Warner Bros. Pictures' Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them promises to be a magical return to the Wizarding World; much missed by Harry Potter fans since the release of the last film, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, in 2011. This time, however, moviegoers will take a step back in time, to 1926 New York, where magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) arrives for a brief stopover after his travels to find some of the world's most fantastic beasts.
His trip takes a turn for the worse, though, when Scamander accidentally leaves his magical case open, as it just happens to contain all of the creatures he's discovered on his travels. With the help of a No-Maj or "American Muggle", Jacob (Dan Fogler), and magical sisters Tina and Queenie Goldstein (Katherine Waterston and Alison Sudol, respectively), Scamander must retrieve all of his beasts before they can wreak havoc on the Wizarding community as well as the No-Maj residents of New York City.
After the release of an exciting and promising teaser trailer comes this Fantastic Beasts behind the scenes featurette. Released via Pottermore, the video contains glimpses at previously unseen footage, as well as scenes we saw in the teaser. Perhaps best of all though, are the comments from Redmayne, Fogler, Waterston and Sudol, as well as input from director David Yates (who also directed the last four Harry Potter movies), and producer David Heyman.
Yates describes the excitement of working with J.K.Rowling on her first movie screenplay in the above Fantastic Beasts featurette, while Heyman describes the Fantastic Beasts movie as a "Vivid, lively, and beautiful world that Jo (Rowling) has created."
The plot is perhaps a little gentle, but with Rowling behind the screenplay it's a fairly confident bet that she will have included plenty of twists and turns to keep us all entertained - and wondering how Newt's 'minor' mishap will all be made right. Redmayne describes the accidental release of the beasts as "One catalyst that sets into motion an insane amount of events that just cause chaos. At the core of it is this quartet."
The quartet he refers to is Scamander, the Goldstein sisters and Jacob, the central characters of the film. Heyman describes all four as "Outsiders," adding that "Part of the journey of this, for each of them, is coming into their own."
Rounding out the Fantastic Beasts cast are Colin Farrell (True Detective) as Percival Graves, Ezra Miller (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Credence, Samantha Morton (Minority Report) as Mary Lou, Ron Perlman (Pacific Rim) as Gnarlack, Jon Voight (Ray Donovan) as Henry Shaw, Sr., Carmen Ejogo (Selma) as Seraphina, Jenn Murray (Brooklyn) as Chastity, and newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty.
Obviously trying to sell his movie, which shouldn't be too hard, Heyman says with certainty that "This film will appeal to all. It's funny, it's moving, it's thrilling." To be fair, the footage in this featurette does indeed look that way, and though most Harry Potter fans will need no enticing to watch, Fantastic Beasts still needs to set the right tone from the get-go - given that there could be at least two more Newt Scamander films lined up. If Fantastic Beasts doesn't hit the right notes, moviegoers will not be back for more.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.
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