“Crimes of Grindelwald” Set Visit: Stepping into Wizarding Paris
For those fans who were excited to see magical Gatsby-era New York City, wizarding Paris is unlikely to disappoint! And fortunately, we are likely to see a lot of the city since it seems the majority of the film will be set in Paris, once all the characters’ paths have converged here.
Much of the plot will take place in Paris, with many real and recognizable locations on show. Of course, the Eiffel Tower will make an appearance, as well as Place de la Concorde, a major public square where Tina, Newt, and Jacob will be reunited, and Père Lachaise Cemetery. Belowground, Grindelwald will host a rally in a grand amphitheater, while the infamous Parisian sewer network will set the scene for Newt to track down the mysterious Yusuf Kama – “a wizard [with] a mission,” according to director David Yates.
Before these pivotal events kick in, however, it is likely one of our first encounters with wizarding Paris will be the magical shopping street. It was implied by the cast and crew that one of the first characters to enter Paris will be Credence, as he joins a magical traveling circus. It would definitely create a nice parallel to the Harry Potter series if Credence’s first positive encounter with a hidden magical community is its major shopping street.
During MuggleNet’s set visit, we had the opportunity to explore this set piece, which will play an important part in immersing the audience into this new wizarding city, although, as Martin Foley, the film’s supervising art director revealed, it did feel oddly familiar…
We took our New York sets and stripped [them] all off, kept a lot of the scaffolding and the roads [and] repurposed [them]. […] For every one window in New York, we’ve got, like, three in Paris. […] Paris is so much more detailed [than New York].
This effort taken in the redesign was certainly worth it. To quote Harry, we wish we “had about eight more eyes” to fully take in every detail of this huge set. Walking along the cobbled street, we were treated to an eclectic range of new wizarding shops: K. Rammelle’s Enchantée, a colorful sweet shop, or confiserie; Monsieur Safin’s Chaudrons, bursting with bronze cauldrons; Cosmic Acajor’s wand shop, established in 1614, which displayed prism-shaped wand boxes; and Caston Mcaaron’s art nouveau-style Quidditch supplies. There were also signs with no shops attached, such as Le Corbeau Mystique, or “The Mystic Raven.” Of course, most of this detail is unlikely to make the final cut, but hopefully, the camera will linger a little on some of these aforementioned shops.
Similarly to MuggleNet’s visit to the set of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there were some elements of detective work, looking at road signs and posters to pick up clues, and one particular road sign piqued our interest. Rue de Montmorency, a street in the Le Marais quarter of Paris, is home to No. 52, the oldest stone house in Paris and the home of one Nicolas Flamel. We have now seen in trailers that Newt and Jacob will visit Flamel in his home, and given the proximity, it’s possible that these two will also visit the magical street.
It also seems the Circus Arcanus, of MinaLima print fame, will make an appearance as the circus that Credence joins. Most of the spare wall space along the street was plastered in posters for the Circus Arcanus, while a large tent-like structure at the end of the street hinted at its Parisian location.
Will Paris be the first time we see the circus in full swing? All shall be revealed in November.
Read the rest of our set visit coverage here.
Additional formatting provided by Madison Ford.