Though we’re in the midst of our favorite pumpkin spiced, spooky season, Nerdoween, another important yearly milestone is just around the corner. To some, November might mean bundling up for the real chill of winter, roasting chestnuts, and stuffing themselves silly with turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberry sauce… But to us, November means one thing: Harry Potter. For years, most of the Harry Potter film adaptations were released that month, and that season reminds us of donning House scarves and cosplay to go see a new story in J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding universe. And on November 18th of this year, we finally get the latest installment: the first film in a new prequel trilogy, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
From what we’ve gleaned from released teasers, trailers, and posters, we know that the film follows famed Hufflepuff Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), author of Hermione’s favorite textbook (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, natch), during his youth in 1926. Scamander has traveled the globe to find and document all the magical creatures for the book, but during a stopover in New York City, the catalogue beasts are let loose upon the city, and the young scholar must find and capture them before the No-Maj (a.k.a. American for “Muggle”) population discovers the truth about witches and wizards. We’re still a month away from seeing what other adventures await Scamander, but thanks to new posters from the film (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly), we can get to know some of the other characters in Fantastic Beast‘s world — plus, a possible connection to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
We already know quite a bit about Scamander and his partner in crime, former Auror Porpentina “Tina” Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) but these posters (and some secret clues hidden in the background), we can learn much more about their other allies and all the people who are hunting them down. Many of the posters feature “Wanted” posters for Scamander and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), the No-Maj who dreams of becoming a baker and gets caught up with Scamander’s magical creatures, who are on the lam from the Magical Congress of the United States of America (think Ministry of Magic, but with ‘Mericans). Tina’s free-spirited, “fiercely loyal” sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) also works in MACUSA’s low-level wand permit division and is likely to help Scamander out, but the powerful president of MACUSA, Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo, pictured above), will stop at nothing to keep magic a secret from humans.
Now, the Harry Potter universe is known for its villains, both big (Voldemort), small (Peter Pettigrew), and misunderstood (poor Ginny), so Fantastic Beasts has a lot to live up to. Luckily, witches have never had a shortage of small-minded nasties who will hunt them down, and Mary Lou Barebone (Samantha Morton, pictured below) seems to be the 1920s version of a witch hunter. As the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society (a.k.a the Second Salemers), Barebone uses her adopted children (two daughters and a son, Ezra Miller‘s Credence Barebone) in her quest to seek out and destroy (read: burn) witches and wizards. Alongside your traditional baddies, we have Gnarlak (Ron Perlman), a goblin gangster who runs a Prohibition-era speakeasy. We don’t know much about him yet but we DO know that we’ve never needed anything more than Ron Perlman playing a Boardwalk Empire-esque goblin.
Finally, there’s Colin Farrell’s Percival Graves—MACUSA’s Director of Magical Security—who has been tasked with finding Newt and his case of fantastic beasts… But interestingly enough, there’s a dangling necklace in Graves’ poster… of the Deathly Hallows symbol! Now, this could mean several things. Either Graves is, like Luna Lovegood‘s father, a believer of the Deathly Hallows and the secrets they possess, or he’s involved in something much more sinister.
We know from the Harry Potter books that Gellert Grindelwald, one of the most powerful Dark Wizards of all time, was gaining power in the 1920s, and was hunting for the Deathly Hallows along with his friend (and later enemy) a young Albus Dumbledore. Bringing Grindelwald and his followers into the mix seems like a clever way to tie in the events of the Harry Potter series while still creating its own unique universe, so we are VERY curious to see where this Deathly Hallows connection goes.
We’ve selected a few of our favorite posters in the gallery below, but make sure you head over to EW to check out the full array and let us know your Deathly Hallow theories in the comments below!
More Fantastic Beast news and rumors on Nerdist News![brightcove video_id=”4298450543001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]
Images: Warner Bros