Fans of Harry Potter have had a lot to be excited about this year. In addition to the release of the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, we’ll soon be treated to the first film release from the Potter-verse since the series concluded in 2011. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks creator J.K. Rowling’s first foray into screenwriting, with the previous films merely truncated adaptations of her grand novels. This new film takes place during The Roaring ’20s, long before Harry Potter was born. Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl) plays Newt Scamander, wizard and magizoologist, whose stop in New York City goes awry when his case full of magical creatures is opened.
With the release of the new film just over a month away, the Warner Brothers hype machine is running full-tilt with a special Global Fan Event that was presented today in IMAX theaters. Featuring appearances from the cast and crew, this is where the news first dropped that Fantastic Beasts would be the first in a five-part film series. (Those interested in the full stream of the event can watch it here.)
In celebration of the occasion, Warner Brothers produced a nifty new featurette (see above), which contains all new footage from the film, and a new poster featuring the film’s protagonists. Take a look at the new poster:
There are a lot of interesting tidbits to take away from the featurette, such as the reasoning behind the cultural backdrop Rowling picked. The wizarding world in Harry Potter had always hidden from non-magical folk, but the video reveals that many wizards of 1926 America were ashamed of their deviant lifestyle. While Rowling has never shied away from using her imaginary magical world to discuss real cultural issues, it looks like Fantastic Beasts may draw more direct parallels to historical xenophobia, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry (similar to Marvel’s X-Men series). Not to mention, with prohibition in full effect, the 1920s were an era when even non-minorities found themselves hiding some culturally unacceptable lifestyles.
All this likely does little to sate the thirst of Potter fans chomping at the bit for the actual film, but with Fantastic Beasts only a month away we’ll soon find out if Rowling’s writing is just as magical on the big screen as it is on the page.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released worldwide in 3D and IMAX November 18, 2016