“Entertainment Weekly” Reveals the Secrets Behind Its Newt Scamander Cover
There’s been plenty of information for us to digest this week regarding the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. We had the unveiling of Eddie Redmayne as Newt and plenty of other exciting information about the plot, characters, and beasts involved.
Today, Entertainment Weekly has released more information about details that might have been missed in its cover image of Newt Scamander outside the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) set. The article also has an interesting commentary by production designer Stuart Craig, who previously worked on all eight Harry Potter films. From the way that Stuart talks about the incredible set that has been created, it’s clear that the production is in good hands!
One of the many interesting details revealed (as seen in the picture above) is that the
four golden phoenix statues (two unseen) that bracket the MACUSA entrance, pay[ing] homage to those who died during the Salem witch trials – a major traumatic event in the history of American wizard and No-Maj (a.k.a. Muggle) relations.
Stuart Craig noted that
throughout, the magical world is grounded in the context of the Muggle world, born out of things familiar and real.
MACUSA is hidden away from Muggle view inside the Woolworth Building in New York. In 1926, this was the tallest building in New York – nothing like being hidden in plain sight! The MACUSA set created for the film at Leavesden is a vast 250 feet long and 50 feet high. But Stuart added that a vast ceiling would be created digitally to reach 700 feet, representing
an empty cathedral of light, a hugely impressive, brilliantly lit space.
Other things pointed out include Newt’s magical briefcase, which contains
a world full of rare and endangered magical creatures and their habitats, which can be hidden from curious Muggles – and U.S. customs inspectors – with the flip of a secret switch in the latch.
We also learn that Newt’s wand is purposefully very simple – and curiously contains no animal products.
A lot of thought has gone into the color of the set. The choice of the color gold was intended to
bring a richness to the decoration. Given that this is the seat of power of the government in the magic world, it’s appropriate that it is gilded.
Finally, there’s the MACUSA symbol itself, seen below Newt’s feet. The emblem is
based on the U.S. presidential seal, includes the etching of an American flag combined with an abstract phoenix.
It’s clear that every aspect and angle of the set and story telling has been thought out – as we’ve come to expect from the Harry Potter universe. As we learn more and more about the film, we can’t help but grow even more excited!
What do you think of all the details being revealed? What is most exciting to you? Let us know in the comments!