It’s been five long years since we packed away our wands and broomsticks and bid a teary-eyed goodbye to the world of Harry Potter, so it’s little wonder we aren’t already pitching our tents outside cinemas everywhere; we’re less than ten days away from the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
A spin off of the Harry Potter franchise, this is the first in a series of five films that documents the adventures of Newt Scamander, a writer and magizoologist (that’s the wizard’s version of zoologist for those of you who haven’t figured it out).
This will be the ninth film from the Harry Potter universe, or the 10th venture if you include the two-part West End stage play. The film borrows its name of a book written by Newt Scamander, who is really J.K Rowling herself — it’s a pen name from 2001.
The film is set seventy years before the events in the wizarding world of Harry Potter that we know and love. It’s 1920, and has another twist — it’s set in the USA. The movie follows the unlikely band of Newt Scamander, Ministry of Magic Auror; Tina Goldstein; Tina’s sister; Queenie, and their new muggle (non-magical) friend Jacob as they race to retrieve escaped magical beasts across New York City. All the while, there’s an underlying darkness threatening peace in the two worlds.
The movie boasts of some seriously big names like Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller and Dan Fogler. Johnny Depp, who is slated to play an important role in the next movie, is rumoured to make a short appearance in this one, too.
This is the first time J.K. Rowling has donned the hat of the screenwriter, but she hasn’t come over to the new camp alone. Steve Kloves takes on the role of the producer in this film, after previously working on the screenplay for seven of the eight Harry Potter films. David Heyman also returns to the producer’s chair once again with Fantastic Beasts.
We are going to get a wonderful taste of some truly magnificent magical beasts who have escaped from Scamander’s briefcase. And if rumor is to be believed, we may even get a glimpse of the dreaded Gellert Grindelwald. Eddie Redmayne promises Rowling has packed a tonne of surprises and secrecy into the script; unfortunately the cast has remained ridiculously tight-lipped, so no spoilers here!
If you aren’t excited yet, just wait till the end of the trailer below — the soundtrack alone is guaranteed to give you goosebumps.