The release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is just a few short weeks away, and anticipation and intrigue are both high; it’s a welcoming return to J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World for sure, but will Fantastic Beasts live up to its hype? Let’s hope so, because there’s another four movies within the Fantastic Beasts franchise to come. To be fair, all things thus far point towards this movie being one of the cinematic highlights of 2016; the plot details, character descriptions as well as the (fantastically entertaining) final trailer all hold great promise.

Fantastic Beasts takes us back in time to 1920s New York, when Magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives in the city with a case full of magical creatures. The action unfolds when said case gets left open, and the Fantastic Beasts escape. Ahead of the film’s release, Empire have released some new images from the movie, as well as a look at their forthcoming cover dedicated to Fantastic Beasts.

You can check out Empire‘s Fantastic Beasts-themed magazine cover as well as those photos from the movie, below:

Fantastic Beasts 1 Fantastic Beasts Images Highlight American Wizards & No Majs

Fantastic Beasts 2 Fantastic Beasts Images Highlight American Wizards & No Majs

Fantastic Beasts 3 Fantastic Beasts Images Highlight American Wizards & No Majs

Fantastic Beasts Empire Cover Fantastic Beasts Images Highlight American Wizards & No Majs

The first image above shows Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo), head of the Magical Congress of the USA (MACUSA), with Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), in the background. While Graves does serve MACUSA, his motives, as hinted at in previous trailers and images, are not entirely pure. In fact, he has close association with the Barebones family, who are pictured in the second image above. Mary Lou Barebones, played by Samantha Morton, is head of the New Salem Philanthropist Society, a group which seeks death to all witches and wizards. Preaching to an already jumpy and nervous New York No-Maj society, her movement is able to gain momentum by capitalizing on people’s fears. Pictured with Mary Lou is her adoptive son, Credence (Ezra Miller), who has dealings with Percival Graves, as well as Mary Lou’s daughters.

The final image shows the quiet and unassuming Newt Scamander alongside Jacob (Dan Fogler) as they try to ward off whatever trouble is coming toward them. Both characters also feature on the magazine cover, along with Tina and Queenie Goldstein, and Percival Graves. It’s similar to previously seen images of the main cast, but this time there’s the addition of a truly Fantastic Thunderbird in the background as well as a rather cute little creature called a Bowtruckle resting in Newt’s breast pocket.

On the surface, Fantastic Beasts might appear to be a gentle family movie, but scratch a little deeper and it becomes apparent that recapturing the beasts only serves as a plot device to examine some much deeper issues; mainly how people allow themselves to be governed by fear, and how prejudices can cause so many misunderstandings. In that regard, Fantastic Beasts actually deal with a lot of the issues that modern day society faces, too.

NEXT: J.K. Rowling Teases ‘Natural Arc’ to Fantastic Beasts Movies

Source: Empire

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