Alison Sudol Co-Wrote Ilvermorny School Song

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Pottermore have today confirmed that Alison Sudol (Queenie) co-wrote the Ilvermorny school song with J.K Rowling:

 

‘I wrote the melody and Jo wrote the lyrics,’ said Alison. ‘So, we co-wrote the song, which is wild!’

Alison is a singer-songwriter as well as an actress, and the school song was a combination of her own songwriting talents combined with J.K Rowling’s original lyrics.

The song didn’t make the film’s final cut, but the deleted scene was revealed earlier this year at A Celebration of Harry Potter in Orlando. You can watch the scene, performed by Alison Sudol and co-star Katherine Waterston, here.

Director David Yates said he loved the scene, but it wasn’t quite right for the pacing of the final film.

‘I got Alison to write it because Alison is a really gifted songwriter’, said David. ‘But the momentum of the storytelling at that point was starting to drag a little bit. And I just thought, as delightful as it was, it stopped the movie.’

Here are the lyrics:

We stand as one united
Against the Puritan
We draw our inspiration
From good witch Morrigan
For she was persecuted
By common wandless men
So she fled from distant Ireland
And so our school began
Oh, Ilvermorny-Massachusetts
We choo-choose it
We choo-choose it
The wizard school supreme
Your castle walls, they kept us safe
The days with you, a dream
You taught us all our magic
And now one thing’s quite clear
Where’er we roam
Where’er we roam
Our one true home
Our one and own
Is Ilvermorny dear

Unlike Hogwarts’ more idiosyncratic school song, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts, the Ilvermorny school song makes references to the founding of the institution – which you can read about in ‘Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ by J.K. Rowling.

‘Morrigan’ is the nickname given to Isolt Sayre, the seventeenth century founder of the North American wizarding school. Isolt was actually a descendent of Morrigan, another famous Irish witch.

As the song alludes, Isolt escaped to North America and eventually founded the school that one day Tina and Queenie Goldstein would attend – and then sing about.

Posted on March 28, 2017


Cast Talk About Their Characters

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Pottermore have released a new interview with the cast in which they discuss their characters and how Jacob is the heart of the film:

Eddie Redmayne believes his co-star Dan Fogler is the ‘heart’ of Fantastic Beasts.

Speaking exclusively to Pottermore, Eddie said, ‘The brilliance is that Jacob is the heart of the film. The task he has in every single scene, having to react to something new, is a very delicate thing.’

Dan plays the film’s No-Maj character, Jacob Kowalski – an aspiring baker who gets mixed up in Newt Scamander’s adventures in 1926 New York.

Eddie even compared Jacob’s stunned reactions to the wizarding world with Leonardo DiCaprio’s performances as Hugh Glass in The Revenant.

‘I always say it’s like Leo DiCaprio in The Revenant. The amount of times that character has to wake up half-dead and then be able to make that continuously riveting even though he has to go through the same circumstances. I felt like it was exactly the same with Dan and Jacob’s reactions. He made it look so easy.’

The rest of the cast, along with director David Yates, also reminisced with Pottermore about the characters, in celebration of Fantastic Beasts release on DVD and Blu-ray today in the UK.

‘What I loved about the first script is the sort of whimsical innocence and charm of some of it,’ David mused. ‘I always felt like these characters were almost like grown-up children, in a way.’

Dan Fogler said it took him a while to get to grips with playing the No-Maj (Muggle) character Jacob and confessed he initially suffered from ‘wand envy’.

‘I had wand envy’, Dan said. ‘I’m a Star Wars fan and the philosophy I developed was that Han Solo wasn’t a Jedi and he was still pretty cool. So, I felt really great about being a No-Maj. Muggles get a bad rep but Jacob’s a really likeable, lovely, gregarious guy, and the part is just so fun.’

Alison Sudol, who played Queenie Goldstein, commended screenwriter J.K Rowling for also creating ‘inspiring’ female characters.

‘It was such a joy, because I had this base written and this character who has this depth to her because of her Legilimency,’ she said, referring to Queenie’s unique power to see into people’s minds.

‘I felt a huge responsibility to protect Queenie, because she has a combination of qualities that could very easily make her be viewed as weak, or as a bombshell. Or people could judge her on her physical appearance. I just thought about her all the time and found her really inspiring.’

Alison’s on-screen sister, Katherine Waterston, agreed. Waterston praised her character Tina’s ‘conflicting qualities’ and was keen to dispel the ‘strong woman’ trope so often used to describe nuanced women on screen.

