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WERD/ART – “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” SDCC Poster

This years SDCC has been an exciting one hasn’t it? Among the slew of superhero news it might be easy to miss anything not involving capes and tights. Still, here’s a rather exciting bit of marketing for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”. 

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (2016) dir. David Yates, releases this November, and for a while I have been beguiled by the trailers despite being a self proclaimed “Non-fan” of the franchise. The prospect of something new piqued my interest, and sure enough it looks as though Fantastic Beasts seeks to distance itself from the past by offering something different. America.

This poster really is a game of two halves, on the one hand, the background that recalls artwork from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” is captivating. The use of moody blues really conveys a sense of danger and mystery, as if Newt is in the underbelly of the city, running away from some unseen assailant. There’s a graphical sensibility here, and for the most part it is extremely engaging, by no means is this an ugly poster, in fact it’s quite eye catching.

As if to firmly suggest that this film does indeed take place in America, the use of flags and the New York skyline cements the notion that this is a film apart from the Potter stories. Clearly important, as Harry Potter is firmly synonymous with Middle England to the worldwide audience, and it will be a focus and a challenge for marketing to change this perception for the new chapter in the “Wizarding World”.

The problem with the poster lies in the live action elements, namely the actors. They’re overly darkened by contrast, and a little too saturated to efficiently blend with the other elements of the poster, which is a shame, as the initial idea to use iconography from “Metropolis” is an inspired one. Perhaps going a more illustrative route with them might have worked better?

Regardless, this is a marked effort in playing with the iconography of America to distance the property from previous installments. And, it’s certainly getting brownie points from me for honoring Boris Bilinsky’s work on the Metropolis poster.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is out this November.

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