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Liverpool to provide backdrop for Potter prequel

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The filming locations for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ have now been confirmed and Liverpool is on the list.

The film will star Eddie Redmayne as the film’s protagonist Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the book from which the film’s title is taken, and shooting will start in Liverpool in just a few weeks.

According to the Liverpool Echo, “Liverpool is the only non-studio location that Warner Bros. Pictures is using for the film, with shooting starting soon at key city centre locations.” It has also been reported that crew have been spotted preparing shooting sites at St George’s Hall and near the Three Graces.

While the film, which is one of three new Potter-franchise movies, will be set in JK Rowling’s hugely successful wizarding universe, the events of the films are said to be focussed on a time 70 years before the story of Harry Potter takes place.

If you don’t know, this is a story about Newt Scamander. Newt is a wizard, adventurer and the Magizoologist who wrote the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. It’s the greatest book on the subject of magical creatures in the wizarding world, written entirely from experience (think of him as a combination of David Attenborough and Bear Grylls, but a wizard) with an introduction from Albus Dumbledore. Harry Potter and his mates studied the book at Hogwarts, but they wouldn’t have met Newt, largely because his adventures take place decades before they were born.”  – The Pottermore Correspondent

Newt Scamander’s story begins in 1920s New York, and Liverpool will be playing host to this.

This is not, however, the first time Liverpool’s similarities to New York have been exploited on the big screen. In 2011, Stanley Dock was used to film scenes set in Brooklyn, New York, for Marvel’s Captain America: The First Avenger.

The film series will continue to be handled by Warner Bros. and the first Fantastic Beasts instalment is being directed by David Yates, who was also responsible for the films comprising the second-half of the eight-film Harry Potter franchise. Yates also shot parts of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 in Liverpool.

With Harry Potter author JK Rowling writing the screenplay, the main production team is made up of Rowling herself, David Heyman, who produced all eight Harry Potter instalments for the big screen, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram, who was executive producer to Yates’ director on the last four Potter films.

In addition to Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, the cast list for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to include the likes of Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Samantha Morton, Ezra Miller, and new-comer Faith Wood-Blagrove, who won the part of Modesty ahead of 25,000 others at open auditions.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is due in cinemas in November 2016.

 

(Article Image Credit: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP via The Guardian)

Cecily Sheppard

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