‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay’ by J.K. Rowling


“J.K. Rowling invites you to explore a new era of the Wizarding World…
Explorer and Magizoologist Newt Scamander has just completed a round-the-globe trip in search of the most rare and unusual magical creatures. Arriving in New York, he intends his stay to be just a brief stopover. However, when Newt’s case is misplaced and some of his fantastic beasts escape into the city, it spells trouble for everyone…” 

 As a huge fan of Harry Potter, I was really excited when I heard J.K. Rowling was releasing the original screenplay for Fantastic Beasts. Recently I’ve been experimenting more and more with my writing and have branched out into writing scripts so I’ve been trying to read as many examples of screenplays that I can so this came as a real blessing. I’ve always been a fan of Rowling’s writing and as someone who’s interested in the form reading this script really intrigued me.

The character of Newt Scamander is an especially interesting one and someone who I feel is perfect within the story. It would have been really fascinating and cinematically gorgeous to begin with Newt at the beginning of his travels and watch him explore beautiful lands and meet his creatures in their natural habitats. But instead Rowling chose to begin the adventure almost at the end, when Newt had already travelled the world and discovered his creatures. The interesting thing about this choice is that it then means that the new series will be less about Newts adventures with the creatures and more about his adventures in the wizarding world- especially as Rowling brings back the character of Gellert Grindelwald as the villain in this first installment.

Although, having said that, I think my favourite part of this new series was definitely the relationship Newt has with his creatures. The love and care that is so clearly there was particularly potent for me, as an animal lover, and really cemented him so clearly as the hero of the series. He may not have been able to save Credence but he didn’t hesitate to try and his deep concern for the innocents who could have been hurt, both wizard and creature, immediately endeared the character to the reader. The creatures themselves were fascinating enough to hold the attention and inspire awe in the reader so I did feel it was a bit of a shame that we didn’t spend more time with them. The scenes with Newt inside his suitcase were by far the scenes I felt were the most interesting and were my favourites in the script.

In fact, I really liked all of the characters in this story, especially Kowalski. I thought it was really refreshing to have a positive example of a major muggle character in the Wizarding world- especially considering the only other examples that stand out to me are the Dursleys. I really enjoyed the scenes with Jacob in, he provided a fresh new view of muggles (or no-majs) and it was nice to see him have a pivotal role in the storyline. I’d love to see him come back in any follow up stories especially if he and Queenie get together. I also really liked Tina and although it would have been nice to have a storyline that wouldn’t eventually rely on romance I can see that her and Newt at least fit together well.

All in all I did really enjoy reading this script and it definitely encouraged me to read more. I hope more and more screenwriters publish such beautiful versions of their work- I’m tire of having to read all my scripts off a computer screen.



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