What Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them Is Actually About

In terms of the plot of the anticipated Harry Potter prequel, we’ve had very little to go on as to what Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them will be about. But new details have emerged about the film, for those who want to know what magizoologist Newt Scamander will be facing. It involves a bag of creatures and a witch-phobic U.S. backdrop.

We knew previously that the story is set in New York City in the 1920s, and that Eddie Redmayne’s wizard character Newt Scamander would be conducting research for the textbook he would eventually go on to write. But beyond that general plot, there was little to go on, until this week. With Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them set as Entertainment Weekly’s cover story for their new issue, the site has been offering pictures and details about the film, which will arrive in theaters in a little over a year. Today’s update includes a plot description, which confirms that Newt comes to New York in 1926 for a yet-to-be-disclosed reason and finds that witches and wizards are living in fear of being discovered by the Muggles, as the climate is very anti-magic at the time, even worse than it is in the U.K., in fact.

Newt Scamander is traveling with a magically extended bag — remember the purse Hermione used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows? — which contains habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures that he’s discovered during his travels. Beyond whatever conflict might arise from the wizard-phobia running rampant in New York, Newt’s got even bigger problems, as some of his dangerous creatures manage to escape his case.

Here’s one of the pictures EW shared from the film, and it looks like we get a peek at the creature-filled case…

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It’s a bit bigger than Hermione’s beaded purse, but it sounds like it’s just as useful. What kinds of creatures does he have stored away in there, and what’s going to happen when they escape? Sounds like we’ll find out!

The new plot details don’t give too much away, which is a good thing. Fantastic Beasts doesn’t hit theaters until November 2016, which gives us a year to speculate and obsess over what to expect. Pacing the information is a good idea, especially considering the source material is less story than it is reference guide. But it’s great to have a bit more to go on, between the photos and the these new plot details.

In addition to the above information, we’ve also learned the location of the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic, which is called the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA). And EW also recently revealed that in the U.S., wizards refer to non-magic people as "no-maj." I kind of wish that reveal was reserved for a trailer or some other promotional video, so that we’d be able to hear what it sounds like in context, spoken in an American — presumably, specifically a New York-American - accent. As a word, by itself, I think I prefer Muggle, but we’ll see.

Directed by David Yates, based on a screenplay by J.K. Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them arrives in theaters November 18, 2016.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site. She an expert in all things Harry Potter, books from a variety of genres (sci-fi, mystery, horror, YA, drama, romance -- anything with a great story and interesting characters.), watching Big Brother, frequently rewatching The Office, listening to Taylor Swift, and playing The Sims.