Friday, 13 September 2013

Future Film Friday: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

July 21st 2007, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hardback novel went on sale worldwide.  Almost exactly 4 years later, the final film was released, and a whole generation went into mourning.  For 10 years we followed the boy wizard's every move, devouring each of the seven novels and booking advance tickets for the release date of each of the eight films. I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone when I was eight years old, eighteen when the final book came out, and I was a loyal devotee through till the end.  As much as I still adore reading and finding new, unknown stories to tell everyone about, I don't think anything (or anyone) will ever capture my imagination quite as much as those seven books, because I grew up with them and with him, and I won't ever experience that again.  I both eagerly anticipated and dreaded both the final book and then again the film, because whilst I was dying to know what happened, I couldn't bear it all ending and having to face the realities of being all grown up.  So I was thrilled yesterday when I heard the news yesterday.

Anyone who may have missed it, J.K. Rowling has confirmed that she will be penning the screenplay for a new Harry Potter spin-off - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Fans will already be familiar with this as the title of one of Harry's Hogwarts textbooks, but the film will focus on the book's author Newt Scamander and Rowling has noted that the film is neither a prequel or a sequel and will be set in New York, seventy years before Harry's story begins.

I truly think this is best choice she could have made regarding carrying on the wizarding world tastefully.  As much as I would have loved a series based on the tales of the Marauders, there are now so many fanfics whizzing around the internet that whatever she scripted would have either been cliché and expected or would have disappointed a lot of budding authors who had their hearts set on how they thought it should have been.  This way, she is continuing the magic, but with a character that has remained largely untouched by fans... that said, I am secretly hoping there is maybe a cheeky cameo from a known character, or even just a nod to the future story.

Here's a reminder of some classic HP screen moments: [source: Digital Spy]

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Let the countdown begin!

I wrote a while ago about the promotion for the first Hunger Games film ( but it seems Lionsgate has really kicked it up a notch for the second installment - Catching Fire - released towards the tail-end of 2013.

The official soundtrack song has been doing the rounds across various radio stations and the internet alike. It's called Atlas and it's the first cinematic offering from Coldplay, and generally their first anything in quite a while.

I like it! I like the way it slowly builds up, and then explodes, very much echoing the [SPOILER ALERT] plot.

Second juicy bit of enticement - Lionsgate, costume designer Trish Summerville and Net-A-Porter are all getting together to release 'Capital Couture' - a Hunger Games inspired fashion line.

Franchise fans will know how much importance is placed upon fashion in the books, so I think this is a really smart move and I cannot wait to see the range - however I must keep in mind that nothing I buy will make me look anything like Jennifer Lawrence.

More information can be found here -

Moving on at a slight tangent, but still sticking to the kick-ass-girls-in-dystopian-films theme, I want to talk a bit about Divergent.

I reread the book recently just to remind myself of the story, ahead of the film's release next year (the first time I read it, I read Delirium by Lauren Oliver straight after and then devised some kind of hybrid plot for both and got myself very confused). I'm glad I've read it again though because it's reminded me just how brilliant it is and now I cannot WAIT for the release!

There's a lot of scenes that I'm looking forward to, I won't say which ones for fear of ruining any surprises but there's a lot of pressure on the writers to keep all the good stuff in. I'd forgotten just how dark it was, more so than Hunger Games in my opinion (which is a big claim against a film about kids murdering each other) and a lot of really interesting locations (I'm thinking most about the chasm in Dauntless headquarters). I absolutely love the way Veronica Roth writes, she really knows how to write for her market, which is probably because she is so young (she was younger than I am now when she wrote the first book which means I have totally failed at life!)

I have mixed feelings on some of the casting, some characters are exactly as I imagined - Zoe Kravitz as Christina and Ashley Judd as Mummy Prior - YES, and I think Kate Winslet will be great as Jeanine. I'm reserving my judgement on Theo James as Four - he's certainly hot and tough enough, but looks a little old for his 18 year old character? I'm sure he will prove me wrong, which I sincerely hope as I don't want anything to alter how awesome this film has the potential to be!