Our first look at Fantastic Beasts is finally here!
Entertainment Weekly has released a collection of promo, stills and behind the scenes images from the upcoming Harry Potter prequel this week, as well as some new setting and character details:
Set seven decades before the start of the Harry Potter adventures, the film is inspired by the textbook Harry and his fellow students are given at the start of their time at Hogwarts, though its plot is entirely new.
Within the Potter universe, the textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, was written by a mysterious wizard named Newt Scamander, and is a collection of observations on 85 species found on five continents. It also contains the history of Magizoology. The first edition of the book was published in 1927, after the events of this film.
J.K. Rowling released a version of the textbook in 2001, with all proceeds going to British charity Comic Relief.
The new film is the first in at least three that Rowling is writing directly for the screen, and is her first screenplay.
The story follows the fictional author of the book, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), as he heads to America on his quest to study magical creatures.
An air of mystery still surrounds the remainder of plot, which is reminiscent of the secrecy and anticipation that surrounded the release of each of the Harry Potter books.
The images show Eddie Redmayne as protagonist and world-famous magizoologist Newt Scamander, his wife Tina (Katherine Waterston), Tina’s sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), and Jacob (Dan Fogler).
We also see director David Yates back in action on set.
The Warner Bros. studio in Leavesden, north of London where the Harry Potter films were made, has been transformed into the New York of 1926 for the filming of the franchise.
The magazine also revealed that American witches and wizards use the alternate term “no-maj”, short for “no magic”, when describing “muggles” (those who are unable to practice spell casting), sparking a worldwide outrage from fans.
Also released were character descriptions:
- Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander
An eccentric globe-hopping English “magizoologist” wizard who’s far more comfortable around beasts and creatures than he is around other people. Comes to New York on a quest with his case full of magical habitats containing rare and endangered species.
- Katherine Waterston as Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein
An ambitious worker at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA, the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic) who meets Newt. Tina is relegated to an office well below her abilities after she stood up for the wrong person. She longs to fight for what’s right.
- Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein
Tina’s younger sister and roommate, a big-hearted free-spirit “legilimens” who can read minds.
- Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski
An optimistic No-Maj (aka Muggle) factory worker/aspiring baker who gets introduced to the wizarding world when he meets Newt. Fun fact: He’s the Harry Potter franchise’s first Muggle main character.
- Colin Farrell as Graves
A powerful auror and the right-hand man of the American wizarding world’s president.
- Samantha Morton as Mary Lou
The narrow-minded leader of the fanatical Second Salemers, a group looking to expose and destroy wizards and witches.
- Ezra Miller as Credence
Perhaps the cast’s most mysterious character. He’s Mary Lou’s troubled adopted son.
Warner Brothers have also launched the official social media accounts and a website for the film, including the title art which is unsurprisingly, inspired by a dragon.
The logo also uses the tagline “From J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World,” which has popped up on Pottermore’s and The Cursed Child’s websites in recent weeks. This appears to be the way all of the various Harry Potter offshoots will be packaged together.
EW’s cover story hit newsstands this Friday so be sure to grab a copy for even more Fantastic Beasts info.
The film opens in theaters next November.