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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Inside EW's magical cover

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Jaap Buitendijk

The magic is back! The wizarding world of Harry Potter is returning to theaters next year with the ultra-mysterious prequel film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and EW has the scoop.

Based on J.K. Rowling’s 2001 encyclopedia beastanica describing magical creatures and her first-ever screenplay, Fantastic Beasts has been hidden under an invisibility cloak of secrecy — until now.

GALLERY: 8 magical first photos from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Beasts stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) as world-famous magizoologist Newt Scamander, who embarks on an adventure in 1926 New York. In our cover image (see the full image below), you get a first look at Scamander, his pivotal briefcase in hand, standing inside the entrance of the majestic art deco-influenced Magical Congress of the United States of America (or MACUSA), which is the American version of the Ministry of Magic that’s housed inside the Woolworth Building in the film. Coming along for the ride are Katherine Waterston (Steve Jobs), Colin Farrell (True Detective) and Samantha Morton (Minority Report). 

RELATED: J.K. Rowling’s Biggest Potter Revelations

So what’s this movie actually about? What are the characters? How will Fantastic Beasts differ from the Potter films? What creatures can we expect? And what are American wizards like, anyway? We’ll have all that, interviews with the cast and producers, plus first photos from the set, and more.

To continue reading more on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands Friday, or buy it here.

Also: For more Beasts coverage coming online, follow @jameshibberd for the latest scoop. 

Jaap Buitendijk