Ellie from Buzz Feed gives us some insights to The Crimes of Grindewald. Personally love #19!
If, like me, you’re a huge fan of J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world, you’re probably super excited to see the next instalment of the Fantastic Beasts series, in cinemas this November.
The Statute of Secrecy may have been in full effect, but they did reveal a ~few~ secrets about the upcoming film. Here’s what I learned…
1. The sequel is much darker than the first Fantastic Beasts, but still has elements of the lightness and magic that we expect from the wizarding world.
According to both producer David Heyman and star Eddie Redmayne, The Crimes of Grindelwald plays more like a thriller than continuing the light, comedic tone of the original.
“It’s dark, it’s got an energy to it and a seriousness to it,” Redmayne revealed. “And yet it has all the kind of, the lightness and the wonder that [J.K. Rowling] delivers as well. What I find amazing is that she manages to weave these different genres together.”
2. The film begins with “a very powerful, dynamic action sequence” in which Grindelwald escapes from the American wizarding authorities.
3. Since the end of the first film, Credence has made his way to Paris, and a lot of people are looking for him, which is what leads so many of our characters to the French capital.
Katherine Waterston, who plays Tina, explained why her character’s relationship to Credence is so intense: “Her Achilles heel — the thing that kind of makes her throw the rulebook out the window — is a person, particularly a young person, in trouble, in need … There’s something almost of an obsession I think she has with Credence. She feels very responsible for him.”
4. We get to see Tina take more of an active role in the fight against Grindelwald – and the “damsel in distress” dynamic we saw in the first movie may be reversed.
Speaking about working with the stunt department, Waterston explained: “Everything we develop with the stunts is so connected to who these individuals are, what they would be capable of, you know, and kind of communicating their background in the action. With Tina, we’ve explored the sort of defensive moves she would have learned training as an Auror.”
5. And Newt has unwittingly become a bit of a celebrity since the end of the first film, thanks to the publication of his book.
“He’s not someone that’s particularly comfortable with human relationships anyway, and suddenly his book has come out, which is of course what he was most passionate about,” Redmayne said. “But the book, while informing people about magical creatures, has not necessarily had all the effects he had hoped for … He’s wanting to get back to New York. He’s wanting to find Tina. But he’s been grounded in London and unable to leave.”
6. There are elements of Newt’s character that were improvised and influenced by Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of him in the first film.
According to Redmayne, J.K. Rowling was open to the actors improvising and playing around with their characters within the framework of the story.
“I think it’s one of the most amazing things that someone with such brilliance also encourages people to take her work and run with it,” he said of the author.
7. Newt has an apartment in London with a secret basement that’s basically an extension of his famous case.
The film’s production designer, Stuart Craig, and senior art director Christian Huband revealed that the basement — which Rowling intended to be “a hospital for magical creatures” — extends to an impossible depth and contains all the creatures from his case.
Newt enters the basement via a cupboard under the stairs, and the staircases are reminiscent of those at Hogwarts. According to Craig, that was intentional: “Newt went to Hogwarts. As he did this spell, he’s channeling his inner child.”
8. He also has an assistant named Bunty (played by Call The Midwife star Victoria Yeates), who is obsessed with Newt’s work and maybe a little infatuated with him.
“What was amazing is you only see a bit of their screen time together in this film, but Jo wrote us an entire backstory for her,” Redmayne said of the new character. “She is kind of completely obsessed with his work, and she’s incredibly English and incredibly sweet and probably a bit infatuated with Newt in a way, and he has no idea.”
9. Even though we know they end up together thanks to the foreward of the Fantastic Beasts book, which came out in 2001, Newt and Tina’s relationship will be a “slow burn”.
“At the end of the last film it’s just the beginnings of something,” Redmayne said of his character’s relationship with Tina. “In this second film, through a load of miscommunication, they don’t start off together. And then two people who are seriously incompetent at articulating emotions are trying to find each other.”
10. We get to see Hogwarts during two different periods in time – in the 1900s, when Newt was a student, and in the 1920s.
When asked whether the Hogwarts robes would be familiar to fans of the Harry Potter series, costume designer Colleen Atwood explained they’ll be be slightly different than what we’re used to.
