Transcript #274

MuggleCast 274 Transcript

Show Intro

[Show music begins]

Andrew: Because we always return for the big news, this is MuggleCast Episode [274] for [October 8], 2014.

[Show music continues]

Andrew: This week’s episode of MuggleCast is brought to you by Audible is the leading provider of audiobooks with more than 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, and periodicals. For a free audiobook of your choice, go to

[Show music continues]

Andrew: Welcome to MuggleCast Episode 274. Eric, Micah, and I are all here. Welcome back, guys.

Micah: Hey.

Eric: It’s great to be back.

Andrew: Well, as…

Eric: Or shall I say it’s fantastic to be back.

Andrew: Ah, ah.

Micah: Well, actually, Andrew…

Andrew: [laughs] Yes?

Micah: It is great to be here with both you and Eric, and actually I wanted to apologize because I know we were supposed to be doing this earlier this evening, but I only… you know I work in New York City and I only had planned on spending a few hours there.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: But…

Andrew: I get it!

Eric: Oh!

Andrew: I get it!

Eric: That was smooth-ish.

Andrew: That was smooth.

Eric: Ish. Judges?

Andrew: Bit long of a setup, but I got it.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: So…

Eric: You only meant to be there, at work…

Micah: Yes, I was only meant to be there for a few hours.

Eric: … for a few hours?

Micah: But…

Eric: Like nine to five, specifically?

Micah: Mhm. Something like that.

News: J.K. Rowling Tweets Anagram

Andrew: So, that’s one reason that we are here today. The past couple of days have been a whirlwind for Harry Potter fans because J.K. Rowling decided a couple of days ago, “Well, I’ll throw a little riddle out there about Fantastic Beasts and see if the fans can figure it out.” It all kind of started when J.K. Rowling tweeted a little update saying that… no, not that “pen and paper are her priority,” though they were.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: That she’s tweaking a screenplay which kind of suggested, by the way, that, to me, it read like she’s finishing it up…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … if she’s just “tweaking it.”

Eric: I would agree with that.

Andrew: And she also said she’s finishing up a novel. Now, that could be a whole other discussion.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: But…

Eric: That’s true. Working on a novel.

Andrew: … for now we’ll put that aside. And so then one of her followers said, “Oh, you should tweet a little…” or no, she… the follower said, “Whenever J.K. Rowling tweets, I need to take some time out of my day to dissect it and try to figure out if there’s any hidden clues in it.” [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. Yeah, it was… actually, I have it right here. It was Regan, @peruseproject on Twitter, said:

“Every time J.K. Rowling tweets I stop whatever I’m doing and analyze it for an hour.”

Andrew: And then that triggered J.K. Rowling to say what?

Eric: “See, now I’m tempted to…” so she @ replied her, but she put a period. Look at how tech savvy J.K. Rowling has gotten now, by the way.

Andrew: She’s getting with it, but she still doesn’t know emojis, so…

Eric: Oh, yeah. Well, emojis are another beast all together and not as fantastic. But J.K. Rowling said… okay, so:

“.@peruseproject See, now I’m tempted to post a riddle or an anagram. Must resist temptation… must work…”

Andrew: And then the next morning she released it. [laughs] Do you have it right there with you?

Eric: I do. Okay, here we go. And I’m not paraphrasing. This is word for word. Okay, J.K. Rowling’s tweet:

“Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense.”

Andrew: [laughs] So, at first she didn’t say that it was an anagram.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: There was a debate over whether or not this was some sort of quote from the movie or what, but we assumed that it could be an anagram because she… because of that person who tweeted at her the night before. Now, I don’t know if I had some sort of… I’m sort of connected on a deep level with J.K. Rowling because that night I had happened to wake up at seriously 3:30 a.m. It was really weird for me.

Eric: Whoa.

Andrew: Yeah, and I see this tweet because I checked my phone real quick to make sure nobody has died or anything, and I see this text. So, I…

Eric: Do you often just wake up at odd hours of the night and be like…

Andrew: Well, it doesn’t happen…

Eric: … “Has anybody died?”

Andrew: Well, I figure, “Oh, phone is right there. I may as well check.” [laughs]

Eric: Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, that’s true.

Andrew: So, I have text notifications on. I can always see when J.K. Rowling sends a tweet. So, I see this…

Eric: It’s a useful feature, Micah.

Andrew: Yeah, Micah, you could use this. And then… so then…

Micah: Well, I think his point is I don’t follow her.

Eric: You should.

Andrew: But then I’m laying in bed for the next 45 minutes trying to figure out what this means, and I seriously… I lost like an hour of sleep that night because not only did I wake up randomly… anyway, this is besides the point.

Eric: Yeah, yeah.

Andrew: So, J.K. Rowling starts dropping these clues and whatnot, and before you know it, we finally get to the answer. This ended up being a whole big thing. J.K. Rowling, in… according to her, only intended this to hold fans over while she was finishing her screenplay and finishing this book. But then, I guess it… you know, it started making headlines all around the Internet, and I guess she maybe just got wrapped up in the excitement too because… especially today, Tuesday, she was tweeting non-stop.

Eric: Oh, yeah. She was tweeting… she went so far as to tweet fans’ wrong answers and even make fun of really clever, really hilariously some of the responses that people were guessing to her.

Andrew: Mhm. It was pretty entertaining.

Eric: It was extremely entertaining. You were right to call it a whirlwind. It really was a whirlwind that, as you said, even she got caught up in it. It was… it’s just… it was a fun… today especially, the day that we’re recording this, Tuesday the 7th, was just a fun, really, really, really, really fun day to be on Twitter, to be alive…

Andrew: [laughs] To be alive.

Micah: All right.

Eric: … to be following J.K. Rowling.

Micah: Well…

Andrew: So, the answer ended up being:

“Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours.”

Period. That’s it. Now, in another tweet, J.K. Rowling said that this was the first line of a synopsis. Not the script, just a general overview of the story.

Eric: Not the script, it’s a synopsis, so…

Micah: It’s a great… it’s very much in the style of J.K. Rowling. Just, “He only meant to spend…”

Andrew: Right.

Micah: “… but a few hours there.”

Eric: And then this happened.

Micah: And then… right, exactly. So, we know it’s going to lead into a very interesting story for Newt Scamander, and it’s clear that he’s going to be in New York well past when he intended to and it’ll be interesting to see, is that going to be the entire first movie? Will he be only here in the States and in New York, or will he go elsewhere? But I do agree with… and I know I mocked you a little bit, Eric, but it’s always interesting to me how she can really just captivate. Not just the fan community, but so many different people. How they just lock in…

Eric: Mhm.

Micah: … whenever she says anything.

Eric: It’s like a switch.

Micah: It doesn’t matter what she does.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: She tweets, she puts something out there in the public, and people just immediately latch onto it and…

Eric: Having read…

Micah: A whole discussion.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: It was like having her website back from years ago…

Eric: Yeah, that’s true.

Micah: … when she would release clues…

Eric: I did want to say…

Micah: … about book titles and release dates.

Eric: Yeah, I did want to say that this felt a lot like those old days…

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: … with the door, which is why I was like… I was actually really hesitant to try and solve the anagram. In fact, I didn’t. I just enjoyed reading the wrong answers and then…

Andrew: [laughs] Right.

Eric: Because I would always be…

Micah: I tried.

Eric: I was always the last person in through the door when the “Do Not Disturb” sign was down. I could never figure out what to do. I always waited for the self-help guide.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah.

Eric: I just couldn’t do it, so… but still, I was still excited that it was there. And Twitter is the new old J.K. Rowling’s website, by the way, because that thing…

Andrew: Well, because she made it that way today.

Eric: Have you guys tried doing web… what’s the old site? Wayback Machine or something?

Andrew: Yeah. I don’t think it will work because…

Eric: Have you tried going on JKR’s old website through there?

Andrew: I don’t think it would work because it’s Flash, I assume.

Eric: No? Am I the only one who – well, anyway – thought of it?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: But anyway, the old website where she used to have all these really awesome clues and games and fun with the fans… it was a long time coming until today when it just feels like for the first time she really, really just had a blast on social media.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: And you hope it was her and not her assistant, but I think it was genuinely her.

Andrew: I think it was genuinely her, too.

Micah: I will say this though, I look forward to her doing those types of things in the future. I think she’s sort of realized the ability that she has to connect directly with fans where it’s not so intense. It’s really easy. She can pick and choose when she wants to respond. She can do things like this and just completely… Newt Scamander was trending…

Eric: Oh, man.

