“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” takes us to a new era in J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away.
Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything,” “The Danish Girl”) stars in the central role of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” blockbusters.
There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction of No-Majs (American for Muggles) bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.
Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge—a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Auror Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain her post as an investigator. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on both Newt…and Tina.
Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders—now branded fugitives—ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Steve Jobs,” “Inherent Vice”) as Tina, Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob, Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie, Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck,” upcoming “Justice League”) as Credence, two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”) as Mary Lou Barebone, Oscar winner Jon Voight (“Coming Home,” TV’s “Ray Donovan”) as Henry Shaw, Sr., Carmen Ejogo (“Selma”) as Seraphina Picquery, and Colin Farrell (“Saving Mr. Banks,” “True Detective”) as Percival Graves.
The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose seven beloved Harry Potter books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.
In addition to David Yates, the film reunited a number of people from the “Harry Potter” features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Tim Lewis, Neil Blair and Rick Senat served as executive producers.
The behind-the-scenes creative team included Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (“A River Runs Through It,” the “Sherlock Holmes” movies), three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (“The English Patient,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Gandhi,” the “Harry Potter” films), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (“Gladiator,” the “Harry Potter” films), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”), and Yates’ longtime editor Mark Day (the last four “Harry Potter” films). The music was composed by eight-time Oscar nominee James Newton Howard (“Defiance,” “Michael Clayton,” “The Hunger Games” films).
Warner Bros. Pictures presents a Heyday Films Production, a David Yates Film, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The film will open worldwide beginning November 18, 2016, in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX, and will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.