Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (rated PG-13) takes us to a new era of the Wizarding World, decades before Harry Potter and half a world away in New York City. The film marks the screenwriting debut of Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling.
It will be the first of five mega-movies set in the magical world about 70 years before the start of the Harry Potter story (so obviously, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were not born yet). The films will follow magizoologist Newton Artemis Fido Scamander (whose grandson Rolf will later marry Luna Lovegood). Newt was a Hufflepuff who graduated from Hogwarts in 1915. From 1918 to 1927, he traveled all over the world researching magical creatures for the book he was writing called . . . Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which we know went on to become a Hogwarts textbook. In his travels, he visited New York, which is where this movie will start.
There are growing dangers in the wizarding world of 1926 New York. Something mysterious is leaving a path of destruction in the streets, threatening to expose the wizarding community to the No-Majs (American for Muggles), including the Second Salemers, a fanatical faction bent on eradicating them. And the powerful, dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, after wreaking havoc in Europe, has slipped away…and is now nowhere to be found.
Unaware of the rising tensions, Newt Scamander arrives in the city nearing the end of a global excursion to research and rescue magical creatures, some of which are safeguarded in the magical hidden dimensions of his deceptively nondescript leather case. But potential disaster strikes when unsuspecting No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently lets some of Newt’s beasts loose in a city already on edge. This is a serious breach of the Statute of Secrecy that former Auror Tina Goldstein jumps on, seeing her chance to regain her post as an investigator. However, things take an ominous turn when Percival Graves, the enigmatic Director of Magical Security at MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America), casts his suspicions on both Newt…and Tina.
Now allied, Newt and Tina, together with Tina’s sister, Queenie, and their new No-Maj friend, Jacob, form a band of unlikely heroes, who must recover Newt’s missing beasts before they come to harm. But the stakes are higher than these four outsiders—now branded fugitives—ever imagined, as their mission puts them on a collision course with dark forces that could push the wizarding and No-Maj worlds to the brink of war.