‘Harry Potter’ producer David Heyman talks ‘Fantastic Beasts’

David Heyman

David Heyman

Three weeks ago we shared with you that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would be penning the screenplay of a film based on her Harry Potter-tie-in book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the initial announcement we learned that the film would be set around the character of Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts” and set 70 years prior to the Harry Potter series, in New York.

Over the past few weeks, the Internet has been a frenzy with news and rumors surrounding the upcoming film, and while on the media circuit for his new film GravityHarry Potter producer David Heyman has shared some interesting information about Fantastic Beasts.

Yesterday: David Heyman to produce ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptation

While speaking to EW this week, David Heyman said that although Rowling has not turned in a finished script just yet, she is “‘at work'” with the project, and is “tremendously” excited about it.

According to EW, the producer said, “She’s not doing it for any other reason other than she loves the world and she had a story that she wanted to tell…” He reminded us, however, that this is not Harry Potter, meaning it does not follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but that it is a separate story in the same universe. When asked specifically about which creatures we might see in the film, Heyman said, “We follow Newt on his adventures.”

At the end, Heyman also commented on the amount of backstory that Jo has for her characters, saying that “…Jo’s knowledge of [the Harry Potter world] is infinite.” This is proven on Pottermore, in her exclusive content entries, and we’re sure that even the Pottermore content isn’t all.

David Heyman also spoke to Vulture about possible actors to play Newt in Fantastic Beasts. Here’s the list of names Vulture suggested to Heyman, and his comments, direct from the article:

  • Dev Patel (“He’s a really good actor,” Heyman agreed.)

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster, despite the fact that he’s playing another character named Newt in The Maze Runner (“I know him, he’s excellent.”)

  • Jack Gleeson, who’s said he wants to go into academia after his reign as King Joffrey on Game of Thrones ends, but perhaps could be convinced to play an academic instead (“How old is he?” Heyman asked. “Newt is a tiny bit older.”)

  • Bret McKenzie, who is much older, but can play younger (“He’s really good.”)

  • And if they wanted to promote from within, Harry Melling, who originally played Dudley Dursley but has thinned out considerably as he’s grown up, which is why he was wearing a fat suit in Deathly Hallows (“He’s a really good actor, and I love his work, but that’s a little more difficult because he’s been Dudley.”)

This is clearly not the end of Fantastic Beasts speculation and news, and we’ll be keeping you updated on the film over the coming months (and years!).


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