- "Explore a new era of J.K. Rowling's wizarding world."
- — Offical tagline
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (or simply Fantastic Beasts) is the first prequel of a series of films based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, one of the companion books to J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. It premiered on 18 November 2016. The script of the first film was released in book form on the following day.
The film is set in New York in 1926, sixty-five years before the Harry Potter series, and features Newton Scamander as a main character. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them tells us that Scamander had been travelling the world in research of magical creatures since 1918, culminating with the publication of his masterpiece in 1927.
Warner Bros had approached Rowling about using the book for a film, from which she pitched "an idea that she couldn't dislodge". Upon returning to Harry Potter for the first time since 2007, Rowling commented: "I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it." She stated that the idea of seeing Scamander "realised by another author was difficult," hence her decision to be the film's screenwriter.
Part of the synopsis for the film was first revealed on 6 October 2014, when J. K. Rowling posted the cryptic message "Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won’t tolerate this nonsense." on her official Twitter account. She confirmed the following day that this message was a riddle, and the solution, while not part of the script, was the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt Scamander's story. The anagram was solved later that day, with Rowling confirming the solution of "Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours."
|“||"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident… were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.||”|
The plot revolves around Newt Scamander, who has made a brief stop in New York in December 1926, shortly after completing his travels around the world to research for his Magizoology book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. What was meant to be a short interlude is prolonged when a No-Maj called Jacob Kowalski inadvertently disrupts Newt's magically-expanded suitcase, releasing a number of dangerous magical creatures into the city and threatening to worsen even further the state of magical and non-magical relations in the United States (which were already tense due to the presence of a fanatical extremist group, the New Salem Philanthropic Society, advocating for a "Second Salem" and the eradication of wizardkind).
The film takes place over two days.
The film opens with a dark setting where a bunch of people are gathered. Then, there is a flash of light and the back of a wizard, later revealed to be Gellert Grindelwald. Then, there is a montage of newspapers before we finally settle in New York. We see Newton "Newt" Scamander on a ship as it arrives, and he gets off. He wanders around and comes to a gathering outside a bank, where Mary Lou Barebone is ranting about the wizards. Newt bumps into Jacob Kowalski, a No-Maj who is trying to get a bank loan to open a bakery. Newt then spots his Niffler, which has escaped from his trunk, trying to steal silver and gold.
He goes into the bank to find the Niffler, but leaves behind an Occamy egg which Jacob tries to return but to no avail. Newt is then picked up by Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein, who tries to take him in to MACUSA, but no one listens. Graves, an employee, tries to take them in. Jacob returns to his house, having mistakenly picked up Newt's suitcase. Upon opening it, several of Newt's beasts escape, including an Erumpent and a Murtlap.
Tina takes Newt and Jacob to her house where they meet Queenie, Tina's sister. Inside their room, Newt disappears into his case, and Jacob follows. They meet Newt's other beasts. We later see the Barebones visit a town hall, where they meet Henry Shaw Senior and his son, also named Henry Shaw. Henry Senior waves them away.
Meanwhile, Jacob and Newt, on the run from the Goldsteins as well as MACUSA, find their first beast in Central Park, an Erumpent. After much difficulty, they capture it. Henry Junior, the New York senator, is killed by a dark force later revealed to be an Obscurial. Tina catches Jacob and Newt and goes to Seraphina Picquery. Seraphina captures the trio, believing them to be the cause of Shaw's death, and has them locked up. Graves orders them to be taken to a chamber to be killed, but they escape with the help of Queenie.
Together, the four head to The Blind Pig for information concerning the last two beasts missing from Newt's case. They manage to catch them at a department store.
Graves goes to the orphanage, but Credence's powers manifest and Mary Lou is killed. Credence escapes and wreaks havoc. Newt and Tina find him and try to calm him down, but he is killed on Seraphina's orders. Through Newt's Revelio Charm, Graves is revealed to be none other than Gellert Grindelwald.
Jacob and the rest of the No-Majs are obliviated with the help of the Thunderbird Newt rescued, Frank. Newt returns to England. Jacob opens a bakery with some of his products looking like the beasts he had met before. Queenie enters, and Jacob smiles at her, seemingly beginning to remember the events he has been through.
