Liverpool’s star turn as Fantastic Beasts hits cinemas
Liverpool takes starring role as ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ hits big screen. Andrew Wright reports.
Friday 18th November sees the premiere of ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘ , J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut.
And Liverpool’s streets play a prominent role as the movie’s only non-studio location. The first of a five film franchise sees two of the city’s most iconic buildings, St George’s Hall and the Cunard Building transformed to accommodate an array of magical creatures.
Liverpool Film Office was instrumental in securing the city’s role in the movie, with its diverse architecture and the city’s inhabitants key factors.
Director of the film, David Yates, said: “Liverpool is a wonderful place to film – the locations, the people, the welcome we felt and support we had when making Fantastic Beasts in the City was second to none.”
Producer David Heyman said: “We were thrilled to film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them in Liverpool, a city which has such fond memories for me. St George’s Hall and the Cunard Building gave us exactly what we wanted, and the people there, the city itself was so supportive, and the film office was incredible. It was a great experience.”
When quoted for an Oh My God Britain campaign, lead actor Eddie Redmayne, said: “My OMGB moment was probably shooting in Liverpool. That’s a city that I just love and I find endlessly inspiring for its history and for its architecture and we had the most wonderful time there.”
Film Office manager, Lynn Saunders, said: “A huge amount of planning went into the nine day shoot in the city. There were more than 1,100 cast, crew and extras, and with 18 months preparation we ensured all aspects of the filming ran as smoothly as it possibly could.
“Achieving such a smooth operation did not just magically happen like Newt Scamander’s Fantastic Beasts – it was the result of working in partnership with the wider city council, local businesses and anyone who lives or works in the immediate vicinity of the two filming locations. Luckily, accommodating filming in the city is something we’re all used to and we’ll always do everything we can to meet the needs of any production that comes here.”
Cabinet Member responsible for the Film Office, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “We were one of many locations the production team looked at, so for us to come out on top is a testament to the expertise, experience and enthusiasm of our Film Office team, packaged with the stunning venues we have to offer.
“We are no stranger to big movies being filmed on the city streets, but without a doubt, this new adventure will create a real buzz and re-emphasise Liverpool’s reputation as one of the most filmed cities outside London.”