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Fantastic Beasts: new 'magical' trailer for Harry Potter spin-off

15 December 2015

The first trailer for JK Rowling's Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them has appeared.

Directed by David Yates – who also helmed some of the Harry Potter films – Fantastic Beasts features Redmayne in the starring role of 'magizoologist' Newt Scamander, who in 1926 has just completed a global trip to collect and document a collection of magical creatures.

The teaser, which is one minute and 53 seconds long, shows Scamander arriving in New York with a magical suitcase, "full of magical creatures".

After he leaves the suitcase open, in his words, "just a smidge", some of the creatures escape, prompting an adventurous caper.

Other cast members include Katherine Waterson, Alison Sudol, Tony-Award-winner Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller and Samantha Morton.

Although the film will not be released until November 2016, anticipation for it is already considerable. On Twitter, #FantasticsBeastsTrailer was trending within minutes of the promo's release.

Metro says the trailer "looks magic", while Hollywood Reporter said it "reminds fans that magic and the impossible are all around us - as long as you know where to look".

Entertainment Weekly sums up the excitement: "It's here. It's here. It's finally here." But Empire gives a more tepid response, noting that "there's no beasts, fantastic or otherwise", although there are "familiar themes".

With Warner Bros marketing department keen to keep much of the film under wraps until nearer the release date, fans can likely expect more dramatic teasers next year.

JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts movie: what can we expect?

10 June

Excitement among fans for the film adaptation of JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has reached fever pitch across the Atlantic after the author hinted that it may feature an "American Hogwarts".

Rowling dropped the tantalising titbit during a fan Q&A on Twitter, revealing that the movie will feature students from an as-yet-unnamed American school of witchcraft and wizardry, inspired by Native American culture.

So, apart from a new influx of wizards from across the pond, what can viewers expect from the new film?

What's it all about?

Harry Potter fans will know Fantastic Beasts as one of the textbooks on the Hogwarts reading list. In 2001, Rowling published a real version of the compendium to raise money for Comic Relief, and after the success of the Harry Potter franchise it was only a matter of time before movie executives turned their attention to the spin-off. The film is set to be released in November 2016.

Plot details are scant so far, but the movie will follow the exploits of the textbook's author, intrepid magiczoologist Newt Scamander. An expert in magical creatures from centaurs to hippogriffs, Newt has been described by Rowling as "a Hufflepuff with guts". Last year, Rowling tweeted an anagram revealing a clue to the film's plotline which sent fans into a frenzy as they rushed to decipher the cryptic message. The unscrambled tweet read: "Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours", with Rowling adding that "circumstances ensured that he remained". What exactly those circumstances are remains to be seen, as only a handful of people are said to have laid eyes on the closely-guarded script.

How does it link in with the Harry Potter novels?

As you can probably guess from the Fantastic Beasts textbook's appearance in the Harry Potter series, Newt's globetrotting adventures are set well before the boy wizard and pals arrive at Hogwarts. In fact, hardcore fans may recall that in the epilogue to the final novel, Harry's eccentric classmate Luna was revealed to have married Newt's grandson, Rolf. Rowling has been keen to stress that Fantastic Beasts is not a prequel to Harry Potter, but rather an "extension" of the wizarding world. However, given the advanced age of some of the Hogwarts faculty, perhaps fans shouldn't rule out a surprise cameo from a young Dumbledore or Hagrid.

There are off-screen links with the Harry Potter franchise, too. The new project will be helmed by David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter movies, and produced by David Heyman, who also produced all eight Potter films. The franchise's screenwriter Steve Kloves has been working with Rowling on the film's script, the author's first foray into writing for the screen.

Who's starring in it?

Freshly-minted Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was confirmed last week in the lead role of Newt Scamander, beating out contenders including as Nicholas Hoult and Matt Smith. Two other main characters – sisters Queenie and Tina – are yet to be cast, but The Wrap reports that Saoirse Ronan, Dakota Fanning and Kate Upton are among the actresses being courted for the roles.

Will there be a sequel?

Unsurprisingly, given the massive success of the Harry Potter franchise, "at least" two sequels are planned, according to the Daily Telegraph. There are also rumours that Rowling's other charity spin-off, Quidditch Through the Ages, might be next in line for the big screen treatment. In any case, it appears that Harry Potter fans won't have to worry about saying goodbye to the wizarding world for years to come.

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