Warner Bros. has unveiled a bevy of new, high-resolution images from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, further revealing the highly anticipated expansion of the wizarding world. Marking the screenwriting debut of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, the film takes place in 1926 New York and revolves around Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoologist who finds himself thrust into a world of chaos as the American wizarding world is in danger of being exposed to the No Majs (American for Muggles), which would be in strict violation of how the American wizarding world conducts itself. Moreover, a faction of fanatics called the “Second Salemers” are bent on eradicating the magic folks once and for all, and the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindewald, following a trail of destruction in Europe, has slipped away and is nowhere to be found.
There’s a lot going on in Fantastic Beasts beyond the titular creatures being let loose on the city, and that’s one aspect of the film I think many are underestimating. Rowling has shown a knack for richly drawn characters and thematic parallels to real issues facing our world today, and in delving into themes of prejudice and politics, Fantastic Beasts could prove to be a wonderfully fulfilling experience indeed. Moreover, with five films planned in total, it’s now clear that this is how Rowling intends on continuing the wizarding world. The Fantastic Beasts movies are basically Rowling’s way of writing more Harry Potter books, except instead of books she’s writing screenplays.
And I haven’t even mentioned the gorgeous world that director David Yates and his team have conjured. The Harry Potter films were always visual feasts, but working in a period setting has given Yates and Co. the freedom to expand beyond their wildest dreams, crafting an entirely different wizarding world from the ground up.
I’m mighty excited for this movie and beyond, even if Johnny Depp’s casting as a mystery character has me somewhat concerned he’ll be filling the role of Grindewald in the franchise going forward. Regardless, I can’t wait to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them when it opens in theaters on November 18th.
Peruse through the new images below, and click for high-resolution. The film also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Carmen Ejogo, Ron Perlman, and Jon Voight.