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Top 10 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Facts

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nick Spake Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them makes it's film premiere, but for all you Harry Potter fans to don't know much about the new J.K. Rowling created film, here are 10 amazing facts that you need to know before seeing the movie. WatchMojo presents it's top 10 most facts about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them! What is this new American 1926 setting? What is the Swooping Evil? How does this tie in with the storied Harry Potter series? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to drewbrown for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out our suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Fantastic+Beasts+and+Where+To+Find+Them+Film+Facts

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It’s time to revisit the wizarding world. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Film Facts.

For this list, we’re taking a look at interesting trivia surrounding the latest film set in the “Harry Potter” universe.

#10: It’s a Spinoff

Just to clarify upfront, “Fantastic Beasts” isn’t a sequel to the “Harry Potter” saga; it actually takes place several decades before Harry was even born. But the film isn’t exactly a prequel either. J.K. Rowling, creator of this highly successful franchise, describes the movie as “an extension of the wizarding world.” Functioning as a spinoff, the story follows magizoologist Newt Scamander on a journey to recover a collection of magical creatures, and is the first of five films in this new series. Scamander is a character that Harry Potter superfans might remember, as he was first mentioned in the novel, “The Philosopher's Stone.” His name has also surfaced in the “Harry Potter” screen adaptations, but “Fantastic Beasts” marks the character’s first official appearance, introducing us to another era of wizards.

#9: Colin Farrell Loves Harry Potter

Considering several of his “In Bruges” co-stars already popped up in the “Harry Potter” films, it was only a matter of time until Colin Farrell appeared in this franchise as well. In “Fantastic Beasts,” Farrell plays Percival Graves, an Auror, which is basically the magical equivalent of a police officer. As the Director of Magical Security, Graves is assigned with hunting Newt down. In an interview with CINEMABLEND, the Irish actor discussed why this project piqued his interest. In addition to simply needing the work, Farrell was attracted to J.K. Rowling’s imaginative world, which appeals to kids and parents alike. To sweeten the deal, Farrell got to use “a f**kin’ wand,” as he put it.

#8: Director David Yates Returns

David Yates is no stranger to this franchise. He initially broke into mainstream popularity when he directed “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Yates went on to direct the following three “Harry Potter” films, all of which earned high praise from critics and audiences. Thus, this English filmmaker was a natural choice to helm “Fantastic Beasts.” Yates is also on board to direct the second entry in this new series, although it hasn’t been confirmed if he’ll return for the next three films. In any case, let’s hope Yates can work his magic again here. Based on his track record, though, it’s probably safe to say that the series is in capable hands.

#7: A Second Salem

The “Harry Potter” series combatted topics of bigotry and oppression within the wizarding world. “Fantastic Beasts,” on the other hand, will delve into how the muggle community views the magical community. Wizards and witches face annihilation with the rise of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, aka The Second-Salemers. This radical group, of course, derives inspiration from the Salem Witch Trials, during which over 200 individuals were accused of practicing witchcraft. It’s a prime example of how history often repeats itself in a seemingly never-ending cycle of prejudice. Tensions continue to grow as Newt accidentally loses track of his dangerous creatures, which puts both the magical worldand the non-magical world at risk.

#6: Alternative Casting Choices

“Fantastic Beasts” features a spectacular cast, but like in other productions, plenty of other talented performers auditioned. Before Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne was cast as Newt Scamander, the filmmakers considered Nicholas Houltand the Eleventh Doctor himself, Matt Smith. Katherine Waterston beat out Kate Upton and Elizabeth Debicki for the part of Tina. Meanwhile, Saoirse Ronan, Lili Simmons, and Dakota Fanning were all up to play Tina’s younger sister, Queenie, but American actress Alison Sudol ultimately landed the role. The film additionally stars comedian Dan Fogler as Newt’s non-magical friend Jacob. Fogler faced stiff competition, as Josh Gad and Michael Cera were also in talks. Cera turned down the role, however, to voice Robin in “The Lego Batman Movie.”

#5: 85 Magical Species

During Harry’s first year at Hogwarts, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a required textbook that provides a basic introduction to Magizoology. The book includes background information regarding 85 magical species discovered throughout the wizarding world. It’s unknown exactly how many creatures will appear in this big screen adaptation. Based on trailer footage, though, we can count on seeing Nifflers, House-elves, Billywigs, Occamies, Demiguises, and Thunderbirds. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as a variety of fantastic beasts escape from Newt’s magical briefcase. We can’t wait to join Newt on his journey to catch em’ all!

#4: J.K. Rowling’s Screenplay Debut

We all know that J.K. Rowling wrote all seven books in the main “Harry Potter” series. But under the pseudonym of Newt Scamander, she also wrote a “Fantastic Beasts” textbook for the charity Comic Relief. The fictional textbook provided the groundwork for this feature film, which is Rowling’s first screenwriting endeavor. While crafting the screenplay, Rowling received help from director David Yates and Steve Kloves, who adapted a majority of the “Harry Potter” novels to the silver screen. According to Yates, Rowling has also written the script for the second “Fantastic Beasts” film, with plans for another three.

#3: The Swooping Evil Is Coming

As stated before, this fantasy adventure will have no shortage of magical beings. Of all the fantastic beasts we’ve seen so far, the Swooping Evil has arguably generated the most buzz. As it was never mentioned in any of the previous books or movies, this flying creature will make its Potterverse debut in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” With blue and green wings, this beast resembles a reptile and a butterfly all rolled into one. As its intimidating name suggests, the Swooping Evil can be quite deadly, possessing the ability to suck out brains. On the plus side, its venom can be utilized to eradicate bad memories. Still, it wouldn’t exactly be the ideal house pet.

#2: Set in 1926

In the Potterverse, Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books assigned Newt Scamander to write “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in 1918. The first edition of this textbook wouldn’t be published until 1927, though. The events of this motion picture take place in 1926, one year before the textbook goes to print. This sets the film almost 70 years before Harry Potter was introduced to the wizarding world. By the time Harry arrived at Hogwarts in 1991, “Fantastic Beasts” had become a worldwide bestseller in its fifty-second edition. We can’t wait to see what magic looks like in the roaring twenties!

#1: History of Magic in North America

The wizarding world you thought you knew is much larger than you imagined. As a tie-in to “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” J.K. Rowling has also written “The History of Magic in North America.” Told in four parts, this series covers the Salem Witch Trials, Native American magic, and the Magical Congress of the United States of America. It additionally discusses the segregation between wizards and No-Majs, which is the American equivalent to Muggles. As a follow-up to this exclusive series, Rowling released a piece about the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the American equivalent to Hogwarts. If you haven’t read these informative pieces yet, travel to Pottermore and unlock the wizarding world’s rich history!

Do you agree with our list? What fun fact has you excited for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?” For more entertaining Top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

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