For Harry Potter fans anxious to dive back into the wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them announcement trailer likely feels like an early Christmas present.
In this new trilogy, the Fantastic Beasts story line takes place in the America’s 70-years prior to the events within the Harry Potter books. Main character and fictional FB author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is a magizoologist who studies creatures within the magical world. As required reading for all first-years at Hogwarts, you’ve likely seen Newt’s book floating around Harry and his classmates mirroring the extensive world we’ve seen from other authors like J.R.R. Tolkien.
For a bit of background on Hufflepuff Newt, check out this Wikipedia breakdown:
After graduating from Hogwarts, Scamander joined the Ministry of Magic in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. His career included a brief stint in the Office of House-elf Relocation, a transfer to the Beast Division, the creation of the Werewolf Register in 1947, the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, and many research trips for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau. His contributions to Magizoology earned him an Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979.
Now retired, he lives in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet “Kneazles”: Hoppy, Milly and Mauler. He has a grandson named Rolf, who married Luna Lovegood some time after the events of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. In the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Newt Scamander’s name appeared on the Marauder’s Map. Why he was at Hogwarts was not addressed.
If this all doesn’t strike you as interesting, you may need to check yourself for a pulse.
Some fans may fear a prequel won’t live up to expectations but I would argue Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be the exception among them all.
Take for example the film’s setting in the US, not London. This means we have a new wizard-world to explore complete with its own culture like No-Maj, the American word for Muggle. Author and screenwriter J.K. Rowling has direct involvement and Fantastic Beasts has the same director and production designer from the original movie franchise.
It’s been four years since the conclusion of Deathly Hallows appeared in theaters and while I’m fairly new to the franchise, I’m just as excited about this trilogy as I am for Star Wars. And that’s saying something.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them releases in November of 2016.