With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them only weeks away, the publicity surrounding the film continues to build. While the film is likely to do well among those who remain die hard Harry Potter fans, it’ll still need to draw a wider audience if it’s to be successful; not to mention the fact that Fantastic Beasts forms the first movie in a trilogy, so Warner Bros. Pictures is hoping this movie gets off to a good start at the box office. In fairness, what we’ve seen of the film so far, through trailers, TV spots and posters released, it does look to be a great, fun, family adventure, and one which successfully extends and expands J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne as Magizoologist Newt Scamander, who makes a stop in New York on his way home with a magical case full of fantastic beasts. The action begins when the case is accidentally left open, and those beasts escape. However, that’s not the only plotline; in 1920s New York, when Fantastic Beasts is set, feelings are running high as the Wizarding Community deal with persecution at the hands of the No-Maj community, as well as betrayal from within. Two new TV spots, which can be viewed above and below, give a short look at the turmoil in the film.
The footage shown isn’t really anything new, but it’s still quite thrilling to see it all put together in such a short clip. We also get a good look at some of the Beasts in the film, both large and small, and they certainly look impressive. Dan Fogler plays the part of Jacob, a No-Maj who gets caught up in the escape of the creatures, but he sums up most of our thoughts when he wistfully declares “I want to be a Wizard.” The first TV spot focuses on Tina Goldstein’s (Katherine Waterston) apology to the MACUSA (the Magical Congress) as she has to admit that the creatures have escaped and could, potentially, cause havoc within the No-Maj population of New York. Not a good thing, especially when there’s already a group of Philanthropists seeking death to all witches and wizards.
The second spot looks at this unrest more closely. It’s only short, but it does show that the film has a darker edge to it; something many thought wouldn’t be the case. Redmayne’s Newt Scamander looks to be a quiet, unassuming guy; one who will no doubt feel very out of place and apologetic for the trouble he causes. Meanwhile, as Percival Graves, Colin Farrell looks to be the main villain of the piece, and previous trailers show that despite being a high wizard within MACUSA, he is in collaboration with Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), whose mother Mary-Lou (Samantha Morton) leads the New Salem Philanthropists.
Given its Harry Potter connection, Fantastic Beasts has a lot of expectation riding on its shoulders, but the footage we have seen so far suggests it might be able to conquer this, and stand alone as an enjoyable new franchise. It’s unlikely we will see another passionate fandom created, as happened with Harry Potter, though. After all, part of the enthusiasm for those films came from the prior release of the books, and an eagerness to see them brought to life. While there is a Fantastic Beasts book, it is only the text book that Harry, Ron, and Hermione studied at Hogwarts. The Fantastic Beasts movie gives Rowling her first screenplay writing credit and is directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies – creating a new aspect to the Wizarding World for us to enjoy.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016, followed by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 on November 16th, 2018.