When Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrived in cinemas back in 2016, there was never really any doubt it would be a commercial success. As a continuation of the blockbuster Harry Potter film franchise, David Yates’ film was as close as it comes to a guaranteed box office hit – but the real question was whether it would actually be any good.
Fortunately, it was. Penned by JK Rowling – author of the original book series – Fantastic Beasts felt like an authentic extension of the existing universe, even as it introduced us to new characters and environments. Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander proved a suitably likeable replacement for everyone’s favourite boy wizard, and the 1920s setting provided a fresh new spin on a world at risk of becoming stale eight movies on.
Fast forward two years, and a sequel looms on the horizon. Due for release in November, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald seems poised to enchant audiences all over again. Here are five major things we learned from the recent trailer.
It’s Easter this weekend, which means that most of us will have eggs on the brain.
Whilst the average punter will probably be hoping for conventional chocolate eggs in their Easter bonnet on Sunday morning, fans of film, TV, books and comics could be forgiven for having their sights set on slightly more…fantastical fare.
With this in mind, I’ve pulled together a list of the five greatest eggs across all of pop culture, to help fuel these (inevitably unfulfilled) Easter-related desires!
Considering all the time and money that goes into each and every major studio release, it’s pretty mindblowing how many movies are released to no fanfare, and then promptly forgotten.
2012’s Rise of the Guardians falls squarely under this banner. Despite being the product of DreamWorks Animation, boasting an all-star voice cast, and drawing on a popular series of children’s books as source material, it flopped at the box office, and – much like its invisible protagonist – you’d be lucky to meet someone who even knew it existed.
That’s a real shame, as thanks to its smart approach to a fun basic premise – Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost form an Avengers-style team to fight the Bogeyman – it’s actually a surprisingly sincere, heartfelt and entertaining adventure.
When the Harry Potter film franchise ended with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows back in 2011, a lot of fans still weren’t quite ready to say goodbye. Although many had already bid the Boy Who Lived farewell once before in the pages of the final novel of the series, it seemed that their appetite for further escapades set in the Wizarding World was far from satisfied.
In the years since then, creator JK Rowling has released a few tiny morsels that served to only feed this hunger – a tantalising opening chapter for a non-existent prequel novel and The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a collection of related fairy tales, both came out in 2009 – but it wasn’t until this year that Potterheads hanging out for a new, fully-fledged adventure were properly rewarded.
The first of these was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the two-part stage show epic that continued (and concluded?) Harry’s story. The second of these was Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first film in a new spin-off franchise, which – despite being set 70 years in the series’ past – looks set to ensure the future popularity of the franchise.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl’s birth, a man who was undoubtedly one of the greatest children’s authors of the 20th Century.
Dahl’s legacy can be seen today not only in the consistently strong sales his stories continue to enjoy, but also in the number of films that have used those stories for source material.
It’s fair to say Dahl had a rather dim view of many of the movies based on his works, many of which brightened up the darker undertones of his works or otherwise meddled with his tales of virtuous heroes and despicable villains.
The latest, Steven Spielberg’s take The BFG, scores points for its faithfulness to the source material, stunning visuals and top notch performances – particularly Ruby Barnhill as Sophie and Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant himself – but somehow, it ends up feeling like less than the sum of its parts.
Still, that’s not to say that Dahl’s novels can’t be translated to screen successfully, and here are five of the best, most whizzpopping and downright scrumdidilyumptious adaptations of the author’s works.