It’s been more than six years since Harry Potter fans have had any chance to speculate and theorize about what to expect in upcoming books. With J.K. Rowling’s announcement of spin off movie series about Newt Scamander, it’s time to get back at it.

We have very little information about the project, but the tidbits we did get in the press release allow us to revert to an old Potter fan favourite activity: Extrapolate wildly from every syllable that comes out of J.K. Rowling’s mouth. So below I’ve put together a list of what we know and what we can expect from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Newt Scamander

The best place to start is with Newt Scamander, the main character of the series. Newt was born in 1897 and graduated from Hogwarts. From there he worked for two “tedious” years at the Ministry of Magic’s Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in the Office for House of Elf Relocation. If we assume that Newt finished Hogwarts in the standard seven years and started at age eleven, then he would have been at the Ministry from 1915/16-1918. In 1918 he was commissioned to travel the world and compile a list of Magical Beasts (eventually titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) by Augustus Worme of Obscurus Books. The first edition of the book was published in 1927.

“…seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Harry’s story in the Philosopher’s Stone technically starts the day after Lily and James’s deaths in 1980, but let us assume that she is referring to when the story begins from Harry’s perspective in 1991 (this fits in much more closely with the context provided above). This puts us in the 1920s, which aligns nicely with the years in which Scamander started to write Fantastic Beasts. I think that makes it fair to assume the series will take place during this period from when Scamander was commissioned to write the book in 1918 and it’s initial publication in 1927. During this period Newt was be 21-30 years old.

J.K. Rowling also made it explicitly clear that this movie will not constitute a Harry Potter prequel in any way. However, for the sake of additional context it is interesting to note what was happening in the Wizarding World during this period that relates to Harry’s story. In 1925, Bob Ogden visited the Gaunt’s house. Later that year, Merope Gaunt used love potion to trick Tom Riddle Senior into marrying her. 1926 is marked by the birth of Tom Marvolo Riddle on New Year’s Eve. This almost certainly will not play a significant role in the story of Newt Scamander although there may be a reference or two thrown in as Easter Eggs for observant fans of the series.

“Newt’s story will start in New York…”

Throughout the Harry Potter canon, there have been various references to what the Wizarding World is like outside of Britain, but now we will finally get to see first hand what the Wizarding World was like in New York in the 1920s.

For an insight into the muggle side of New York City in the 1920s, we can look to what is arguably the most famous American novel of all time, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, much of which deals with the culture of the time in New York. The book describes a culture typified by excess, plenty and extravagance. Undoubtedly this will provide an interesting backdrop for where Newt’s story begins, how this will translate to the Wizarding World we can only guess.

The Beasts

One thing we know for sure is that the beasts mentioned in the book will be featured in the film. With the knowledge that the film begins in New York we can narrow down which beasts are likely to appear based on their geographical information in the book. Below is a list of beasts that appear all across the world (or where it isn’t specified) and those said to be native to America or North America.

Whole World
– Ashwinder: A thing pale-grey serpent born in magical fires
– Basilisk: Giant snake that kills with its stare
– Bundimun: Fungus-like creature with eyes, infests houses
– Chizpurfle: Crab-like parasite with fangs
– Doxy: Fairy covered in black hair with an extra pair of arms and legs
– Fairy: Similar to muggle concept of fairy, but very unintelligent
– Flobberworm: Brown worm that produces mucus
– Ghoul: Lives in wizarding houses and resembles an ugly ogre
– Hippogriff: Flying horse with head of a giant eagle
– Kneazle: Highly-intelligent cat
– Merepeople: Human-like people who live underwater
– Mooncalf: Calf that dances on its hind legs in moonlight
– Plimpy: Spherical fish with two webbed feet
– Puffskin: Docile spherical creature covered in custard coloured fur
– Salamander: Lizard that feeds on flames
– Sea-Serpents: Reaches up to a length of 100 meters, but not particularly dangerous
– Snidget: Small golden bird, used as early snitches
– Streeler: Giant snail that changes colour and leaves a venomous trail
– Werewolf: Human that becomes a violent wolf at the full moon
– Winged-Horse: Various breeds of winged horses are found worldwide

United States
– Clabbert: Looks like a cross between a monkey and a frog, tree-dweller
– Dugbog: Resembles a dead piece of wood and lives in marshes
– Gnome: Garden pest about a foot high
– Jarvey: Resembles an overgrown ferret, but can talk
– Jobberknoll: Blue speckled bird silent until the moment of its death
– Knarl: Hedgehog-like, but takes offers of food as an attempt to trap it
– Nogtail: Demons that resemble stunted piglets
– Re’em: Giant ox with golden hide, drinking its blood gives immense strength
– Shrake: Fish covered in spikes that lives in the Atlantic Ocean

This list leaves a myriad of possible beasts that could appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Hopefully these ideas will help spawn many more theories about what J.K. Rowling’s latest wizarding world endeavor will entail and Harry Potter fans can get back to what Harry Potter fans are best at… theorizing and wild speculation!