Katherine said, ‘I was hearing a lot of talk about how strong women were, and I just thought, “I can’t remember the last time I heard a male character described as strong.”

‘I was so lucky to be able to contain those conflicting qualities in Tina. And I also love that the film didn’t really make a big deal about that – she just is. Sometimes she’s confident but it wasn’t like there was big violin music every time she was insecure. That’s one thing that’s amazing about Jo’s writing. She balances the fantastical element with characters that are very much grounded in reality.’

Posted on March 27, 2017


Ezra And Eddie Comment On Their Characters

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In an interview with Gay Times, Ezra Miller talks about his character in the Fantastic Beasts series, the Obscurial, Credence Barebone:

Among the new characters we are introduced to is Credence – played by Ezra Miller – who is a young wizard forced to repress his magical abilities in fear of being persecuted by no-maj (muggles/non-magical people).

“My approach to Credence was that he was someone who never got the love that they needed,” Ezra told Gay Times.

“He was also subject to this sort of violent indoctrination that made him believe that he was bad, and that stopped him from allowing the truth of who he is to arise to the surface.

“It seems like the character himself is sort of an exploration of the results of that type of trauma and that sort of repression, what happens when we don’t let ourselves be ourselves can actually be pretty sad and scary.”

Speaking about how outsiders are a consistent thread through J.K. Rowling’s work, Ezra agreed that he could relate to Credence’s struggle through his own experience of feeling “ostracised” while growing up.

“I experienced my fair share of bullying and teasing as a youngster with strange interests,” he told us. “I also had a speech impediment when I was a kid, which made me an easy target, because I was the Quirrell [from the Harry Potter films] on the scene.

“And when I started going through puberty and having sort of confusing feelings about wanting to kiss people [laughs]. So, yeah, there were moments in my life where I felt ostracised from my contemporaries or from my peers.”

Ezra added: “Those times are really painful, but, of course, also very formative because they prompt us to step outside of society and to look at the world with fresh eyes, which is why I think that so many of our great minds have been ostracised folks and disenfranchised people of the world.”

Also commenting on his Fantastic Beasts character, Eddie Redmayne spoke to the Telegraph:

“I’m in the hands of one of the great storytellers of the 21st century. Parts of Newt’s character began to be unpicked in the film, but I feel there’s a long way to go – and that in itself is intriguing.”

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Find Fantastic Beasts – Liverpool

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Today marks day one of the #FindFantasticBeasts challenge – a chance to not only win a copy of the Fantastic Beasts DVD, out today, but also two tickets to the second Fantastic Beasts premiere next year!

The competition kicks off in Liverpool at 9am today so get ready:

UPDATE:

The first clue has been released – if you know the answer, be the first to that location & you could win the fantastic prize!

 

UPDATE #2:

In record time, the first prize has been won! Congratulations to Emily!

 

 

Check back tomorrow as the #FindFantasticBeasts challenge heads to Edinburgh!

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Wizarding World of Harry Potter Japan Announces New Night Show

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Universal Studios Japan will, this Spring, reveal a brand new light show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which runs from April 21st 2017 right up until November 5th 2017.

(Concept Art for Illustrative Purposes Only)

On April 21, 2017 (Wednesday), just before the Golden week holidays, a large scaled night show will debut in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Guests will be immersed in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World as the students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry fight off Dementors who descend across the Black Lake for an unforgettable show that’ll leave fans surprised and excited. On the same day, guests can experience new Wand Magic in Hogsmeade village.

In 2017, Universal Studios Japan will offer a dazzling array of new attractions and entertainment that push the limits to bring more excitement than ever before for the 15th anniversary of Universal Studios Japan.

The night show in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will use magnificent projection mapping to bring the magic and wonder of Harry Potter to life in a way never before seen at Universal Studios Japan. The immersive show, that will leave fans in awe, unfolds above the Black Lake with Hogwarts castle serving as the backdrop and focal point. The incredible technology will brilliantly light up the night sky as Dementors fly ominously along the castle. The world of magic comes to life as never seen before. This immersive experience will make fans young and old tingle with excitement.

Opening on the same day as the night show, are new Wand Magic locations where guests can experience the joy of casting spells. Following the Magical Wand Map, guests can practice their magic throughout the land from the moment they encounter the Hogwarts Express conductor to when they approach Hogwarts castle. Wand Assistants are on hand to assist new witches and wizards as they try new spells.

You can book your tickets by visiting the official website!

Posted on March 16, 2017