After the NYC premiere on Thursday of the first installment of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, it was announced that the franchise (which in October was extended from a trilogy to five films) will officially have David Yates committed to directing all five films. J.K. Rowling is also planning to write all five screenplays, with this first film being her first screenplay ever.
David Yates has already directed four of the Harry Potter films, so it comes as no surprise that Warner Bros and J.K. Rowling trust him to yet again capture the magic of the fictional wizarding world in this spin-off series.
Set in the 1920s, the film series will feature protagonist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who in the Harry Potter books was known for writing the 1927 textbook ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’, as he returns home to NYC from his global expedition collecting and cataloging magical animals and creatures. When Newt accidentally allows many of his specimens to escape, he is joined by Jacob (Dan Fogler), Credence (Ezra Miller), and Tina (Katherine Waterston) as he tries to recapture the foreign magical creatures. The cast also includes Colin Farrell, Zoe Kravitz, and Jon Voight. It was also announced last week that Johnny Depp will be featured in this film, but will have a lead role as Gellert Grindelwald in the second installment.
At the NYC premiere, Redmayne spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about the film and the recent US election, saying “It’s an interesting moment of change on both sides of the Atlantic. But what I found most interesting about this script is its mixture of darkness, comedy and great heart. I found it incredibly moving. It’s escapism of the best possible form.” Producer David Heyman also added, “This story is about outsiders — tolerance, compassion and embracing those who are different to overcome the greatest obstacles.”
At a press conference on Thursday before the premiere, J.K. Rowling also hinted that the young Dumbledore portrayed in series will be ‘openly gay’ saying “You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man… We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned… watch this space.” But don’t get to excited; the character of Young Dumbledore is confirmed to be introduced in the second film, not the first.
The film will be released next week on November 18th.