50 Things You NEED To Know Before Seeing Fantastic Beasts

Photo: Warner Brothers
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them J K Rowling

Accio movie tickets!

There’s a new Harry Potter movie!

And, while, yes, we do realize that the Boy Who Lived won’t be making an appearance, there are still plenty of reasons to be excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

People were skeptical that J.K. Rowling could one of her shortest fictional works into a full-length movie, but everything we’ve seen so far about Fantastic Beasts looks… frankly, fantastic.

The best part is — this is the first time we’ll get to see a J.K. Rowling Potterverse movie where we’re not spending the whole time thinking, “I can’t believe they cut that! What about Peeves, the Longbottoms at St. Mungo’s, or S.P.E.W?!”

This is the first wholly original film story that Rowling has ever created — she wrote the screenplay herself — so we can’t wait to experience all of the film’s wonderful new creations. That’s another exciting aspect of Fantastic Beasts… there’s just so much we simply don’t know.

If you’re dying to see how the story of Newt Scamander sets up the world of Harry Potter, we’ve gathered these 50 facts that you NEED to know before you see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

We’re entering a new era of witchcraft and wizardy, people. This is going to be fun.

It will be 5 films.
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While the rest of the films are still in the works, the second movie in the series already has a tentative release date for November 2018!

They center around the character mentioned in the Harry Potter series, Newt Scamander.
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Newt is the author Harry and the gang’s textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, which they used mainly in their Care of Magical Creatures class. 

J. K. Rowling wrote a series (of sorts) called the "Hogwarts Classics" which you can read for yourself.
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The "Hogwarts Classics" is a trilogy of supplemental books that are textbooks used in the Potterverse. 

The "Hogwarts Classics" is a trilogy.
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The other two “Hogwarts Classics” are Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp and The Tales of Beedle the Bard (with an introduction by Albus Dumbledore).

A significant portion of the proceeds from every copy of these books goes to the wonderful organization, Comic Relief.
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Comic Relief is a U.K. based charity which strives to end poverty since its creation in 1985.

The original Fantastic Beasts textbook is a pretty quick read.
Photo: Tom Burns

It's only 42 pages long and is less like a novel and more like an encyclopedia of magical creatures.

In the Fantastic Beasts book, you can see sarcastic comments written by Harry Potter and Ron Weasley in the margins.
Photo: Buzzfeed

Because, like any textbook, it's so much fun to read what previous owners have scribbled on the pages.

Newt's full name is Newton Artemis Fido Scamander.
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It's a mouthful, no wonder he just goes by Newt.

He was born in 1897.
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Which makes him about 28 years old when this movie takes place. (It's set in 1925.)

Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff…
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Finally, another win for Hufflepuffs everywhere!

...Until he was kicked out of Hogwarts.
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Apparently, he endangered a human life with a magical beast. (But we don't know the details of the endangerment yet.)

Dumbledore was against Newt’s expulsion.
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At this point, he's only a teacher at Hogwarts at the time so despite his objection, he couldn't really put a stop to it.

Newt is the one who gave Fawkes the Phoenix to Dumbledore.
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And even if you don't like him, you can't deny: Fawkes has got some serious style.

This is Newt’s first trip to America which is where the film takes place.
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Not only is he in America, he's in New York City to be exact. 

The Ministry of Magic in America is called MACUSA.
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Which stands for The Magical Congress of the United States of America. 

The MACUSA is much more secretive about magical secrecy.
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Although, after the Salem Witch Trials, you can hardly blame them.

The headquarters to The Magical Congress of the United States of America is in the real-life Woolworth Building in New York.
Photo: woolworthbuilding.com

BRB while we go book a ticket to New York!

And the President of the MACUSA is a woman!
Photo: Google

President Seraphina Picquery for the win (we hope)! 

While in England, they’re called “muggles”, in America, the non-magic folk are called “no-maj”.
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 Which sounds a lot better in the trailers then it does in your head — trust us.

Dan Fogler plays Newt Scamander’s new best friend in the films.
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Jacob Kowalski is a No-Maj who finds himself caught up in the world of New York magic.

While we’re on the topic of differences between American magical life and English magical life, we have our own school of magic.
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Since we cannot go to Hogwarts, it seems we will have to settle for going to Ilvermorny.

Ilvermorny (which plays some role in the film) is located in modern-day Massachusetts.
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At the top of Mount Greylock, to be specifc.

