Too much of a good thing can be so wonderful

Five years after they were left bereft, Harry Potter fans have a reason to rejoice. No, ‘The Boy Who Lived’ isn’t coming back–as yet–but the first Potter prequel is all set for release. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is almost here, and it’s time to “apparate” to the wizarding world we all loved so much. Directed by David Yates, who comes off the final four films in the Harry Potter film series.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogoand and Colin Farrell. The best part? The action-adventure marks the screenwriting debut of J.K.Rowling, and she is also producing with David Heyman, Lionel Wigramand Steve Kloves.

This time, the spotlight isn’t on the war between Potter and ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’; Newt Scamander is the man who’s in the thick of action. Those who know their Potter trivia will know that Newt is the wizard who wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a book about the magical creatures in the Harry Potter universe. This was a textbook that was part of Harry’s curriculum in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the first novel in the seven-part series.

So what was happening in the wizarding world way before Harry was born?

Newt (Redmayne) is a magizoologist, someone who roams the world, looking for the world’s most magical creatures that he incidentally keeps in his magical suitcase. He ends up travelling to New York City in 1926 for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). Somehow, he ends up accidentally letting loose some of these rare and endangered magical creatures from his magically expanded briefcase. This is extremely bad news for the ‘No-Majs’ who already have their knives into wizards and witches. So when the magical creatures escape, the American wizarding authorities go on a manic witch hunt. The target? Newt.

The Ministry of Magic is obviously not happy, especially as this may further strain the relations between magical and non-magical people. No thanks to the presence of the fanatical New Salem Philanthropic Society, an extremist organisation determined to eradicate wizardkind. Newt– he’s a Hufflepuff, by the way – and his No-Maj friends in the Big Apple must get the collection of fantastic beasts under control and ensure that the threat to wizard kind is neutralised forever. Accompanying him on his quest are Porpentina ‘Tina’ Goldstein (Waterston), a grounded witch and former Auror who is now working for the MACUSA; Queenie Goldstein (Sudol), Porpentina’s younger sister and an accomplished Legilimens. Will they be able to stave off Percival Graves (Farrell), a high-ranking Auror and the Director of Magical Security for the MACUSA, and Mary Lou Barebone (Morton), a narrow-minded No-Maj and the frightening leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society? One has to wait and watch to find out.

Speaking about Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, Rowling had said in 2013, “I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about, and this is it.” Like most of the Harry Potter films, this prequel has a wintery date with the box office. We’re thinking it’s a sure-shot winner. But there’s more. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will be the first installment of a trilogy. What else could a Rowling fan ask for?


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