Micah: … in the United States. Probably internationally. At least I saw that at one point. Yeah, I was at work today and I was trying to solve this damned thing. And she kept giving more clues, and then you knew the more she gave away of it, eventually somebody was going to solve it.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: But I think everybody was pretty much set on the fact that Newt Scamander was part of it and then New York was part of it. What you did with the rest of the letters was pretty much up to you. But I give all the credit in the world to that girl who solved it, and I’m glad that people finally started retweeting her and favoriting her instead of just J.K. Rowling’s response to her because I think that she deserves the notoriety for it.

Andrew: Yeah. With that said, I think a bunch of people figured it out at the same time, but it doesn’t really matter. Because I know MuggleNet tweeted it about the same time as did somebody following me, and then I did a search on Twitter for the exact phrase and they all sort of showed up at 1:47, so… whatever.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: But going back to the point about…

Micah: Then forget everything I just said.

Andrew: No, no, it’s still a good point.

Eric: Yeah, MuggleCast tweeted… from MuggleCast, that Georgia…

Andrew: Yeah, that was me.

Eric: Georgina Eleanor.

Andrew: I looked up who showed up first in the list, but who cares. It doesn’t matter. What…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: Well, actually what’s interesting – I’ll just say this really quickly – is that… sort of the benefit of that is that J.K. Rowling is now following that person.

Andrew: Is she?

Micah: I think so.

Andrew: Oh yeah, I do see that. See… well, okay, I’m happy for that girl, Emily, but…

Micah: [laughs] Now you’re pissed.

Andrew: No, I’m not pissed.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I think that’s fine. Good for her.

Micah: You’re going to curse her out when we’re done with the show.

Andrew: [laughs] No.

Eric: How many people did J.K… I’m going to look this up. How many people does she follow?

Andrew: She follows 49 people.

Eric: Oh my God, that would be awesome! I would be all over her feed all the time.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: That would be awesome.

Andrew: So, I think that this did teach J.K. Rowling something, that it is very easy to get fans excited through Twitter. But it’s also a blessing and a curse. I mean, some media outlets were way off their rockers today calling it, “Oh, it’s going to be a new Harry Potter book that she’s announcing,” because you could sculpt the anagram and get, “New Harry coming,” or something. I can’t remember what it was, but it was embarrassing. Entertainment Weekly and a couple of other sites really screwed that up, I thought.

Eric: Well…

Andrew: But this was… I have to say, I know we like to hate on Pottermore a little bit, but I seriously feel like in the three years that Pottermore has been around, there has never been this level of excitement on that site. What J.K. Rowling did in two days on Twitter…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … Potter more has not been able to accomplish in three years, and I think there is this disconnect between what J.K. Rowling… what people love about J.K. Rowling – the mystery, the excitement, and her former website – and Pottermore, it’s just the excitement is not there on Pottermore. And she could have released this through Pottermore, but I think she loves Twitter now. She gets it. She sits there in her rocking chair on her balcony…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: … sipping some tea, petting the dog, and she just loads up her phone and starts playing with the fans, and it’s fun because you can actually comment on Twitter and you can see real names.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: With Pottermore, it’s just… the community is not there.

Eric: Well, I did want to say she is a… I knew we all knew this, but she’s a master of the 140 characters. Each one of these tweets, it feels like she’s not even trying or has to worry about what she says. Every one of these tweets is perfect.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: And it fits in the given space.

Micah: Well, I think…

Eric: She manages to have such a… what I want to say is she manages to have such an overt hilarious great sense of humor even though Twitter is limiting.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: I’m betting the person who taught her Twitter told her that she has to put in 140 characters in order for the tweet to actually go through.

Andrew: That would be mean. That sounds like something you would tell her.

[Everyone laughs]

Andrew: We’re going to continue talking about J.K. Rowling’s anagram in just a moment, but first it’s time to remind you that today’s episode is brought to you by, the Internet’s leading provider of audiobooks with more than 150,000 downloadable titles across all types of literature, including audio versions of many New York Times Bestsellers. Now for listeners of MuggleCast, Audible is offering you a free audiobook to try out their great service just in time for fall when instead of holding a book you’re going to want to keep your hands inside your pockets to stay warm. It’s cold everywhere, and I have three awesome recommendations for everybody this week. This is the benefit of doing a podcast every couple of months because all these great books come out while we’re away. First of all, Gone Girl, now in theaters starring Ben Affleck. This is the number one bestseller on A fantastic movie. Whether or not you’re seeing the movie, you should definitely read the book. That is what I hear from everybody. Second, a book that was just published. This is going to be huge with our audience, I think. The Blood of Olympus: The Heroes of Olympus, Book 5. It’s the fifth and final book by Rick Riordan in the Percy Jackson series. You definitely want to check this one out. I know a lot of readers on Hypable were very sad earlier this week because it’s the last one of the series. And finally, another recommendation: The Maze Runner. Of course, this was just in theaters recently. It still is in theaters. Getting great reviews. Readers of the book are very happy with it, actually. There were some changes, but everybody was generally very happy with it. So, those three recommendations. There’s three excellent choices right there for you. You can get any one of these for free by signing up at Again, Gone Girl, The Heroes of Olympus, Book 5, and The Maze Runner. Get any one of them for free.

Breaking Down the Anagram

Andrew: As for this anagram…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … what… any ideas? The problem is we don’t know much about Newt, but this is certainly an interesting question. Why did he come to New York? So, he was only planning to visit for a few hours, but why did he… J.K. Rowling says:

“Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway.”

Micah: So, he will be here…

Eric: I had a guess…

Micah: … for the whole first movie.

Eric: I kind of had an idea, but then it kind of got foiled, is I was thinking, “Oh, so if he only meant to be in New York for a couple of hours…” I’m thinking very Muggle minded like, “Oh, it’s a layover.” Right?

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: He must be heading to LA or something because he is coming from London. But then that was actually destroyed by the fact that it’s the wizarding world, right? You can probably just take… I mean, I assume an extended Floo Network would take you anywhere in the world. So New York wouldn’t necessarily be a layover [laughs] kind of place. In the same distance or the same amount of time, you could get to New York. You could also get to Georgia and Los Angeles and anywhere else you want to be, I assume. So maybe not that, but maybe…

Andrew: I think it’s more on the path of he went… my gut theory is he went there…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … to go research some beasts, so when the movie opens up we’re going to see him arriving in town, and he’s there to investigate some beasts – who knows which they are ñ and then, obviously, that’s where it starts getting more foggy. So, what are the circumstances? Did he start to realize that a bunch of beasts were there? Did he meet a new character? I don’t think it could be a love interest, even though I wrote that in my Hypable article.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: I mean…

Eric: What’s that? You made something up for the Hypable article?

Andrew: It just seems a little too predictable for J.K. Rowling. [laughs]

Eric: Yeah. No, I agree.

Micah: Yeah, I think you’re going to have some sort of fantastic beast incident…

Eric: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Micah: … in New York City that’s going to require his attention. It’s…

Andrew: Mmm.

Eric: Like King Kong level.

Andrew: So… oh.

Micah: Yeah, like King Kong or Godzilla. We’re being a little bit…

Eric: [laughs] Comical.

Micah: … out there.

Andrew: So it’s going to be some sort of incident toward the beginning of the movie to start things off with a bang, and it requires him to hang around longer because he maybe has to get a hold on this beast.

Micah: Yeah, he’s knowledgeable, clearly, about…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: … many of these beasts, and I think that maybe he’s Ace Ventura. [laughs]

Eric: Now that you… wow, wow. But now that you say Godzilla, I’m just thinking that this unknown magical creature just is found lurking in the sewers of New York and begins to threaten the whole city. [laughs] I’m just thinking along those lines.

Andrew: It’s going to be interesting to see the balance between the magical world of New York… we still don’t really know if it’s New York City, but presumably it is.

Micah: I would think.

Andrew: So, the balance of the magical world in New York and then the Muggle world. How often are we going to see the magic around New York?

Eric: Versus him in a hidden… yeah.

Andrew: Right. Like in a Ministry of Magic type place.

Eric: Versus a public place that we would recognize.

Andrew: Right. Right.

Eric: I imagine… if they don’t have… I’m going to put this out here; I’m going to put the cards on the table. If they don’t have a monster ravaging through Times Square scene, I’m going to boycott the movie.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: Well, remember Times Square was not the same back then as it is today.

