Friday 14th Oct 2016
Yesterday, the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Global Fan Event gifted us all with a clue-packed featurette, and many more inspiring glimmers of the film to come.
As well as glimpses of new Fantastic Beasts footage, the featurette provides exciting interviews with the likes of Eddie Redmayne, David Yates, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell and J.K. Rowling, and drops a couple of hints on what we can expect from the new film.
1. A very familiar train
The opening moments from the featurette take us on a little trip down memory lane, as we are immersed in sounds from Harry Potter’s adventures. ‘Mysterious thing, time’ as Dumbledore once said. During this nostalgic sequence, we see the Hogwarts Express driving through the night. Oh, how we have missed that train. Sob. It’s almost like the Hogwarts Express is picking us up from the Harry Potter films and dropping us off at our new destination: Fantastic Beasts.
We gasped with a combined state of shock and joy when we heard the name ‘Grindelwald’ from the previous Fantastic Beasts trailer. Now, here he is mentioned again in a wizarding newspaper called The New York Ghost. (Nice name!)
During Harry Potter’s time, this Dark wizard is long gone, and mentioned strictly in the past tense as the plotter of an evil scheme to create a world where wizards dominate Muggles. But in the 1920s, Grindelwald appears to be very much alive, and although he may be based in Europe, news of his uprising has clearly affected the American wizarding community too.
3. Mary Lou and the Second Salemers
Mary Lou and the Second Salemers may sound like the name for a hip new band, but the reality is a little less fun. The Second Salemers are actually a tenacious anti-wizard group that look set to cause a lot of trouble, led by the resolute Mary Lou.
We catch a little more of Mary Lou’s impassioned speech where she encourages the crowd to heed her warnings about witches. Yes, Mary Lou was very adamant about this in the previous trailer too. But there are other little moments that give us a wider scope of Mary Lou’s hostility to the wizarding world. For example, is that a wand we see her snapping?
4. New characters
We haven’t seen much of Jon Voight’s character, Henry Shaw Sr. But now here he is, being confronted by Langdon Shaw, his son, and the younger brother of Henry Shaw Jr., who you will have seen in previous trailers emblazoned across ‘America’s Future’ posters. Shaw has clocked that ‘strange things are going on all over the city’ and the people behind it are ‘not like you and me’. It looks like the No-Maj world and the wizarding world are getting a little too close for comfort.
We also catch our first flicker of actress Gemma Chan at MACUSA. Although we don’t know who she’s playing, she looks very concerned about our next point…
5. The floating man
A rather eerie scene focuses on a floating man drifting ominously through the main hall of MACUSA. While examining him, Newt murmurs ‘look at the marks, no creature did this’. That doesn’t sound good.
This scene reminds us very much of Lord Voldemort suspending Muggle Studies teacher Charity Burbage over the table where his Death Eaters sat during Deathly Hallows. So what’s going on with this guy? We have a horrible feeling this isn’t some sort of Wingardium Leviosa lesson gone wrong...
6. Why is the Deathly Hallows symbol there?
Speaking of Deathly Hallows…
So as J.K. Rowling herself says, ‘there are connections to the Potter books that I think people will find surprising’. Seconds later, the featurette completely knocks us for six, thanks to this familiar symbol. The Deathly Hallows sign, originally introduced to us in the book of the same name, is the official symbol of the three combined magical objects that enable a person to become ‘the Master of Death’. Oooh. We know Grindelwald has had dealings with the Elder Wand, so who is twirling around the Hallows sign?
In addition to the symbol, do we encounter a Hallow itself? This shot looks an awfully lot like someone’s enjoying a healthy snack under an Invisibility Cloak – unless that apple we see really was just eating itself.
7. What is going on with Graves?
We’re still a little troubled by Colin Farrell’s character, Percival Graves. Every trailer he makes an appearance in, he doesn’t seem very chipper about things. You could say he looks a bit…grave. Sure, it’s certainly not an easy time to be an Auror working for MACUSA, but he looks progressively stifled by the situation they find themselves in. Maybe he just has a lot of paperwork.
8. ‘I’ve seen a vision of immense power’
We know New York is awash with Newt’s escaped beasts, but a particular force in the sky looms over this featurette. The 1920s is presumably an era long before the days of the Dark Mark, but we don’t have a good feeling about those swirling grey clouds. It’s either going to be a very rainy day, or something more dangerous is afoot.
Please can we fast-forward time and watch the film now please? Fantastic Beasts is out on 18 November.