Many questions have been raised since Warner Bros. first announced plans to repackage Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for the big screen. Chief among them was how could the studio engineer a prequel spinoff that had the ability to stand on its own, all the while retaining some ties to the overarching Potter universe.
That’s a conundrum director David Yates has addressed in a new interview with Empire magazine. In case you missed it, Fantastic Beasts is the current cover star of the outlet’s latest issue – featuring a rather majestic Thunderbird, no less – and today brings forth two new images for the November release. One offers up a peek behind the scenes, while the second features a rather sombre Ezra Miller (The Flash) in 1920s New York.
Circling back to Yates’ comments, when quizzed about the creative process behind Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the long-time Potter stalwart revealed that Warner Bros. opened up “a completely blank canvas” for the magical offshoot.
“It was a completely blank canvas,” he tells Empire. “But rather than being daunting to me, it was a wonderful opportunity to define the tone. While part of the same universe as Potter, it’s a much more grown-up world,” he explains. “And this time the hero is not a schoolboy, but an adult.”
What’s interesting is that, whereas the Harry Potter movies were targeted at a younger audience before getting progressively darker as the years wore on, Yates believes that Fantastic Beasts is rooted in a “much more grown-up world.” That’s a world that harbors a crippling fear of the wizarding community, too, with the normal population of New York City referring to themselves as No-Majs. Imagine the chaos, then, when Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander accidentally loses control of a briefcase crammed full of bizarre critters.
Come November 18, Warner Bros. will unleash Fantastic Beasts onto the big screen and, with it, the building blocks to a brand new movie franchise.