Warner Bros. Pictures made a highly anticipated release in the early morning of Dec. 15 with a teaser trailer of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film acts as the first part of new trilogy set in the past of the Harry Potter universe, named after the textbook that appeared in that series.
The trailer helps lay out the basic premise of the film. Newt Scamander, a British wizard played by Eddie Redmayne, arrives in New York City in 1926. Scamander studies magical creatures as a magizoologist, and is passing through New York after a worldwide tour. He carries an enchanted briefcase holding the many creatures he has caught. An unknown event causes some of the creatures to get loose. Scamander then faces the scrutiny of the Magical Congress of the United States of America. These events lead to him teaming up with Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), an employee of the organization.
Based on casting and previously released synopsis, the film will have a bit of political intrigue. While recapturing the creatures may be part of the story, characters such as Mary Lou (Samantha Morton) are likely to cause issues for Scamander and Tina. according to MuggleNet, Mary Lou is the “narrow-minded leader of the fanatical Second Salemers, a group looking to expose and destroy wizards and witches”. She is a “No-Maj”, the term recently revealed as the American equivalent of Muggle. Audiences will see the first non-magical main character in the form of Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a No-Maj factory worker who gets caught up in the events of the film. Colin Farrell will have a role as Percival Graves, right hand to the American wizard president. Graves is also an Auror, though the American wizard community may have its own term for this as well.
Potter fans are aware that Scamander acts as both the main character of the film and the author of the book it is named after. The timing of 1926 places the events a year before the release of the book, according to the fictitious publication date. Much of the events surrounding this time frame have been covered through Pottermore, the news site (and formerly game) that fills in the gaps not covered in the books and films.
Taking a supplemental work from the Harry Potter universe and turning it into a film has cast light on the other books released over the years. Bleeding Cool noted in September 2013 that Warner Bros. had not only trademarked Fantastic Beasts, but also The Tales of Beedle the Bard and Quidditch Through the Ages. While no official announcements have been made for either, it is possible that the production company is looking to continue expanding the Harry Potter universe for some time to come.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is directed by David Yates and will release on Nov. 18, 2016. The second and third part of the trilogy will release in 2018 and 2020, respectively.