In a matter of weeks, we'll be returning to J.K. Rowling's cinemagical world when Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hits theaters. Not long ago, we learned that not only would this budding franchise span five movies, but the immediate followup to Fantastic Beasts would be set in a different city this time around. The latest report on the subject of Fantastic Beasts 2 reveals that the story will head back across the pond, but not to London or anywhere in the United Kingdom for that matter.
Bonjour, Newt Scamander?
Empire Magazine's December issue is out, and included near the bottom of the cover story was a nugget of info about Fantastic Beasts 2. The sequel to the first film will apparently be taking Newt Scamander to Paris, France.
Pause for a Beauxbatons sigh of politely glamorous glee...
From what Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them director David Yates had to say on the matter of the sequel, it sounds like J.K. Rowling has big plans with the followup. "Ambitious" is the word Yates used, also noting what sounds like an uncharacteristically ruffled reaction from production designer Stuart Craig when he got a look at Rowling's screenplay...
It's quite ambitious. Stuart [Craig] is unflappable and indefatigable, but when he saw the script for Beasts 2, he said, 'Let me just think about it for a minute.'
Based on what we've seen from Stuart Craig from all eight Harry Potter movies, and the glimpses we've gotten of 1920s New York City (and that amazing MACUSA set) in Fantastic Beasts, something tells me he's up to the task of bringing magical Paris to life. Still, what exactly is in that script that made him take pause?!
There's still a lot we don't know about Fantastic Beasts 2, and it's almost hard to speculate on it right now, before Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them hits theaters. Nevertheless, Paris would certainly be a magnificent setting with no shortage of amazing locations and landmarks, any one of which could have its own part in J.K. Rowling's ever-expanding history of magic. The Eiffel Tower, the arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and -- a personal favorite of mine -- Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, to name a few of the more obvious potential stops.
Will Paris be the only location for Fantastic Beasts 2? Empire doesn't say. And while we might assume Fantastic Beasts 2 will be set immediately or not long after the first film, that has yet to be confirmed. The first film will see Eddie Redmayne's magizoologist character traveling to New York City in the 1920s. His intention is a quick trip as he collects and studies magical beasts, but when things go awry, he ends up there for a bit longer.
J.K. Rowling has hinted that this movie is part of a bigger story being told, which is why talk of a Paris setting is particularly intriguing. Trailers for Fantastic Beasts have hinted that Gellert Grindelwald -- Dumbledore's former best friend-turned-nemesis -- is on the rise and tearing up Europe. The growing theory is that Grindelwald could be the film series' big bad. That's not confirmed, of course, but the topic of Grindelwald does seem to be coming up more and more, which is giving us hope. Given the time period, and Grindelwald's reputation for dark wizardry, it would make sense. Newt's return to Europe could very well put him in the path of Grindelwald at some point. We'll have to wait for more information on that front.
In the meantime, what do you suppose Parisians call non-magic people?
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them arrives in theaters November 18.