Magic came to EW PopFest on Sunday via sneak peeks at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, presented by stars Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston.
Four clips were shown in total, and the first saw Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander arriving to New York; the second introduced one of Newt’s many beasts to the screen; the third offered a look inside his mysterious case; and the fourth had Ezra Miller — who plays Credence Barebone in the film and was, according to Redmayne, the biggest Harry Potter fan on set — discussing a potential connection between the film and Gellert Grindelwald, a dangerous wizard of the 20th century whom Albus Dumbledore fought with in a duel that made him the master of the Elder Wand.
In addition to the new footage, which was shown exclusively to EW PopFest attendees, Redmayne and Waterson (who plays Porpentina Goldstein) addressed the recent news that there will be five total Fantastic Beasts movies, up from the expected three. “When she said we were doing five, that was news to us… there’s so much that we’re not privy to,” Waterston said of Harry Potter author and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling’s recent announcement.
“The thing is that it’s [Rowling’s] imagination,” Redmayne added. “She has such a passion for it and a specific story that she wants to tell and we get glimpses into that, and as Katherine said, it’s insanely exhilarating when that happens. I think Fantastic Beasts the title and Newt and his creatures are a way into this world, but there’s a much bigger story here about good versus evil that she wants to tell, and you haven’t seen much of it in the trailers and the clips of the film. But it’s really a core of the story that she’s telling and it has an epic, epic quality to it. … So I do see that [Fantastic Beasts] is a macro story that could take more time.”
Directed by David Yates, the prequel to the Harry Potter series centers on Scamander (Redmayne) as he gets to New York City in 1926 with a magical case full of fantastic beasts, creatures he must retrieve upon their getting loose. The film also stars Colin Farrell, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, and more, and flies into theaters on Nov. 18.