ByVaria Fedko-Blake, writer at Creators.co
Staff Writer at Moviepilot! [email protected]
Varia Fedko-Blake

Warning: MAJOR spoilers up ahead!

Five years since we left a grown-up #HarryPotter, #RonWeasley and #HermioneGranger with their respective families on that platform at King's Cross Station, we are plunging head-first back into J. K. Rowling's magical universe once again. And quite honestly, we still can't quite believe it.

Finally, after being introduced to a whimsical wizarding world stateside in #FantasticBeasts, we've collided with a kaleidoscope of new characters and boisterous magical creatures at the heart of Prohibition-era New York City — a time period sprinkled with familiar elements borrowed from the seven Harry Potter novels we've wholeheartedly adored for almost two decades.

So, alongside the movie's release, get your fill of all the latest you need to know about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — all delivered to you much faster than owl post — below:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them News & Rumors

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander
Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander

Updated: 14/11/2016

Critics Rain Down Their Praises On Fantastic Beasts

We can all breathe a huge sigh of relief because the upcoming movie is raking in some seriously good reviews following its press release. Here's a breakdown of what's being said:

J. K. Rowling Reveals Fantastic Beasts Series Will Span 19 Years

Yep, just like the Harry Potter epilogue took place 19 years after the Deathly Hallows, Fantastic Beasts will span close to two decades.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Trailer

Warner Bros. have released countless action-packed trailers in the run up to the movie's release, all introducing a slightly darker tone to J. K. Rowling's eclectic storyline.

Watch the Fantastic Beasts full trailer below:

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Release Date

The David Yates-directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the first of five) was first released in US theatres on November 18, 2016. This magical date was the same on both sides of the pond, both in the USA and United Kingdom.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, the feature proudly boasts a PG-13 rating, meaning that the movie certainly pack a punch when it comes to action while remaining accessible to younger audience members.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Plot

What kind of creatures lurk in Newt's briefcase?
What kind of creatures lurk in Newt's briefcase?

Although it takes place in the same wizarding world that Harry Potter later calls home, the plot of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set seven decades previously and roughly 3000 miles West of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as we know it.

The synopsis of the story is as follows: The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander arrives at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) for an important meeting. He carries a magically expanded suitcase, which is home to a selection of dangerous magical beasts.

When these creatures are accidentally let loose into the city, the US wizarding authorities come after Newt as relations between the magical folk and the equivalent of British Muggles (the "No-Majs") deteriorate even further. Affairs have already been made tense due to the presence of the fanatical extremist group called the New Salem Philanthropic Society who advocate for the eradication of all wizards.

The action takes place over the course of only a few days.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Cast

Over almost a decade, the Harry Potter series familiarized us with some of the most beloved characters from J. K. Rowling's books. Not only did we see Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson through eight movies as Harry, Ron and Hermione, but we also formed close bonds with a myriad of secondary cast members that helped bring the magic to life.

And as it stands, we see the beginnings of a similar kind of journey with the ensemble cast of Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. Comprised of a mix of big Hollywood names and relatively unknown actors, here's a brief cast list of who to expect to see on the big screen:

Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton
Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander: Yes, that Oscar-winning, BAFTA-boasting, OBE-possessing British actor Eddie Redmayne.

Colin Farrell as Percival Graves: Irish actor known for countless projects in Hollywood, including Phone Booth, Minority Report, Miami Vice, In Bruges, Total Recall, Horrible Bosses, The Lobster and True Detective.

Samantha Morton as Mary Lou: Proud winner of a BAFTA TV Awards, a Golden Globe and two-time Academy Award nominee for Sweet and Lowdown and In America.

Ezra Miller, Jon Voight and Ron Perlman
Ezra Miller, Jon Voight and Ron Perlman

Ezra Miller as Credence: As well as making a name for himself in We Need to Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Ezra also appears as The Flash in the DCEU.

Jon Voight as Henry Shaw, Sr: Legendary Hollywood actor known for Midnight Cowboy, Coming Home and The Champ. Winner of an Academy Award, as well as four Golden Globe Awards.

Ron Perlman as Gnarlack: Yep, widely known for his portrayal of Hellboy and for looking almost exactly like actor Will Ferrell, Perlman also starred in Sons of Anarchy, Pacific Rim, the Batman animated series, Adventure Time and even Disney's Tangled.

Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler
Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler

Katherine Waterston as Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein: Celebrated theater actress and regular on HBO's Boardwalk Empire.

Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein: As well as being a multi-talented singer-songwriter, Alison is also an highly-acclaimed actress having appeared in Amazon series Transparent.

Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: The actor Fogler has most recently been seen in The Good Wife, The Goldbergs and Hannibal. You might also recognize his voice in Horton Hears A Who and Kung Fu Panda.

Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai' | Lionsgate
Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai' | Lionsgate

Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald: The Hollywood stalwart has spearheaded a number of successful franchises and has appeared in huge blockbusters such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Public Enemies, Alice in Wonderland and Black Mass.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Characters

The characters of 'Fantastic Beasts'
The characters of 'Fantastic Beasts'

Although we will certainly see some character overlaps with the Harry Potter world, the majority of the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them characters will be new. Here's a rundown of some of the best:

Newt Scamander: The main character of the story, Newt is an eccentric "Magizoologist" who goes on to write the Hogwarts compulsory textbook Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them. As an employee of the British Ministry of Magic, he travels to America for a meeting with the Magical Congress of the United States of America. He is described as someone who is "more comfortable with his creatures than he is with people."

Percival Graves: A powerful Auror in the American wizarding world sent by MACUSA (the US version of the Ministry of Magic) to track down Newt.

Mary Lou: A ruthless No-Maj spearheading the extremist group called the New Salem Philanthropic Society, otherwise known as the NSPS. Their goal is to expose and kill wizards and witches.

Credence: The adopted, and rather troubled, son of Mary Lou.

Henry Shaw, Sr.: A US senator who holds a rally that is picketed by members of the NSPS.

Gnarlack: A gangster in charge of a speakeasy nightclub.

Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein: An employee of the Magic Congress of the United States who is forced to work in a position that is well beneath her skill level. She wants to fight for what is right.

Queenie Goldstein: Tina's younger sister and roommate. She is an accomplished Legilimens (or "mind-reader" as the No-Majs might say.)

Jacob Kowalski: A recently unemployed No-Maj who comes face-to-face with the wizarding world when he meets Newt.

Gellert Grindelwald: A Dark Wizard often considered to be the most dangerous of all time, who had a close relationship with Albus Dumbledore. He is later killed by Lord Voldemort for refusing to give up the whereabouts of the Elder wand.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Posters

Tina and Newt feature on the new 'Fantastic Beasts' posters
Tina and Newt feature on the new 'Fantastic Beasts' posters

Warner Bros. have released a series of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them posters for each of the main cast members. Currently there are nine, featuring Newt Scamander, Tina Goldstein, Jacob Kowalski, Seraphina Picquery, Queenie Goldstein, Mary Lou Barebone, Credence Barebone, Gnarlack and Percival Graves.

Fantastic Beast And Where To Find Them Creatures

Many of us might already know that the movie is based on a 2001 book written by J. K. Rowling under the pseudonym of Newt Scamander. The "textbook" details a huge selection of magical creatures that the Magizoologist once encountered on his travels.

Naturally, we can't expect all of the monsters featured to make an appearance in Fantastic Beasts but the movie certainly packs a punch with the ones it chooses to bring to life.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Spin-off

Colin Farrell as Percival Graves
Colin Farrell as Percival Graves

It's been confirmed that the Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them franchise will in fact be five films. These movies are not prequels or sequels but rather extensions of the Harry Potter wizarding world.

As it stands, the second instalment of the series will be released on November 16, 2018, followed closely by the third instalment two years later on November 20, 2020.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Theories

Are you ready to discover all of the secrets?
Are you ready to discover all of the secrets?

For those that would like to dive right in and get chanting "Alohamora!" to unlock all the secrets of Newt Scamander's briefcase, Movie Pilot has provided a slew of articles worth a peruse. As well as exploring potential ideas on where the story will go and all of the Harry Potter cameos and overlaps, the page below will dissect the most interesting Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them theories:

Where To Watch Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Online

At present, you will not be able to watch Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them anywhere online. Though, perhaps a year or so down the line, it will eventually appear on a paid-for streaming service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime or Google Play. Watch this space.

Harry Potter Movies: Complete List

All the Harry Potter movies
All the Harry Potter movies

Oh, and just in case you needed a reminder of what wizarding action came way before Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, here is a complete list of all of the Harry Potter movies in one place:

  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

Have you already seen Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Share your comments below: