Sunday, July 17, 2016

FANTASTIC BEASTS and where to find them

There’s some six months left to go this year before the premiere of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, the latest cinematic jaunt by Warner Brothers into the magical Wizarding World of JK Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Dedicated Potter-fans would recognize the title as being one of Harry’s reference books while attending the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Rowling had already written a similarly titled book for children in 2001, but the film itself is about the adventures of the (fictional) school book’s author, a wizard magi-zoologist (a scientist studying magical creatures, essentially) named Newt Scamander, in the period setting of the early 20 th Century. Set to release this coming November, die-hard followers can hardly wait that long.

“Fantastic Beasts” was first announced in 2013 as part of an expected creative partnership between Warner Bros. Pictures which adapted the seven Harry Potter books into eight blockbuster films, and author JK Rowling who would be making her screenwriting debut by penning the film’s story, script and even screenplay (this one with help from Steve Kloves and David Yates, who directed the later Potter films and will helm this one too). The movie is projected to be the first in a trilogy taking place some 70 years before the start of Harry Potter’s own adventures, and while not a direct story prequel will definitely be rooted in the same universe as the books/films. It has been filming since last year in WB Studios Leavesden in the UK, produced by David Heyman and with a musical score by James Newton Howard.

The story will follow British wizard Newt Scamander (portrayed by Eddie Redmayne), who would eventually write the book of the same title as the film. A Hogwarts graduate (Hufflepuff House) and employee of the British Ministry of Magic, he travels to New York City in the year 1926 on official business with the Ministry’s American counterpart, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). Here he finds himself in the center of a cesspool of intrigue and danger as the delicate secrecy between the MACUSA and New York’s “No-Maj” (non-magicals, the American Muggles) population is threatened by the wizard-hunting and killing fanatics from the New Salem Philanthropic Society, even as Newt stumbles upon a magical bigger-on- the-inside suitcase containing a wide variety of magical creatures and their respective habitats. When these fantastic beasts escape from the suitcase, chaos ensues and Newt Scamander must fix it before it is too late.

Also starring Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Jon Voight, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will hit UK AND US theaters in November 18. It is a fantastic year to be a Potter-fan as aside from the film, new books in the HP-universe and a London West End theatrical play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” – are making a splash, about to send the world into a new period of Potter-mania.

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  1. I just love this post! Wyverns are totally awesome creatures, and I'm overly fond of both Abraxos and our dear Wyverary. But hippogriffs are cool too, and I wouldn't mind knowing one. Mermaids, on the other hand, well, I played that mermaid game as a child all the time too! I haven't read a lot of mermaid books either, but one I do remember enjoying was Midnight Pearls.

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