Will Fantastic Beasts retain the magic of Harry Potter? Will Fantastic Beasts retain the magic of Harry Potter?
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Will Fantastic Beasts retain the magic of Harry Potter?

Potterhead Lauren Mitchell explains why she’s looking forward to the latest film set in the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling.

When I first read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, I was 11 years old. I was sat in the corner of the school library, with my back against a radiator and my blazer over my knees, sucking lemon sherbets and giggling like a loon. As soon as I got to the bit where the Sorting Hat yelled “Gryffindor!” I was hooked. I felt like it had been written for me: this was a proper British boarding school escapade like Enid Blyton, but with magic, witches and wizards... oh, and there happened to be a character with mad, frizzy hair and buckteeth, whose nose was always stuck in a book and was a bit of a know-it-all. 100% me.

 

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on more. Whenever a new book was released, I was one of the first people through the bookshop door. I saw every film on the day it came out, some more than once – even when I got older and it wasn’t quite so cool anymore.

Will Fantastic Beasts retain the magic of Harry Potter? Check (out my) mate. Standing with a chess piece at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London.
When J.K. Rowling made her speech at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in 2011, my friends and I were clinging to each other and sobbing as we realised our childhoods were officially at an end. I never expected to experience the magic of the Wizarding World again.
Like many others, I grew up with Harry. In more ways than one: he changed as we did. Harry, Ron and Hermione’s experiences reflected the things we were going through – like when Harry first starts crushing on Cho Chang, or when Lavender and Ron are in the world’s most awkward relationship. Harry Potter has the most dedicated fanbase ever, and fandom can be a great thing: it makes you feel less alone, knowing there are other people out there who love the same things you do.

When J.K. Rowling made her speech at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II in 2011, my friends and I were clinging to each other and sobbing as we realised our childhoods were officially at an end – even though by this point I was a graduate with a career. It felt so final, even when Rowling said, “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.” I never expected to experience the magic of the Wizarding World again.
Will Fantastic Beasts retain the magic of Harry Potter? I'm going on an adventure! Oops, wrong film.

So imagine my excitement when plans for Fantastic Beasts were announced, and how that tripled when I realised that J.K. Rowling had written the screenplay. Here was an opportunity to sink back into the Wizarding World once again.

 

I fully trust J.K. Rowling to infuse Fantastic Beasts with the same magic and wonder of the Harry Potter franchise. It may be a story I’ve never read or heard before, but the names and words are familiar. I can’t wait to see how the film translates the world I know and love to 1920s New York. I’m now 30, but when I head to Vue to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I’ll feel like an 11-year-old sat in the corner of the school library grinning from ear-to-ear once again.

 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is out on 18 November; get times and tickets here.

 

Lauren is a Ravenclaw who ended up in Gryffindor, and her wand is 13 ¼” willow with unicorn hair. In another life she might have been a History of Magic professor. She made it through the Cat Wars. Follow her on Twitter.