J.K. Rowling has turned the universe of her Harry Potter franchise – officially branded as J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World – into a powerhouse in the literary industry. While the previous Harry Potter film adaptations were equally massive successes at the global box office, it has yet to be proven whether or not filmgoing audiences will turn out in equal numbers for Wizarding World adventures that don’t include any of the main players in the Harry Potter series.
The first such Wizarding World film, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, arrives this November; based on a screenplay by Rowling and directed by David Yates (helmer on the last four Harry Potter films). Now, the first proper clip from Fantastic Beasts has made its way online, along with a poster for the movie’s IMAX release.
The clip, which you can watch above, features Eddie Redmayne’s creature-collecting wizard Newt Scamander and Josh Gad as Newt’s newfound “No-Maj” (American term for “Muggle”) friend Jacob, being treated to a magically-prepared meal by Alison Sudol’s Queenie Goldstein. The trio, along with Katherine Waterson as Queenie’s sister Porpentina (or “Tina”), are the heroes of the movie; one that provides a backstory for the future Hogwarts textbook referenced by the title (and written by Mr. Scamander).
Set in 1926 New York City, Fantastic Beasts follows Scamander and his compatriots as they try to corral a group of magical creatures who have been accidentally released in the city – threatening to expose the still-secretive Wizarding World to the general public. In the process, they find themselves caught up in a conspiracy involving the governing body of U.S. Wizards and the mysterious disappearance of a dark wizard who had recently been active in Europe. The new IMAX poster (see below) depicts the film’s main cast, with Redmayne’s character front and center.
Industry analysts are paying close attention to Fantastic Beasts, which is being regarded as a litmus test for whether or not Warner Bros. Pictures can build Rowling’s post-Potter work into a viable Wizarding World movie franchise. Plans have already been announced by WB and Rowling to eventually release five Fantastic Beasts installments in total (all of them, apparently, to be scripted by Rowling), but those plans are very much dependent on the success of the first Fantastic Beasts movie.
While the discussion is ongoing as to whether or not the hit Harry Potter sequel play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (which Rowling helped to develop, but did not write) will ever make its way to the big screen, for the time being the future of the Wizarding World franchise in the medium of film looks to only involve Fantastic Beasts movies. Rowling has written a fair amount of supplementary material that expands the customs and societies of Wizard communities in cultures around the globe, but it remains to be seen if any of that material is included in the Fantastic Beasts saga.