The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

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The upcoming 25th anniversary edition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes a couple of first looks at next year’s live-action adaptation.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s been a quarter of a century since the animated Beauty and the Beast hit movie theaters. To celebrate the occasion Disney is putting out an anniversary edition, and its special features section includes a treat: Our first look at Cogsworth and Lumière in the live-action installment, as well as a glimpse of a scene within Gaston’s tavern.

As confirmed by producer Jack Morrissey on Facebook, this photo of Cogsworth (played by Ian McKellen) and Lumière (Ewan McGregor) is concept art, but it gives us a sense of the style that director Bill Condon is shooting for:

cogsworth-lumiere-live-action-beauty-and-the-beast

While it’s nice to finally see a glimpse of a couple of the characters, a big question remains unanswered: How will these objects look once they have faces on them? (Cogsworth’s face might be hinted at in the center of the clock.)

Also on the Beauty and the Beast 25th Anniversary Edition is a shot from the the “Gaston” musical number. From left to right we see Alexis Loizon as Stanley, Josh Gad as LeFou (just over Gaston’s shoulder), and Luke Evans (with his back to the camera) as Gaston.

live-action-beauty-and-the-beast-gaston

Update: And here’s another look at the movie, courtesy of this person on Twitter — this time we get to see Dan Stevens as human Beast!

human-beast-dan-stevens

We’ll be curious to get our hands on the anniversary edition in September, because we expect we’ll see more from the new movie than the two stills above.

Disney released the first trailer for the live-action Beauty and the Beast in May. It was very much a teaser trailer, as it didn’t provide any looks at the characters — except Belle (Emma Watson), appearing through the glass casing protecting the film’s iconic rose.

In fact, the trailer’s first looks at the various settings (Namely the Beast’s castle) fell in line with the visual style we see in the above concept art.

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens hit theaters March 17, 2017.

Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

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Apple — always one to push the boundaries by simplifying their products as much as possible — is reportedly looking to remove the all-important Home button in next year’s new iPhone.

Apple loves making their products as simple as possible. The iPod was a success because of how clean it looked compared to other MP3 players. With Apple TV, Steve Jobs bragged about how few buttons the device’s remote had.

But since 2007, every new iPhone has had the same number of physical buttons, switches, and ports: A ringer switch, a lock button, volume up/down buttons, a USB port, and a headphone jack.

That changes next month, when Apple is expected to announce that the iPhone 7 will be lacking a headphone jack. Instead, users will be listening to music via the Lightning port (which you currently use to charge and sync your iPhone).

And for 2017, Apple will reportedly go one step further by removing the Home button.

Ah, the Home button. It’s always been there for us — it’s our captain for navigating the iPhone. We use it to switch between apps, we use it to get to our Home screen, we use it to summon Siri, and we use it to read our finger print. Back in the “old days,” we used it to force quit apps when they froze on us.

In a new report, Bloomberg says Apple is planning to remove the Home button for the 2017 iPhone, which will presumably be called iPhone 7s. It’s billed as a “major redesign of the iPhone for 2017 that focuses more heavily on the display.”

Previous rumor mill reports have suggested that Apple will ditch the Home button in order to decrease the size of the top top and bottom bezels, thereby making the phone not as tall, or using the freed up space to add more screen.

Here’s a mock up of what that could look like, via TapSmart:

borderlessmockup1

What remains unclear is how users will be able to unlock and navigate their iPhone without the Home button. Reports have suggested that the whole screen will serve as a TouchID surface and a Home button (using the 3D Touch feature Apple launched last year).

Interestingly, next month’s release of iOS 10 will introduce a new way to unlock your iPhone: You’ll have to press down on the Home button to activate an unlocking. Previously, all you had to do was rest your finger on the Home button while your lock screen was awake.

Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

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Disney is making another live-action movie, and this time it’s James and the Giant Peach, to be developed by Director Sam Mendes.

To refresh your memory, James and the Giant Peach is the terrifying delightful children’s movie directed by Henry Selick and based off of the Roald Dahl story. It features nightmare-inducing adorable stop-motion animated bugs that helped James float away from his mean aunts in a — you guessed it — giant peach.

The original film was an interesting mix of live-action characters in the beginning and at the end, with stop-motion animated sequences throughout the middle.

Now, according to Deadline, Disney is developing an all-live-action remake of the film. Nick Hornby will write the script, while Joe Roth is in negotiations to sign on as a producer.

If Mendes’ name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the last two James Bond features, both Skyfall and Spectre, as well as 1999’s American Beauty.

You can check out the trailer for the horrifying original film below:

As of late, Disney has been announcing live-action versions of its properties left and right, including The Nutcracker (which has a huge cast of well-known actors), The Little Mermaid (with Lin-Manuel Miranda attached to help write the music), Beauty and the Beast (starring Emma Watson), and Cruella (starring Emma Stone), among others.

With the amount of remakes — especially in the live-action department — it’s no wonder James and the giant Peach is the latest to be announced.

Do you want to see a live-action ‘James and the Giant Peach’ movie?