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!

‘Center Stage’ gets a summer sequel on Lifetime

Nothing left for us to do but DANCE!

8:45 pm EDT, May 5, 2016

The first trailer for Center Stage: On Pointe is the latest addition to the long list of nostalgia-inducing films arriving this summer.

Forget that 2008 sequel, this is the Center Stage fans deserve. It seems that once every eight years the team from Center Stage needs to scratch an itch and dance out their feelings on screen. While we’d rather forget the failed straight-to-DVD attempt of the mid-aughts, Lifetime’s made for TV movie is just the right amount of nostalgia fans deserve.

Once again we are set in the throws of the audition process for The American Ballet Company. Wait. Does that mean? Yes! Both Peter Gallahger and Ethan Stiefel, Jonathan Reeves and Cooper Nielson respectively, are back for the film! Also joining the group is dancer-turned-choreographer, and the heartthrob of all twenty-something former dance camp attendees, Charlie (Sascha Radetsky).

We are not worthy.


Source

Watch the trailer for ‘Center Stage: On Pointe’

The synopsis of the film, from E!, reads: “Jonathan Reeves (Gallagher) is tasked with infusing more contemporary styles and modernism into the American Ballet Academy and enlists his top choreographers Charlie (Radestsky), Cooper (Stiefel) and Tommy (Kenny Wormald) to recruit dancers to compete at an intensive camp where the winners will be selected to join the Academy. Bella Parker (Nicole Munoz), who has always lived in the shadow of her hugely successful sister Kate, finally gets her chance to step into the limelight as one of the dancers selected for the camp. Chloe Lukasiak (Dance Moms) stars as Gwen, a talented dancer prodigy who competes at the camp.”

Because we know you want it…

Will you be tuning in to ‘Center Stage: On Pointe’ this summer?

Who has the time and money to see every show that comes breezing through Broadway? Not us. Here are the shows we’re sad to have missed. There’s always revivals.

Brittany: ‘Bridges of Madison County’

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Pinned to my desk is a window card. Stored on my bookshelf is a printed copy of the script. Sitting at the top of my Top 25 Most Played Songs is a collection of showstoppers. What do all of these things have in common? They all hail from the best Broadway show I can think of — The Bridges of Madison County, a show I have never seen.

Long story short a mysterious man, Robert, visits a small country town to take pictures of their bridges for National Geographic and has a four-day emotional affair with a housewife. Francesca immigrated from Italy after she married a soldier and left for a great adventure in the United States. Iowa was not what she had in mind, but 18 years, two kids, and cattle competitions later, there she sits in hospitable captivity. Bridges is a romance, one based on a book by Robert James Waller, that toes the line of fluff fiction, but is grounded in this adaptation as more of a contemplative piece on what happiness and love does to people who experience it for the first time at an inconvenient time.

I cannot help but feel a some form of kinship to Francesca and not just because if Steven Pasquale came up to me and asked me to run away with him it would take very little convincing to get me out the door. What more is there to the world that I am too complacent to discover? Could I ever just pack up and go away for good?

One listen to the soundtrack and it is no secret why Jason Robert Brown’s score and orchestration both won the Tony in 2014. When O’Hara and Pasquale’s voices join together, especially in “One Second and a Million Miles,” it is something otherworldly. Jason Robert Brown catered this soundtrack to the voices delivering the words on stage every night. From “To Build a Home” straight through “Always Better,” The Bridges of Madison County is a roller coaster of emotions. Even without the visual imagery to compliment my listening experience, a listener is not robbed of the depth in each the scene. It’s all there, buried in the lyrics and notes. It’s no wonder that “The Last Five Years” and “Parade” frequently appear in my musical rotation.

There was a brief window of time, from February 2014 until May 2014 to be exact, where the stage musical, starring two of the biggest powerhouse singers on Broadway, Steven Pasquale and Kelli O’Hara, came to life eight times a week. How those two voices did not bring the theater to the ground is something that will always keep me in wonder. On more than one occasion my car speakers have almost given out to the soundtrack. This is not a musical that has been off Broadway for years like Company that allows me to say, “Oh, it just hasn’t been around when I have the free will and means to see it.” This is a show that was easily accessible. I’ll probably never watch the movie starring Meryl Streep or pick up Weller’s novel. Instead, I’ll enjoy my script, soundtrack, and keep my exposure to the show in the form I discovered it.

