How do you make a movie of J.K. Rowling’s slim 2001 catalog of creatures Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?
Well, you make a faux documentary about the book’s “author” Newt Scamander tracking all sort of magical beasties.
At least, that was Warner Bros.’ first idea.
Then Rowling came up with an even better one, and penned her first-ever screenplay for next year’s eagerly anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (the Harry Potter author had creative input on all the previous eight movies, but the 1926-set prequel Fantastic Beasts is her first actual script).
The plot of the film has been kept ultra secret, with the cast under an Unbreakable Vow to not reveal any details. EW’s current cover story contains the first look at the film’s set-up. This description does not reveal spoilers per se — the movie is primarily about what happens after this. But if you prefer to watch the film not knowing anything at all, by all means stop reading here.
Eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) comes to New York (for a reason we won’t disclose) with his trusty weathered case. This case is one of those way-way-way-bigger-on-the-inside magical devices, and within are expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt’s travels around globe. He discovers the American wizarding community is fearfully hiding from Muggles (who are called “No-Maj” in the States, more on that here) and the threat of public exposure is an even graver concern than in the UK (remember the Salem witch trials?). Fantastic Beasts is the story of what happens when this uniquely skilled English wizard travels to wiz-phobic America and a variety of his creatures, some quite dangerous … get out of their case.
And that’s what Fantastic Beasts is about. Excited?
Fantastic Beasts is EW’s cover story this week, where we’re offering a behind-the-scenes look at the film and interviews with producers and cast. Check out the cover here, get your copy here (say it with me: Accio EW!) and see our photo gallery. For ongoing Fantastic Beasts scoop, follow @jameshibberd.