David Yates interview / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

You’re already set to return for the sequel, right? In Paris, I heard?

Yes, we’re prepping it. Yes. Yes.

Does it still take place in 1926 or does more time pass?

A little bit of time. Two years later. A year or two later, I should say, a year later.

So why decide to move it from New York to Paris?

Grindelwald is from Europe and it feels natural to take it to — and we’ve never been to Europe before. And Paris thematically, the second movie has a kind of romantic element about it. And if you’re gonna have a romantic element, it seems absolutely right to set a movie in Paris. So that’s one of the reasons.

Are we going to see these storylines converge with actual history from that period?

It’s too early to tell. I know Jo’s got it arc-ed out, and I know history is… She’s kind of, you know, the cycle of history and what happened up to and including the Second World War is, there’s I think there’s a possibility of going in that direction. But it’s really early to tell. I can’t really be too specific.

Okay, fair enough. When you’re watching the film, how much did current social or political issues inform this film? When you make a movie about an attack in New York, it’s impossible in this day and age not to think of 9/11. How much did you take that into consideration when you were putting this film together?

You are never totally able to absorb what’s happening in the wider world in a small way. It sort of refracts and reflects in the storytelling. As Jo was saying about the script when we were making the movie. Sometimes you don’t even do it consciously. You do it subconsciously as you’re putting the story together. Because you don’t make a movie in a vacuum. You’re part of this fabric of society and the fabric of history in that moment. And there are things that are happening outside your immediate world that you are influenced by and affected by and inspired or connected to. So it reflects in the work.

Yeah, I know for me one of the things that really stood out was that terror alert levels thing. I was like, I’ve seen that. I know what that is.

Yeah. Yeah. It feels resonant.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Witch

Last question. Can you talk a little about some of the deleted scenes we might see on the DVD?

Yes. The scenes we cut out, there are two scenes, two of my favorite scenes in the whole movie that I cut out. When I watched them with Mark, we reviewed the DVD extras the other day, and I said to Mark [Day], my editor, I can’t believe I’ve taken these out, I must be insane. But they feel right. When you see the movie, it’s the right thing to do. But when you see them individually, we go, why did we take that out?

One is Jacob coming home from the bank and he’s been refused the loan and Mildred, his girlfriend, is waiting for him. She runs up in the street to see him and she says, did you get the loan? And he says, no I didn’t get the loan. And she takes her ring off and gives it back to him. And she says, I thought you were getting a bakery and leaves him. It’s a really heartbreaking scene and Dan [Fogler]’s beautiful in it.

There’s another scene where Alison [Sudol] and Katherine [Waterston], in the case, sing the Ilvermorny song, the school song. I asked Alison would she write it, and she wrote this beautiful Ilvermorny school song. And they sing it together and the two boys, Jacob and Newt, they sit there and they watch. And as the girls perform this song, this ode to Ilvermorny, they slowly fall in love. They’re both beautiful scenes, but in the movie and in the momentum of the movie they didn’t quite work. So those two. And there’s more.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in theaters now.

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