It was a long time ago — 18 years! — when we first heard about the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It was listed as one of Harry Potter’s required books as a first-year Hogwarts student. Well, like the Harry Potter series, this book will also be adapted for film.
But it’s a little different. The fictional student manual, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (which Rowling actually penned into a real book for charity in 2001 as a Harry Potter collectible), is written by the fictional character Newton Scamander, a magizoologist. The movie follows the adventures of Newt and is set to be released Nov. 1, 2016. Here’s what we know.
1. It’s not a prequel
Last year, Rowling said this new film is “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.” So, the two stories are definitely related, as the charms, creatures and customs will all be familiar, but “Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway,” she continues. (Um, this means Albus Dumbledore would be about 30 — appearance, please!)
Magizoology is the study of magical creatures, of course. You may or may not remember that Luna Lovegood became a magizoologist. And here’s the cool part: She ended up marrying Rolf Scamander. Does that name sound familiar? Rolf Scamander is Newt’s grandson!
3. Eddie, meet Newt
Earlier this month, Eddie Redmayne was announced to play Newt Scamander in the movie. As an Academy Award and Golden Globe winner, we can’t wait to see what Redmayne brings to the silver screen and neither can Rowling:
4. Katherine, meet Eddie
Today, Warner Bros. announced that Katherine Waterston (Boardwalk Empire, Inherent Vice) will star as Porpentina (“Tina”) alongside Redmayne. Originally, she auditioned against Kate Upton and Elizabeth Debicki for the role of Tina’s sister, Queenie — but instead, she was picked over Dakota Fanning, Saoirse Ronan, Lili Simmons and Alison Sudol for the role of Tina.
5. This will be a first for Rowling
We know J.K. Rowling can write. But this film will feature her debut as a screenwriter. After meeting with new Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, she explained, “And then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”
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