Eric: Well, that’s… the twenties, thirties… yeah, okay, I get it. But I do want to say that New York works on many levels because New York is a cultural hub. Even back then New York was a huge cultural hub and it’s where everybody landed who immigrated from anywhere across the Atlantic as well, and so it makes sense that there would be a wizarding presence there, no matter what. That’s why it works. That’s why also, I assume, it’s the city that she’s talking about.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: The other thing that kind of came to mind from a historical standpoint. You obviously have… we know that it takes place in the 1920s. Is that what we’re…

Andrew: Yup. Yup.

Micah: … told? And the first World War comes to an end not too long before that, so… I think around 1918. And then toward the end of the ’20s, of course, you have the Great Depression, so I wonder does that at all play into why he has to stay in New York. Does something happen that’s tied…

Eric: Like the stock market crash is really just a giant dinosaur-like creature crashing into the Wall Street building?

Micah: [laughs] Yeah, a giant dragon just…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: It’s Gringotts however many years earlier.

Eric: It’s fun. It’s fun to speculate.

Micah: But I think you could have the tie-in of real life events that are going on, because certainly there were parallels that we drew with Voldemort and his rise to power.

Eric: Well, J.K. Rowling likes to do that. She likes to have this hidden magical world and then show how, when things get out of hand, it manifests itself… it shows up… even Muggles who don’t usually notice nothing, do they, are seeing this stuff happening. So I think there will definitely be, I want to say, a profound stock market crashing type reaction that was secretly caused by magical means that we’re going to learn. Because that’s just J.K. Rowling. That’s what she does, I like to think.

Andrew: So then, I mean, this other tweet that I read, “Circumstances ensured that he remained… for the length of a movie, anyway,” the reason I want to bring that up is because J.K. Rowling, of course, is… well, Warner Bros. is hoping to make a trilogy out of this. So for the length of a movie, she says, does that mean he’s going to be going elsewhere by the end of the movie? Is he going to be heading out of New York? And then I started thinking, well, could he be in a different area with all three films? So this one is in New York, one of them is in England, and then a third one somewhere else. Because didn’t we know about Newt that he travels the world to learn about creatures?

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So…

Eric: Yeah. I mean the new bio is still, like anything she writes in the film… I feel like she doesn’t have a lot that she needs to worry about conflicting because there isn’t all that much about Newt. Well, what there is about Newt we did already read on a former MuggleCast.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But I think that whatever… I mean, it really works out because wherever he was headed at the beginning of the film, where he got delayed, he can just head there – wherever that is – at the end of the film.

Andrew: Right. So I’m looking at the Harry Potter wikia again and it says… so he got the opportunity to write this book, “he jumped at the chance for extra money and the opportunity to spend his summers travelling the world.” So he apparently was doing this every summer, going travelling the world. So maybe that will work in somehow.

Eric: Oh, yeah. And I think it’s likely that the two following films will be set… they’re obviously… I think they’ll center around him, I think that’s safe to say.

Andrew: Oh, yeah.

Eric: And they may be in a different time; they may be five or ten years later maybe. But at that point.. because she just gets to explore; because it has to be during his lifespan, during his ordinary lifespan. But she could do the ’60s in Britain – which is very like Austin Powers-y kind of thing – later.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: At some point, if she wanted to, with a future film.

Micah: Right. At which point you could start pulling in characters that we know.

Eric: Right.

Micah: And have got to know in the Potter series. At least the older ones.

Eric: For how unfamiliar with the character we are, of Newt, and the characters that will obviously be supporting Newt on his journey, I’m just so excited by this premise, right? Wizard in 1920s New York. Wizard beast hunter…

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: … in New York, in the ’20s. It just sounds ridiculously awesome. And now, Andrew, one of the notes that you had here was that it’s been… has it been a year since we found out about Fantastic Beasts?

Andrew: Yes, it’s been a year. September 2013 is when we first found out about this news.

Eric: So, it’s kind of like… I feel like we still don’t know a whole lot about it. I feel like this is the biggest thing that we’ve had since the initial announcement.

Andrew: Well, yeah, I guess official information. Yeah.

Eric: Oh, okay.

Andrew: Because, I mean, we’re going to get to the David Yates story in a moment.

Eric: Oh, right!

Andrew: And the release date. But yeah, this is certainly… I was kind of hoping that once people solved this riddle then Warner Bros. or J.K. Rowling would have published the entire synopsis that she’s referring to. That would have been cool. Maybe they’ll do that once they confirm David Yates or something like that.

Eric: And especially if she’s tweaking the script. It’s in pretty good standing.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’s in a pretty good place.

Andrew: Yeah. So hopefully within the next month or two… see, all these tweets were also funny to me because it’s like she did this to tide fans over while she was finishing the script.

Eric: But then immediately got to talking… [laughs]

Andrew: Right. But now she got tied up with this riddle. [laughs] I mean, again, Twitter doesn’t take too much time and hopefully she spent a lot of the day working on it anyway. But it was just pretty funny to me that [laughs] I think the plan was for her to be away for a while.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: And then it blew up the Internet.

Eric: Well, she calls anagrams her spiritual home. She hash tagged.

“Thank you, thank you, for being the kind of people who get excited about an anagram #myspiritualhome”

So, I think she left that conversation in very high spirits regarding Twitter and the people that she interacted with during this whole thing. So yeah, she just kind of had this moment where she was overcome with her old self.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Like her old toy with the fans, see what kind of a rise she could get. I’m sure she isn’t even… I don’t want to say I’m sure, but I figure she wouldn’t even need to read the E! Online magazine recap on what happened. But I think that she enjoys interacting with fans.

Micah: I’m glad you brought that up though, for a second. And I know Andrew talked about it a little bit before, but it’s just such bad reporting on the part of these supposed reputable news outlets.

Andrew: So bad.

Eric: Like to go back and see just how wrong… how not even…

Micah: No, no, no, just the headlines that they’ve had in the last 24 hours. Because they sold it as a new Harry Potter book – a lot of them did. And they really should know at this point that she is not and has stated many times [she] has no plans to write another Harry Potter book. I mean, this… and she even stated as much that this was about the movie.

Andrew: Yeah. They do it for clicks unfortunately, and it’s kind of sick.

Micah: Oh, yeah. Absolutely.

Andrew: Like once or twice I can see, okay, but they did this earlier this year with that new short story in the voice of Rita Skeeter.

Micah: From Pottermore.

Andrew: Right. Everybody was like, “More Harry Potter! Oh my gosh, it’s a new Harry Potter story!” And then they…

Micah: And it wasn’t.

Andrew: Right. And then they did it again…

Micah: Or it kind of was.

Andrew: … with that Celestia War… that singer in the wizarding world.

Micah: Celestina Warbeck?

Andrew: Yes, thank you. Thank you.

Eric: Well…

Andrew: It was on the tip of my tongue.

Eric: Here’s a tweet from JKR:

“An example of something it doesn’t say…”

She’s talking about the anagram.

“… I brung bick Harry. U gladd. Me go wurcke now. No speak.”

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, it’s pretty funny. That was kind of a snipe.

Eric: I feel like that’s kind of saying it’s not about Harry. But she did also give the hints. Like she led…

Andrew: Well, that came after all the media headlines came out and I thought she was sniping at all those…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … who were… because that did get everywhere.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So, anything else to say about this before we move on to some other stories?

Eric: Just that I’m excited. I can’t wait for every announcement.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But really, this was a moment, guys, and if you don’t have Twitter… if you don’t follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter…

Andrew: Now is the time, Micah. He’s talking to you.

Eric: Now is the time. This was a moment…

Micah: I was still able to take part in the fun.

Eric: You should… yeah, right.

Micah: I was!

Eric: And you [should] just realize that this happened today – the last two days, last three days – and it was amazing. I feel like she’s back, baby.

Andrew: She’s back, baby.

Micah: I made a deal with her, though. I would follow her if she answered my question and she still hasn’t answered my question.

Andrew: What’s your question?

Micah: I wanted to know…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: … if there was ever a student that transferred houses.

Andrew: Oh. Well, you’ve got to do it again. She has to… you’ve got to start sending her like every other day.

Micah: I’ve asked twice.

Eric: He did ask twice.

Andrew: Yeah, but you’ve got to just keep firing it off.

Micah: Now since she’s so adamant about it. And she even did mention – and I’m sure it was probably thrown out there prior, but I had no idea – that Newt Scamander was a Hufflepuff, and she included that in one of her tweets today when talking about if he would run from something. She said something to the effect… I’m paraphrasing, but, “No, he’s a Hufflepuff with a lot of courage.”