The following is a list of the relevant characters who appeared in the film, most of whom (as of now, the only known exceptions are Newt Scamander and Porpentina Goldstein, who are mentioned on the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book) are completely original to this work and never mentioned anywhere else in canon before.
- Newton "Newt" Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) – Magizoologist, author of the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. British Ministry of Magic employee, Porpentina's love interest. Described as eccentric and introverted.
- Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein (played by Katherine Waterston) – "An ambitious worker at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA, the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic) who meets Newt. Tina is relegated to an office well below her abilities after she stood up for the wrong person. She longs to fight for what's right." Described as "grounded".
- Jacob Kowalski (played by Dan Fogler) – "An optimistic No-Maj (aka Muggle) factory worker/aspiring baker who gets introduced to the wizarding world when he meets Newt." He begins the film post break-up and develops a crush on Queenie.
- Queenie Goldstein (played by Alison Sudol) – "Tina's younger sister and roommate, a big-hearted free-spirit Legilimens who can read minds." Described as a "bombshell".
- Percival Graves (played by Colin Farrell) – "A powerful auror and the right-hand man of the American wizarding world's president." Set with the task of tracking down Newt.
- Credence Barebone (played by Ezra Miller) – "Mary Lou's troubled adopted son". Reportedly plays a big role in the wizarding world canon.
- Mary Lou Barebone (played by Samantha Morton) – "The narrow-minded leader of the fanatical Second Salemers, a group looking to expose and kill wizards and witches."
- Seraphina Picquery (played by Carmen Ejogo) – President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA).
- Henry Shaw Senior (played by Jon Voight) – A newspaper tycoon, and father of Senator Henry Shaw Jnr.
- Langdon Shaw (played by Ronan Raftery) – Younger child of Henry Shaw Senior. He learns of a series of mysterious events in New York City that point to something magical.
- Henry Shaw Junior (played by Josh Cowdery) – An American senator who holds a rally picketed by the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Elder brother of Langdon Shaw.
- Gnarlak (played by Ron Perlman) – A goblin gangster who owns a speakeasy, does business with Newt.
- Modesty Barebone (played by Faith Wood-Blagrove) – A "haunted young girl" with "an ability to see deep into people". Mary Lou's youngest adopted daughter, who manages to conceal her disobedience from her.
- Chastity Barebone (played by Jenn Murray) – The oldest of Mary Lou's adopted children, she assists her mother in her crusade against wizardkind.
- Mr Abernathy (played by Kevin Guthrie) – Tina and Queenie's MACUSA supervisor.
- Gellert Grindelwald (played by Johnny Depp) – A Dark Wizard who is one of the most dangerous wizards of all-time (second only to Voldemort) and was very close to Albus Dumbledore.
- Leta Lestrange (played by Zoë Kravitz (picture only)) – The former love of Scamander who betrayed his trust, leaving him bitter about her but still keeping a picture of her.
