Yes, J.K Rowling is returning to the world of Harry Potter, indirectly, with a prequel/spinoff. She’s turned her creature encyclopedia “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” into a narrative feature film, and so far, most of the plot details have been held under wraps. All we really knew is that Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars as Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s preeminent magizoologist, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures.
But as “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week, new details are emerging, starting with a detailed and expanded synopsis:
Eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander comes to New York (for a reason we won’t disclose) with his trusty weathered case. This case is one of those way-way-way-bigger-on-the-inside magical devices, and within are expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt’s travels around globe. He discovers the American wizarding community is fearfully hiding from Muggles (who are called “No-Maj” in the US) and the threat of public exposure is an even graver concern than in the U.K. (remember the Salem witch trials?). Fantastic Beasts is the story of what happens when this uniquely skilled English wizard travels to wiz-phobic America and a variety of his creatures, some quite dangerous,… get out of their case.
That might be a little mean if you don’t speak Potter-verse, but it is what it is. A few character descriptions have been revealed as well.
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne)
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.
Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston)
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.
There’s much more, too. For example, Ezra Miller is described as “the cast’s most mysterious character,” so fans will have to wait to see what’s in store.
“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them” hits theaters November 18, 2016.