Introducing Newt Scamander: A new hero for a new era of magic

Newt Scamander inside his case of magical creatures
Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), inside his case of magical creatures.

A new video interview with Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling reveals more about the film’s hero and new beast is confirmed.

A new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them featurette has just landed teasing more plot details from the film, its hero Newt Scamander and confirming another of the beasts…

But don’t take our word for it, listen to J.K. Rowling:

So what have we learned? Err, how about loads.

We’ve known for a while that Newt heads to New York City with a slightly wonky case full of magical creatures, that they escape and get him into heaps of trouble with the guarded and secretive North American wizarding government.

But now we’ve got even more info on our hero, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), who has been travelling the world in search of magical creatures.

‘My heroes are always people who feel themselves to be set apart, stigmatised or othered,’ said J.K. Rowling. ‘That’s at the heart of most of what I write, and it’s certainly at the heart of this movie.’

As an Englishman in New York, and a wizard at that, Newt is certainly an outsider. Author J.K. Rowling also told us that Newt ‘walks into a society he doesn’t really understand.’

For instance, when asked if he knows anything about American wizarding society, Newt chides Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) that they have ‘rather backwards laws about relations with non-magic people.’

So he’s a little blunt, but from Newt’s perspective it does seem ‘wildly absurd’ not to befriend or even be allowed to marry a Muggle.

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L-R, Newt Scamander and Tina Goldstein.

Equally, that hint of exasperation in Tina’s voice is well-founded. We know from ‘A History of Magic in North America’ that wizards and witches across the Atlantic are much more cautious of non-magical people, thanks to events like the Salem Witch Trials.

With anti-magic groups like Mary-Lou’s (Samantha Morton) Second Salemers kicking around New York at this time, it’s perhaps little wonder that a former Auror like Tina would be on edge.

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Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler) accidentally opens Newt's case.

It looks like we have our case-opening culprit and it’s… Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), here looking decidedly nervous. Brave heart, Jacob – it’s only a reverberating suitcase, it’s not going to bite you…

Okay, we may have spoken too soon because Jacob does appear to have a bite mark on his neck soon after. It isn’t clear what has taken a chunk out of the No-Maj New Yorker but it was probably just a little peckish.

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Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski.

This is the first time a non-magical character has been a lead in a Wizarding World story. Judging from the scene where Jacob yells ‘HEY, MR ENGLISH GUY! I THINK YOUR EGG IS HATCHING!’ down a hallway, we have a feeling he’s going to be a lot fun.

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L-R Jacob (Dan Fogler), Tina (Katerine Waterstone) and Newt (Eddie Redmayne) are brought before MACUSA.

It’s really not Jacob’s day though, is it? We know that Newt runs into trouble with MACUSA, but the worried look on Tina’s face does not bode well for these three, brought before MACUSA President Seraphina Picquery.

No sign of Tina’s sister, Queenie, so we’re hoping she’s just out of shot and coming up with a plan.

We also get an extended look inside Newt’s remarkable case, presumably while he’s trying to find some Savlon for Jacob’s neck. The Magizoologist is working some kind of magic with the plants inside his suitcase and talking to this little guy…

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The Bowtruckle.

Yes, the Bowtruckle will appear in Fantastic Beasts. He even blows a raspberry at Newt, the cheeky little devil.

Eddie tells us that over the course of the film, ‘[Newt] starts to look a bit more like a hero.’

With new friends, new enemies, a few miffed-off looking Aurors (cough Graves), and a whole lot of dangers ahead, he’ll have to!

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L-R, Tina Goldstein and Newt Scamander, on the run.

Now available
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – The Original Screenplay