Everything we know about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff is not a drill. This is not a drill, people.

My favorite beast. —Jamie Loftus

We don’t honestly know much about J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film trilogy, but we know a bit. The rumors and confirmations have been few and far between, so we’ve put all the facts together in one neat place for your speculative reading pleasure.

The crux of the series involves Newton “Newt’’ Scamander, a magizoologist (a zoologist of magical creatures, of course), and his adventures with two witches and two wizards. But in a twist, unlike in the Harry Potters series that was so deeply ingrained in British culture, his four magical counterparts will be American.

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Here’s what we know so far:

Who

This week, Inherent Vice actress Katherine Waterston confirmed as the first film’s female lead, an American witch named Tina. Waterston, who is set to appear in the Steve Jobs biopic, Jobs, as Chrisann Brennan later this year, is only the second casting news announced in the trilogy. The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne was revealed to be the films’ main star, with an excessively secretive plot hanging over their heads until the slated November 18, 2016 release.

The Oscar-winning British actor was confirmed June 1, and J.K. Rowling gave the casting her stamp of approval, noting he’ll be “perfect.’’

The first installment will be directed by Harry Potter alum David Yates with Rowling penning the script. According to producer David Heyman, the script is “wonderful.’’

Other than the blind faith we have in Rowling, much is known about the plot of the series, other than that Scamander’s adventures while studying magical creatures will take center stage.

Meet the Scamanders. —Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Oceana; Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

What

According to the books, Scamander attended Hogwarts where he was in Hufflepuff (one of the four houses) and filled numerous animal-related professions, including a post at the Ministry of Magic, before somehow winding up in New York City. This is where and when the trilogy will be focused. The meticulous keepers of the Harry Potter Wikia estimate the films will focus on a 23-year-old Scamander. The acclaimed magizoologist went on to write Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a required reading textbook for Hogwarts students and an actual book penned by Rowling for U.K.-based charity Comic Relief in 2001.

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As we noted, Waterston has been cast as Porpentina, known as “Tina,’’ who at some point becomes Scamander’s love interest and eventually, his wife. The character of Tina was described as “grounded,’’ while her younger sister Queenie was a “bombshell’’ in early rounds of casting, in which The Great Gatsby actress Elizabeth Debicki and model Kate Upton were rumored to be in the running. A TBA male wizard and a character named Jacob are also up for grabs, but all we know is the latter is set up as a “rival’’ for Scamander.

Yates and Warner Bros. are said to be searching for “more established faces for the spinoff,’’ for a total of four leads opposite of Redmayne.

Where

The leaks have been scattered, but Rowling is keeping her fans waiting with bated breath as she drops hints on Twitter about the film’s setting. One thing we know for sure: The trilogy will take place in New York, as confirmed by the author who cryptically tweeted a scrambled message last October.

Decoded, the anagram reads:

Rowling also hinted that Fantastic Beasts will provide insight into the American version of Hogwarts, but she has yet to give a specific location or name. What do we know? The stateside school of magic will have roots in “indigenous magic,’’ but Rowling has declined to give the names of specific indigenous tribes as to not reveal the magic school’s exact location and name. (Speculationhasbeenrampant.)

While we don’t know for sure if Scamander will visit this American school, we do know he’ll encounter former students of it during his travels. Vague, but interesting.

I found the American Hogwarts! (Just kidding. This is Universal.) —David Manning /REUTERS
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When

Fantastic Beasts is said to ramp up some 70 years prior to Potter’s time at Hogwarts — which places the plot sometime in the 1920s.

Why

Why not? I suppose the jaded red flag says an American Hogwarts and the franchaise hydra that will inevitably follow puts a giant cash money sign on Fantastic Beasts, Warner Bros., and Rowling. But the completely-unbias-but-unabashedly-selfish Harry Potter fan in me is thrilled that we get another glimpse into Rowing’s magical world.

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