The Goldstein Apartment

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The Pottermore Correspondent has released another teasing insight into the world of Fantastic Beasts – this time with a brief glimpse into Tina & Queenie’s New York apartment, before the whole set is taken down.

I’m standing in Tina and Queenie Goldstein’s apartment, 20 minutes before it gets knocked down.
That’s the devastating thing about movie sets: they’re made to look like the perfect, permanent realities of the characters we get to know. But actually, the moment they’re done filming on a particular set, it’s flat-packed and put in storage. It feels brutal somehow, to a sentimental lass like me. Or to Alison Sudol, our Queenie.

‘I hate to think it’ll be taken apart! I love it in there so much,’ she says, softly, woefully. ‘It gave me insight into Queenie that I hadn’t had before. I’d imagined her life in my head but to walk around in it was really something: to see what was cooking in the kitchen… it was like being in a friend’s house. You know how you’re like, “Oh wow, okay, that’s so your art, those are your things, you like this kind of butter, or whatever.” You understand somebody on a very intimate level when you’ve been in their home and I loved that.’

Right now, right here, standing by Queenie’s bed, I see exactly what Alison means. This is where the Goldstein sisters are best put in context. Every inch, every tile, every velvet pillow, every label on every product on every shelf has been planned and put in place to invoke their characters.

It’s humble and quaint and warm in that sweet way a woman’s first home as an adult can be. It’s modest but lovely.

A set of peachy lingerie is laid out on Queenie’s bed, next to some fashion magazines. Tina’s bed is next to a sensible row of books and some discarded flyers.

‘It’s so nice to have all the books by Tina’s bed and have that environment that says so much about her. It feels like she lives there,’ says Katherine Waterston, our Tina. ‘What’s so great about the production team is that you get an idea in your head and they can manifest it. This is one of my favourite locations of the whole movie.’

There are signs of normal young women’s existence too: little packets of bobby pins and beauty creams on a bathroom vanity, laundry at the foot of the bed.

When you scan the space (or sit on the end of Tina’s bed and breathe deeply, like you’re trying to absorb every detail with all five senses) you get an almost subliminal sense of magic being present. And also a very strong sense of the Goldstein sisters. It’s wonderful… and it’ll all be taken down in about 14 and a half minutes.

 

Yesterday, May 18th, marked 6 months until the release of the first Fantastic Beasts movie in cinemas this November.

Posted on May 19, 2016


Privet Drive Grand Opening

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Thanks to Warner Bros Studio Tour London, we were lucky enough to be at the official grand opening of Number 4, Privet Drive in the Tour backlot.

This event gives visitors a chance to step inside the hallway of number 4, and peer into the Dursley’s living room, for a limited time only. Due to it being the Studio Tour’s 15th anniversary of the release of Philosopher’s Stone, the living room is decked out in hundreds of Harry’s Hogwarts letters.

More of this can be seen in our gallery from the event:
          

 

Special guest Fiona Shaw (Petunia Dursley) was on hand to cut the ribbon and officially open the door to Number 4, Privet Drive:

During the event, you also get to see the mechanism used in the first Harry Potter movie to fire all Harry’s letters into the Dursley’s house:

 

Check out our gallery to see everything else on display in this fantastic new event, but don’t forget it’s only open for a limited time (May 27th – June 6th) so book your tickets now by clicking here!

 

Posted on May 12, 2016


Ilvermorny Houses Revealed

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Thanks to Ian, we now know the names of the four Ilvermorny school houses. For those of you who’ve forgotten, Ilvermorny is the name of the North American Wizarding School which Porpentina and Queenie attended (the American equivalent of Hogwarts). The names of the houses are :

1)Horned Serpent

2)Wampus

3)Thunderbird

4)Pukwudgie

 

Not only this, but an Ilvermorny sorting quiz is in the makings on Pottermore:

Someone on Reddit started digging through Pottermore’s source code recently and discovered a javascript file that runs the sorting quizzes on the site. The code has a reference to an upcoming “Ilvermorny Sorting Ceremony,” and it names the four houses. Hypable has verified that the following code lives on Pottermore’s servers

 

The four houses are named after ‘fantastic beasts’, and, while we havn’t come across the Horned Serpent or Pukwudgie yet, the Thunderbird and Wampus Cat were already revealed to us during J.K Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America” stories.

