Today in IMAX theaters at every corner of the globe, Harry Potter fans gathered to take part in an international fan event celebrating our first dive back into J.K. Rowling's magical universe: the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
At the event, fans were treated to a live-streamed Q&A session with cast members Eddie Redmayne (playing Newt Scamander), Katherine Waterston (Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein), Alison Sudol (Queenie Goldstein), Dan Fogler (Jacob Kowalski), Colin Farrell (Percival Graves) and John Voight (Henry Shaw, Sr.), as well as the director David Yates, producer David Heyman and Rowling herself. But that's not all.
Those in attendance were also given a first look at some never-before-seen footage in a brand new IMAX featurette. And, much like Newt Scamander's propensity for taming wild and unwieldy creatures, the team behind Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them appears to have managed to capture the same magic from the original Harry Potter films.
Watch the IMAX Fan Event Featurette for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them below.
There's a bit of stuff we've already seen there, but also plenty of new fantastic treats for fans to feast their eyes on. And, most importantly, plenty of Grindelwald references. Let's dive a little deeper into this footage with a good old fashion breakdown.
Before Harry Potter. Across An Ocean. A New World Of Magic Awaits!
Not to mention, there are voiceovers galore!
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A Dark Beast Threatens New York City
The beast might not look like much, but this dark cloud brings death and destruction wherever it goes. Plus, it totally threatens to reveal the existence of magic.
Many Mentions Of Grindelwald
It's been discussed in the past, but the climate surrounding magic in America in the 1920s is entirely different from when we met Harry Potter. Fantastic Beasts will explore that fact. But in this period, it's Grindelwald, not Voldemort, that people are afraid of. According to Rowling:
"In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, you're learning about a part of magical history that's talked about in the Potter books, but you never see. I'm getting a chance to tell that now."
Strong Anti-Magic Sentiments
Given the Salem Witch Trials and much of its history being rooted in Puritan beliefs, wizards must live secret lives completely hidden from No-Maj's (Muggles). In fact, there were laws enforcing the mandatory segregation of magical and non-magical folk. In the featurette, Redmayne explains his character's predicament.
"Many wizards have suppressed their magic to avoid being persecuted by Muggles. They are therefore living in hiding ... Beasts are a threat to giving away that wizards exist."
Think Prohibition, But For Magic
Why anyone would ever want to hide magic is beyond my No-Maj comprehension, but it will definitely be interesting to explore this underground wizarding community.
A Little Harry Potter Easter Egg?
This floating apple being eaten in front of a boy with a lollipop will take all Harry Potter fans back to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, when Harry first sneaks into Honeydukes. And the flying dishes making their way around the Goldstein's kitchen is reminiscent of Molly Weasley.
We still don't know a ton about Farrell's mysterious character Percival Graves, but we do know that as head auror he takes the protection of wizardkind and justice very seriously. I have a feeling he and Newt won't be best friends anytime soon.
Since Graves is in possession of Newt's suitcase, is there a chance that maybe he's secretly the one who lets the beasts loose in New York?
At the event, Yates and Heyman confirmed that Dumbledore's character will play a small part in Fantastic Beasts, but he's more of a background character.
However, with the announcement that the franchise will actually run for five movies instead of just three, there's plenty of time for young Dumledore to pop up.
Who Can We Trust?
As Newt says in the trailer, it doesn't look like a beast killed this man, but then who's to blame? According to Ezra Miller, who plays Credence Barebone, we're not really supposed to know.
"We don't really know who's good and who's bad until all the chips have fallen."
How Are The Deathly Hallows Involved?
Here we see someone, possibly Miller's character but that might be a red herring, holding a symbol of the Deathly Hallows. Any Potterhead worth their salt knows what this emblem means, but how it plays into the world of Fantastic Beasts remains a mystery.
Gelert Grindelwald Attacks
Alright now here is where I think things get really interesting — and it's all because of a haircut. Does anyone else think that Grindelwald's blonde hair looks a lot like Graves's? I know it'd be difficult for Grindelwald to become head auror while simultaneously terrorizing Europe, but I don't think it's totally out of the question for a powerful dark wizard.
I have so many questions.
In the words of Rowling, Fantastic Beasts tells us a new story, but also keeps audiences deeply connected to the world they already love.
"This is new material. There are ways in which we connect to the Potter books that I think people will find surprising. We're talking about the first time a wizard rose and threatened the world order. This is always where I was interested in going. This is what I wanted to do."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be released in theaters on November 18.
Did you spot anything fantastic in this featurette? If so, share it with us in the comments section below!