J.K. Rowling, Eddie Redmayne Hope 'Fantastic Beasts' Offers "Escapism of the Best Possible Form"
"Whether you're a Trump supporter or a Clinton supporter, you feel like an outsider right now," producer David Heyman said at the world premiere. "This story is about outsiders — tolerance, compassion and embracing those who are different to overcome the greatest obstacles."
At Thursday’s world premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling, Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight and the cast celebrated the Warner Bros. film — and its timely release.
“It’s an interesting moment of change on both sides of the Atlantic,” Redmayne told The Hollywood Reporter in reference to Brexit and the U.S. presidential election results. “But what I found most interesting about this script is its mixture of darkness, comedy and great heart. I found it incredibly moving. It’s escapism of the best possible form.”
Though Rowling, who penned the script, hopes the new film “gives people a couple of hours of respite from certain things going on in our world right now,” the author knows audiences will notice “real parallels with what’s happening in our world. There are questions about the appeal of anger and easy solutions, and how hard it is just to keep plugging away and doing the right thing.”
Producer David Heyman added, “I think whether you’re a Trump supporter or a Clinton supporter, you feel like an outsider right now. This story is about outsiders — tolerance, compassion and embracing those who are different to overcome the greatest obstacles.”
Directed by David Yates, the Harry Potter prequel stars Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander who travels to the U.S. for the first time.
The plot also includes vital messages about biodiversity, said Alison Sudol: “Newt loves them all: big and small, warty and fanged, strange and beautiful. We need to preserve the planet as best as we can now. And art is how great messages get through.”
And Carmen Ejogo highlighted the movie's takeaways on fear. “Don’t let fear dictate your choices,” she said. “Those that are living in fear and not allowing people to be truly themselves are the ones that are most destructive in this film, and the ones that bend to it also end up being destructive as well.”
Altogether, “people could use a little magic right now,” smiled Dan Fogler. “For those who need to escape for a while, this movie delivers.”
Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara was on hand to introduce the film, with Harry Potter alums Bonnie Wright and Evanna Lynch, as well as Richard Kind and Maura Tierney, in the Lincoln Center audience with their families. The evening continued with a decorated bash at the Central Park Zoo.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters Nov. 18.