Posted on May 8, 2016


Fantastic Beasts Event In Japan

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Tomorrow, April 28th, Warner Bros Japan will be hosting a Fantastic Beasts event which they say will be showing brand new footage. The event will be hosted at the Shinjuku Piccadilly theater in Tokyo and starts at 7:30pm:

Advanced ticket with special poster will be sold and participants who cosplay and buy the ticket at the venue will get pressbook, but the ticket is limited to 1000.

First 1000 arrivals can get special card with backstage pass to the Japanese premiere where you get to meet the cast. On August 1st, the winner will be announced.

First 200 arrivals can join the screening of new footage and the lottery to win tickets to the Japanese premiere.

 

It’s also worth noting that a Japanese Fantastic Beasts premiere is currently planned, but not officially decided on:

 

The winner will be the one person. Per winner for one person, backstage pass will be of two people present. (1 set for 2 people invitation)

Japan event date and time is undecided, but it is scheduled for November. Members of cast & staff is undecided.

For various reasons, the premiere coming to Japan may be canceled. Please be forewarned. In that case, we will guide you separately present content.

 

 

Thank you so much to HPInfoJapan for letting us know about this (and translating!)!

If you plan on attending tomorrow night, do get in touch with us on Twitter!

 

UPDATE:

It seems the footage shown at the event was what had been previously shown at CinemaCon, but with an added voice-over from Dan Fogler and Alison Sudol for the Japanese fans. As well as this, some of the fans received a ‘goody bag’ with a copy of a poster signed by Eddie Redmayne with a special message to the fans there. These can be seen in our gallery:

Photo credit to HPInfoJapan, HP&FB Fankoudukiryu0109HarukaProtego and muuuutsuki114.

Posted on April 27, 2016


Fantastic Beasts Screenplay Being Released

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Pottermore have just announced that the Fantastic Beasts screenplay will be released as a book (just like Cursed Child) this November – the date is set for the 19th, the day after the movie is released in cinemas:

As the excitement for Fantastic Beasts continues to build, we can now reveal that J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut will be published later this year.
A new book from J.K. Rowling is always a good reason to celebrate. But this year will mark the first time the author has published a screenplay, which you’ll be able to buy as a print edition from Little, Brown (UK) or Scholastic (US and Canada), or as an eBook right here on Pottermore.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them follows the exploits of magizoologist Newt Scamander in 1920s New York, and the screenplay will be published on 19 November – hot on the heels of the movie’s release on 18 November (as if you don’t have that date in your calendar already!)

The news that J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut will be published comes in a very exciting year for the author, who has also collaborated on the new stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Keep your eyes on Pottermore for all the latest updates on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Details on how to pre-order the screenplay are coming soon…

 

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This news comes just a week after Pottermore removed Fantastic Beasts from their online shop.

Will you be queuing up to buy the new book at midnight? Let us know on Twitter!

Posted on April 26, 2016


Stuart Craig Describes the MACUSA

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Pottermore have released a new interview from the set of Fantastic Beasts, this time with production designer, Stuart Craig. He describes the MACUSA, which we see a lot of in the movie:

The building that houses the Magical Congress of the United States of America is about as imposing as Gringotts bank. It’s vast and grand. Covered in gold, emerald, maroon and black. Swarming with witches, wizards and Aurors on magical business. It’s the American equivalent of the Ministry of Magic, so expect similar levels of ominous grandeur.

To give your imagination a head start, we asked production designer Stuart Craig to describe exactly what you see when you walk inside. Stuart worked on all eight Harry Potter films, bringing J.K. Rowling’s locations to life with Legilimens-like accuracy.

‘When you enter the MACUSA building, you come up a flight of stairs to the main lobby…’ he says.