(In order of appearance)
- Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander
- Sam Redford as Customs Official
- Scott Goldman as Customs Official (voice)
- Tim Bentinck as Witness
- Tristan Tait as Reporter
- Colin Farrell as Percival Graves
- Tom Clarke Hill as Photographer 2
- Matthew Sim as Photographer 1
- Katherine Waterston as Tina Goldstein
- Samantha Morton as Mary Lou Barebone
- Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski
- Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone
- Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty Barebone
- Jenn Murray as Chastity Barebone
- Cory Peterson as Bank Employee
- Lucie Pohl as Secretary
- Peter Breitmayer as Mr Bingley
- Jake Samuels as Bank Guard
- Max Cazier as Young Man
- Dan Hedaya as Red (voice)
- Christy Meyer as Guide - Inside Macusa
- Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina Picquery
- Guy Paul as Auror 2
- Andreea Paduraru as Auror 9
- Walles Hamonde as Auror 10
- Dominique Tipper as Auror 1
- Kevin Guthrie as Abernathy
- Leo Heller as Boy with Birthmark
- Miles Roughley as Poor Boy
- Anne Wittman as Housewife
- Erick Hayden as Policeman
- Paul Birchard as Hobo
- Ronan Raftery as Langdon Shaw
- Tom Hodgkins as Barker
- Jon Voight as Shaw Senior
- Josh Cowdery as Henry Shaw Jnr / Senator Shaw
- Ellie Haddington as Mrs Esposito (voice)
- Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein
- Joseph Macnab as Police Officer 1
- Bart Edwards as Police Officer 2
- Todd Boyce as Announcer
- Martin Oelbermann as Heinrich Eberstadt
- Gemma Chan as Madam Ya Zhou
- Richard Clothier as British Envoy
- Christian Dixon as Momolu Wotorson
- Akin Gazi as Auror 3
- Richard Hardisty as Auror 4
- Elizabeth Moynihan as Executioner 1
- Miquel Brown as Executioner 2
- Wunmi Mosaku as Beryl
- Cristian Solimeno as Executioner 3
- Matthew Wilson as Sam the Obliviator
- Brian F. Mulvey as Watchman
- Aretha Ayeh as Singer - The Blind Pig Speakeasy
- Emmi as Singer - The Blind Pig Speakeasy (voice)
- Ron Perlman as Gnarlak (voice)
- Nicholas McGaughey as Australian Wizard
- Sean Cronin as Nearby Wizard
- Zoë Kravitz as Leta Lestrange
- Arinzé Kene as Auror 6
- Jane Perry as Female Customer in Bakery
- Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald
- Gabriele Antonini as Newspaper Boy
- Stephanie Aspin as Ruby
- Christopher Wilson as Banker
- Lee Asquith-Coe as Officer #247
- Roy Beck as Senator Shaw's Speechwriter
- Fanny Carbonnel as Mrs Goldstein
- Georgia Clarke-Day as Young Wife
- Rudi Dharmalingam as Ranjit
- Joshua Diffley as Young Husband
- Henry Douthwaite as Skender
- Denis Khoroshko as Banker Smirnoff
- Alan Mandel as Mr Goldstein
- Alan Peett as Bank Begging Tramp
- Unknown actor as Henry
- Unknown actress as Mrs Bingley
The following is a list of beasts that appear in the first film:
List of deaths
|Character||Killed by||Cause of death||Circumstances|
|Multiple Aurors||Gellert Grindelwald||Blasting Curse||Aurors were attempting to apprehend Grindelwald|
|Henry Shaw, Jnr||Credence Barebone||Obscurial attack||Killed because he insulted Credence|
|Mary Lou Barebone||Killed for insulting his mother|
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released on Digital HD on 7 March 2017, and on DVD, 4K UHD, and Blu-Ray on 28 March 2017 with 11 deleted scenes (lasting 14:33 in total): Major Investigation Department; Jacob Tenement; Newt's Case; MACUSA Cell; Creocreatura; Tracking Demiguise; Suitcase Celebration; Skyscraper Roof; Obscuris Unleashed, Part 1; Obscuris Unleashed, Part 2; Newt Goodbye and additional content such as interviews.
Behind the scenes
- The film's set-production name was "Boswell".
- At the origin, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was supposed to be a faux documentary about Newton Scamander.
- Jacob Kowalski is the Wizarding world franchise’s first main Muggle character.
- Albus Dumbledore is mentioned in the film; he was one of Newt's teachers at Hogwarts, and the only one to speak out against his expulsion.
- Gellert Grindelwald, and the intensifying of an international manhunt for him, is mentioned in the film as a story on the cover of The New York Ghost newspaper.
- On set, the unknown creature wreaking havoc was only referred to as an Obscurus, a likely reference to Obscurus Books the publisher of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
- David Yates has said that a male character that already appeared in the Harry Potter film series will appear in the second film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This was later revealed to be Albus Dumbledore.
- The film was the last of the Harry Potter franchise released on celluloid film, getting a limited 70mm release upon its initial run. 
- David Heyman has said that originally he and producer Lionel Wigram were thinking the film was only going to be "a documentary about Newt" until Rowling somehow found out and told them she had thought about a different kind of film already.
