The magical world of Harry Potter is returning with the upcoming release of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them! Although the film is not set to be released for another year, fans of the franchise received a special treat Wednesday when the first set of on-set photos were released by Entertainment Weekly.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which is being called the Harry Potter prequel by fans, is based on British author J.K. Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name. However, Rowling’s name does not appear as author of the book because it was released under a pseudonym, which is something fans of the author have become accustomed to seeing.
The Harry Potter prequel, which is set in New York in the 1920’s, stars Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) as Newt Scamander, a famous magiczoologist who sets off on an adventure filled with magical creatures from the Harry Potter universe. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Redmayne has admitted that he is quite nervous about becoming a part of the massively popular franchise. “The stakes are high because they were so good before,” he told E! News. “You don’t want to screw it up.”
But despite the high pressure, Redmayne says he’s excited for the ride. “Like many people, I read those books, I watched those films, and became completely intoxicated by J.K. Rowling’s world,” Redmayne told Entertainment Weekly. “The idea of getting to tiptoe into it felt truly exciting. I hope it’s going to be quite a ride.”
Joining Redmayne on his magical adventure are Colin Farrell, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, and Samantha Morton.
Entertainment Weekly’s cover photo of Redmayne gives fans a glimpse of Scamander, briefcase in tow, standing in front of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), the American version of what Potter fans know as the Ministry of Magic.
Newt Scamander is the pseudonym Rowling used for Beasts, and according to Wikipedia, the book belongs to Harry Potter himself, which is why it is being called the Harry Potter prequel, even though Rowling consistently points out that it is not a prequel, has no ties to the original books, and actually takes place 70 years prior, Variety reports.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is actually mentioned in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in the UK), which is the first novel of the popular series. The published novel even includes notes that are handwritten by Potter and best friend Ronald Weasley.
Harry Potter fans have been waiting for the film adaptation for quite some time, as Warner Bros. originally announced plans for the films in 2013.
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film,” Rowling said. “I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.”
Harry Potter’s textbook (not prequel), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, is set for a worldwide release on November 18, 2016. See the full spread of on-set photos here.
[Photo by Frazer Harrison: Getty Images]