J.K. Rowling’s new movie is taking heat for casting choices (and why it matters)

We can’t wait for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Harry Potter prequel is bound to be jam-packed with new information about the wizarding world – last week, we already learned that there is an unexpected American word for Muggle, which is knuts!

However, as more details about the highly anticipated movie’s cast become public, J.K. Rowling and Beasts’ production team are facing questions about diversity, or lack thereof. It’s old news that Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne will be playing the leading role of quirky magizoologist Newt Scamander, but recent additions to the main cast have not included any people of color (Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterson, and Dan Fogel make up the movie’s supporting characters).

The absence of diversity has not gone unnoticed by fans, who are looking to see themselves, their friends, and their lives reflected in the movies they see. Critics have been quick to point out that the Harry Potter franchise would have benefitted from a more diverse cast. J.K. Rowling responded to questions about the film’s development on Twitter, asking for people to wait until they see the movie to pass judgement.

Fantastic Beasts’ executive producer, David Heyman, spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the backlash.

Hopefully, the team behind the movies take fans’ concern to heart. One of the best parts of the Harry Potter universe is that young wizards and witches of all different races and creeds from all over the world sit in the Hogwarts dining hall every night to feast together. The movies should feel like an invitation to the Great Hall.

I’d raise a glass of pumpkin juice to that.

Related reading:

The first pics of Eddie Redmayne in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ are, well, fantastic

The logo was just revealed for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and it’s pure magic

(Image via Instagram.)

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