Luckily, I will not find myself wandering to an empty Broadway stage many years from now with a bottle of brandy and a letter informing me that all of my chances to see a staged production of the show have faded away. In a few months time the Bridges tour will bring Francesca and Robert’s story to life. I will, however, always find it hard to get over the fact that mere blocks away I let the original production of The Bridges of Madison County play on without me.

Natalie: ‘Newsies’

Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumachter presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Jeremy Jordan (Jack Kelly), John Dossett (Joseph Pulitzer), Kara Lindsay (Katherine Plumber), Capathia Jenkins (Medda), Ben Fankhauser (Davey), Andrew Keenan-Bolger (Crutchie), Lewis Grosso (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, World Premiere, Paper Mill Playhouse, in Millburn, New Jersey on September 25, 2011

Musical theater has got to be the only art form in the world where you can call yourself a fan of a piece of media without ever having actually seen it. Part of the peril of being a Broadway fan from afar — an issue I’ll talk about combating later in the week — is that the run of a show can be fleeting. Some reach levels of success that ensure you will be able to see them, somewhere, one day, because they’ll never close, or they’ll go on tour, or they’ll be licensed to schools and communities and become part of the permanent cultural zeitgeist. But many productions come and go before a lot of potential devotees ever get the chance to see them, whether it’s down to a planned limited run, a celebrity cast, or a production that just doesn’t hit the mark and doesn’t survive. In these cases, all you can do is cry over the album, attempt to get your hands on the script, and do everything you can to build a vision of the lost show in your head. My Great White Way great white whale is Newsies, and specifically, the Newsies original cast that brought the show to Broadway in 2012.

Newsies had a somewhat odd conception — it feels like it should have always been a Broadway show first and foremost, but it was actually a live action Disney movie-musical starring Christan Bale with music by Alan Menken, which developed a cult following and became an actual stage musical 20 years later. The subject matter is just my cup of tea — as a longstanding Les Mis fan, I’m a sucker for a group of plucky boys in period costumes standing up for their rights. Newsies is based on the real life Newsboys’ strike of 1899, which led to a change in child labor compensation from publishing bigwigs like William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, who’s actually a character in the show.

But the heart of the show is the enigmatic young strike leader Jack Kelly, a role originated by my favorite voice on Broadway, Jeremy Jordan. He held the role for the first six months of the show, which earned him a Leading Actor Tony nod, one of eight nominations received by the show. Newsies went on to run for two years, and I think it will have good shelf life. It’s currently touring and I will probably get the chance to see it at some point, and I will enjoy it. I love the music and the plot and I know the choreography to be legendary. However, for me, this precise pain stems from never getting to watch Jeremy Jordan bring Jack Kelly to life, which also creates a guilt spiral, because unlike film or TV, theater characters are bigger than the actors that play them. Shows are constantly recast and part of the beauty of the medium is the prospect of seeing many interpretations of the same roles, so it’s kind of sacrilegious to pine over missing a certain actor do his turn when it’s the show itself that should matter. But still.

Kristina: ‘American Idiot’

americanidiot

I know it’s a rock album and I know there’s not much “story” to the show, but man do I wish I could have see this show when it was on Broadway from 2010 to mid-2011. The Green Day album was completely transformed from all out punk rock music to a harmonious soundtrack of stories of a post-9/11 generation. We’re all trying to figure it out: Where do we stand in this country? Where do we stand with our friends, our loved ones? What will make us stronger, and what will beat us down? American Idiot tackles all these issues with a verve that’s meant for a much bigger show, but handles it spectacularly.

It’s always the one show I always return to, wish I’ve seen. There are a lot of fantastic, amazing musicals on Broadway, and I feel extremely lucky to have seen Wicked and Hamilton, and I know The Lion King will always be there should I ever want to see it and it will outlive us all, but American Idiot feels like a very flash-in-the-pan, once-in-a-Broadway-generation kind of experience. The idea of adapting pop music isn’t novel — just look to Mamma Mia!, Jersey Boys or Beautiful, but the emotions that John Gallagher Jr., Stark Sands, Michael Esper, Tony Vincent (and, for a brief time, Billie Joe Armstrong), and Rebecca Naomi Jones are able to conjure as Johnny, Tunny, Will, St. Jimmy, and Whatshername, are raw, and powerful.

There is no doubt that the short, 90-minute, intermission-free, blood-pumping evening is memorable to those that saw it, and for those that haven’t, there is the phenomenal soundtrack available to us. You haven’t lived until you cried hearing the cast sing “Last Night on Earth,” or during John Gallagher Jr.’s delicate strumming during his solo, “When It’s Time.”

