Warner Bros. Pictures is, for better or worse, reported to be currently prioritizing the development of franchise movies over one-off original films - a game plan that includes continuing the blockbuster series that served as WB's rock throughout the 2000s, in the form of Harry Potter; or, as it's now been branded, J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World franchise. The story of The Boy Who Lived and his children is now being told on the theater stage with the play Harry Potter and the Curse Child, but this year's Wizarding World movie, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, will take audiences back in time some 70 years before Harry Potter's battle with Lord You-Know-Who.
Fantastic Beasts chronicles the adventures of Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne), the wayward magizoologist who wrote the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry textbook that gives the movie its name - only after getting in all manner of trouble while studying the magical creatures of the world, of course. The first of potentially three Fantastic Beasts movie (which Rowling wrote the script for) picks up with Newt in 1920s-era New York; a setting that can been seen in the background of the film's newest poster.
WB posted the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them poster online through the movie's official Twitter account (see below), along with the tease that "Something FANTASTIC is being announced soon." The film's main cast and crew have already been officially announced at this stage, but there are a couple of other possibilities for this "mystery" announcement that come to mind. That includes confirmation that a well-known Harry Potter character or characters will appear in the Fantastic Beasts movie, as the film's cast has hinted at in the past (to mention nothing of Albus Dumbledore being name-dropped in the second Fantastic Beasts trailer).
Fantastic Beasts was directed by David Yates - who, as it were, also helmed the final four Harry Potter movies, in addition to calling the shots on WB's upcoming Tarzan franchise reboot, The Legend of Tarzan. The Fantastic Beasts cast is rounded out by such names as Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs), Camen Ejogo (Selma), Colin Farrell (The Lobster), and Dan Fogler (Man Up) - playing either wizards, witches, or non-magical humans whom Newt crosses paths with in New York, after some of the magical creatures that he's collected over the years (and otherwise houses in his enchanted travel bag) get loose and start wreaking havoc. Presumably, the partially-destroyed building that Newt is standing in on the newest Fantastic Beasts poster is one such place that's been... visited by an escaped "Fantastic Beast".
Yates now has about a decade of experience bringing Rowling's Wizarding World to fittingly fantastical life on the big screen, so it stands to reason that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will only benefit from being guided by his directorial hand. Perhaps the true wild card factor here then is the characters; after all, the beloved protagonists of the Harry Potter series (Harry, Ron, and Hermione) were in no small amount responsible for the success of the original books, as were the cast members who brought them to life in the movie adaptations. Many filmgoers will no doubt check out Fantastic Beasts just to spend more time in the Wizarding World, but the general response to the film's new characters may be what ultimately makes or breaks WB's plans to produce more than one Fantastic Beasts movie.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures