Yesterday, fans finally got their first look at the cast of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with new photos featuring Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), Queenie Goldstein (Alison Sudol) and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). We even learned from author/screenwriter J.K. Rowling that the American word for "muggle," (non-magician) is "No-Maj," a term which will come in handy with new plot details revealed by Entertainment Weekly. In the Harry Potter books and movies, witches and wizards hide their powers from the rest of the world, but, as Newt Scamander discovers in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the stakes are much greater.
These new 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, which 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. What do you think about these new plot details? Are you more excited now for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?