If you want a small, but thorough taste of what this show is about, I highly recommend you check out Broadway Idiot, the documentary that followed the show’s director, Green Day, and the cast as they go from workshops, to rehearsals, to previews to Broadway and even to the Grammys.

Irvin: ‘Chess’

chess_broadway

Not many people in America know that the two guys from ABBA once wrote a musical with Tim Rice (lyricist for many Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals and the better half of the Disney Renaissance). Well, they did — Chess, a musical about the Cold War told through the lens of a chess tournament between an American and a Russian, and their fight over a woman. The show premiered on the West End in 1986, where it played for three years and won over the hearts of Brits. Two years later, it opened on Broadway… and promptly closed two months later, barely even a blip on the Broadway landscape. In fairness, according to a friend who saw the short-lived Broadway production, the book of Chess was never its strong point. Perhaps that is why the show has remained a favorite for concert productions, featuring a who’s who of Broadway talent over the years, but has not yet seen a proper revival on either side of the Atlantic.

I discovered it through my long-lived ABBA obsession, by following a YouTube rabbit hole and finding Elaine Paige singing “Nobody’s Side,” which remains my favorite song from the show. I got the full two-disc recording from a friend, and listened to it ad nauseum. All of the songs are spectacular, with such talents behind them, but the standouts are definitely “Nobody’s Side” and “Anthem.” I came close to realizing my dream of seeing the show during the thirtieth anniversary concert at 54 Below last year. In addition to the music, I thought the story sounded really cool. Now I await the day producers come to their senses and bring back this glorious musical, which (as evidenced by the concert I attended) has developed quite a cult following over the years.

What Broadway show do you wish you had to opportunity to see?

This article is a part of Hypable’s inaugural Broadway Week in celebration of the 2016 Tony nominations. For more theater articles, click here!

Sometimes “less is more,” and sometimes “three’s a crowd.” When you’re talking Captain America: Civil War, the phrase you’re looking for is, “the more the merrier.”

The first Avengers movie shocked us with a team-up film that worked in ways we hadn’t thought possible before. It just hadn’t really been done, and we were all surprised that it worked as well as it did. In Captain America: Civil War, The Russo Brothers trump The Avengers without even trying. They aren’t telling a team-up story, they are telling us a story about friends that don’t agree. It just so happens that their disagreement gives us one of the best Marvel movies to date. Without even trying, they raise the bar the Avengers set in more ways than one, presenting us with not one team, but two.

Like any film, Captain America: Civil War has its weaknesses. No movie is perfect, even if this one does seem damn close. Our Civil War review dives into all of it.

Strengths

First Impressions

Captain America Civil War Cap Tony Stark Iron Man Whose side are you on

Prior to the film opening, one of the fandom’s biggest concerns regarding Captain America: Civil War was the never-ending list of characters that would be making appearances in this movie. Not only is the crazy number of superheroes present for this civil war not a hindrance, it’s one of the movie’s greatest strengths. Seeing Ant-Man and Spider-Man battling alongside Avengers we’ve loved from the beginning is one of the highlights of the film, not to mention the insane joy you feel watching the quippiest fight scene in the history of cinema. Listening to our brand new Peter Parker (Tom Holland) deliver line after snarky line while handling whatever is thrown his way is better than any moment in any previous Spider-Man movie.

Civil War delivers on every promise made in the dozen or so previews we’ve anxiously watched over the last year. The stakes were high, expectations were even higher, but Captain America: Civil War exceeds both.

A Few Fresh Faces

In addition to handling the sheer force of this gaggle of superheroes, Captain America: Civil War introduces us to two new characters that we’ll be seeing solo films from in the near future. Introducing them in a film as large and unwieldy as this one is a definite risk, but it pays off in spades. We couldn’t be more excited to see where their individual films will take these two new shining stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Spider-Man

Captain-America-Civil-War-Spider-Man-Shield

Spider-Man was beginning to feel like the third rail of comic book heroes. Despite being a thoroughly entertaining and engaging character, Peter Parker’s story was starting to feel dull and lifeless on screen. Maybe it was because we had been treated to his origins in two different incarnations a mere 10 years apart, but his introduction in Captain America: Civil War is anything but dull. His quirky sense of humor plays nicely off Tony’s snarky wit, and we were instantly charmed by his innocent and silly nature. Next year’s Spiderman: Homecoming will be a welcome addition to the MCU now that we’ve met and fallen for the newest incarnation of the wily webslinger.