Notes and references
- WB names David Yates ‘Fantastic Beasts’ director at Hypable
- David Heyman confirms he will produce "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film - SnitchSeeker.com
- "JK Rowling to write new Harry Potter-inspired film series based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" at The Independent
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay announcement at Pottermore
- "JK Rowling to pen Harry Potter spin-off film" at BBC News
- "First 'Fantastic Beasts' trailer arriving December 15, first synopsis released!" at Hypable
- FantasticBeastsMovies.com - Filming to Begin August 17th
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’: 43 Things to Know about the New Wizarding World Story at collider.com
- Eddie Redmayne officially joins Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Will Robinson on Entertainment Weekly
- 'Harry Potter' Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts' Finds Its Female Lead at The Hollywood Reporter
- "'Fantastic Beasts' characters revealed: An auror, a 'Second Salemer,' and more" at Hypable
- "'Fantastic Beasts': 'Secret and Lies' Actor Dan Fogler Joins 'Harry Potter' Spinoff" at Variety.com
- "'Harry Potter" Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts' to Star Singer-Songwriter Alison Sudol" at The Hollywood Reporter
- "Everything we know about ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’" at Boston.com
- "Announcement Trailer for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' to Be Unveiled Worldwide on December 15th" at BusinessWire
- ‘Fantastic Beasts’: Colin Farrell Explains Why He Wanted to Join the ‘Potter’ Universe at collider.com
- "Filming Gets Underway on «Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them»" at BusinessWire
- Fantastic Beasts' cast talk wands, creatures, Newt & his friends, Salem trials, more" from SnitchSeeker.com
- Full Character Descriptions
- 'Fantastic Beasts' film casts Jon Voight's son, Senator Henry Shaw, Seraphina rumoured at SnitchSeeker
- "Video: Scene Being Filmed (UPDATED)" from FantasticBeastsMovies.com
- "Pottermore Set Report #3" from FantasticBeastsMovies.com
- "Ron Perlman talks 'Sons of Anarchy,' 'Fantastic Beasts' at RI Comic Con" from The Telegram
- Casting call for 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' - warnerbros.co.uk
- Fantastic Beasts actress chosen from open auditions
- ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’: Johnny Depp Confirmed as Grindelwald; Setting Revealed at collider.com
- 'Harry Potter' Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts' Adds Zoe Kravitz (Exclusive) at The Hollywood Reporter
- "The Beasts" at FantasticBeasts.com
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them panel at Comic Con 2016
- Interview by filmstarts.de
- What are all the magical creatures/Beasts in Newt Scamander's suitcase? at StackExchange
- "See A Never-Before-Seen Creature In This Exclusive Deleted Scene From Fantastic Beasts" at MTV.co.uk
- 2D Art > Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at Mark Dubeau / Graphic Arts
- ‘FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM’ REVEALS SOME OF THE BEASTS WE’LL FIND at ScreenCrush.com
- Step inside MACUSA with production designer Stuart Craig at Pottermore
- (see this image)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Blu-ray
- Production name article
- Fantastic Beasts plot unveiled: Here's what the movie's about on Entertainment Weekly
- SpeakBeasty Podcast interview with Mitchell Thornton on MuggleNet
- Second 'Fantastic Beasts' movie coming in November 2018, studio says
- 70mm Blow-Up List
- Fantastic Beasts’ Was Originally Considered as a Documentary-Style Film at collider.com
|J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series|
|Philosopher's Stone||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Chamber of Secrets||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Prisoner of Azkaban||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Goblet of Fire||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Order of the Phoenix||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Half-Blood Prince||book||film||game||film soundtrack||game soundtrack|
|Deathly Hallows||book||film 1||game 1||film soundtrack 1||game soundtrack 1|
|film 2||game 2||film soundtrack 2||game soundtrack 2|
|Fantastic Beasts film series|
|Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them||book||screenplay||film||soundtrack||game|
|The Crimes of Grindelwald||screenplay||film||soundtrack|
|The Secrets of Dumbledore||screenplay||film||soundtrack|
|Fantastic Beasts 4||film|
|Fantastic Beasts 5||film|