Perhaps the title Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a big spoiler in and of itself. It says it right there for all who dare enter. There will be Beasts in this Harry Potter spinoff. Magical creatures of all shapes and sizes. But which monsters are going to make an appearance? Who should we expect when we enter this magical word created by the one and only J.K. Rowling?
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them graces the cover of this week's Entertainment Weekly. So far, they have shared the deep, dark story details behind this prequel, which takes place years before Harry and his friends enrolled in Hogwarts. We've also gotten to see the first behind-the-scenes photos, as well as publicity shots of our leading man, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), and his supporting cast of characters. Today, EW is offering a peek into the world of the creature themselves. We don't get any new photos. But we do learn about some cool new monsters who will be creeping and crawling their way through old timey New York.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is still being shot, with production taking place at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden in the UK. The film will not be in theaters for exactly one more year, arriving just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday, 2016. Because of this, the creature list is still being finalized. But EW has been granted early access to the set, and they have some fun intel on what we can expect in terms of magical beings and sharp toothed critters. There will be some recognizable animals from the Harry Potter movies. But the spinoff will also be unveiling some never-before-seen monstrosities and amazing mutants for all to see. Some of these creepy crawlies were first described in J.K. Rowling's book of the same name, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is used as a text book by the wizarding students of Hogwarts.
While some of these creatures will feel or sound familiar to diehard Harry Potter fans, there will also be some shivering ghouls that even the most devoted aficionado has never laid ears or eyes upon. And they promise to be a wondrous sight!
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) make up the main cast of characters being introduced for the first time in this movie. Most of the action takes place in America, where we're even given a new word for Muggle. "No-Maj", which is pronounced 'No-Madge' and means non-magian, is a term that comes in handy with details revealed earlier this week by Entertainment Weekly.
New Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them plot details reveal that the American magician community is even more fearful of their secrets being exposed than the U.K. magicians in the Harry Potter movies. Newt Scamander travels to New York with a magical case that is much, much bigger on the inside, and contains "expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt's travels around globe." Unfortunately for Newt, and the American magician community, several of these creatures, some of which are very dangerous, escape from the case. The site reveals that Newt heads to America for a specific reason, but they would not disclose the true purpose of his trip.
While it isn't exactly specified why magicians are more fearful than in the U.K., the site points out that it may tie in to the infamous Salem Witch Trials in 1692, a few hundred years before this story takes place, in 1926. As it turns out, though, this wasn't actually Warner Bros.' first idea for this spinoff story. The studio initially had plans to make a faux documentary chronicling the life of Newt Scamander, who will eventually go on to write the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook that is used at Hogwarts. J.K. Rowling came up with the current story and wrote the screenplay, marking her screenwriting debut.
Katherine Waterston's Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein and Alison Sudol's Queenie Goldstein are the two female leads of the movie, magical sisters who encounter Newt Scamander during his travels in New York, while Dan Fogler's Jacob Kowalski is a "muggle" (non-magician) who befriends Newt in the Big Apple. The supporting cast includes Ezra Miller as Credence, Samantha Morton as Mary Lou, Jenn Murray as Chastity, young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty and Colin Farrell as the wizard Graves. Ron Perlman also recently signed on to play a goblin, with Gemma Chan, Jon Voight and Carmen Ejogo coming aboard for unspecified roles.
David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is directing from a script by J.K. Rowling, who makes her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster Harry Potter features, will produce alongside J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Here are seven magical creatures that are very likely to appear in the movie. Several have been introduced in the Potter movies and are making a return appearance. Others are debuting for the first time. All of them are a little bit scary. Hold and to your cases, this is going to be a bumpy ride!
The Niffler is star Eddie Redmayne's favorite new creature in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The beast is a treasure hunter. It is attracted to shiny things, especially gold. And it has an affinity for belt buckles and fake teeth. Which may make it awkward for anyone returning from the dentist with a new set of gold or silver choppers. Eddie Redmayne had this to say about Newt's relationship with this unique creature.
"They have this wonderful love-hate relationship. He's incredibly aggravating and wonderful at same time. He's a complete nightmare, yet Newt gets off on his playfulness and single-mindedness."
We were first introduced to the frightening Merpeople in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Merpeople are sentient beasts that live underwater, and are found all over the world. Their customs and habits are mysterious, and, like the centaurs, were offered the being status but refused in favor of beast, as they didn't want to be placed in a status with Hags and Vampires. Merpeople can breathe above the waves for a time, but it is unclear if they can ever truly leave their habitat. J.K. Rowling decided the classic mermaid should be very frightening.
The Ashwinder is a serpent that is created from the remains of any magical fire that is allowed to burn unchecked. As it is a serpentine creature, the Ashwinder may very well be susceptible to Parseltongue magic. This is one creature that any good magician knows should never be allowed to hatch eggs. Will Newt leave his fire unchecked? Will we see new Ashwinders being born to terrify unsuspecting New Yorkers? Yes!
Looking a lot like a Jack Russell Terrier, A Crup is a wizard-bred dog. The Crup is known for its forked tail. These animals are clearly wizard-bred since they are extremely loyal to wizards, and ferocious toward the No-Maj. They eat most anything. Crup owners are required by law to remove the second tail of the animal when it is six to eight weeks old, using a painless Severing Charm, in case they are noticed by Muggles. A license from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures must also be obtained, and the owner must pass a test to show that they are able to control the animal in Muggle-inhabited areas.
The Bowtruckle was first seen on the big screen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The creature is a stick-like monstrosity that is the size of your average hand. It lives in the trees, and like any good environmentalists, it likes to protect the first. The Bowtruckle in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has actually found a home in Newt's jacket pocket. But what ever you do, do not call it a pet! They hate that.
Looking a lot like a Phoenix, the Augurey is from Ireland. It is green and black. Whenever it's about to rain, you can hear it's mournful cries filling the night air. It can also foretell when someone is about to die. It sort of looks like a small vulture, with greenish black feathers and a sharp beak. Its mostly eats insects, fairies and flies, which it hunts for in the heavy rain. The creature is very shy, and usually resides in a tear-shaped nest in thorn and brambles.
Perhaps the most terrifying creature to appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the Lethifold. It appears as a black cloak. And it looks to be gliding freely across the ground. But watch out! This beastie is known to suffocate its victims while they sleep. Who is it coming for in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? We don't know yet. But we're very afraid for them nonetheless.
David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is directing from a script by J.K. Rowling, who makes her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster Harry Potter features, will produce alongside J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. What do you think? Are you excited to see some of these creatures come to life?