Black Panther

5-reasons-black-panther-captain-america-civil-war

If you walk away from Captain America: Civil War without any Black Panther feelings, we’re not sure we want to know you. All the marketing regarding this character set him up to be a worthy Team Tony member, sporting a suit made of the most durable substance on the planet. We didn’t intend to find out that behind his badass black armor was a man dedicated to his people as well as his family. Seeing the birth of this character within the confines of Civil War allows even the most casual of comic book fans to fall in love with this powerhouse. The Black Panther movie will be released in 2018.

A touch of comedy

Putting aside the team-up aspects of this film, some of the most deliciously entertaining moments are when Falcon and Bucky are forced to share space. Seeing Cap’s two greatest allies bicker like school children is both delightfully unexpected and unexpectedly delightful. We can’t wait to see what the Russos have brewing for the next time we see Cap’s squad in action.

Also, the subtle flair and dry wit of Scott Lang is a perfect fit for the role that Ant-Man played in this movie. The character brought so much to the story as well as the entertainment factor. We would happily sign a petition to keep him involved in all things Marvel and Avengers from here on out.

Weaknesses

Let there be a villain

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While Captain America: Civil War has so much going for it, there are a few things that don’t work as well as we would have liked. First and foremost would be the villain, Zemo. Yes, that’s right, the feuding inside the Avengers ranks may pit one side against the other, but no one is truly right or wrong. This movie needed an external villain to focus on after all the infighting was done. The story couldn’t be over until some threat was vanquished, or at least put away with no hope of escape. Zemo is played well by Daniel Brühl, but the character himself is lacking.

Zemo’s story just isn’t the main player in this one. He masters the art of distraction, and uses it to keep all the heroes busy while he furthers his own agenda. Zemo is a fine foil for the ultimate showdown, but he just isn’t as dynamic or interesting as Marvel villains have been of late.

A few missing players

The roster for this movie is massive, and they didn’t really need to add anyone, but it is a little sad to see this group minus two of its biggest personalities. Thor and Hulk do not make an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, and while their absences are easy to explain, it would have been fascinating to see where they stood on the battle lines. Hopefully we will learn all about their thoughts on the Sokovia Accords when they’re back for Infinity War, but until then, we’ll just keep theorizing and postulating endlessly, as any good fan does.

Too many subplots

The only true criticism we have regarding the inclusion of so many characters is that it forces the film to spend time giving each and every one of them motivation and time to share their thoughts on the matter. We had subplots for Wanda and Vision, Sharon Carter, Spider-Man, and Black Panther, to name a few. Those subplots always course-correct back to the central theme, but taking the time to develop all those characters detracts from time they could have spent on the film’s focus: Cap and Tony.

captain-america-civil-war feature

Ultimately…

Everything we wanted it to be

Civil War does not disappoint. We wanted it to be a Captain America movie, and we got that. We wanted it to show both sides of the accountability debate, and we got that. We wanted to be able to see things from Cap’s perspective, but not be completely alienated from Tony Stark, the man whose movie started this whole amazing journey into the MCU — and we got that.

Captain America: Civil War tells the story that we needed to see. We needed to see that Cap and his friends are not wrong for wanting to continue to live and fight freely as they have been from the start. We needed to know that Tony saw Cap’s perspective while vehemently disagreeing and needing the accountability that the Accords provide for himself. While the Civil War raged, we knew that this wasn’t about either side winning.

Captain America: Civil War is about both sides seeing heroism in their own way and realizing that disagreeing isn’t the be-all and end-all.

It’s also important to note that while nobody loses this Civil War, nobody wins either. Neither side comes through completely unscathed, and some scars are more than just superficial. There’s a lot left unsaid, and more than a few non-physical wounds that’ll need time to heal. Both sides have a long road to travel before our heroes can walk the same path again, and hopefully the films we will see between now and Avengers: Infinity War – Part I will show progress toward that cause.

A few stray thoughts

  • It wouldn’t have been a Captain America movie without Peggy Carter, and she impacts this story in a way we didn’t expect.
  • Who knew a string of random words could elicit such horror?
  • We could definitely watch a feature length version of that Scarlet Witch vs. Vision battle.
  • We are more invested in Rhodey’s future than we ever thought possible.
  • We can’t help but wonder how Vision’s part in this war will affect him going forward.

What did you think of ‘Captain America: Civil War’?

Hit the comments and vote in our poll to discuss!