“These robes are a different fabric and they have a more kind of pointed sleeve, so they look earlier,” she said. “We actually have two periods in the film, we have an early 1900’s and 1920’s with the robes. I changed the style of the clothes underneath — the clothing underneath reflects the time period, and the robes are classic.”
11. The filmmakers screen tested a few actors for the role of Dumbledore, but Jude Law was the standout choice.
“It’s such a pivotal role — pivotal to the series going forward, but also significant because he’s a much beloved character — and you want to make sure that he sits comfortably within this universe,” producer David Heyman said when asked about Law’s casting. “We had him do three or four scenes, and it was clear, Jude stood out and he was right. He’s so charismatic, which was important for Dumbledore. He’s mischievous, he’s got a twinkle in his eye, and his chemistry with Eddie was palpable.”
12. And while Dumbledore is popular with his students, he’s very different as a young man than the Dumbledore we know and love from the original series.
Atwood explained why Dumbledore won’t be wearing the elaborate, purple-ish sweeping robes we see him wear in the Harry Potter films:
“I changed [his costume] to a softer, more approachable kind of teacher vibe with greys and soft tones … He was not such a high-ranking wizard at that time. He’s a young professor that all the kids liked because he was kind of cool and approachable and open to outsiders and people with different gifts. So Jude wanted to humanise him a bit.”
13. We’ll be treated to even more nods to the original series now that more familiar characters and settings are being introduced.
For example, it was announced in October that Brontis Jodorowsky would be playing the role of famed alchemist Nicolas Flamel, and we got our first look at him in character in the trailer released last month.
In a nod to the first Harry Potter book, the Philosopher’s Stone makes an appearance in Flamel’s home — but, according to prop maker Pierre Bohana, it’s not the same Philosopher’s Stone that was used in the Harry Potter film, because the material the stone is made out of “tends to deteriorate”.
14. That being said, there are some props from the Harry Potter movies that do make an appearance in Fantastic Beasts.
The magical silver instruments found in Dumbledore’s office in the original films, for example, make a cameo in the new film.
“We made some new pieces playing on his interest in astronomy, but also from the [Warner Bros. Studio] tour,” Bohanna explained. “We’re able to bring out a couple of pieces that were in his office from Potter, and actually bring those back into his classroom. It’s lovely to be able to put a little bit of lineage in something that he’s taken with him.”
15. Since so much of the film is set in Paris, we get some interesting insight into the French wizarding world, including the Parisian version of Diagon Alley.
French wizards have to go through a magical statue to get to the street, and just like Diagon Alley it includes a wand shop, a place to get Quidditch supplies, an apothecary, and a sweet shop.
16. As well as scenes filmed in MACUSA and a return to the British Ministry of Magic, there’ll be a lot of action within the French Ministry, also known as the Ministère des Affaires Magiques.
According to Katherine Waterston, there are a lot of “shenanigans” that go on inside the French Ministry, and most of the characters will be seen there at some point.
17. The visitors’ entrance to the French Ministry is reminiscent of the telephone boxes used to get into the British Ministry of Magic.
“There’s these little drinking fountains all over Paris, they’re called Wallace fountains,” explained senior art director Christian Huband. “It’s one of those that they walk up to in the square, and when they get up to it, this elevator forms in the roots of the tree around them. What’s nice about that is whenever you see a Wallace fountain in Paris now, you can think, ‘Is that the entrance to the Ministère des Affaires Magiques?'”
18. Sometimes Ezra Miller goes to dinner by himself in character as Credence, and ends up freaking out waiters.
Miller explained that he’ll often spend time in character when he’s alone, particularly when he’s travelling in between filming.
“When I take on that identity in the world, it often elicits sympathy from folks, namely waiters are often very concerned,” Miller laughed. “Sometimes I’ll go as Credence and dine alone, and I’ve had a couple of waiters try to start conversation with me in a way that seems placating and worried.”
19. And most importantly, we’re going to get to see Niffler babies.
“It’s so funny having a fifteen-month-old baby,” Eddie Redmayne joked. “Like, they are causing carnage in a way that I feel like I can really relate to.”