Liverpool’s Star turn as Fantastic Beasts hits Cinemas

With the release of Warner Bros Pictures’ highly anticipated new feature Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Liverpool awaits its moment to double as 1926 New York  when this exciting new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World hits the big screen..

Marking the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) in the central role of wizarding world Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter features.  The film opens in 1926, as Newt has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures.  Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Liverpool Film Office was instrumental in securing the city’s role as the only filming location outside of Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, where the filmmaking team built 1926 New York from the ground up.

Two of the city’s’ jewel buildings play a leading role in the film.  The Cunard Building doubled for an empty department store where Newt Scamander and his friends locate two of his missing beasts.  The grand St. George’s Hall became a banquet hall for a black tie event that is disrupted by mysterious events.

Director David Yates reflected on the filmmakers’ choice of Liverpool as the only non-studio location and the experience of filming in the city:

“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 reflected on his own personal connection to the city, adding: “We were thrilled to film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in Liverpool, a city which has such fond memories for me.

“My mother is from Liverpool and, as a child, we would often visit family there.  The architecture in this beautiful city works perfectly for our film, set in 1920s New York.”

Film Office manager, Lynn Saunders, said: “A huge amount of planning went into the nine-day shoot in the city.  Cast, crew and extras totalled over 1100 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 the magical case in which Newt hides his fantastic beasts, it was realised with the support of numerous council departments, local infrastructure companies, support delivery agencies as well as our very patient neighbours.”

Councillor Wendy Simon, Cabinet Member responsible for the Liverpool Film Office, added:  “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.

For more information about Liverpool Film Office, or to see a special film showcasing some of their work, visit


LiverpoolFilmOffice on Facebook


About Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes us to a new era of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away. The film stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, and Colin Farrell, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter features.


Marking the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them reunites a number of people from the Harry Potter franchise, including director Yates and producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.  Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers. The creative behind-the-scenes team includes director of photography Philippe Rousselot, production designer Stuart Craig, editor Mark Day, and costume designer Colleen Atwood.  Music is composed by James Newton Howard.


Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films Production, a David Yates Film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  The film will be released in select 2D, 3D and IMAX theaters worldwide beginning November 18, 2016, by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.




For more information, please contact Sarah Latcham, Communications Officer, on 0151 233 0071 or 077936 60570. 

 For the latest news from Liverpool City Council, visit or

 Visit to find out all the good things happening in Liverpool, or follow @lpoolcouncil on Twitter.

 Liverpool City Council, 4th Floor Cunard Building, Pier Head, Liverpool, L3 1DS