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EW Releases Photos and Details on Creatures from Fantastic Beasts
Posted by Megs

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As part of their Fall Movie Preview, Entertainment Weekly has released photos and descriptions of several creatures we’ll see in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Fans who have read the Potter books as well as the original Fantastic Beasts book will know a bit about these characters but now we have a little more context.

The Niffler
“Look something shiny!” That’s what’s going through the mind of a Niffler. The mischievous critter looks like a cross between a mole and a duck-billed platypus and loves anything that glitters. The Niffler will go after your jewelry and coins with burrowing and destructive ferocity. It’s treasures are stored in the pouch on its belly, which — like Hermione’s bag in the Harry Potter films — holds far more than seems possible. “One of the big inspirations was the honey badger,” Fantastic Beasts visual effects supervisor Christian Manz says. “We saw some great footage of a honey badger raiding somebody’s house with a completely insatiable desire to find food and nothing would get in its way.”

We’re told the sprig-like Bowtruckle can be difficult to spot in a natural environment, and that Newt has at least four of them: “The Bowtruckle eats only insects, and is a sweet and intensely shy creature, but extremely loyal, and it can be very handy to have around when there are locks to pick.” The Bowtruckle was also the toughest creature for the Beasts design team to crack, with 200 versions drawn until they decided on the final rendering. Star Eddie Redmayne says a Bowtuckle named Pickett is his favorite creature in the film. “Pickett has attachment issues, so Newt knows he shouldn’t have favorites, but like he loves Pickett to sit in his top pocket,” he says. “I felt for him quite badly.”

Here’s what we’re hearing on this one: “The Thunderbird is a large, regal avian creature native to the arid climate of Arizona. Its head is similar to that of an eagle or, in the wizarding world, a Hippogriff. Its multiple powerful wings shimmer with cloud-and sun-like patterns and their flapping can create storms. Thunderbirds can also sense danger. After rescuing a Thunderbird from traffickers in Egypt, Newt named him Frank and promised to return him to his natural habitat in Arizona.” Also, the Thunderbird is the sigil of one of the American wizarding school Ilvermorny’s student houses.

Swooping Evil
J.K. Rowling is a master at naming, well, pretty much everything, and this is one of our off-kilter favorite beast monikers: “Looks like a cross between a reptile and an extremely large butterfly, when at rest, the Swooping Evil lives in a green spiny cocoon. But when it spreads its colorful, spiked wings, it is strangely beautiful. It can be dangerous, as it is capable of sucking out brains, but, conversely, if properly diluted, its venom can be quite useful to erase bad memories.”

The Demiguise is “a primate-like creature that resembles a silver-haired orangutan with large, doleful black eyes. It has the remarkable ability to become invisible at will, and has precognitive sight, so the only way to catch it is to do something completely unpredictable. The Demiguise is fundamentally a peaceful beast, but it will give a rather nasty nip when provoked or feels threatened. Unfortunately for the Demiguise, its long, silky, silvery hair can be spun into Invisibility Cloaks, making its pelt highly valuable.”

This is the first semi-clear look at a very key creature who’s remained almost entirely obscured until now. “The Occamy is a plumed, two-legged, winged creature with a serpentine body, making it look like a cross between a dragon and a bird. It is hatched from eggs, the shells of which are made of the purest silver and worth a fortune. The Occamy is native to the Far East and India, and the size of its habitat matters a great deal, as the Occamy is choranaptyxic — meaning it will grow or shrink to fit available space.” Hmm, so what happens if you let one… outside?

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films
Bloomsbury Planning 20th Anniversary Celebrations for 2017
Posted by Megs

June 26th 2017 is the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Bloomsbury is celebrating this milestone moment with a year-long campaign, including special anniversary publishing and new projects with key partners. First up is brand new editions of the first book:

To mark the magical anniversary and share the excitement with fans old and new, Bloomsbury will publish four ‘Hogwarts House Editions’ of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin.  Each edition will feature the house shield illustrated on the jacket, bespoke extra content and stunning sprayed edges in house colours.

The British Library will also be involved in the celebrations with an exhibit on the Potter books:

Further celebrations are marked by a major partnership between Bloomsbury and the British Library. The British Library will curate and launch a brand new exhibition about the magic of Harry Potter, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s modern masterpiece and opening 20th October 2017. This will be the first British Library exhibition inspired by a single series of books by a living author. From medieval descriptions of dragons and griffins, to the origins of the Philosopher’s Stone, the exhibition will take readers on a spellbinding journey to the heart of the Harry Potter stories. The exhibition will showcase the history of magic across the world, using an extraordinary range of wizarding books, manuscripts and objects, and combine fascinating treasures from the British Library’s collections   with previously-unseen material from the Bloomsbury and J.K. Rowling archives.

