We're counting down the days until Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits cinemas (November 18 - mark your diaries!) and we're not the only ones. The Muggle world has been abuzz ever since the first trailer was released earlier this year and now the wait is almost over!
Get your broomsticks ready, because this new Harry Potter spin-off takes place in a totally different time and place.
Get your broomsticks ready, because this new Harry Potter spin-off takes place in a totally different time and place. This time, author JK Rowling is telling the extraordinary tale of zoologist Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) in 1920s America.
Arriving to New York with his weathered suitcase that's filled to the brim with mystical devices and enchanted creatures, Newt finds himself in need of a helping hand (or four) when some of his magical beasts escape. However, he soon discovers that wild creatures on the loose aren't the only threat facing the American wizarding world. Intrigued? Discover more exciting tidbits about the new film below (but don't worry - no spoilers allowed!)...
Never-before-seen magical creatures
The clue is in the title - the new film will be chock full of fantastical beasts, many of which we've never encountered before. Get your wands out because Nifflers (slippery little creatures who are attracted to shiny things), Erumpents (large creatures that are somewhere between an elephant and a rhinoceros) and Lethifolds (deadly Dark creatures that suffocate their victims in their sleep) are on the loose. Yikes!
Don't worry, there are some nicer beings out there as well. Bowtruckles are stick-like creatures that defend trees and one in particular, called Pickett, resides in Newt's own pocket!
A star-studded cast
Apart from Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), the new film has a slew of famous faces and A-listers including Colin Farrell as Percival Graves, a powerful auror and the right-hand man of the American wizarding world's president. Other supporting cast members include Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) and Alison Sudol (Transparent) as the sisters (Porpen)Tina and Queenie who help Newt capture his escaped beasts and Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski, an optimistic No-Maj (aka Muggle) factory worker/aspiring baker who gets introduced to the wizarding world when he meets Newt.
A magical world, with an American twist...
There's plenty of magic in 1920s New York, but Newt quickly discovers that things in America aren't quite the same as back home. In America, Muggles are called No-Majs (pronounced 'no madge') and they don't get along with wizards at all due to events that happened way back in the late 1700s.
What happened was that a witch named Dorcus Twelvetree fell in love with a no-maj and told him all about the wizarding world. This no-maj turned out to be no good and proceeded to steal Dorcus’ wand and reveal all kinds of confidential magical information. After this disaster, a law was created which enforced strict segregation between the No-Maj and wizarding communities. Not only were wizards no longer allowed to befriend or marry No-Majs, but there were penalties for fraternising with them.
There's no Harry Potter, but there MAY be some familiar faces...
While Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is part of JK Rowling’s wizarding universe, the events of the film are set 70 years before Harry goes to Hogwarts and in New York City. Which means that fans shouldn't expect to see Harry, Ron and Hermione running around! However, one of Hogwarts' most beloved characters MAY be making a special appearance. In a recently release trailer, Percival Graves hinted that Dumbledore was a great admirer of Newt's, asking, 'I wonder what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr Scamander?'. We can't help but wonder if this means we'll get to see a younger Dumbledore in the film!
There's at least one baddie
Although the film takes place before Voldemort's time, evil forces are still at play. JK Rowling has revealed that in the film there is an American group of a fanatics seeking to expose and kill wizards and witches. The group, known as the Second Salemers, is led by Mary Lou Barebone (played by Samantha Morton) who is intent on destroying the wizarding world. Oh dear!
An American Hogwarts
Yes, even American witches and wizards need to go to school! The American wizard school is called Ilvermorny and, like Hogwarts, also has four Houses - Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird and Pukwudgie. Founded during the early seventeenth century and located in modern-day Massachusetts, Ilvermorny and Hogwarts have a good natured school rivalry as the below clip shows!
There will be four more films
Hooray - JK Rowling recently revealed that there will be FOUR more fantastical films to look forward to! This actually came as news to the cast of the first movie, who only discovered there would be five films after shooting: "So we had this fan event for Fantastic Beasts and we were all there and then at the end, J.K. Rowling arrived, which again was a complete shock for us," Eddie Redmayne told American talk show host Ellen.
"Whenever she comes, we turn into excitable children. We didn't realize it was going to be five films. That was sort of a very shocked moment, when all of the cast, the four of us, were agasp. So excited."
5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque. https://t.co/t8UVZMtO8V— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) October 13, 2016
Not only that, but it was recently confirmed that Johnny Depp has a role in the second film as Gellert Grindelwald, considered by many to have been one of the most powerful Dark Wizards in history (second only to Voldemort). We can't wait!
Can't wait to watch Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Get your wizarding world fix with the complete 8 Harry Potter film collection and head to Asda for the hardback version of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2.