Other Sources
1920s Blood status and prejudice Creatures History Love and friendship MACUSA Muggles

Fantastic Beasts Extended Featurette - Behind the Magic

"This time instead of a trio, I've got a foursome. There is a friendship that develops, that is the most important thing in the movie - that's what carries you on. "
-- J.K. Rowling

Rowling spoke about the creation of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in a promotional feature.

Interesting facts and notes

J.K. Rowling: I was in the Wizarding world for 17 years, and if you've been with something for 17 years, it doesn't leave you. I knew I was only going to write seven Harry Potter novels, but it's there, that world is still in my mind.

And, like I said, never say never, because I knew Warner Bros. might want to do something with Fantastic Beasts - which was the thing I was most interested in writing.

When Warner Bros. came to me and said, 'We'd like to do something,' I thought, 'Right, now I need to tell you what I've got.'

I always had a lot of backstory about certain characters, so I started writing what I saw as Newt's story.

You're learning about a part of magical history that's talked about in the Potter books, but you never see. Of all the characters in Potter, in the Wizarding world, Newt was the one who took on quite a bit of life in my mind.

The reason is that magic developed very differently in America, and there are Muggles who know about the existence of witches and wizards, and want to exterminate them.

So Newt walks into a situation which he doesn't understand at all. Something that has implications for the whole Wizarding world.

These people know magic is real, they know there are witches and wizards, and they are determined to expose them.

My heroes have always been those who will always say, 'I see how it is, but it doesn't have to be that way.'

Newt is an exceptionally broad-minded wizard, and that carries into his relationship with others. These sisters are orphans, they raised each other. Queenie can read minds, and Tina is a demoted Auror. Then you got Jacob - Jacob's a character I absolutely adore.

This time instead of a trio, I've got a foursome. There is a friendship that develops, that is the most important thing in the movie - that's what carries you on.

What looks like a case has become, effectively, a portable safari park for endangered species. You open it up, and there's an amazing spectrum of magical creatures.

When you stop to think about the people in the world of wizards, you immediately run across the problem of the beasts.

I love the bowtruckle! His name's Pickett, he's not quite fitting with his branch, which is the technical term for a lot of Bowtruckles.

We have met nifflers in the Potter books. They are odd little tumbling creatures who are attracted by anything shiny. Deceptively they are very adorable thieves, and create mayhem.

The erumpent's quite a fierce creature, almost an indestructible creature. David Yates, he injected it with a playfulness that I hadn't expected, which is delightful.

The demiguse can become invisible; you can make an Invisibility Cloaks from the powers of the demiguise - which is why they're hunted and endangered.

The occamy is chronatypsic [grow and shrink to fit available spaces], which is a word I invented. It's sort of a winged serpent, part bird, part snake. It lays eggs of pure silver. All of these creatures are endangered. They can't hide themselves, they don't understand they're supposed to hide.

Walking in and knowing I was about to see the sets, was so exciting. It's just something about an active studio that's electric, to an extent that - corny, though it sounds - it was like coming home.

I was thrilled David Yates wanted to do it. He understands the world and material so well. And David Heyman, you know, he was right there from the beginning. I couldn't really imagine doing it without him. There's nothing I dislike about that team; that team is amazing!

It's hard to express the child-like glee of walking into those rooms, those workshops, and seeing all of those things.

Although the title is Fantastic Beasts, to me, we're talking about beasts that are in everyone, and the way that we make beasts of others. It is such a dangerous thing to do, to draw a line around a group and say, 'You're wrong, you're inadequate, you're insufficient, and you should be treated thus.' That's at the heart of most of what I write. And it's certainly at the heart of this movie.

Some of [Grindelwald's story is] hinted at in the Potter books, some of it's told in the Potter books, but I'm getting a chance to tell that now.

Fantastic Beasts Extended Featurette - Behind the Magic
Abbreviation FB/BTM

Commentary

Editor:

The Harry Potter Canon