For the first time in five years, fans of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series can return to the wizarding world in theaters with the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” This is the first film written by Rowling herself and is based on a field guide that is briefly mentioned in the original books.
It follows writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne plays Scamander, a quiet but eccentric wizard employed by the British Ministry of Magic. Redmayne is joined by a talented cast that includes fellow award-winners Colin Farrell and Johnny Depp.
The film has received mostly positive reviews, garnering five stars from “The Guardian” and receiving praise of “pure magic” and “spell-binding.” In a surprising twist, many critics have noted that the story explores darker themes and is directed towards now older fans who have grown up with the series.
Loyal fans will be excited to note that Rowling has announced plans for the story to continue with four additional movies, leaving plenty of room for additional characters and twists to be revealed. With this newest addition set to be a hit, the future looks bright (lumos!) for the wizarding world.
To see it locally, Lansing theaters begin showing the film on Thursday as early as 6 p.m. and will continue with a variety of show times throughout the weekend.
All images courtesy of Warner Bros.