With the release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them less than two weeks away at the time of writing this, it seems as though there’s no end to the onslaught of publicity, with new clips, TV spots, and comments from cast and crew surfacing almost daily. It could wear a little thin; except this is the Wizarding World of J.K. Rowling’s creation that we’re talking about, and it’s pretty hard to tire of something so magically detailed and entertaining.
It’s already been ascertained that Fantastic Beasts is the first in a series of five movies, with the long running arc set to be the rise of the dark Wizard, Grindelwald, and Dumbeldore’s efforts to defeat him. However, the storyline that opens this window into the Wizarding World of New York City in 1926, is that of Magizoologist Newt Scamander, seemingly played with quiet subtlety by Eddie Redmayne if these six new clips are anything to go by. The first two (above and below) focus on Newt’s efforts to recapture the Niffler who has escaped from his magical case. As No-Maj Jacob (Dan Fogler) keeps watch, Newt attempts to catch the cute little creature who seems to have quite the appetite for jewelry.
The third clip (below) gives a better look at the darker side of Fantastic Beasts, as Newt is questioned by Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), Head of Magical Law Enforcement for MACUSA. Graves wonders aloud whether Newt’s release of his magical creatures was indeed accidental, or whether it had a more sinister motive, such as trying to start war between Wizards and No-Majs. We hear Newt very firmly (but quietly) affirm that he is not one of Grindelwald’s followers, and that he does not believe in “mass slaughter for the greater good.” There’s also mention of Dumbledore, who fought for Newt to keep his place at Hogwarts after he was expelled, so we know that Dumbledore is already teaching there as early as 1926.
Clips four and five (below) give a look at the lighter side of the movie, which is a sweetly upbeat contrast to the focus on a rumbling war. Jacob looks pretty much how most of us would feel as a No-Maj were we to enter Newt’s magical case and discover all these amazing creatures, and he also looks completely enraptured by Queenie Goldstein, who plies him with a magic drink.
The final clip of these six hints at just how wanted Mr. Scamander is. The MACUSA do not take kindly to a Wizard entering New York and upsetting the delicate peace that exists between Wizards and No-Majs. It might only be an accident, but Newt’s mishap sets in motion a whole chain of events that will upset a lot of people. Not only that, but Newt himself is going to have to fight his way out of trouble and hope that he manages to recapture all of his beasts.
Fantastic Beasts has a lot riding on its success. It’s unlikely to become such a phenomenon as Harry Potter, but there is certainly an excited buzz building around this film, especially as the wider arc becomes realized. Everyone loves a battle between good and evil; even more so when it’s enhanced by Rowling’s magic.