A trailer has debuted for the upcoming “Harry Potter” film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
“Fantastic” is set decades before the “Potter” story and centers on Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), an expert on magical creatures.
Judging from the new trailer, it appears that the briefcase Newt is carrying around contains some of these creatures and that they have gotten away.
The upcoming movie is directed by David Yates, who helmed several “Potter” movies, and written by “Potter” author J.K. Rowling. There is a book titled “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” that is written as if it were a textbook for Harry and his friends, but the story of the life of Newt was dreamed up by Rowling for this movie.
The studio behind “Fantastic,” Warner Bros., is no doubt hoping “Fantastic” will be the launch of a new franchise (and with the past box office performance of the “Potter” movies, there seems little doubt that it will be). If it is, how would “Fantastic” compare to the other reigning franchises at the box office?
We know very little about “Fantastic,” but from the fact that it’s set in Harry’s world, it seems safe to assume that it’s about our own world as inhabited by wizards and witches, people with special powers.
This is similar to the Marvel movies, which take place in a version of our own universe where people like billionaire Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and World War II soldier Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) find themselves with unusual abilities.
What’s unknown is whether this movie series will have its own Lord Voldemort, the villain against which Harry and his friends faced off. Almost all of the big movie series at the box office, including “Star Wars” and the “Hunger Games” films, have the characters battling a nemesis.
There may of course be a villain in the “Fantastic” world, but judging from the trailer, Newt and his acquaintances are facing a more mundane problem – there were magical creatures in his briefcase and now they’ve escaped.
If this is more the focus of the “Fantastic” series – preventing mayhem that was simply caused by accident – the movie might bear more of a resemblance to the films released by animation studio powerhouse Pixar. In this summer’s Pixar hit “Inside Out,” for example, there was no villain, just young girl Riley growing up and adjusting to getting older.
The “Fantastic” movies could be a more benign presence at the box office than, for example, the “Hunger Games” movies with their violence and vision of a dystopian society.