By Victoria Mescall
J. K. Rowling brings old fans and new viewers with her on a journey to the wizarding world in her anticipated new film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
The film is the first in a series of five films. It is both a spin-off and a prequel to Rowling’s Harry Potter series which tells the story of a young boy named Harry who discovers he is a wizard and is invited to attend the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
“Although I know nothing will ever exceed my Harry Potter experience, I will absolutely be seeing the new spin-off,” said junior Hannah Rojas. “I am trying my best to have low expectations so that I will leave the theater pleasantly surprised.”
Directed by David Yates, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler and Johnny Depp.
“I am so excited to see Eddie Redmayne in ‘Fantastic Beasts.’ He is an amazing choice and I first fell in love with him after seeing him in ‘My Week with Marilyn,’” said junior Julia Vezza. “He’s become such a well-known face and I think he will do the part justice.”
Set in New York during the 1920s, Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander, a young wizard who returns from a sabbatical spent by locating and capturing magical creatures from all over the world.
During what was supposed to be a pass through of the city, Scamander has to go on a hunt and save the non-magic world from complete disaster after a muggle opens his briefcase and releases the fantastic beasts he captured and documented during his global excursion.
“I am excited to see ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ and I’ll probably go see it over Thanksgiving break,” said senior Kim Amoia.
The film is Rowling’s first experience with writing a screenplay.
Though writing for print and screen are different, Rowling treated the script like a book and included not just dialogue, but long descriptive passages about the setting and characters. This allowed the production team to really envision what she was picturing.
Reactions to the announcement of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” by critics and fans have been positive, as the idea of another wizard-filled series from Rowling brings back memories for many.
Students felt nostalgic when hearing about the release of the upcoming film.
“I am extremely excited, but also very sure that I will miss the original [Harry Potter] films,” said Rojas. “Definitely would not be shocked to spend the days afterwards re-watching the classics.”
Students also said how the end of the Harry Potter franchise kept them waiting for what Rowling would do next.
“I saw every Harry Potter movie and read all the books. After the last Harry Potter movie was finished, I feel that it did the decade-long series justice,” said sophomore Steve Musitano. “After all the years of fangirling was over, I wanted more. I can’t wait to see how this one turns out.”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” comes out in theaters on Friday, Nov. 18.
The Associated Press & Jordan Norkus contributed to this article.