Amidst all the drama at the Oscars last night, when La La Land was mistakenly named Best Picture instead of the real winner Moonlight, you might have missed one small but notable event – the first Academy Award ever won by the Harry Potter franchise.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2016 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. A spin-off of the Harry Potter film series, it was produced and written by J. K. Rowling, in her screenwriting debut, and inspired by her book of the same name.
Set in 1920s New York, the film stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander with Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman and Colin Farrell in supporting roles. It is the first instalment in the Fantastic Beasts series, and the ninth overall in J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, the franchise that began with the Harry Potter films.
Despite 14 nominations (including Fantastic Beasts) over 9 films, the adaptations of JK Rowling’s work have always missed out, until spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them picked up the Best Costume Design honour at last night’s ceremony.
With that said, it wasn’t a first for the winner herself, Colleen Atwood, who has previously bagged Academy Awards for Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha and Alice in Wonderland and has had 12 nominations over her career.
“Sting told me I was going to win tonight. I didn’t believe him,” Atwood joked during her speech, and then went into more depth backstage at her surprise to be the first Harry Potter Oscar winner. “I didn’t realise that. That’s shocking,” Atwood said (via EW). “Because there’s so much incredible kind of artistry in the Harry Potter movies.
The film was also nominated for Best Production Design, which it lost to La La Land.