Andrew: Yeah. “A lot of guts,” I think she said.

Micah: Guts, yeah.

Eric: I did know he was a Hufflepuff, but bless her for saying something nice about Hufflepuffs. I’m going to add that to the book.

Micah: I think she did a great job. Even from the tweet that you just read, Eric, when she was sort of making light of the answers that some people were coming up with…

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: … she was throwing out some factoids. She was really having fun with it and I think that that’s great. It’s great to see that… you said that’s she’s back and maybe she is.

Andrew: [whispers] She’s back! [laughs]

Micah: Maybe this is… [laughs] yeah.

Eric: [laughs] She’s back!

Micah: Maybe this is the start of her being a little bit more…

Eric: Let’s not greet it with fear.

Micah: … interactive with the community. She’s been replying to people more the last few weeks, maybe couple of months. And now today, the last two days, she’s really been interacting with people, and hopefully we get more of those moments moving forward.

Andrew: Yeah. Or it scared her away and we’re never hearing from her again.

Eric: Right.

Micah: No, I don’t think she scares easily.

Andrew: No, I don’t think so either. I think you’re right.

MuggleCast 274 Transcript (continued)

Listener Comments

Andrew: So, on the MuggleCast Facebook I just posted a status a little bit ago saying, “Why do you think Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours?” What does it mean? What’s the second part of that sentence? Why does he have to stay in New York longer? Megan said:

“He starts telling his kids the story of how he met their mother. It takes him longer than expected.”

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: That I believe is a reference to the CBS comedy.

Eric: [laughs] “It takes him longer than expected.”

Andrew: Anne said:

“A Hippogriff ate his plane ticket home.”

That could be feasible. It’s the 1920s. It’s probably easy to lose your ticket.

Eric: [quoting Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade] “No ticket.”

Andrew: It’s not on your phone anymore. Kerry says:

“He discovers the labyrinth of underground tunnels (sewer system) and the creatures making it their home.”

See, I’ve seen this a couple of times. I think it’s too close to the Basilisk thing in Chamber of Secrets.

Eric: Ooh, maybe. But the cool thing, Andrew – and I’m sure Micah can back this up – there are unused stations from the early…

Andrew: Mmm.

Eric: When they were building the subways. There are entire subway stations that… well, it’s much like the London Tube as well. There are entire stations that were built for… and abandoned and never… or decommissioned… certain railway lines just below your normal everyday New York City. There are stations that you can’t even get down into unless you’re walking the tracks. And I love the idea that it could be a lair for a creature.

Micah: Yeah.

Eric: But I see exactly what you mean about it being kind of too Basilisk-y, but I’ll say we have to see. I like the idea of them using the underground thing because that’s a thing.

Andrew: Yeah. Well, it’d be a great way to hide from Muggles, too.

Eric: Right. Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Like if there’s so many of them.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Here’s a couple of good ones. Ben says:

“I think it is likely he unearths some plot involving the oppression of magical creatures or magical creatures being used to further the interests of some evildoer. Knowing J.K. Rowling though, it is probably something much more complicated and clever than either of those.”

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: Yeah, that’s good, right?

Eric: Yeah. I want to say that I want her to stay away from a main bad guy in these.

Andrew: I do, too.

Eric: I want this trilogy to be more free and more light-hearted only in the sense that there’s not an overarching bad guy. I want it to be more like…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Adventure films can have villains, right? But I’d much prefer that the villain was a CGI dragon than… although, that happened with Smaug, right?

Andrew: Yeah. Wouldn’t we also have heard about this villain already in the Harry Potter books, too?

Eric: Yeah, maybe. But also, the books are very closely set in Britain.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: True.

Eric: It’s very almost claustrophobically Britain.

Micah: And if this is an American villain, maybe we never heard about him. Or her.

Andrew: Right. But if he’s only in New York for a year…

Micah: Yeah. I really like the point that was brought up by – sorry, I’m just – Kerry with the underground systems.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Because the whole subway system was started in the early 1900s and by about this time it should be pretty well-developed. And as Eric pointed out, there are areas that never really were used or were abandoned, so that could make for some really cool settings, sort of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-esque in a way, I guess.

Eric: Well, also I think the latest Spider-Man movie had something to do with an old abandoned New York City subway station…

Micah: Yeah. The first one.

Eric: … with Teddy Roosevelt’s station or his train. But the other thing I wanted to say is that this is… 1920s New York is post Industrial Revolution but it’s closer to the time period… like Hogwarts, you get to Hogwarts by a steam train and steam powered locomotives – steam power came about mid to late 19th century – or the 1800s – and I feel like the whole wizarding world is kind of arrested at that point where there were… the steam train is the most advanced technological thing that you’ll find in the wizarding world. And I want to find out why or I want to find out… because I guess in the 1920s, it would still feel new. Whereas in the 2000s when Harry Potter is set, it’s old. You know what I’m saying?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Did something happen? Maybe not a cataclysmic event or anything, but the Industrial Revolution affected both the wizarding and Muggle world and the wizards adopted what the Muggles did. But being set in the ’20s, this new film will have been closer to when that actually happened, and maybe we’ll just learn some really interesting stuff about how the two sides interacted in regards to technology.

Andrew: Hmm. One more Facebook comment here. Ashia said:

“He was sent on assignment for the Ministry but ended up staying because of the unconventional way magical creatures were being treated in the American magic world.”

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: I like that idea too, because…

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: … kind of like a SPEW situation.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Maybe. I don’t know.

Eric: Yeah, I like that. I like that, too. We have really good ideas.

Andrew: Look guys, we’re speculating again about future J.K. Rowling plots!

Eric: Oh, geez.

Andrew: Who thought that would have ever happened?

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: So, okay…

Micah: Well, at least there’s a chance that the Antipodean Opaleye can make it into one of these three movies.

Eric: Oh, please Jo.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Please put the Antipodean Opaleye for us. Please put that in one of your novels. Or one of your movies.

News: David Yates Rumored To Direct Fantastic Beasts

Andrew: So, a little other Fantastic Beasts news now. It’s been reported by Variety that David Yates is actually going to be the one directing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. He of course directed Order of the Phoenix through Deathly Hallows – Part 2. So, he handled half of the eight Harry Potter movies. This hasn’t been made official yet, but it was reported on August 21 and apparently they’ve been in talks with him since May. That’s what the guy who broke this story said on a podcast that I listened to recently. So, this has [actually been] happening behind the scenes for a while. I don’t know what’s taking so long. Maybe Yates is still figuring out if he has the patience to do this.

Eric: Well, it’s his current film, right? Because you pointed out…

Andrew: Yes.

Eric: … on the last MuggleCast that he’s at Leavesden…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: … currently shooting Tarzan.

Andrew: Right. So, he’s at… Leavesden is where they filmed all eight Harry Potter movies. I think I jokingly said maybe Yates will be stopping by the production offices if they’re at Leavesden to consult on some wizarding world things, because I’m sure Stuart Craig is going to be there, the set designer. So, what was you guys’ initial reaction to this? It was very split for multiple reasons. Some people didn’t love any of his movies; some people loved a couple. I personally did not think Order of the Phoenix was a good start for him. I did not like Order of the Phoenix – favorite book, least favorite movie. And I just did not like the direction in that movie. So, what were you guys’ reaction to Yates?

Eric: Micah?

Micah: Well, I can’t remember where I had this discussion before, but having sat down across the table from him and interviewing him for this podcast…

Andrew: [laughs] You have to say nice things.

Micah: I have to have a sense of loyalty to the man, who reminds me of Linus from the Charlie Brown comics.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Oh, that’s… honestly, that’s a hundred percent accurate. He is the most gracious gentle soul.

Micah: And there’s a little bit of similarity just in appearance between the two. But anyway…

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: I compare him to Winnie the Pooh because he’s soft spoken…

[Micah laughs]

Andrew: … and a little pudgy.

Micah: So…

Andrew: [laughs] So, you’re…

Eric: What were you saying, Micah?

Micah: I personally didn’t have any issue with Order of the Phoenix through Deathly Hallows – Part 2, at least from an overall standpoint. Sure, there are plenty of podcasts out there that we’ve done where we’ve talked about the little things here and there, but certainly not on the same level that I disliked Prisoner of Azkaban. We could go on and on about that, but…

Eric: Well, I’m glad you brought that up.

Micah: But…

Eric: Oh sorry, you keep going.

