Strange, but November comes bearing gifts this year, so here I am doing my job of presenting them to the eager world.
Today we speak of a very polemic release that has yet, for some reason, been quite ignored in mass media: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Ok, so J. K. Rowling is big (who doesn’t know that?) but with the recent release of The Cursed Child to pretty good overall success we should probably say that she is big “again.” Reason why it comes as no surprise that this movie was finally made. Now, kids, I must confess. Neither The Cursed Child nor Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them have me jumping up and down of joy per se. Don’t get me wrong, I am as much a Harry Potter fan as the next girl, but I just don’t believe in milking the loyalty of your fans using their love for a series that (let’s face it) has nothing more to it, only to make money. Which is, I’m afraid, all this movie is going to be about. But anyways, let’s not be judgmental before actually judging, shall we?
What is it about?
The Wizarding World has moved to North America! Newt Scamander is a wizard researcher who studies and rescues magical creatures, sometimes going so far as trapping them in his mysterious (magical!) leather case with none the wiser. He arrives at 1926 New York set on this noble task when his secret is accidentally discovered by Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj (American form of Muggle) who opens his magic case and sets Newt’s creatures on the loose. Now, Newt, with the help of Jacob, underappreciated American Auror Tina, and Tina’s sister and roommate Queenie, must set to find and re-capture Newt’s creatures before they hurt themselves or the unsuspecting humans of New York.
Why you should give it a shot?
Alright so, first, let’s get casting out of the way: Eddie Redmayne. This guy you might know from hit 2012 musicale Les Misérables, 2014’s The Theory of Everything and 2015’s The Danish Girl. What do all these movies have in common? Easy, they were all Academy Award Nominated movies. Except for the error of judgement on his part called Jupiter Ascending, Eddy Redmayne can normally be trusted to deliver a stellar performance. His portrayal of world-famous scientist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, earned him an Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award all in the Best Actor category, for his incredible rendition of the ALS-riddled physicist.
Another notable figure is Colin Farrell, who will portray an Auror and the main antagonist in this particular movie. This man I think deserves no introduction as he has been part of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters such as Alexander, Total Recall and Minority Report. It will be interesting to see this action blockbuster star explore yet another type of role with this movie.
Now, for our second reason I present you with a question:
What did you love about Harry Potter, the characters or the world?
Could you have one without the other?
That is basically what Fantastic Creatures asks you. You have the spells, the wands, the hippogryphs… But no Hogwarts, Ministry of Magic (not even Muggles apparently!) and most importantly, no Ron, Hermione or Harry. There is no doubt J. K. Rowling is a master at World Building, and now she is overseeing the entire process from the Screenwriter’s and Producer’s chairs! Her personal involvement, coupled with the stunning effects Warner Bros company can fund, this film is sure to be something to behold. However, it remains to be seen whether the Wizarding World alone can hold its own in the eyes of the fans, and Fantastic Creatures seems like the perfect test for that. Rowling’s last attempt at publishing, The Casual Vacancy, was not the most successful endeavor for the world-famous writer. Perhaps, if Fantastic Creatures holds its own against the eager, voracious minds of the Harry Potter post-ending fans, she might just go back to the world she created and bring us some more magic to love in the future (I’m crossing my fingers for a Marauders’ Prequel series right here!).
Just for that alone, this writer hopes Fantastic Creatures ends up being the biggest blockbuster of 2016. Amen.