With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them this weekend, the wizarding world lives again. Warner Bros. mounted the herculean effort of adapting J.K. Rowling’s beloved book series back in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, but they couldn’t have known how deeply the franchise would evolve over time, and how iconic it would become. Indeed, Harry Potter is now one of the great cultural touchstones of modern history, and when Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 was released in 2011, fans mourned the end of the franchise for good.
Of course, with something as valuable as Harry Potter, Warner Bros. wasn’t going to let it stay dormant for long. But the studio also has great respect for Rowling, the creator of the wizarding world, so when they first made contact with the author about an adaptation of the textbook for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it turns out Rowling was already thinking of ways to expand the story of Newt Scamander into a feature film.
Rowling penned the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts, and in doing so was able to create an entirely new corner of the wizarding world. There are striking differences between this film and the Harry Potter franchise on account of both the setting (America) and time period (1920s). However, while Fantastic Beasts does a great job of setting itself apart as a solid franchise unto itself, there are notable connections to Harry Potter to be found throughout the film. As such, we’ve culled together the major ones that are most particularly of note.
Warning, spoilers for Fantastic Beasts follow.