Micah: I will just say, people are going to say that they want this new and fresh feel to everything, and that when you bring in somebody who’s already worked on half of the series it’s hard to really get that new feel. Because as much as you want to keep the magical world and you want to keep that feeling that you get every time that you see Hogwarts show up on the screen, you also are going into a different type of film with a character that we know very little about.

Eric: Right.

Micah: But I will say for as much as people want to jump on bringing back David Yates, David Heyman is being brought back as well and he’s been there for all eight films.

Eric: Right.

Micah: So, it’s really unfair to get on the case of somebody like Yates when really Heyman has had a much larger role…

Andrew: Yeah! Blame him!

[Eric laughs]

Micah: … in the production of all of these films. No, he’s been there from day one.

Eric: Remember we also… no, he’s the shepherd.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: I like to think of David Heyman as the shepherd.

Micah: But you understand what I’m saying? I get it, the director is always going to…

Andrew: Well…

Eric: Certain people would take comfort, Micah, in knowing that David Yates…

Micah: And I’m one of them. I’m one of them.

Eric: … has worked on four of them. And the later four Harry Potter films are some of my favorite Harry Potter films-ish. But I think that what I want to say, and this is not against David Yates because I love the guy and I think he’s very… I love what he did technical-wise. I love some of the… I love the montages – sorry, I just do – in Order of the Phoenix and I love certain camera angles and certain things that he did with the later series. But world builder is not as much a description I would give to him as a director as I would Alfonso Cuaron, and I don’t like Prisoner of Azkaban. Everybody knows that about me as a movie, but Alfonso Cuaron I think would still be my first choice of previous… of former Potter directors to direct Fantastic Beasts the movie because he has that… it just translates really well. He has that capability of really expanding and defining an entire world.

Micah: But if you’re talking world builder, aren’t you talking Chris Columbus? Because…

Andrew: Yeah, exactly. That’s what I was going to say.

Eric: Well, is it Chris Columbus or is it…

Micah: And Stuart Craig.

Eric: … Stuart Craig? Was that Stuart Craig? Was it the art department that had… because I really want to weigh Chris Columbus’s strengths…

Micah: Well, there’s a good chance that a lot of these people are going to be back. When you’re talking about somebody like Stuart Craig and really…

Eric: Oh, why couldn’t they just co-direct?

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: Have Chris Columbus and Alfonso Cuaron… and even Steve Kloves. Bring Steve Kloves back. Oh wait, it’s not set in Britain, so I don’t know about that.

Micah: And bring Mike Newell as well.

Andrew: So Chris Columbus…

Eric: And bring Mike Newell.

Andrew: … will be yelling in the background, “Don’t forget the world building,” every ten minutes? [laughs]

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, I just think… because I feel like everybody should be back on this. I feel like there should be cameos…

Andrew: Well, hold on. This isn’t fair. Wait a second.

[Micah laughs]

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: So, this is…

Micah: Andrew is going to step in.

Andrew: I wrote what they call a think piece the day after this David Yates story broke. By adding David Yates, they are now too big to fail because they are bringing everybody back. As many people as you could conceivably imagine coming back for this…

Eric: Maybe in the crew, but not in the cast.

Andrew: Right. Well… but you don’t want the cast. You’ve got Yates, director for…

Eric: No, you don’t want the cast.

Andrew: Oh, right. Okay. So, you’ve got Yates. You have J.K. Rowling writing the screenplay; we always have to keep that in mind. We’ve got Heyman. That’s three huge names and like we keep saying, probably Stuart Craig is going to be involved too, presumably the costume designer… I mean, how many more people do you need?

Eric: Oh, I said Steve Kloves before. I did mean Mike Newell. Steve Kloves adapted…

Andrew: [laughs] So you want all the directors to come back?

Eric: They won’t need…

Micah: Well, J.K. Rowling is basically doing Steve Kloves’s job.

Eric: Yeah, they won’t need Steve Kloves just because there’s not a book to adapt. There’s… she’s writing the screenplay. She’s saving…

Micah: Right.

Eric: She cut out his job. Sorry, Steve, you’re laid off. But…

Micah: Here’s what I’ll say, though. With J.K. Rowling, though, if you’re in her shoes, right? You’re writing something that is about the world that you entrusted to David Heyman, and David Heyman took it and created really this eight-part series and along with Stuart Craig and all the directors. There’s probably something to be said, of course, for that familiarity and knowing that you can give this to those people and that they can make something very, very good with it. And I could also play devil’s advocate and say, “This is going to do well anyway because it’s Potter.”

Eric: Right.

Micah: But there’s something to be said for that group of people because they took her story and on screen made it into the success that it is.

Andrew: Yeah. And another thing to keep in mind is with… since we don’t have a book to base the movie on, you’re not going to be making these book-to-film comparisons.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: So, I think that’s also going to improve everyone’s feelings about this film when they walk out of the theater. If you’re not sitting there being like, “Oh, they didn’t leave in that scene. They forgot this scene…”

Eric: Yeah. And to a certain extent, that’s always without fail that unfortunately…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: … it’s just always on our mind with the…

Andrew: With all book-to-film adaptations.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Andrew: Truly.

Eric: But now it’ll be more freeing. And you know what? I’m sure that’ll be a relief for the director whoever ends up directing this, for sure.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: It’ll be even more… because it’s like… there’s no… I wanted to say there used to be three steps, right? It’s like JKR writes the book, somebody adapts it – usually Steve Kloves except that one time – and then somebody else has to direct from the adaptation.

Andrew: Right.

Eric: But now because JKR is writing it… and I’m sure she’s going to give the best direction anyway in the screenplay. I’m sure she’s going to write the screenplay like a book.

Andrew: Yeah. Also makes me wonder, I wonder if she’s going to be on set a lot? Because she wasn’t really on set with the Harry Potter films.

Eric: Well, I think she’ll totally visit, but… because even the writer, their job is done once the script is done.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Producers, you imagine having to be there nearly every day. Directors, absolutely. Cast, absolutely. But the writer, screenwriter, maybe not. But I’d like to think that she is going to be there every day, but…

Andrew: I feel like she will be interested in being there more often since they’ve got to make sure they get this right.

Eric: Right, because I feel like before too, the adaptation, right? It was out of her hands. She had written the books years before the films went into production, and then the films went into production and it’s just like, “Okay, here’s the…” and she approved the screenplay and this, that, the other thing, but there wasn’t enough… there wasn’t more she could do. Now if there’s a question with the script or whatever that comes up during filming, they can just Skype her or call her up.

Andrew: Right, right.

Eric: Something like that.

Andrew: Yeah, I’m sure they’re going to be talking to her a lot. So yeah, as for the fandom, I think I did a poll. I need to find it, but I think more people were interested in David Yates doing it than not. Most people were happy about it. Seemed like…

Eric: I like his movies. I really do. I…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Yeah, because I’m one of the people who doesn’t like Book 5 all that much, but I like Movie 5.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: And I like the whole second half of the film series. So…

Andrew: Yeah. Well, and I’m excited for this as well. I don’t think he personally will be responsible for any particularly major problems because we aren’t comparing it to a book. J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: All these people are coming back. So, I just found the poll. 50 percent said yes, they like that David Yates is directing; 27 percent said no; and 22 percent said undecided. And rightfully so. We don’t know much about this yet, so…

Eric: Oh, yeah. I mean, David Yates strikes me as a director who can take something and run with it, right? He makes it his own. That’s not to say he doesn’t make… because he does make it his own, but it’s enjoyable. It’s very straightforward almost kind of thing. I’m trying to think of if any of his Harry Potter films were particularly contemplative. Everything… that part in part comes from them all being adaptations too, right? And they’re all just like, “One thing has to happen after another,” because they’re covering a whole year of history in a two-hour film. But I don’t know. I feel like in terms of cerebral, I would probably go to… after seeing Gravity, I would just go straight to Cuaron for it.

Andrew: Mhm.

Eric: And I forgive him partially for Prisoner of Azkaban.

News: Rumored Release Dates for Fantastic Beasts

Andrew: So as we alluded to earlier… let’s move on from Yates now. We knew that this was… a New York Times report several months ago said that this was going to be a planned trilogy; that was the first time we heard it was going to be a trilogy. And then on August 6, just a few days after we recorded the most recent MuggleCast, we… Warner Bros. announced a slew of mystery release dates and the majority of them were for – quote, unquote – “untitled DC films,” referring to things like Batman and Wonder Woman, all these types of things. But then on November 16, 2018, and November 20, 2020, [laughs] there were two – quote, unquote – “untitled WB event films.” Now, a couple of people – myself included – immediately jumped to the conclusion that these are Fantastic Beasts 2 and 3 because this is the same day of the year that Fantastic Beasts 1 comes out; that’s November 18, 2016. So, these movies are apparently going to be spaced out two years apart from one another, which is…

Eric: But be on the same weekend?

