We are so, so close to the Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them premiere date, and now we have new footage to stoke our fandom fire. For those who were unable to attend the global fan event, new footage and a live question-and-answer session with the cast (stationed in London and Los Angeles) were the name of the game. Sure, the Fantastic Beasts Q&A was full of spoilers, but it was the new footage that was some of the most exciting we've seen in a while. Wondering what you may have missed? Well, have a seat and let's chat, because you are not going to want to miss these details.
What became quickly apparent was that Fantastic Beasts is not simply a Newt's madcap romp through 1920s New York City to recapture his escaped creatures. No, in fact, J.K. Rowling made an appearance to reveal that Fantastic Beasts is about the great struggle of identity in the wizarding community. We may have thought that Auror Percival Graves (as played by Colin Farrell) was the big bad in the film — he certainly looks menacing enough – but, instead, it seems that the biggest struggle is between the No-Majs and the wizards. The latter have been forced into hiding, which is threatened with exposure when Newt's beasts escape from his magical case.
So, while in Harry Potter's world, Muggles seem blissfully unaware that wizards exist, in Newt Scamander's, there is a very palpable tension between the No-Maj and wizarding communities that has forced groups like the New Salemers to rise up to snuff out all in the American wizarding world for good. Things are very serious, folks, and it looks like the action will be non-stop as Newt goes out to not only find and save his beasts, but also save American wizards in the process.
Additionally, Rowling's excitement at being able to explore the historical elements of the wizarding world she created shone through in the new footage. "In Fantastic Beasts, you're learning about a part of magical history that's talked about in the Potter books but you never see," she explained. Certainly, from the very beginning, the one aspect I've been most excited about when it comes to Fantastic Beasts is what the wizarding world looks like in the 1920s. With the announcement of four more films to come in the franchise, I'm excited to see how, historically, the wizarding world evolves and makes use of period details.
While, by and large, the actual footage from the film has been featured in other trailers, we did see flashes of Gellert Grindelwald's name making front-page headlines (an appearance director David Yates confirmed in the Q&A), Newt putting on his deerstalker and playing detective on what happened to the body of a deceased wizard in a very novel fashion, and big panoramas of 1920s New York City.
Can you feel that Fantastic Beasts magic yet? November 18 can't come soon enough.