In November we’ll return to the wizarding world of Harry Potter for the first time in five years, but as you likely already know, it won’t have anything to do with The Boy Who Lived. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them we’ll be traveling to 1926 New York where a young wizard named Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) will be pushed to his limits trying to wrangle some beasts he himself brought to the city in a magical suitcase. (Apparently customs officials were pretty lax in the ’20s.)
A new behind-the-scenes look at the movie went online today, filling in a few more details about the movie, which, it turns out, will be anchored by a team of four that includes Newt, two sisters, and a muggle. Here’s what we learned.
1. J.K. Rowling Is VERY Involved with the Movie
J.K. Rowling was originally ambivalent about writing anything new for her wizarding world, but it looks like Warner Bros. was able to convince her to come onboard thanks, in part, to a deal that involves a high level of involvement.
“We’re working directly with J.K.,” director David Yates says in the new video. “It’s her first screenplay.”
2. We’re Going to Love the Goldstein Sisters
Queenie (Alison Sudol) and Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) play the two sisters who will find themselves entangled in Newt Scamander’s New York dealings. The two actresses talked a little bit about what it’s like playing the two very different sisters in the new clip. Given how much Rowling developed Hermione as a character, we’re betting the Goldstein sisters are going to be pretty amazing. Already it sounds interesting that two of the main characters will have such a unique relationship.
In the video, Sudol explains, “You have two sisters who have raised each other and who have a very deep bond.”
3. An American Muggle (Or “No-Maj”) Who Looks Like Mr. Dursley Is One of the 4 Central Characters
Dan Fogler plays Jacob Kowalski, a muggle who will be one of the four main characters, except in 1920s New York, they don’t use the word “muggle.” Instead, he’s called a “No-Maj.” Fogler is trying to open up a shop in the neighborhood when he accidentally gets swept up in the magical adventure, and he bears a striking resemblance to another muggle famous in the Potterverse — Harry Potter’s uncle, Vernon Dursley.
While Fogler didn’t comment on the similarity, he did explain a little bit about his character: “Jacob is back from [World War I], and now he’s trying to get his life together and open up a bakery, and he just happens into this very magical situation.”