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‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ won’t take place in New York City

Newt better brush up on his French!

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ hasn’t hit theaters yet, but that doesn’t mean J.K. Rowling hasn’t thought about what’s coming next in Newt Scamander’s story.

Speaking to Empire, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ director David Yates confirmed that the sequel to Rowling’s film is set to take place in Paris, France.

“It’s quite ambitious,” Yates said. “[Production designer Stuart Craig] is unflappable and indefatigable, but when he saw the script for Beasts 2, he said, ‘Let me just think about it for a minute.'”

The news comes after Warner Bros. announced that ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ will kick off a five-part film series. On top of that, the films are expected to shed light on Albus Dumbledore’s old rival (and friend) Gellert Grindelwald.

Why is ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ set in Paris, France?

Newt Scamander in New York City

Of course, now the question is what could all of this mean? It’s more or less impossible to know why Rowling has chosen France as the setting for the second installment, especially considering that we know so little about the first film — and yet we still can’t help but speculate!

  • Will the film’s setting be following Grindelwald? We have yet to know how involved Grindelwald will be in these films (he certainly appears to play a large part in the first film), but it’s possible that he could play a huge part in the overall series. If that’s true, what might Grindelwald be doing in Paris?
  • France is between wars. Assuming that the second film will take place within a few years of the first one (1926), then it might be worth considering the social and political climate of France at this time. France will be in the middle of what is now known as L’entre deux guerres — the Interwar Period. These years are typically characterized by political and social turmoil. Europe is trying to recover from World War I, the Great Depression will be hitting the world around this time, and totalitarian regimes are rising in France’s neighboring countries. The latter certainly fits in perfectly with what we know about Grindelwald.
  • Will Nicholas Flamel be involved? Nicholas Flamel, the alchemist behind the Philosopher’s Stone (or the Sorcerer’s Stone as it’s known in America) is French. The legend sets Flamel and his wife Perenelle as booksellers in Paris. We know that Nicholas Flamel is a character in Rowling’s world, and he’s still alive at the time of ‘Fantastic Beasts’. Might he appear in this film? We know Dumbledore is a friend of his. What if Grindelwald, who we know wants to collect the Deathly Hallows, visits Flamel thinking that the Philosopher’s Stone is the Resurrection Stone? Both relics defy death.
  • Will we get a look at Beauxbatons? This seems like the most natural guess. The first film will be exciting because we’re going to be learning so much about the American wizarding community. Hopefully we’ll get a glimpse into French wizarding life as well, which would probably mean learning more about Beauxbatons.

(Btw, Muggles are called les moldus in French.)

‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ hits theaters November 18th.

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Saul Marquez

Saul Marquez Founder

Saul is an undergraduate student at Brigham Young University studying news media, writing and rhetoric, and French. He is the founder of Bookstacked and a regular host on the podcast Bookmarked. He loves books and Harry Potter way too much.