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‘Fantastic Beasts’ announcement trailer takes ‘Harry Potter’ back to the 1920s

Meet Newt Scamander and friends in the first trailer for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.’


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

For the first time since The Deathly Hallows, we have some new Harry Potter canon on our hands. Real canon, that is, not another tantalizing tweet from J.K. Rowling.

The first trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them introduces Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, a young magizoologist who just arrived in New York with a suitcase full of magical creatures. Warner Bros. labeled this an “announcement trailer,” which explains why it contains very little information about the film’s plot or tone, but we do learn a couple of interesting new details.

The story kicks off with some of Newt Scamander’s magical creatures accidentally getting loose in New York City, a fact that we hear from Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson), one of the many new characters J.K. Rowling created for the movie. We already knew that Tina would have a major role to play, but the trailer also gives us our first look at one of the more mysterious members of the supporting cast, Seraphina (Carmen Ejogo). She appears to be some kind of leader in the American wizarding world, possibly akin to the head of the Wizengamot.

Fantastic Beasts comes out in November 2016, so fans can expect to wait a few months before a more in-depth trailer shows up online. In the meantime, there’s plenty of room to for Harry Potter fandom to do what it does best and obsessively analyze what we already know.

Along with Scamander’s storyline about studying magical creatures, Fantastic Beasts continues with the themes of bigotry and xenophobia explored in the original Harry Potter series—but with a twist. In the 1920s U.S. setting of Fantastic Beasts, the enemy isn’t a wizard like Voldemort, but rather, a group of muggles (or “no-maj,” to use J.K. Rowling’s American slang term) called the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Led by a woman named Mary Lou (Samantha Morton), this group aims to hunt down and kill witches and wizards, an idea that some fans believe is an allegory for the rise of fascism in the early 20th century.

Screengrab via Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

The Daily Dot