Jamie Andrews, Head of Culture and Learning at the British Library, said: ‘The British Library is delighted to be working with Bloomsbury and with J.K. Rowling to mark the twentieth anniversary of Harry Potter, and to inspire fans with the magic of our own British Library collections.’

Rebecca McNally, Publishing Director and Editor-in-Chief of Bloomsbury Children’s Books said: ‘The British Library is a magical place for book lovers. They are the perfect partners for a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition exploring a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon, a thrilling celebration of magic and imagination with Harry Potter at its heart.

According to the press relase, there will be exclusive events and major competitions to mark this magical moment. More news on the exciting plans will be announced later in the year.

Filed Under: Books
Alison Sudol Describes Queenie in Fantastic Beasts
Posted by Megs

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Alison Sudol talks about her character, Queenie, in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

In the film, newcomer Alison Sudol plays the free-spirited Queenie Goldstein, who works a menial desk job at the Magical Congress of the United States of America, in the same department as her sister, Tina (Katherine Waterston). Like a some famous dark wizards such as Salazar Slytherin, she’s a Legilimens — a mind reader. But Queenie’s mind reading is rather different than the way we’ve seen the talent portrayed in the Harry Potter tales. When Severus Snape taught Occlumency to Harry, he used Legilimency like an attacking spell, attempting to breach a resisting mind. But Queenie is more like an antenna, always turned on, picking up the thoughts and feelings of everybody around her.

“She’s basically a complete and utter magical empath,” Sudol tells EW. “She’s able to read people — so it’s not just reading somebody’s thoughts. She’s can read into someone’s story, she can see people’s goals. And so even though she’s able to do magic with her wand, a lot of her magic is actually internal, which makes her a different type of wizard or witch. And she’s incredibly fun, playful, joyful, and free-spirited, kind and wise, and also has a sort of stillness about her because she’s always tuning into people, so she’s quite an interesting character to play — very vivacious and lively, yet very centered and aware.”

Filed Under: Alison Sudol, Fantastic Beasts Films
Bloomsbury Announces Tie-In Titles for Fantastic Beasts
Posted by Megs

Bloomsbury have announced today that they will be releasing a series of tie-in books for Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Both books, A Pop-up Gallery of Curiosities and Newt Scamander A Movie Scrapbook, will be published on November 18th to coincide with the film’s release. A full press release may be read below:

Bloomsbury Children’s Books has announced that Insight Editions, in partnership with Warner Bros. Consumer Products has awarded Bloomsbury the sublicense for several movie tie-in books for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

These high-quality, gift books include J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World A Pop-up Gallery of Curiosities, and Newt Scamander A Movie Scrapbook packed with pull-out extras.

Bloomsbury Children’s Publishing Director Rebecca McNally acquired UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Canada) from Insight CEO Raoul Goff. A Pop-up Gallery of Curiosities and Newt Scamander A Movie Scrapbook will both publish on 18 November 2016, the same day as the release date of the highly-anticipated upcoming film from Warner Bros. Pictures Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

McNally said: “These innovative formats are a wonderful book showcase for the wit and inventiveness of the films. We are very excited to have this opportunity to partner with Insight and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to publish brilliant film tie-in books for Harry Potter fans of all ages.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her screenplay was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.  The film is slated for worldwide release on 18 November 2016, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Filed Under: Books, Fantastic Beasts Films, JK Rowling
Fantastic Beasts Part 2 Release Date Set
Posted by Megs

Variety is reporting that a release date has been set for the second film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy. It is currently slated to be released on November 16th 2016, just over 2 years after the first installment. We shared last month that director David Yates said Rowling had already completed the screenplay for the film. Yates will also return to direct the sequel.

According to the press release:

The second “Fantastic Beasts” movie moves deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances.

Warner Bros. also states that “there is much more on the horizon, all highlighting that the global interest in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World in every medium is stronger than ever.”

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films, JK Rowling
New Fantastic Beasts Trailer Revealed at SDCC
Posted by Megs

A new trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them was revealed today at San Diego Comic Con. The trailer features a look at a LOT of new creatures that we’ll see more of in the film. All the main cast were in attendance for a panel at the convention.

You can also watch the question and answer panel thanks to a Facebook Live stream on the Fantastic Beats Facebook page! The panel includes David Heyman, David Yates, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrel, Eddie Redmayne, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler and Katherine Waterston.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released on November 18th 2016. Fans who live in the New York area can also buy tickets to see the film at Carnegie Hall on November 12th with an introduction by J.K. Rowling, Eddie Redmayne, David Yates and possibly more!

Filed Under: Fantastic Beasts Films

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