‘Above you, in this 750-foot-high building, there are no floors. There’s just a giant cathedral-like space with hundreds and hundreds of windows. The first things you’ll see, probably, are the phoenixes. They’re forty-foot high! Big gilded phoenix sculptures, covered in gold leaf. They’re rather splendid, actually. They’re the work of our principle sculptor, Bryn Court. We are extremely fortunate to have someone so skilled on our team.’

Bryn, like Stuart, is a revered Harry Potter creative. He was responsible for making the Whomping Willow, the Riddle headstone and the gates of Hogwarts, among other things. And his architectural work on Fantastic Beasts is equally breathtaking, as Stuart can attest.

‘In the middle of this vast space, there’s a huge memorial to the witches of Salem. J.K. Rowling wrote it into the script. The witches in the memorial are bronze sculptures, slightly larger than life. They stand in amongst the crowd, if you can imagine, so people can walk through the memorial and right by the witches.’

Every statue represents someone who lost their life during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Having this memorial inside MACUSA proves how profoundly that event affected the magical community in the world of Fantastic Beasts.

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Pottermore Set Report #5

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The Pottermore Correspondant has once again released a small inside-look at the makings of the Fantastic Beasts movie. In this piece, they were on set while the cast and crew were filming the Gala scene (also partly filmed in St George’s Hall in Liverpool) where chaos ensues and stunts are needed:

Send a journalist to the set of a film every week for six months and she’ll come back with hundreds of observations. In this case, a surprising number of them are about cheese.
Hollywood executives have always talked about ‘making magic’ in movies. But they’re generally talking about the figurative, sensory magic of telling a story in moving pictures.

On the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, we’re talking about making actual magic. Spells, beasts, curses. Wizards, witches, wands. Rogue magizoologists in yellow striped scarves, holding bottomless suitcases. It’s more difficult than ever, really, to know what’s real and what’s not. Especially if you’re a journalist who – full disclosure here – has never made a movie.

Before the movie comes out in November, I’ll be revealing a few showbiz secrets. But be warned; some of my methods of investigation are a little uncouth.

‘Is this Brie real?’ I ask an extra on set, sinking my index finger into a gooey wedge of cheese that’s been sitting on a plate all day. ‘Ah, yes. I can confirm that the Brie in this scene is very real. Have I just ruined the whole movie by denting the cheese? I assumed it was plastic.’

‘Are the plates real, though?’ comes a voice from below. It’s Mitch, who’s in charge of stunt props, crouching on the ground repairing a split wine glass. He’s grinning like the cunning master of deception he is.

I’m pretty sure the plates are real. I touched them earlier. I touch them again now, just to be sure. They’re not real. While I was distracted watching Jon Voight climb a staircase, the props team switched the genuine china plates out for stunt plates.

When the stunt in this particular scene takes place, Mitch tells me these specially constructed plates break cleanly and deliberately – to create the illusion of destruction in a safe, controlled way. I look at him as though he’s just pulled a coin out from behind his ear.

This is not the first time these movie-makers have fooled me with their clever, safe stunt props. Did you know they hollow out books to make them paper-light? That they take a heavy object, make a resin mould of it and then create a light version out of different materials? That some of the tables are made of wood so light you could lift it with a finger?

They make all sorts of fake things that look like reality: bookcases that won’t crush Eddie Redmayne, bricks that won’t graze Colin Farrell’s face and furniture that won’t injure Dan Fogler.

It’s obvious, when you think about it. Of course there are stunt objects. They’re not going to smash real china in the general vicinity of Ezra Miller’s real face. But have you ever stopped to think about it, till now?

So, what do we learn from this? First off, Jon Voight is definitely in the vicinity for the Gala scene (though perhaps he climbed the stairs out of harms way) where either someone casts a spell, or a creature gets loose. Secondly, so is Ezra Miller’s character, Credence.

Why is Credence at the Gala? Is he there on Second Salemers business with his mother? Or is he the one behind the destruction and that’s why Graves (Colin Farrell) catches up with him later in the diner scene?

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts and theories over on Twitter!

 

Posted on April 21, 2016