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Newt Scamander Won’t Always Be The Focal Point Of Fantastic Beasts Saga, Director Talks Grindelwald

Speaking with CinemaBlend about all things Fantastic Beasts, producer David Heyman teased that Newt won't necessarily be the focal point of the saga.

With both Albus Dumbledore and the great Gellert Grindelwald waiting in the wings, it’s not too difficult to foresee a scenario in which Newt Scamander, the brilliant wizarding prodigy played by Eddie Redmayne, becomes more of a supporting player as Warner’s Fantastic Beasts saga unfolds.

That’s a potential point of contention David Heyman touched on during an interview with Cinema Blend, revealing that Newt won’t necessarily be the focal point of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them across all five movies; rather, he’ll play an active role in the planned 2018 sequel, before David Yates and Co. begin to delve a little deeper into the Potter lore involving both Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s testing relationship.

Per CinemaBlend: “I don’t think [Newt will be at] the heart of all of them. I think he’ll be part — so will Tina, Queenie and Jacob — will be part of the next one.”

Indeed, the advent of Gellert Grindelwald, a fearsome wizard to be played by Johnny Depp, will herald some changes to the Fantastic Beasts set-up, after Yates revealed in a separate interview with /Film that the follow-up will shift the magical action to Europe and the French capital of Paris. It’ll also take place a full year after the events of the original movie, according to the writer-director.

Does it still take place in 1926 or does more time pass?

A little bit of time. Two years later. A year or two later, I should say, a year later.

So why decide to move it from New York to Paris?

Grindelwald is from Europe and it feels natural to take it to — and we’ve never been to Europe before. And Paris thematically, the second movie has a kind of romantic element about it. And if you’re gonna have a romantic element, it seems absolutely right to set a movie in Paris. So that’s one of the reasons.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been screening in theaters across the globe since November 18. Our review found David Yates’ budding franchise-starter to be an entertaining romp, “even if substance is a bit slight.” Its as-yet-untitled sequel, meanwhile, has been penciled in for November 16, 2018, and will feature a former flame from Newt’s past.

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Michael Briers