Ever feel like you don’t have enough Harry Potter in your life? Then this has been your year. First there was the smash-hit London play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, then there was the book tie-in (penned by Skins writer Jack Thorne and adapted from a story by JK Rowling herself) that became 2016’s biggest title since Pokémon Go. But there’s more. Spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is due for release very soon indeed. But what on Earth is it about? And when the heck can we expect to download it into our eyeballs? Readers, consider this article a two-way mirror via which NME will tell you everything you need to know.
When’s it out?
That’s right, first things first. Apparate yourself to a cinema on November 18, as that’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them‘s worldwide release date.
And what’s it all about?
Remember in 2001, when – bridging the three-year gap between Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire and …Order of the Pheonix – JK Rowling penned two small Potter books for Comic Relief? One was a faux text book mentioned in the wider series as being on the syllabus at Hogwarts (the other was Quidditch Through The Ages). Purportedly written by magizoologist Newt Scamander, it depicts a whole host of mad creatures, from the niffler to the doxy. This new film explores Scamander’s life – or, rather, an incident that occurred in 1926, seventy years before the events of the first Harry Potter book. Arriving in New York, with a whole of host of beasts in his possession, Newt has a mishap and accidentally lets them loose, and must then attempt to retrieve them all.
Yikes! Who’s in it?
Eddie Redmayne (him off of The Theory of Everything) plays poor old Newt, while Colin Farrell plays Percival Graves, an official sent to whip Newt into shape. Samantha Morton plays Mary Lou, a dastardly no-maj (more of which later) who wants to wipe out witches and wizards.
Wait, what’s a no-maj?
That’s the American name for a muggle – i.e. non-magical person. For the record, the American equivalent of the UK’s Ministry of Magic is called The Magical Congress of the United States of American and their major magic school is called the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Who wrote the script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?
That would be one JK Rowling, who penned her first ever screenplay for the film (it’s also getting published as a book). She’s already rattled off the sequel, of which Fantastic Beasts… director David Yates has said, “We’ve seen the script for part two, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction.”
Damn straight. Slated for released in 2018, it’ll be the second of a trilogy. Yates has said that “the second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further.”
David Yates, where have I heard that name before?
Call yourself a Potter fan? Yates directed the last four Potter movies, so he’s more qualified than Severus Snape at a magic convention.
Reckon it’ll be any good?
All the elements – from Rowling to Yates – are in place to make it magic.