“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” — the new Harry Potter?

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For the first time, JK Rowling will stray from her familiar world of Harry Potter in the Hogwarts and step into another magical world. The memorable surrounding of Gryffindor dormitory house, the beloved trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and the breathtaking fights between wizards and the fantastical creatures will gradually fade out. This time, JK Rowling aims to take the whole world on a new adventure across Atlantic in prohibition-era New York without any background stories from those actual books. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” hit the cinemas on Nov. 16 after its premier opening in London on Tuesday night.

“Five years already passed since the release of the last episode of the Harry Potter movies,” said Sunny Oh (11), a fan of the Harry Potter Series. “Since this story takes place before the account of Harry Potter, this coming of the new movie seems to have thrilled a lot of people. Personally as a Harry Potter fan, I can’t wait to check out the new magical world that perhaps would open the road to another big time hit.”

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” has been comprehended and written by Rowling herself, her first venture into screenwriting. Although the title of the movie itself had already emerged as one of Potter’s textbooks in the Philosopher’s Stone, first of Harry Potter’s series, most of her story unravels in an entirely new dimension of the wizardry world where protagonist Newt Scamander is expelled from Hogwarts for jeopardizing lives of humans with beasts.

“I heard that the movie is set way back in the 1920s before Harry Potter is even born,” said Alicia Chung (10), another avid fan of Harry Potters. “The whole time frame and its different setting, taking place in America instead of England, seem to rouse curiosity from a lot of people. I’m sure this new wizardry series will explore a whole different story.”

During the premier opening in Leicester Square, Rowling announced that by the end of this first of new movie series, audiences would have a clear idea of where the story will head towards for the rest of planned sequels. Rather than focusing more on the fun and lighthearted mood throughout, both Rowing and the screenwriters decided to explore the darker underlying themes in a wizardry world.

“I would like to say, because this is obviously a five-part story, there’s lots to unpack in that relationship,” Rowling said at a New York press conference. “You will see Dumbledore as a younger man and quite a troubled man. We’ll see him at that formative period of his life. As far as his sexuality is concerned, watch this space.”

According to the Guardian News, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is currently occupying most of movie talks and is even attracting non-Harry Potter fans across the globe. People who have never watched the Harry Potter series before can now join its brand new bandwagon and enjoy the film without having to worry about understanding the past story plotlines. Indeed, this new launch of wizardry world was considered a risky effort—without the original Harry and the cornerstones of his adventure throughout 10 bestselling books, many have raised concerns about the forthcoming of this series. Certainly, the answer will remain unclear until the movie plays into theaters for a while and so receive feedbacks from its new group of audiences later on.

Grace Yang is a sophomore and a reporter for Tiger Times. She likes spending her time writing and taking care of her dog in her free time. Although she is a new staff this year, she will try her best to contribute to Tiger Times this year.

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