Archives for December 2016

Fantastic Beasts’ Seventh Deleted Scene Grindelgraves’ Vision in MACUSA Office


IR Interview: The Cast & Producer Of "Fantastic… by theinsidereel

Kelly Loomis has discovered a seventh deleted scene in Fantastic Beasts, one we learn about in an interview Colin Farrel, the actor who plays Percival Graves in the movie, did with ‘Inside Reel.’ He says:

[Graves] is probably a lot more tired from the burden of responsibility that he lives with and under than the film was allowed the opportunity to explore.

There was one scene that didn’t make the film that we shot where he was actually having a vision and he was cramped down in the corner of his office with his shirt off, just a vest on, sweating, and seeing something. And there was a vision.

It didn’t make the cut and I get why it did (sic), because it wasn’t about that, it was too distracting I think. But he is somebody who has physically and emotionally taxed himself for the good of wizardkind. He is somebody who has such a personally defined ideology on what he thinks is right and wrong with society. And these people are either great liberators or — and sometimes as well as great liberators — incredibly dangerous

Add this to the Six Deleted Scenes we have discussed already in ‘Unlocking Fantastic Beasts: Finding the Text,’ Part 3. They scene, according to Farrel, so we know it was in the “book” shooting script that was Rowling’s final after responding to at least three series of notes and revisions with Yates, Kloves, and Heyman.

Anyone want to guess where this scene appeared in the sequence of the story? Earlier than later, right? I am writing the “corrected found text” as Part 5B of Unlocking series. And what does what Farrel says about this scene tell us we didn’t know about Grindelgraves? Rowling confirmed by Tweet that Grindelwald was a seer “and a liar” and we’re left to wonder if she answered this question because of some disappointment that the film wasn’t released as written and shot. Stay tuned — or take your best guess in the comment boxes below!

Great find, Kelly Loomis! Thank you for searching and for sharing.

Finding the Fantastic Beasts Text, 5.3 — Jacob Kowalski: Is He Bigger than Newt?

fb435.3: Jacob Kowalski and the Missing Mildred Moment

Two of the six scenes that were cut out of the shooting script written by Rowling discussed in part three of this series (links to all the posts in the series are listed at the bottom of each post), turn on Jacob Kowalski, three if you include the Ilvermorny School Song segment in which his ad lib response is an important part. The No-Maj in the movie took a serious beat-down in the cutting room; we get a lot less Jacob in the film we saw in the theaters than Rowling had her in her final script.

mildredThe first and most important missing piece is his return to his tenement building after being turned down for a loan at the bank. His fiancee, Mildred, meets him there, hears his news, brushes off his story about meeting a wizard (I’ll guess that she thinks he’s drunk?), and returns his engagement ring. Yates and Heyman both say it’s a great scene, that it will be one of the DVD extras, but that it wasn’t necessary. They tell us it was cut because the audience doesn’t need any more reason to love Jacob.

The second scene that is cut was Jacob’s romp with Dougal the Demiguise in the Department store which Dan Fogler described as his re-make of the first Indiana Jones movie’s sequence where Indy is dragged around by a German troop carrier (it happens to be Fowler’s favorite film).

fb18I explained at some length the folly of cutting out the Mildred moment in part three. It neglects a core piece of Rowling’s artistry, what Lin Manuel Miranda calls her “mastery of the reprise” and we call parallelism or “ring scaffolding,” and all but erases the powerful echo reaching across the story from Mildred’s goodbye to Jacob at the start to Queenie’s hello at the finish. The story turn scene of Jacob alone in the MACUSA jail cell is the dead center moment of the film and highlights his transformation, beginning to end, like Dobby’s in Chamber of Secrets, as the point of the story.

Here I only want to add a neglected but more obvious pair of points. After the jump! [Read more…]

Finding the Fantastic Beasts Text, 5.4 — The Grindelwald-Credence Relationship

fb575.4: The Grindelgraves-Credence Relationship was Much Different in the Shooting Text

As detailed in Part Four of this series (links to every part of ‘Finding the Text’ are listed at the end of each post), the “original screenplay” published version of Rowling’s story and the movie as released by Warner Brothers was a shadow of the movie as conceived and first filmed with respect to the relationship of Grindelwald’s Percival Graves and Credence Barebones.

Instead of meeting in an alleyway, for example, they meet in a diner. The diner conversation includes open flattery of the confused young man by the suave elder and allusions to their past meetings for meals. Grindelgraves even gives the boy a magical flower, a Periculid, supposedly dangerous, he makes from a limp carnation. What seems icky manipulative homoerotic grooming in the alleyway is essentially a lovers date at the diner in the first shooting script version.

[This scene, we should note, is not cut as much as it was re-conceived and re-shot. The difference is that the screenwriter was almost certainly party to the changes made before shooting was wrapped and the editing begun.]

obscurus1The shooting script’s version of the film’s finale, too, reflects a more important relationship between Graves and the boy Barebone. In the movie we see, Grindelgraves come into the subway after Newt has been talking sympathetically to Credence-Obscurus. Both the LEGO Dimensions video game and book tie-in, A Character Guide, have Grindelgraves begging Credence’s forgiveness and telling him, not that he is a “miracle,” but that he is “beautiful.”

I apologize! You are beautiful, can’t you see, Credence? There is no need to hide. No need for shame. We’ve both had to hide what we want and who we are.

More after the jump! [Read more…]

Finding the Fantastic Beasts Text, 5.5 — Lumos and the Barebones Orphanage

5.5: The Original Story was Much More About the Barebones Orphanage

Lumos is a charity founded by J. K. Rowling, who pays all the foundation’s costs so that every donation goes directly to help children in institutional care join or re-join a family.

logo7Lumos (wearelumos.org):

Founded in 2005, Lumos provides help to institutionalized and disadvantaged children and works towards putting an end to the outdated social care systems, helping to move children from institutions to family-based care.

