Warner Bros. Pictures' Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will take moviegoers back to the Wizarding World - a place they haven't visited in five years, since Harry Potter and the Death Hallows - Part 2 hit theaters in 2011. The film takes place several decades before Harry Potter's story (in 1920s New York, to be exact), but won't serve as a prequel to the grand saga of The Boy Who Lived. Rather, Fantastic Beasts will follow the adventures of Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne), the magizoologist who devoted his life to studying the magical creatures of the world and eventually wrote the eponymous wizard encyclopedia, based on his findings.
Such 2016 tentpoles as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, X-Men: Apocalypse, Independence Day: Resurgence, and Star Trek Beyond have all debated new trailers to show in front of films playing during the 2015 winter holiday season. WB isn't missing out on the chance to start promoting Fantastic Beasts now either, having released the movie's first teaser trailer online (see above).
Written by Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling and directed by David Yates (who helmed the final four Harry Potter movie adaptations), Fantastic Beasts has been compared to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by the film's producers, in terms of its tone - specifically, the action/comedy elements of Goblet of Fire - but there will be darker and more thematically-substantial elements to the story too. The movie's teaser trailer indicates as much will be the case, painting both Fantastic Beasts' narrative and historical setting in a light that brings to mind the Harry Potter films' sense of adventure.
Meanwhile, Redmayne's Newt Scamander comes off as being a charmingly absent-minded professor type, running around early 20th century New York with an enchanted bag full of rare magical creatures (a detail that has already prompted fans to draw comparisons between Scamander and the Doctor and his TARDIS from Doctor Who) - a bag that has an Extension Charm, no doubt. Newt is joined on his adventures by equally good-natured heroes in the wizardly sisters (Porpen)Tina and Queenie - played by Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs) and Alison Sudol (Transparent), respectively - as well as a non-Wizard named Jacob (Dan Fogler).
You can check out the official Fantastic Beasts poster, below:
For those curious, here is the official synopsis for Fantastic Beasts:
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
Warner Bros will attempt to expand two of its most lucrative film properties - the DC cinematic universe and the Wizarding World franchise - in 2016, with tentative release dates for the second and third installments in a Fantastic Beasts film trilogy having already been claimed by the studio. Hence, the teaser for the movie (which is also quick to invoke moviegoers' nostalgia for Rowling's Wizarding World) has arrived about eleven months before Scamander's wild adventure hits the big screen.
It's to be expected that Fantastic Beasts won't scale the same box office heights as the Harry Potter movies, but there's certainly potential for it to become a profitable series in its own right - so long as the Wizarding World is expanded and developed in a creative fashion that allows for more compelling stories to be told in it, anyway. Fortunately, Rowling and Yates appear headed in the right direction so far, going by the Fantastic Beasts teaser; fingers crossed, that will remain the case once more proper footage from the film has been revealed.
Rounding out the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 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.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures