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– by Campbell Clark

With Fantastic Beasts 2 aka The Crimes of Grindelwald almost upon us, the production team has been on the promotional trail and us here at LRM were fortunate enough to attend a roundtable discussion with some of the cast and crew of the movie.

When discussing Fantastic Beasts, clearly everything comes at some point from the mind of Harry Potter creator and screenwriter of the Fantastic Beasts movies, JK Rowling. Producer David Heyman was asked how much Rowling’s scripts change throughout the process if at all. Here is what Heyman said.

“A lot. You know, both on the first film and on this one, there’s tremendous change from the beginning to the end. Central themes, central ideas, characters…A lot remains the same, but still it’s a natural development process. She’s a great collaborator, she worked very closely with David [Yates] and Steve Kloves who’s still involved, but not doing any writing, he’s just sort of guiding light in many ways. So there’s a lot of…It evolves and she’s also open to a discovery that happens on set leading to wanting to explore something else.”

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It must be a very different experience for Rowling writing scripts for a movie. As an author, her job was to pretty much make all the story decisions for herself, take her time and release the book when she felt it was ready. The movie business, of course, is a far more collaborative effort with tighter timescales and it is important to listen to the ideas of everyone else involved in a movie. Some of the best movies had ad-libbed scenes or actors making suggestions for how they feel their character might act in a certain situation. It is of course up to the writers and directors to decide when to listen to advice and when to carry on with the original plan. A good or bad movie can be born of the choices made in these decisive moments.

It seems from what Heyman says, that Rowling has fully taken this approach on board and is willing to make changes right up to and during filming. It’s not a change that all novel writers over the years have taken well when they get involved with movies. It’s certainly a very different approach to the Harry Potter franchise where Rowling was merely a consultant and her own work was being adapted for the screen by others.

Whether the Fantastic Beasts series can be as popular as that of Harry Potter remains to be seen. Personally, since these movies revolve around adults and not children, I am looking for something a little darker and more adult-themed, which I am not sure we got with the first movie. I’ll be catching Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald at theaters as soon as I can anyway, but whether I turn up as promptly for the other sequels may depend on how much I enjoy this movie.

Are you planning to see Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald on opening weekend or soon after, if not, give us your reasons? Sound off in the usual place below.

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