We all knew that this whole "there not being Harry Potter" thing wouldn't last for long. Fans had not only grown in love with the characters for what's now almost 20 years, but they'd fallen just as much in love with the world itself. Sure, an actual Harry Potter story on film seemed unlikely -- at least in the immediate future -- but another story set in the Wizarding World seemed very likely. And it was.
Then Warner Bros. surprised no one when the revealed they'd be, in fact, be creating a spinoff film series. After all, WB had relied on Harry Potter to make them a sizable amount of cash for the better part of a decade. If there was an opportunity to prolong the franchise, you knew they'd take it. Couple that with author J.K. Rowling's enthusiasm to revisit the world she created, and you knew another film was inevitable.
We're now less than two months away from the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first film in a planned trilogy. Joining Eddie Redmayne as the quirky Newt Scamander will be actress Katherine Waterston in the role of Tina, a former Auror who works for the Magical Congress of the U.S.
In an interview with Collider, Waterston was asked about the pressure of having to follow Hermione as the lead female role in a Wizarding World film. Throughout all eight original Harry Potter films (not to mention the original books), Hermione was a character who resonated with many kids and adults alike, and managed to become one of the most iconic females in pop culture history.
"It never occurred to me to compare myself to her just because we’re both female, in any way. You know, they’re totally different characters and I don’t feel like I’m stepping into her shoes simply because I’m a woman. It’s just amazing to be a part of this world that means so much to people and I don’t have any problem with considering it in that way. It just never occurred to me to think of it in those terms and probably it would make me nervous at the thought of it (laughs) because she was so good in those films. So, I just don’t think about that."
Smart woman. At the end of the day, she'd benefit little from adding that pressure to herself. In addition, Hermione was a character who had the benefit of existing in a series of books prior to the films, and as such, audiences were given two opportunities to fall in love with her, whereas Waterston's Tina will only be given the one time. A comparison would be unfair.
That being said, J.K. Rowling is quite the talent, and given that she'll be the one responsible for the screenplay, there's no doubt that she'll make every moment in the film count. And speaking of Rowling, the outlet went on to asked about Waterston meeting the acclaimed writer, and what she thought about the Fantastic Beasts script when she first read it.
"Well, I just met her. So, that I can answer more easily probably ’cause that’s more fresh in my mind than the first time I read the script which is now like, seven months ago. But we all just kind of stared at her and smiled (laughs) Kinda dumbfounded to be finally meeting her and then, almost as soon as we started speaking to her, she started to do kinda what I imagined she would do and was hoping she would do when we met her which is just start telling us stuff ’cause she has this encyclopedic knowledge of this world. It really exists in her mind and to such incredible detail so, I just had to fight the urge to like pull her into a corner and just hog her about Tina questions ’cause I know she probably knows like how I skinned my knee when I was five or whatever. You know what I mean? Like, she just has that kind of detailed mind. And then when I first read the script I just thought it was beautiful. It was really moving and really didn’t feel like “Number Nine”. You know it didn’t feel like this sort of tired thing. It felt really fresh and new, which was what was so appealing about it to me. And also just moving and so, you know, now we just sit around biting our nails hoping that the movie’s as good as the script. ‘Cause we started off with a good thing which is a good, good way to choose projects, you know."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2016
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