I read the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay a few days after the film came out, but I hadn’t posted about it yet because I don’t really have all that much to say about it, surprisingly. First, let’s take a moment to appreciate just how drop-dead gorgeous this book is. MinaLima is the greatest.
It’s also novel-sized, which was weird because I totally expected it to be flatter and longer. Anyway.
Aside from it being the prettiest damn book in my collection, what else do I have to say? When I picked it up, I expected to be enlightened by new details that I didn’t catch in the film. After all, screenplays have details written out that explain what’s actually happening rather than relying on the performances of the actors or the eyes of the viewers to interpret. However, there were surprisingly few instances in the screenplay of details I didn’t notice in the movie. Those instances were interesting, though, so I will tell you what they were and why they’re interesting.
- Tina uses “Deliverance Dane!” and “Mercy Lewis!” as exclamations. If you know your Salem Witch Trials, you know that these are names of two women who were among the accused during the famous trials (neither were executed). I just thought this was hilarious and awesome and it slipped past me when I saw the film. I kinda wanna start saying “MERCY LEWIS!” now…
- The floating Credence tendril. This is of course all over the internet already because it’s basically confirmed that Ezra Miller will be in more FaBe films. Here is what the screenplay says after Grindelwald has been arrested and Piquery tells Newt they have to obliviate everyone:
As Newt follows Madam Piquery’s gaze, he sees a tendril of black matter, a small part of the Obscurus, floating down through the roof. Unnoticed by anyone else, it eventually floats up and away, trying to reconnect with its host.
I think I noticed this in the film, but I interpreted it as a farewell to Credence rather than a hint that he’s not dead. As it turns out, it’s totallymaybe a hint that he’s not dead.
- “Bad memories.” Yes, my friend, Rowling specifically uses the phrase “bad memories” to describe the obliviation of the people of NYC. We also know Dan Fogler will be in more films, so we’re all pretty sure that only his bad memories were wiped so he’s still got the good ones 😉
And that’s actually it.
Even though I was disappointed in the lack of extra details in the screenplay, I was not disappointed in the overall reading experience. In fact, it felt so magical, so Rowling, and so right (unlike a certain script that shall not be named). It made me appreciate the film more and like the film more – if it’s possible for that to happen without actually watching it. I still haven’t seen the movie again, but I hope to before it’s out of theaters so that I can do more thinking about where the series is headed and just enjoy the movie.
Is the screenplay worth reading if you’ve seen the movie? Not if you’re a more casual fan. You won’t really get anything new from it, though you will have an enjoyable reading experience. For the more dedicated fans out there, I say it is absolutely worth reading just to delve once again into J.K.’s mind. And the MinaLima illunstrations.