Its stated goal is to eliminate institutional orphanages by 2050. Rowling has said as recently as the fund raiser she did with Eddy Redmayne at the Fantastic Beasts premiere that the work and accomplishments she is most proud of are her efforts for and the achievements of Lumos.

jkr3Not the Hogwarts Saga or her Strike novels. Not the movies and theme park Golgotha Goliath Money-making Machine. Not her financial and evangelical political contributions or the significant charitable outreach she has made to cure MS and to help single parents. The efforts and achievements of Lumos are what J. K. Rowling is most proud of. This work to take-down institutional child care and serve families is what she hopes is her legacy, how we will remember her.

I think it fair to say that she is sincere in this. I wrote in 2010 and have said often since that Rowling would one day return to to the Wizarding World, despite her insistence that she would never write another Harry Potter novel. I qualified this prediction by saying she would only when her charity efforts required or she felt they would grow exponentially with a significant infusion of money only Harry Potter type projects could make her. It is not prophecy or guess work to think that her 2016 double-barreled return to Potter-dom was to advance the work of Lumos.

logo5She’s made some serious money in 2016, right? First, via Cursed Child promotion sans writing — the published text of the play written by two London wordsmiths was the best selling book of the year, a significant amount of which profits The Presence must have pocketed for having her name positioned predominantly over the actual authors. More, though, via Fantastic Beasts, from which Rowling profits as screenwriter, the fees Warner Brothers pays her, and whatever percentage she receives from book tie-ins, toys, and re-vitalized theme park attendance.

I think this return, prompted as it was by the 800 pound gorilla in Hollywood threatening to make a documentary out of textbook Fantastic Beasts (or so the narrative goes), was to help Lumos reach its Herculean goals. The most obvious pointer to that is how much Rowling did at the Film Premiere to raise money for and awareness of Lumos’ efforts.

fb42The film shows us this, too, albeit in decidedly, curiously muted fashion. There is an orphanage of sorts in the film, one run by the New Salem Philanthropic Society’s leader Mary Lou Barebone. She has three orphans she has adopted and seems to have a Fagin-esque soup kitchen and boarding arrangement for waif children that distribute NSPS literature.

An important premise of the film is that these adopted children are abused; Mary Lou does not beat Credence on screen with his belt, but he hands it to her and they march off-stage to what will clearly be his corporal punishment. It is his imminent beating that leads to the Obscurus attack that kills Mary Lou and Chastity late in the movie.

logo9The NSPS, though, and life in its service at the unfeeling orphanage are given much less screen time than, say, Newt and company chasing Niffler, Erumpent, and Demiguise babysitting Occamy. Rowling’s commitment to Lumos and Voldemort’s birth as a psychopath being in an orphange would make even the casual reader assume we’d get more of this workhouse-in-Oliver theme. Was it perhaps the subject of the “too dark” down-in-the-sewers first script that Rowling said made her wonder what was going on in her life when she wrote it? There are clues and story-holes that suggest it might have been. Read about them — after the jump! [Read more…]

Unlocking ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ Part Five So What? The Found Text & Its Meaning

fb7I have spent the better part of three days writing up the fifth and concluding part of this series of posts on ‘Unlocking Fantastic Beasts: Finding the Text’ and I have to confess to both bewilderment and some satisfaction. I am bewildered because every day, often several times a day, I have learned something new about the Fantastic Beasts screenplay and how it came into the form it has taken at last as the “original screenplay” and film. What satisfaction I am experiencing is consequent only to acknowledging that, short of a tell-all report from The Presence or the filmmaking trio of Yates-Heyman-and-Kloves, we’re never going to know the reality behind the public narrative and, because we will never see that explanation of the sausage making, what we do have is enough to be getting on with.

fb-script-shotThe goal of this investigation has been to arrive at a text that we can use for interpretation of the story, for speculation about where Rowling is headed, and for understanding of the work in relation to the author’s other work. That text is the shooting script, the third or fourth draft Rowling made in collaboration with the filmmakers, the work that existed before the filmmakers made their choices about how to reshape and to cut the story so it became a more conventional film experience. I think after the exercise of the last four posts in this series we have a much better grasp of what the shooting script contained. This fifth post is a summary of those findings and a beginning of the interpretative, speculative, and contextual examination this text will allow.

I sent a few friends a draft of this final post and only one responded. No doubt this was due in part to the Western Christian communities’ celebration of Christmas. I think, though, it was at least as much due to the great length of this concluding chapter. It’s much too long to have in one mammoth posting, so, to encourage comments on its various points, I am dividing it into ten parts and will put them up in batches over the next several days here. Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts as we go along. I will post a round up as well as a long version of it with all ten parts but that version will be closed to comments from readers.

f38811174This post is #1600 at HogwartsProfessor and marks the tenth anniversary of the site in its current WordPress weblog format. I am grateful for and am obliged to share my thanks to Travis Prinzi for reformatting and maintaining the site for years and years, to my fellow HogwartsProfessors Elizabeth Baird-Hardy, Louise Freeman, and Emily Strand, to our many Guest Posters, and most especially, you, the site’s readers. Without you, your interest and feedback, your kind support, none of this would have happened or been as enjoyable and as rewarding as it has been. Look for a post devoted to the anniversary in the New Year and for special events throughout the year to mark the milestone. Thank you again for showing up at HogwartsProfessor.

After the jump, Part 5A of ‘Unlocking Fantastic Beasts: Finding the Text,’ an introduction and review of what we were told in the film and its published form, the “original screenplay.” [Read more…]