Dialogues with David: Yates and Heyman Talk “Crimes of Grindelwald”
With the premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald creeping ever closer, we’ve gotten interviews from almost everyone in the cast. However, there are two important members of the Fantastic Beasts family who don’t always appear on TV or in magazines: producer David Heyman and director David Yates. These two play a major role in creating the magical world we love to see on-screen, and although most of their work takes place behind the camera, they do occasionally step out to give their perspectives on the films.
Yates is a wizarding world veteran, this being his sixth film in the franchise. He says the magic has not faded, nor has his excitement for Crimes of Grindelwald:
This is my eighth motion picture, and of the six films I’ve directed in this particular series, I would say this is my favorite, next to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part Two. It was good to be invited back into the wizarding world with the first Fantastic Beasts film. You put a family together when you set a film up, and its success in 2016 gave us the opportunity to come back together again and to explore how we could build on what we had established with film one. With a sequel, you’re reunited with people you love working with, and we all shared an ambition for what this series of films can deliver for a global audience.
It’s no surprise that Yates also has immense respect for the original creator of this world, J.K. Rowling, whose work he’s proud to bring to life yet again:
She’s incredibly inventive yet rarely precious; she’s interested in the best and most interesting way to get her story to the screen. And she is very down-to-earth, despite her global success. Above all, it’s fun and enjoyable working with her.
This film is certainly a departure from the others Yates has directed, with a darker tone and new characters to explore. Jude Law’s casting as a young Dumbledore was one of the most surprising of these developments, but Yates assures us that Law was perfect for the role:
Jude Law brought a warmth and a wit to the role of Albus Dumbledore. That’s quite a pair of shoes to fill for any actor, and I felt from our auditions that Jude would bring something very special to this iconic character. [He] has charm […] and I could see Jude and Johnny [Depp] working well opposite each other. This first story only hints at and glimpses their past relationship. Future films will explore it more fully.
Johnny Depp’s casting was heavily debated, but David Heyman remarked on how easy and cooperative the actor was on set for his debut as Gellert Grindelwald:
Johnny was great. You know he arrived on set on time. People said that wasn’t always the case for us. He was on time; he came to play. He loves Jo and her work and made that clear from the beginning. He had opinions. He wanted to try things, was a real collaborator, and he had a humility. He didn’t come pumping his chest saying ‘It has to be this way!’ No, no no. He came in service of Jo and Jo’s work. He did it because of Jo and his adoration of her and her work. And he was a pleasure.
No matter your opinion on this controversial casting, Heyman has made it clear that Crimes of Grindelwald will subvert expectations of this dark figure. Yates agrees, saying that this film has been a labor of love and that he’s excited to show it off to the world:
We really make these movies to entertain audiences, and if they are successful, it means we have succeeded in that goal. […] A lot of love and attention to detail is poured into every moment of these films by everyone who is working on them; we all feel the responsibility of telling these stories in the most beautiful way possible.
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hits theaters in a matter of days, so we’ll see just how beautiful it is on November 16!