Like Hogwarts, Ilvermorny has four school houses.
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The houses are called: Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird, and Pukwudgie.

On Pottermore.com, you can take a quiz to see which Ilvermorny house you should be sorted into.
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Which house do you really belong to?

You can also take quizzes to identify your Hogwarts house and your Patronus.
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Which is the most important information to know about yourself (far more than, say, your blood type).

A war is likely coming to the magical world thanks to the Dark Wizard Gellert Grindelwald.
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He was mentioned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as being second in villainy only to Voldemort. 

It’s been announced that Johnny Depp will play a small role in Fantastic Beasts, a role that will carry across to the sequels.
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It’s strongly rumored that he will be playing Gellert Grindelwald.

Dumbledore will appear in the movies along with Grindelwald.
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It hasn't been confirmed whether or not their relationship will be mentioned.

The casting for young Dumbledore has not been announced but J.K. Rowling told The Radio Times that she “has someone in mind.”
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And if J. K. Rowling has a say in it, you know it'll have to be good.

Online Potter fans have been pushing for Mad Men’s Jared Harris to play the role of young Dumbledore.
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He’s the son of Richard Harris who originally played Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films and, honestly, who's better to play him?

In addition to meeting new fantastic beasts, you will also get to see some of the creatures that were mentioned in the Harry Potter series.
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You'll find creatures like a Bowtruckle and Niffler, which book fans will remember, but also new ones like the Swooping Evil.

Yes, there are Aurors here in America too!
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So, if you ever dreamed of growing up to join the ranks of the Wizard Police, North Americans, you're in luck. (Remember Harry Potter became an auror when he grew up.)

Colin Farrell’s character, Percival Graves, is the Head Auror of MACUSA.
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And he's probably not very nice, because, you know, he's played by  Colin Farrell.

Newt's suitcase is the equivalent of Doctor Who's TARDIS.
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Newt can actually go inside the briefcase he carries around with him to visit the numerous magical creatures that live there.

The magical newspaper in New York is called The New York Ghost.
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Hopefully, it has less gossip than that Rita Skeeter-loving rag, The Daily Prophet.

Not all New York Muggles are friendly.
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There is at least one group of no-majs in New York working to expose witches and wizards (and not in a good way). Maybe they're the ancestors of the Dursleys.

Keep an eye out for Easter Eggs.
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The magical Deathly Hallows might have a part to play in Fantastic Beasts, as we see a hallows necklace in the trailer.

Director David Yates will be directing all five Fantastic Beasts movies.
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That will make 9 Potter movies total for Yates.

Yates has directed every Harry Potter movie since Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
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The other films were directed by Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuarón, and Mike Newell.

J.K. Rowling has also released an official copy of the Fantastic Beasts screenplay.
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Does it count as her ninth Potter book?

It is not the first time that Rowling has published a play.
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 Earlier in 2016, she published the script version of her two-part play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Fantastic Beasts is, essentially, a prequel to the original Harry Potter story.
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While the stage play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child tells the story of what happened after Harry Potter grew up.

Hellboy actor Ron Perlman has a role in Fantastic Beasts.
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He brings to life the character of Gnarlack, a gangster goblin who owns a nightclub in New York.

Luggage helped in the casting of Newt Scamander.
Photo: Pottermore

Director David Yates says that it was Eddie Redmayne’s suitcase — a beat-up travel case — that won him the role of Newt Scamander.

Eddie Redmayne was almost in another Harry Potter movie.
Photo: Harry Potter Wiki

He originally auditioned to play Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The Fantastic Beasts series is longer than anyone expected.
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When the cast signed on to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, they had no idea that there would be five movies in the series.

Famed composer James Newton Howard wrote the score to Fantastic Beasts.
Photo: The Guardian

However, it’s rumored that the score will weave in the original Harry Potter theme written by John Williams.

Be on the lookout for new takes on familiar spells.
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One of Fantastic Beasts's supporting characters, Queenie Goldstein, will practice a brand-new form of Legilimency, a kind of magical mind-reading, that was discussed during the Harry Potter novels

Internet rumors claimed that the upcoming sequel to Fantastic Beasts will take place “days” after the first movie ends.
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But J.K. Rowling has since debunked the rumor as false. However, the movies are supposed to span the course of years.

On November 18th, you can join Newt and his quest to find the Fantastic Beasts in theaters.
Photo: Google

It's the first new Harry Potter movie since 2011!