Warner Bros. just gave us the most expansive look yet at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,the Harry Potterprequel story set to launch its own trilogy, with the release of the first teaser trailer. Though the movie might not be out until November, we already know a lot about what the J.K. Rowling-scripted world will look like.
Fantastic Beaststells the story of British wizard Newt Scamander’s trip to 1920s NYC. Upon his arrival, he has in his posession a suitcase filled with magical beasts. When some of those beasts escape into the city and start causing trouble, they threaten the secrecy America’s wizarding society has fought so hard to maintain at the worst possible time.
The teaser trailer fills in a lot of the details of this narrative and setting. Here are 13 things we learned about Fantastic Beasts from the two-minute sneak peek…
Newt was kicked out of Hogwarts.
Apparently, Newt pulled a Hagrid long before Hagrid was even alive (so I guess Hagrid”pulled a Newt”?), getting himself expelled from Hogwarts after “endangering human life with a beast.”
Although we don’t get any more info about the details of this expulsion, we do get a glimpse of Newt showing off some Herbology moves, so he must have been around Hogwarts enough to develop a good portion of his magical skillset. (Though, judging from the set-up of this movie, Newt didn’t exactly learn the lesson of caution from his expulsion.)
Dumbledore championed Newt’s cause.
Newton had at least one person at Hogwarts who thought he should be given another chance: Albus Dumbledore. At the time, Dumbledore was not yet headmaster of Hogwarts, but rather a lowly professor-type. Even then, however, he already built up quite a reputation, even state-side, given that Percival Graves asks Newt “What makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you?”
The MACUSA doesn’t seem to like Newt very much.
(For you No-Majs out there, MACUSA stands for Magical Congress of the United States of America.)
Graves’ entire voiceover seems to be tinted with an air of accusation. Graves is President Seraphina’s right-hand man. Presumably, this voiceover is part of a larger inquistion upon Scamander’s arrival in the U.S. Whether it is before or after Newt’s suitcase starts leaking potentially dangerous magical creatures is another story.
President Seraphina reigns supreme.
Though Graves might get most of the MACUSA-centric dialogue in this teaser trailer, it is obvious that President Seraphina is the one with the final say in the world of Fantastic Beasts.We get a glimpse of the MACUSA, we see a giant, dramatic portrait of Seraphina hanging on the wall. Later in the trailer, Graves reports to Seraphina: “No human could do what this thing is capable of.”
Newt continues to rep Hufflepuff.
Despite his expulsion, Newt still seems to has Hufflepuff pride. When the customs agent at the beginning of the trailer looks into Newt’s suitcase (with the “Muggle Worthy” feature activated), he sees only Newt’s more innocuous possessions — chief among them: his yellow-and-black Hufflepuff scarf. #HufflepuffForAlways
The wizards are really worried about exposure.
The wizarding newspaper we catch a glimpse of shows that the tensions between the wizarding and No-Majcommunities are high (even if the No-Majs don’t know about it). “Magical Disturbances Risk Wizarding Exposure” reads the top headline, showcasing the wizarding communities biggest fear: that the No-Maj community will discover the presence of the wizarding world, and strike back against them. In this regard, Newt’s fantastic beasts present a significant threat.
There are two sides to this NYC.
Visually, the two-minute trailer is gorgeous to look like, beautifully rendering both the dirty, industrial side of the immigrant city and the gleaming golden architecture of the wizarding hierarchy hidden just out of reach. In the above photo, we see the ornate majesty of the MACUSA, but we also get a glimpse at the docks, apparent boarding house where Newt stays, and the grubby streets of NYC.
Jacob is quickly drawn into the wizarding world.
It’s unclear how No-Maj Jacob the Aspiring Baker is pulled into the magical world of NYC, but it seems to happen pretty quickly, judging by the amount of scenes we see featuring both Jacob and magic. As is apparent from both Jacob’s awed face as he sees Tina and Queenie using magic to clean their apartment and his confused look when Newt disappears into his own suitcase, Jacob is very much the audience gateway character here.
Tina and Queenie are the NYC natives here.
As for the other two characters rounding out the movie’s central quartet, magical sisters Tina and Queenie appear to be both Newt and Jacob’s guides to the magical world of NYC. We see them showing them into a speakeasy, and a glimpse into what appears to be their shared apartment.
Newt’s suitcase can do a lot.
We get to see Newt use some of his magic, most notably with his suitcase, which has both a “Muggle Worthy” setting to trick prying, non-magical eyes and is roomy enough for Newt to physically escape into. (Apparently, it’s bigger on the inside, a la Hermione’s bag in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.) This is all in addition to holding countless fantastic beasts itside of it. Although, as we know from both Newt’s mention to the customs agent in the teaser trailer and the plot of this film, the suitcase isn’t without its flaws.
America is getting ready for an election.
Much like in real-life America, the world of Fantastic Beastsseems to be in the midst of an important election cycle. We catch a glimpse of some sort of an event — perhaps a fundraiser? — for candidate Henry Shaw, a chiseled-jaw fellow vaguely described as “America’s Future” in his campaign poster. Are we for or against this guy? Does he know about magic? If he doesn’t yet, he might soon find out…
Shaw’s fundraiser will be interrupted.
From the shots of the lights being smashed and the people being pushed aside by something large and invisible at Shaw’s event, the presidential candidate might soon be aware that something magical is afoot in NYC — that is if he makes it out of this scene alive.
Newt’s creatures are varied.
Not all of Newt’s creatures are so scary. Pictured above is a niffler, a large-snouted adorable little beast with an affection for treasure. In the trailer, we also get a glimpse of a beautiful blue winged creature and the clawed fingers of something more nefarious-looking crawling out of Newt’s suitcase.
Newt and Tina have a burgeoning romance.
OK, we actually already knew this, but we do get our first visual hint at this: Newt and Tina holding hands as they dash through an underground structure in the midst of a magical fight. How romantic.
Check out our roundup of everything we know about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them— including trailers, photos, casting, and details about future films — here.