Andrew: Yeah, same weekend. It’s that pre-Thanksgiving weekend.

Eric: Yeah, it’s the golden spot, so…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: … even if a movie is on its way out, it makes it into the new year.

Andrew: Yeah, and this is a big date in cinema. First two Harry Potter were there, I believe another one was there, the Twilight movies were there, Hunger Games are there now… so this is a big day.

Micah: I think Goblet of Fire was there, wasn’t it? That’s when we all got together.

Eric: Yeah, that’s the first live MuggleCast.

Andrew: And then the rest were summer.

Eric: It’s like week 47, is it, of the year? 47 out of 52? That sounds right to me. Yeah, it’s that same weekend for every…

Andrew: It’s kind of interesting to me because we know with The Hobbit right now, Warner Bros. is releasing them every year. For some reason, they want to place these two years apart from one another. I don’t know if there’s anything to be said for that, but…

Micah: I think it depends how they approach it. If they’re going to… The Hobbit, obviously, was all shot at once, right? And then they just…

Andrew: Yeah, except for when they…

Micah: … made it into three movies?

Andrew: Yeah, they had to go back and film a bunch of stuff when they added the third.

Eric: Yeah, the pickups.

Micah: Yeah, I guess that’s expected, but…

Andrew: See, I would think from a production standpoint, they would want to film them all back-to-back. That’s one of the reasons they split Deathly Hallows into two movies because they filmed it all at once.

Eric: But it would kind of be a delay, right? It would get them… because JKR… because this is new stuff. It’s not to say… it’s not an adaptation. We know that.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But because it’s all new stuff, it would delay the front end of the… because JKR, whoever, would have to write the follow-up scripts first.

Andrew: Right. So J.K. Rowling needs more time, which makes sense considering she’s also writing other books.

Eric: Especially if she’s going to write the second and third movie.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: But then also, there’s… I think no matter what, the production is going to… or post-production, right? Yeah, the CGI and everything they have to add in is going to take a long time because I want these films to be…

Andrew: True.

Eric: Oh wait, I was going to say effects heavy but then didn’t they say they were using a lot of animatronics and practical effects during the filming for this?

Andrew: I think you’re confusing that with Star Wars. [laughs]

Eric: Wow. It’s possible.

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: I’m sure you’re right. Wow, I am. Okay. Well, I want the… you know what? Where do you guys stand on that? Let’s ask you that. Do you think that the new Fantastic Beasts should rely on practical effects, which tend to stand the test of time better – think Jurassic Park – or CG effects, which also work when done well?

Andrew: Well, whatever they did with Harry Potter just do that again.

[Andrew and Eric laugh]

Andrew: Because I thought they looked great in Harry Potter – all the Harry Potter movies.

Eric: You know what? That was mostly animatronics, though. Buckbeak…

Andrew: Well, then there you go. Yeah, right, and the Basilisk.

Eric: Everything except Grawp I think… Grawp was CG motion capture and the giants at the end were like CG motion capture.

Micah: The dragon probably was CG.

Eric: No, that’s a real dragon actually.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: Which dragon?

Micah: That’s good. That’s great. They hired him.

Eric: The not-Antipodean.

Micah: Well, you have them in Goblet of Fire.

Andrew: I think it’s a mix.

Micah: And then you had Deathly Hallows – Part 2.

Andrew: Deathly Hallows. Yeah.

Eric: Yeah.

Micah: But…

Andrew: Well, we’ll know that they’re using animatronics if they take the one off the top of the Diagon Alley expansion.

Eric: [laughs] Oh, gosh.

Andrew: It’s like missing for a few months. We’re like, “Where’d it go?” They’re like, “Oh, it’s just away for repairs. Don’t worry about it.”

Micah: It took a trip.

Eric: It escaped!

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: No, they would say something funny, right?

Micah: It’s on vacation in London.

Eric: They would say it’s on union break or something.

Andrew: Yeah. Then when it comes back, its head is moving and it can flap its wings.

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: We’re like, “Oh, wow. Okay, that was a cool break for it.”

Eric: Okay, yeah.

Micah: With two years though, one of the things that came to mind though also is how well the first one does. They could certainly play around with the release date a little bit if that first movie has the success that it anticipates. But if it doesn’t do well, maybe they’re spaced out so that they can cancel them if they need to.

Andrew: True.

Eric: Look, do you think under any… do you think there’s any universe… in the theory of infinite universes, do you think there’s one where Harry Potter – like a Harry Potter follow-up film – doesn’t succeed?

Andrew: No. Well…

Micah: No.

Andrew: … where it is positioned right now, no, because again Yates, Heyman, J.K. Rowling. I think that…

Eric: Oh, and it’s a proven weekend, right?

Andrew: Right.

Eric: It’s when four out of the eight Harry Potter films or five out of the eight, I think.

Andrew: And things like J.K. Rowling’s anagram prove how alive the fandom can still be if she throws some fire on the flames. Throw some… what am I trying to say? Throw some gas on the flames? Something like that.

Eric: Yeah, ignites the spark.

Andrew: Yeah, something like that.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So yeah, I think it’s definitely going to end up being three films. Warner Bros., of course, really wants this to be three movies so they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure it happens. Which is why I still want J.K. Rowling to write a little mini book, free ebook, that introduces us to Newt. Get everybody talking. The media will be like, “Oh my God, new Harry Potter book,” even though it’s not, but that’s okay because people will be talking about it.

Eric: Well, and we were thinking about… we were talking earlier about how it’s been a year and what do we know? What don’t we know? Thinking about what we still don’t know. We don’t know the director, for sure, that’s true, but also any casting announcements. We still have so far to go in terms of Fantastic Beasts, in terms of the first film, even though we like to look ahead at the later films. I want to know who’s going to be playing Newt Scamander. I want to know how that first movie is going to turn out quite a bit.

Andrew: Here are the four things we know for sure. Here are the five things we know for sure. I just realized I misnumbered this.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: David Heyman is returning to produce. David Yates is returning to direct – we’re assuming that’s correct. Number three: it will be released November 18, 2016. Number four: Warner Bros. is planning a trilogy. And then number five, we learned during the initial announcement is that there is a planned theme park attraction of some sort and Warner Bros. is, of course, going to be going all out to create merchandise.

Eric: To realize that, yeah.

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Six is that it will be set in New York.

Andrew: Well, yeah, that too. [laughs] And now seven is her little synopsis thing today.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: So, that’s what we know.

MuggleCast 274 Transcript (continued)

News: J.K. Rowling Reveals Her Patronus

Andrew: A little other story not related to Fantastic Beasts. Again, J.K. Rowling on Twitter. Dropping all the exciting info on Twitter these days. We didn’t know her Patronus, what her Patronus was, which blows my mind. I would have thought we learned about this a while ago.

Eric: Yeah. You know what? It feels like that question could have been out there since Book 3, right?

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: Since ’99 people should have been asking because I feel like people… you’re right, that question should have been answered already.

Andrew: Or maybe Pottermore’s Book 3.

Eric: Yeah. [laughs]

Andrew: Throw it in there somewhere. New from J.K. Rowling…

Eric: Well, there’s…

Andrew: … my Patronus.

Eric: Yeah. You know the Patronus thing though, with Pottermore? And I do want to bring this up, is apparently there will be a test…

Andrew: Yes!

Eric: … about what your Patronus is.

Andrew: And that’s another thing J.K. Rowling revealed.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: So, on Twitter she said… or somebody asked her:


Eric: All caps.

Andrew: Now, see this person, Micah, wrote the question in all caps.

Eric: Yeah.

Andrew: Have you done that? Maybe that’s what you’ve got to do to get your question answered.

Micah: She only answers questions with caps. I got it. All right.

Eric: No, it’s if you ask your question in caps, she might…

Andrew: Yeah.

Micah: Oh.

Andrew: The person asked the question…

Eric: It’s proven… it’s tried and tested this one time…

Andrew: Yeah.

Eric: … from @acciowandspells.

Andrew: But then not only that, this person wrote:

“Thank you. You help us everyday. We are Potterheads until the end…”

So, you have to write the question in all caps and then write a really nice message.

Micah: Then kiss her ass.

Andrew: Yeah, kiss her ass. Exactly. [laughs]

Eric: I don’t know because all of that ass kissing… whoa, I can’t believe we just said that about a fellow fan.

