“Fantastic Beasts” Roundup: The MACUSA President and the Search for Ilvermorny
Things have been quiet in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them camp recently. Filming finished at the end of January, and since then, we’ve been impatiently waiting for any further updates. In our last roundup, we learned about Eddie Redmayne’s personal Eddie Case.
Since then, we’ve learned a little bit more about the history surrounding the film and the wizarding world in 1920s America thanks to Pottermore. Over this week, Pottermore has released four new pieces of writing by J.K. Rowling about the “History of Magic in North America.”
In the new pieces, we were excited to learn about magic in the 1920s. The piece on history in the 1920s, featuring the four wandmakers of America, was released yesterday, Friday 11. In the piece, we learn about the role of magic in the First World War, as well as the continuation of strict rules that keep the wizarding world separate.
We learn about MACUSA’s move to New York, something that of course affects the Fantastic Beasts film.
After the Great Sasquatch Rebellion of 1892 (for full details, see Ortiz O’Flaherty’s highly-acclaimed [sic] book Big Foot’s Last Stand), MACUSA headquarters was relocated for the fifth time in its history, moving from Washington to New York, where it remained throughout the 1920s. [The] President of MACUSA throughout the decade was Madam Seraphina Picquery, a famously gifted witch from Savannah.
We also learn that Ilvermorny, the American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, had been founded over two centuries ago, and
was widely considered to be one of the greatest magical education establishments in the world.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to learn anything more about Ilvermorny, but hopefully, we will soon. We are intrigued to find out how the school went from two students and two teachers in a hut, to one of the best magic schools in the world!
To find out more about wands and the wandmakers of America, read the full piece here.
In other Fantastic Beasts news, Total Film, a British film magazine, released its latest edition (March 11), which features a glimpse at the film.
Jo was on set and has been an incredible support to us. We’d run concepts by her, she’d give her thoughts and we’d adjust accordingly. She certainly was aware of all the lead casting choices before we finalised them.
On Newt and casting Eddie, he says,
Newt is someone who communicates better with his creatures than he does with people. He’s a Brit who finds himself in the US, and the [A]merican magical universe is different [from] the British one. Eddie was our first choice. He is very good at playing characters that are out of step, as it were, and bringing to them a real heart and compassion. He has a desire to bring truth to every moment. He’s very charming and appealing to men and women alike. And he’s a timeless actor, so he fits perfectly into 1920s New York.
Heyman also comments on the beasts in the film.
They’re all going to be digital. These are extraordinary creatures. I don’t know how they could do this practically – as wonderful as animatronics are, you can’t get the detailed movement or flexibility that you can with the digital universe.
We’ve done a lot of research on movement and look because we wanted to make our creatures grounded. They should seem like they really could exist, so they’re not just pure fantasy.
“Fourteenth Century-Eighteenth Century” History
Eddie Redmayne on immersing himself in the role of Newt Scamander
Interview with Colleen Atwood, Fantastic Beasts costume designer
The latest episode of MuggleNet’s Fantastic Beasts podcast, SpeakBeasty
Hungry for more?
Make sure to keep an eye on Pottermore – hopefully, we’ll learn more soon – including the answer to the question on everyone’s lips: Just where is Ilvermorny?
— Pottermore (@pottermore) March 11, 2016
What was your highlight from this week’s roundup? What are you hoping that we learn next? Let us know in the comments!