Home Articles Fantastic Beasts: Six Years Later, Eighty Years Earlier

Fantastic Beasts: Six Years Later, Eighty Years Earlier

Fantastic Beasts: Six Years Later, Eighty Years Earlier

Mischief Managed By J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Percival Graves and Newt Scamander“You’re an interesting man, Mr Scamander. Just like your suitcase, I think there’s more to you than meets the eye. Kicked out of Hogwarts for endangering human life with a beast, yet one of your teachers argued strongly against your expulsion. I wonder… what makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr Scamander?”  

When a multi-millionaire author – renowned for her quirkily novel and wackily unique imagination – announces a spinoff series from her most popular work, over half a decade since the release of the final cinematic adaptation, a cautious sense of dread is to be expected. While Rowling’s six-year absence from her beloved “Potterverse” saw the unparalleled rise and success of The Palace Theatre’s Cursed Child phenomenon and her political whodunit The Casual Vacancy, J.K’s return to wands, brooms and house ghosts was always on the cards. However, the form that it eventually took in this year’s long-awaited Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them has made her vacation from the world of Hogwarts a magically worthwhile wait.

Set in the melodramatic midst of a restrictive 1926 enforced ban on the ownNewt Scamander Eddie Redmayne Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Themership of magical creatures – the plot teasingly taking place in the year of Tom Riddle’s (Ralph Fiennes’ haunting Lord Voldermort) birth – Redmayne’s Newt Scamander arrives in New York to present the findings of his year-long planet-wide expedition into the salvation and study of the eponymous fantastic beasts to one his field’s leading experts – or so it seems. It is only upon the 180 million dollar budget movie’s conclusion that his true purpose on the other side of the pond is exposed, leaving the quintessentially British safety of Victorian Hogwarts, a prophetically name-dropped Albus Dumbledore and a realm the audience are familiar with on a quest with unexpected significance and unfathomable consequences. In the final tenth of the two-hour spell-fest, the full extent of the mainstream media coverage’s foolery, allusive celebrity Tweets and the genius of Rowling’s new penta-instalment franchise is revealed. While many have groaned at the apparently money-grabbing scheme this decade-long expansion of the world of Potter will become – the true intentions of Warner Bros. Studios couldn’t be hidden by a Deathly Hallows invisibility cloak – the unprecedented appearance of a secretive star has easefully silenced critics and muggles alike.

Eddie Redmayne and J.K. Rowling Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them European Premiere London Arrivals

(Photo: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

While the glitz and glamour of November 15th’s Leicester Square premiere – attendance on the blue carpet included Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams, McFly’s Tom Fletcher and Gemma Chan of Channel 4’s Humans fame – Fantastic Beasts was originally born from much humbler beginnings. Written in aid of Comic Relief, Rowling’s non-fiction novella raised over £17 million for the popular poverty prevention charity (with a little help from fellow universe-expander Quiddith Through The Ages) and having been created in the forgotten era of Buffy and Maroon 5 (2001), Fantastic Beasts finds itself wedged between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. With the early noughties marking the prime flow of Joanne Rowling’s creative juices, this slim encyclopaedia of eight-five supernatural species was always destined for greater things. Even so, a five-film saga is a revelation which has surprised even the cast themselves.

While the film prior to its cinematic unveiling was encompassed by an allusive air of mystery, its grand release has posed as many, if not more, questions than it answered. Who is Leta Lestrange? How do the Deathly Hallows relate to the events of the currently pre-production 2018 sequel? And, most importantly, why is Hufflepuff suddenly cool? With two years’ worth of teaser trailers, fan theories and Rowling’s Pottermore website pet project illuminating the shadows of North America’s magical backstory, this suspense is guaranteed to prove more painful than the cruciatus curse and make us more unhinged than Luna Lovegood. Only time, it seems, will tell the future of Newt, Tina, Queenie and Jacob.

Watch an exclusive preview clip of the magical adventure below!

By George Somers

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