[Andrew and Micah laugh]

Eric: All of that additional wittering really only got… she responded… she was kind of short in her response though, right? She said…

Andrew: She’s like she doesn’t really want to answer it.

Eric: She like, “It’s a pine marten.”

Andrew: So, then you have to go and Google this pine marten because you’re like, “What the heck is a pine marten?”

Eric: “I’ve never heard of a pine marten.” Yeah.

Andrew: It’s an adorable little cat looking thing.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: It’s in the same family as minks, otters – which, of course, Hermione’s Patronus – badgers – reference to Hufflepuff – wolverines, and weasels. So…

Eric: Aww. Actually, it’s quite a menace in the UK and Ireland. [laughs]

Andrew: Yeah, that too.

Eric: Oh, wait. No, no, no, it’s not a menace. It’s a savior, right? Because I’m looking at the wordplay they used in this Hypable article, “…the invasive gray squirrel.” So, the gray squirrel was a menace in the UK and Ireland, and the pine marten got rid of the gray squirrel.

Andrew: Mmm.

Eric: Or helped to get rid of. So, it’s actually… it’s like a Robin Hood of like a… or like a gallant knight coming to the rescue of the UK and Ireland.

Micah: Do you think she just said to herself, “Let me come up with the most obscure animal.”

Eric: No. You know what? I think… although that would get people to read, right? Isn’t that J.K. Rowling’s thing?

Micah: Well, I guarantee you…

Eric: Well, pine martens…

Micah: And I think I tweeted this at the time. I guarantee you, with the exception of the people who live in the UK where this animal is popular, nobody had any clue what this thing was.

Eric: Well, that’s what I’m saying. It’s like… but there are regional animals. There just are. We know what dingoes are and kangaroos because they’re fairly world…

Micah: Because we live… [laughs]

Eric: … known. No, but I’m saying… like voles. Have you ever heard of a vole? Because I’ve heard of a vole.

Micah: I’ve heard of it, yeah.

Andrew: Is it [unintelligible]?

Eric: It’s like an underground dwelling creature who lives in burrows. But that’s a strictly… I feel like… we all grew up in the northeast, guys, so I feel like that’s why we know what that is and I feel like it’s a very geographically… anyway, my point is…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … I feel like from the second that she invented the rules of a Patronus, like in Book… when she was planning for Book 3 or even sooner in the cafe on a napkin, she knew what her own would be. It’s just that for some reason years later, throughout the years, that somehow never came up.

Andrew: Yeah, it is weird. But I like Micah’s question, too. Now I’m thinking about that. It’s kind of… I don’t think you’ve read Divergent, but it kind of reminds me of Divergent when they switch factions.

Eric: Oh, yeah. Well, he’s got a great question. We retweeted from… everybody we know, even MuggleCast, MuggleNet… everybody retweeted his thing and it still didn’t get…

Micah: You want me to do this again tomorrow?

Andrew: Yes, and I’ll do it too.

Eric: All caps this time. All caps.

Andrew: We’re going to go crazy. We’re going to…

Micah: So you’ll retweet me, is that what you’re saying?

Andrew: Yeah, sure. Whatever. Or I’ll write it on the MuggleCast account. That’s what I meant. Write it on the MuggleCast account.

Micah: Oh, okay.

Andrew: Yeah. And every day. [laughs]

Micah: All right, every day.

Andrew: Every day we’ll tweet it.

Micah: There we go.

Eric: Oh God, let’s not anger her, all right? She’s still got a ways to go.

Andrew: With a new nice comment.

Micah: Somebody replied to me saying probably not because it would somehow delegitimize the Sorting Hat, but…

Andrew: Yeah, if you go against the Sorting Hat, you’re kind of a butt.

Micah: I can’t imagine in all the years that the school is around that somebody did not, in fact, change houses.

Eric: Well, Micah, let’s settle this once and for all. I feel like… isn’t the answer already in the books, right? Or on Pottermore? Because you can be a Hatstall. Okay? We know that from Pottermore. There are characters who were Hatstalls, who… but then also, the Sorting Hat takes your choice into consideration, so doesn’t it make sense that maybe they don’t transfer houses but you do absolutely have a say in the house you go into? Isn’t that like the same thing?

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: No because…

Eric: Like if the Sorting Hat came to you…

Micah: As you grow older you could change, certainly.

Eric: So you’re like, “This isn’t working out for me. It’s been two years and I still feel like I’d be better suited…”

Andrew: “I feel like I’m a Hufflepuff.”

Eric: Right.

Micah: Right. Or somebody says…

Andrew: That makes sense. I think it’s an interesting question.

Micah: … “Seamus is really bullying me. I can’t live here anymore. I need to go be in Ravenclaw.”

Eric: You know what, though?

Andrew: Ah. Well, see, that’s a human resources issue.

[Everyone laughs]

Eric: You know also though, guys, I do want to say this. The classes, right? They did have classes with other houses.

Andrew: Yeah, right.

Eric: So, they had Potions with the Sytherins, which was terrible, but they had Herbology with the Hufflepuffs. I feel like in that way, you would have friends in other houses. I don’t know. We see them as divided because Harry tends to stick to his own house until Luna and maybe some others in year five or whatever, but I feel like you do interact with people of other houses. So, there’s no reason to transfer normally kind of in a way. I’m just saying, if she never replies to you, Micah, I want that to be the answer.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: I could keep coming up with questions, though. I could say, “Has anybody ever transferred schools?”

Andrew: Well, here’s what we… start thinking them up.

Micah: Is there a foreign exchange program?

Andrew: Start thinking them up because you know she’s going to be doing interviews like absolutely crazy come Fantastic Beasts movie time.

Micah: She needs to come on our goddamn show already.

Andrew: There are going to be a bazillion interviews.

Eric: Yeah. For MuggleCast 275, we will have J.K. Rowling on our show. [laughs]

Andrew: [laughs] Not… no, I’ve given up with that. She had her chance!

Eric: Oh.

Andrew: I’m just kidding. One other…

Micah: Why don’t you tweet that out? We’ll retweet it.

Andrew: [laughs] I’ll get flamed for that.

Micah: No, no, no. The question if she’ll come on the show.

Andrew: Oh. Start doing that everyday?

Micah: 275, we want you on.

Andrew: Yeah. Yeah, we could.

Micah: Let’s go.

Announcement: Jamie Gets Engaged

Andrew: To wrap up the show today, we actually have a little exciting announcement about a MuggleCast alum, I guess you could call him: Jamie Lawrence. He got engaged. Aww! Happy…

Eric: Congratulations.

Andrew: Congratulations to Jamie.

Micah: It’s great news.

Andrew: He got engaged to Sophie, his girlfriend of… I think about three years? No, no, no, 2008. Oh my God, it’s been…

Eric: Six years.

Andrew: It’s been a long time, yeah. [laughs] So… I met her at the Beedle the Bard event that we did in London in 2008.

Eric: Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Or was that 2007?

Eric: I feel like it was ’08.

Andrew: When did Beedle the Bard… wait, no. Beedle the Bard came out in 2007 because I recently looked this up.

Eric: Really?

Andrew: Yeah, I know. It was published December 2007.

Eric: Oh, at the very extreme end of the year.

Andrew: Yeah, which is so weird that Beedle the Bard came out a few months after Deathly Hallows.

Eric: Yeah, that is weird. That’s really weird.

Andrew: So…

Micah: Well, it had to. I mean it was in the book, right?

Andrew: True. Well, it didn’t have to, but…

[Eric and Micah laugh]

Andrew: Yeah, it did have to come out after Deathly Hallows.

Eric: Because originally it was just for one person that won the auction, right? She had a hand… but then she had to write special permission to get it produced into a book…

Andrew: No. Well, sort of. So, she wrote… she made seven handwritten copies total.

Eric: Oh, right.

Andrew: Gave them to six very important people in her life. The seventh she auctioned off. Amazon was the winning bidder…

Eric: Yes!

Andrew: … and they got permission… they worked with Rowling to publish it.

Eric: And she… but she did get permission from the six other people who had the handwritten copies.

Andrew: Oh, okay.

Eric: Yeah, I think. That’s what I remember anyway. Yeah, so… oh, that’s really weird. Well, congratulations to Jamie anyway.

Andrew: [laughs] Yeah, I forgot what we were talking about.

Eric: Please invite us to your wedding.

Micah: Yeah.

Andrew: Yeah. I want to get…

Micah: And congratulations to your sister as well, Andrew.

