9:42 pm EDT, April 12, 2016

J.K. Rowling: ‘Fantastic Beasts’ was the post-Potter project I wanted to write most

Eddie Redymayne, Colin Farrell, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol were on hand at CinemaCon to get movie theater owners excited for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

CinemaCon is an annual, week-long conference for movie theater owners that lets them see what’s coming to their cineplexes in the year ahead. It’s also a chance for the studios to convince the theaters to run their movies on as many screens as possible.

Fantastic Beasts will undoubtedly be running on thousands of cinema screens across the world come this fall thanks to its connection to Harry Potter, but the film’s stars came to Las Vegas anyway to share some details about the new Wizarding World series.

Prior to showing the trailer that debuted at the MTV Movie Awards over the weekend, WB unveiled a new Fantastic Beasts behind-the-scenes featurette, and J.K. Rowling had a big presence. She and the film’s various interview subjects spoke about how deeply the Harry Potter author is involved with the new movie.

Interestingly, Jo said that Fantastic Beasts was “the thing that I was most interested in writing” about the Wizarding World, outside of the seven Harry Potter books. “I feel very very close to this project,” Jo said, adding she knew WB would want to continue telling stories in her magical world beyond the Harry Potter series.

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There were a ton of new behind-the-scenes shots in this featurette. For example, there was a very quick shot of a group of youngish-looking people dressed in red cloaks, and they had a symbol on the pocket of their outfits. The shot was so quick that I didn’t have time to take a close look at the people or the symbol. Could they be Ilvermorny students? It’s too early to say at this point, but that was my first guess.

There was also a shot of Newt slowly opening a suitcase in a way that looks like he was purposely unleashing one of his beasts — or asking one of them to return to the suitcase. In the featurette, Eddie Redmayne describes the film as “imagination taken to the extreme.”

Presumably this featurette will be released online at some point, and then we can all replay and parse J.K. Rowling’s words. I promise you we’re going to want to parse them, because they offered some good insight into Rowling’s feelings on continuing the Wizarding World and how involved she is with Beasts.

I find it interesting that this is what Jo was most excited about writing outside of the seven Harry Potter books. The story looks awesome, don’t get me wrong, but I think many people would’ve guessed she had been more interested in writing about the Marauders or a story set after Deathly Hallows. At least, those stories are the ones the fans wanted the most.

Fantastic Beasts hits theaters this November.

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