What, no muggles? JK Rowling fans aghast at new term for non-wizards

6 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Fantastic Beasts producer responds to diversity criticism.

It’s a word that has become so wholly co-opted into the lexicon that it even entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2003. The forthcoming “Harry Potter” prequel “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” doesn’t come out until next year, but it is already receiving criticism for the lack of diversity among the principal cast (lead actors Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Ron Perlman are all white).”Eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) comes to New York (for a reason we won’t disclose) with his trusty weathered case.The final entry in the Harry Potter book series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” was published in 2007, yet new information keeps emerging from Rowling online.

This case is one of those way-way-way-bigger-on-the-inside magical devices, and within are expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt’s travels around globe. According to Entertainment Weekly, American wizards call a nonmagical person, once known as a “muggle,” a “no-maj,” an ugly word that sounds like a refutation of Madonna. “No, Madge!” Rowling hasn’t gone so far as to alter her books — yet. The movie starts off with the wizard arriving in New York City, where magic wielders live in fear of being discovered and persecuted by “No-Maj,” or non-magic folk. The EW story characterizes the backlash as “ironic, because ‘Fantastic Beasts’ is actually a story about acceptance.” “Like all of Jo Rowling’s works, [‘Fantastic Beasts’] is populated with a variety of people and that will be the same in this series over the course of the films,” Heyman explained. “There will be people of various types of ethnicities,” he continued. “In New York in the 1920s, there was a segregation between white and black, the neighborhoods were largely separate, and that is reflected in [the film].

He discovers the American wizarding community is fearfully hiding from Muggles (who are called “No-Maj” in the States … ) and the threat of public exposure is an even graver concern than in the UK (remember the Salem witch trials?). There are people of color filling this world in an organic way.” Apart from the EW spread, most details about the film have been kept under wraps, so perhaps this is much ado about nothing and there are lots of diverse supporting characters in the film. As thrilling as it is that a fictional character found the courage to come out of the closet, it sends readers searching for subtext that isn’t there: Why aren’t any of the other professors married? The new film is expected to be the first in a trilogy focused on the magical adventures of Newt Scamander (British Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne), with the debut instalment set in 1920s New York and featuring a number of new American witches and wizards from the US.

Entertainment Weekly also revealed that the new version of the Ministry of Magic is the rather more portentous Magical Congress of the United States of America (or MACUSA). Niffler: A treasure-hunting creature attracted to shiny things, like belt buckles and gold teeth, and a favorite of Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne. “They have this wonderful love-hate relationship,” Redmayne says of Newt and his Niffler. “He’s incredibly aggravating and wonderful at same time. The images represent our first proper look at Redmayne’s Scamander, who has a dandyish Doctor Who look about him, with bow tie, colourful long coat and waistcoat. Also seen is Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein, Scamander’s likely American love interest, and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol). Studio Warner Bros will be hoping the film can repeat the staggering success of the eight Harry Potter movies, which have grossed more than $7.7bn (£5bn) worldwide.

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