Andrew: Yes. [laughs] Thank you, Micah.

Eric: What happened to Becca?

Andrew: She got engaged today.

Eric: What?

Andrew: Yup. Big day in the MuggleCast family. And you guys are all invited! [laughs]

Eric: Cool.

Andrew: No, Micah, you can come if you want.

Micah: All right.

Andrew: I only say that because you’re near.

Eric: Do you know her fiance? Do you know him?

Andrew: Yeah, I’ve met him a couple of times. He’s a big MuggleCast fan.

Eric: What?

Andrew: No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. [laughs]

Eric: Oh.

Micah: Go hang out with Heidi.

Andrew: [laughs] What?

Micah: At the wedding.

Andrew: You’re going to hang out with Heidi, my mom?

Micah: Yeah. Just say, “Hi. What’s up?”

Andrew: Okay.

Micah: I haven’t seen her in a while.

Andrew: Yeah, sure. Okay.

Eric: [laughs] He’s just going to say, “Hi. What’s up?”

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: It’s okay, Andrew. Micah is just going to say, “Hi. What’s up?”…

Andrew: Well, I don’t have the date yet.

Eric: … to your mom.

Andrew: I think it’s before Fantastic Beasts comes out.

Eric: Oh, okay.

Andrew: Maybe she should do it in the gap… no, Jamie should do it in one of the gap years. November 2017, between two Fantastic Beasts movies.

Eric: Yeah, I feel like it’s not a stretch to plan life events in between two Harry Potter tent pole events.

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: I feel like that’s what [unintelligible] for us.

Andrew: I would. I would.

Eric: Yeah.

Show Close

Andrew: All right, so that’s it for MuggleCast. [laughs] Big episode, an hour long.

Eric: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah.

Andrew: Thank you everybody for listening. We’ll continue to do these new episodes as we have some interesting news to discuss. We even got in some theories today. No theory is safe.

Eric: That’s right.

Andrew: And what else is there to say?

Eric: Well…

Andrew: Let’s plug stuff. Micah and Eric, what you got?

Eric: Just earlier before we sat down to record this episode of MuggleCast, we recorded our 242nd episode of Game of Owns, the Game of Thrones podcast, brought to you by It’s Micah and myself are hosts, or co-hosts, on that podcast, along with Zack Luye, our friend for several years now – big Harry Potter fan – and Kate Welch, who is in the gaming industry in Seattle.

[Car honking noises in the background]

Eric: And somebody outside my window…

[Andrew laughs]

Eric: … is very angry or something.

Andrew: A very big fan of Game of Owns.

Eric: Yeah, yeah, yeah. But that’s our Game of Thrones podcast. We’re actually reading the third Game of Thrones book now in the off season between seasons 4 and 5 of the TV show.

Andrew: Cool.

Eric: So, go check that out. Actually, you know what I want to plug? Sorry to keep hogging up the airspace here, but I recently became a co-producer, co-editor of the Improvised Star Trek Podcast and I want to give these guys just the best… the most credit I possibly can. If you, listener, happen to also enjoy Star Trek, as I do more recently – Next Generation, Voyager era – these guys are the best and they have a podcast. It’s bi-weekly, just like MuggleCast used to be, and every two weeks they put out an episode and they source episode titles from their listeners through Facebook, through Twitter, and you just give them an episode title and they create – they have their own ship’s crew, and they have experiences and events in space in the 24th century just like Star Trek. And it’s in-jokes. It’s a mix of in-jokes and satire and improv. It’s all improvised on the spot and then the editor’s job, the producer’s job, is to go and put in sound effects and music and everything to make it sound and feel like an actual Star Trek episode with all the Star Trek stuff.

Andrew: Cool.

Eric: I do want to say, it’s called the Improvised Star Trek Podcast. Go check it out. It is on iTunes and the website is

Andrew: Micah? Game of Owns as well?

Micah: Yeah. Eric pretty much covered it. I would just say we’re at @GameofOwns on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and then, of course, the website,, so plenty of ways for you to connect with the show. And then if you want to follow me and hear my random…

Andrew: Pleas to J.K. Rowling every day.

Eric: Careful. He doesn’t follow J.K. Rowling on Twitter, guys.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: And snarky comments to J.K. Rowling… no, I’m just kidding. I’m at @mjtbaum. So yeah, give me a follow. You never know what you’re going to get.

Eric: You know what’s funny, Micah? I call it @mjtbaum, but I’ve never heard you call it that. [laughs]

Andrew: That’s what I call it, too.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: And I’m over at…

Micah: Glad we’re all in agreement…

[Eric laughs]

Micah: … on my Twitter handle.

Andrew: Yeah, that was bothering me…

Micah: By the way, Andrew was the one who convinced me to get on Twitter way, way back in the day.

Andrew: Darn right!

Micah: And he said, “Look, you just got to do it.”

Andrew: “You just got to do it.”

Micah: I was hesitant about it and he convinced me. And I remember when you first… I don’t know how many years ago it was at this point, but when you first told me to join Twitter and I had a BlackBerry back at that time.

Andrew: Mhm.

Micah: And I just remember I was out for dinner that night or something along… something like that, and my phone just… I guess the setting was automatically turned on to let me know when I got a new follower.

Andrew: Oh.

Micah: And I’m sure you had pushed this out on MuggleCast and MuggleNet and all these other places, and my phone just literally did not stop going off…

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: … for about…

Andrew: Your BlackBerry was…

Micah: … four or five hours.

Andrew: Crazy. Well, and now to this day, you still don’t follow J.K. Rowling. Super weird.

[Eric sighs]

Andrew: You’re going to follow one day.

Eric: He did and then he got… what was it? What was the catalyst, Micah? Why did you stop following her? You did it…

Andrew: She was so boring.

Eric: Oh, right.

Micah: Because she really… honestly, she didn’t tweet.

[Andrew laughs]

Micah: She just put a couple of tweets out there.

Andrew: So, he protested by unfollowing.

Eric: Right.

Andrew: I think it was smart.

Micah: Really quick, my thing is I’m not a proponent of somebody who goes on Twitter just to say they are on Twitter but then not do anything with their Twitter account.

Eric: Right, right.

Micah: But now she has definitely been more active, so we’ll see what happens.

Andrew: Don’t follow her until the next episode. We have to have a big moment.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: All right, and then I’m over at Hypable,, I’m always tweeting about Harry Potter, by the way, because I know that’s what people follow me for, so… and then, of course, I also do Hype After Dark, which is my weekly podcast. You can go to for that and that is $4 a month.

Micah: I’ve been on that, too.

Andrew: Yes, you were on it recently, actually.

Eric: Ooh.

Andrew: Yeah, we talked about Kevin and Laura.

[Eric laughs]

Andrew: Laura, by the way, who is now in New York. Crazy.

Eric: Yes. How cool is that, right? Half of the old MuggleCast panel is…

Andrew: I’m happy for her.

Eric: Are you in New Jersey now or are you back in LA?

Andrew: No, I’m in LA.

Eric: Okay.

Andrew: But next time I go back to New Jersey for the holidays…

Eric: I’ll be back…

Andrew: When? When are you back?

Eric: No, I’ll be back in PA and I’m coming up to New York Christmas a week, the 20th to 27th.

Andrew: Oh, I smell a meetup.

Eric: I know, I smell… well, now that Kevin and Laura are there too, right?

Micah: All five in one place?

Eric: Wow.

Andrew: Yeah, and I hear Kevin and Laura are paying, so I’m definitely in.

[Everyone laughs]

Micah: Well, one of that… never mind.

Andrew: One of the two. [laughs]

Eric: I have an article queued up from Hypable that I’m ready to read as soon as we finish this, too: “Fifteen ‘Charmed’ cameos to surprise and delight you.”

Andrew: Oh, yeah. I don’t even watch that show and I was shocked. [laughs]

Eric: [laughs] Well, it was written by Karen Rought and I’m happy to see number two here on the thing is Oded Fehr, who I love from The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.

Andrew: Oh, okay. Cool.

[Show music begins]

Eric: So, I’ll read this article as soon as we’re done.

Andrew: Awesome. Well, thank you everybody for listening. And again, we’ll be back when… I don’t know. Newt Scamander is announced. [laughs] Or J.K. Rowling drops the full synopsis. One of those two things, probably. So, we’ll see everybody next time for Episode 275.

Micah: Five.

Andrew: Yes. [laughs] Goodbye.

Eric: Goodbye.

Micah: Bye.

[Show music continues]