Eddie Redmayne has revealed that he believes his Fantastic Beasts character, Newt Scamander is on the autism spectrum.
Speaking in an interview recently to Digital Spy, the actor revealed that he believes that his character has Asperger’s.
“When he was first described by Jo [Rowling] in the first film there were various qualities – the way he walked, the way he looked, and his eye contact – was spoken about,” said Redmayne.
“I think he is on the Asperger’s spectrum. At that point, it hadn’t been defined – that was in the ’40s, I think – so those qualities were something, yes.”
It also turns out that Eddie Redmayne is keen on having one particular Harry Potter character star in the films alongside him – Hagrid.
Redmayne and his co-star Katherine Waterston were speaking to CinemaBlend, when he revealed: “I’m secretly hoping that at some wonderful point, maybe if I say it enough times to J.K. Rowling, like a little mini Hagrid might arrive.”
Hagrid would have been around 12 or 13 years old in 1927, when the new film is set. However, J.K. Rowling told Variety that despite the fact that they initially had plans to make Fantastic Beasts a trilogy, they eventually decided to make it five instead because the arc “spans nineteen years”. So there’s still a chance that Hagrid will turn up.
This comes after Harry Potter fans weren’t very happy after the casting of a ‘young’ Professor McGonagall in the upcoming Fantastic Beasts movie.
Some of them have taken to Twitter to criticise the films as they claim that our favourite Transfiguration teacher wouldn’t actually be born when the movie was set.
The movie is set in 1927, and although we don’t know McGonagall’s exact age, fans have worked out that she was born in 1935.
In The Order of the Phoenix, the professor says that she began teaching at Hogwarts in December 1956 – after working for the Ministry for two years immediately after her graduation. If she graduated from Hogwarts in 1954 then she would have been a first-year student in 1947 and therefore have been born in 1935. The only way this wouldn’t have happened is if she had to repeat a year for any reason. But seeing as she’s one of the most intelligent characters in the series, this would be surprising.
— Leni ⚡️🇦🇹🌙💗#DA (@leni_diggory) 2 November 2018
Well, is a retcon. McGongall started teaching in December of 1956 and she left school in July 1954. Therefore McGonagall was born on October 4, 1935, and started Hogwarts in 1947, aged 11 years.
— Lilith911 (@91_lilith) 2 November 2018
How is McGonagall going to be in the next fantastic beasts? As an adult… Shouldn’t she not even be born?
— Charl-iz Navidad 🎄🎅 (@jellyfishlemon) 6 November 2018
Although Professor McGonagall was born in October of 1935, a younger depiction of her character is set to feature in ’Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald,’ which takes place in 1927 pic.twitter.com/1bGIkUWdy0
— Harry Potter Facts (@Muggle_Facts) 6 November 2018
Apparently Minevra McGonagall will be featured in the new movie “Crimes of Grindelwald”, which is set in 1927. But according to the book “Order of the Phoenix” and the @pottermore website, she should have been born in 1935. What are you playing at @jk_rowling ??
— K (@Kaumadi_J) 4 November 2018
so minerva mcgonagall was born on 1935 but the younger version of her will be appeared in fantastic beasts 2???? pic.twitter.com/ZVta8XePOR
— jammy (@aryastarkin) 6 November 2018
Personally, I find this all a bit annoying. It’s a STORY where magic is REAL, people. I’m sure you can suspend your disbelief of someone’s age for a couple of hours.
This comes after the movie was branded “racially insensitive” by some fans.
With the final trailer blowing everyone away, the action-packed footage included a closer look at Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald and gave us a hint of the dark wizard is planning next. The trailer also confirmed the long-held theory that Avengers: Age of Ultron‘s Claudia Kim is playing Potter-favourite, Nagini.
For anyone who missed it, there was a scene in the latest trailer where Ezra Miller’s Credence called out to Kim’s character and shouted “Nagini” before she transformed into a snake.
The news that an Asian actress is playing a slave/snake/Horcrux hasn’t sat well with the wizarding world and some have taken to the Twitterverse to air their concerns.
So Nagini is a Korean woman with an Indian name who lived in Albania later turned into a horcrux? What's next? She might as well be Harry's mother (Voldemort's his father) and Harry is actually not just a parseltongue but half-human half-snake. pic.twitter.com/vjUvWU1wOu
— Joseph 슬기로운솔로몬 (@seulgisolomon) September 25, 2018
“Let's retroactively turn a woman of color into a literal object owned by a white man inspired by nazis.” https://t.co/JYTQK6YFss
— Charles Pulliam-Moore (@CharlesPulliam) September 25, 2018
maybe “circus performer who turns into a murderous snake“ isn't the best choice of role for one of the two WOC in the franchise.
— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) September 25, 2018
someone is gonna write a take about how “omg this decision about nagini is actually WOKE Asians can b racist 😡so it’s okay if an asian woman is portrayed as an EVIL COLD SLIT EYED ANIMAL!!!” and i really won’t be here for it
— a 🦋 (@kyoshiisland) September 25, 2018
"Nagini is an Albanian snake"
"Nagini is actually a cursed human"
"A cursed WOC, in fact!"
"Played by a Korean!"
"Was in a circus! Voldemort's pet snake!"
–So Evil White Guy's pet is a WOC?
"I kept this secret for 20 years!"
–… *opens book* pic.twitter.com/mu8L5ZZAol
— S♠️☂️ (@blackcatblue9) September 26, 2018
The casting of Kim has caused a pretty big stir online as one of the few women of colour in the movie. 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was criticised for a lack of diversity as Carmen Ejogo joined the cast of Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, and Ezra Miller.
Although The Crimes of Grindelwald brings back Ejogo and Zoë Kravitz (after her Leta Lestrange cameo) while adding Kim, the diversity of the cast is still leaning towards white actors.
The Harry Potter movies aren’t exactly known for their Asian actors, with the main series only really being remembered for Katie Leung as Cho Chang. Unfortunately, what could’ve been seen as a big step for Asian actors with The Crimes of Grindelwald is now caught in the fangs of controversy.
That being said, Nagini is a pretty major part of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books and at least we know Kim’s version of Nagini will be making it out of the spin-off franchise alive. Everyone knew that Nagini would have some sort of complicated backstory, and the story will come full circle with The Crimes of Grindelwald.
Fantastic Beasts now joins the likes of Ghost in the Shell‘s whitewashing controversy and claims that Ralph Breaks the Internet has “softened” Mulan’s features.
Thankfully, Disney’s live-action Mulan promises to ditch the racial stereotypes and fly the flag for Asian equality. Either way, Kim promises to be a major part of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, so expect the debate to continue.