‘Fantastic Beasts’ Producer Spells Out J.K. Rowling Story at U.K. Premiere: ‘It’s About Tolerance and Intolerance’

Helen Jackson
Variety

Magical chaos hit the blue carpet on Tuesday night at the European premiere of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”

Ripped from the pages of J.K. Rowling’s script, a sudden and saturating downpour fell upon a glut of unsuspecting muggles – better known in the U.S. as no-majs.

Rowling’s on-carpet incantations proved rusty. Her best spell to stop the rain failed when it was needed most, forcing the masses to resort to a roof of roaming umbrellas around the Leicester Square carpet.

Fresh from his 1926 expedition to a spellbound New York City, lead beast-loving naturalist Eddie Redmayne was enjoying himself, divulging his fanboy love of the wizarding world. “I used to go and watch the [Harry] Potter films for a J.K. Rowling hug every few years,” he said.

Joining the worldly wizard on the carpet came a new generation magical cast including Alison SudolKatherine WaterstonCarmen EjogoEzra Miller, and Dan Fogler. “Potter” alumni were still aptly represented however – faced by director David Yates, producer David Heyman and Warner Bros. U.K. head Josh Berger.

Heyman gave his insight into Rowling’s fantastically timely relevance when he stated, “She writes about our world, about outsiders, it’s about tolerance and intolerance. These are our issues. This is our world. These characters are us. I think that’s why it resonates in the way it does.”

Following the big screen wrap, guests headed eastbound to the Grand Connaught Rooms. Celebrating the resurgence of Rowling’s fantastical world, partying in a vast magical illusion set in 1920s Manhattan. One area of the party was themed after New York City Hall and subway, where some of the film is set.

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