Exclusive new look at Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them

As The Hunger Games and others should note, prequel-ifying a successful franchise is a whole lot easier if the writer has already turned out a such a tale. As luck would have it, J.K. Rowling did exactly that in 2001 and now Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is storming towards the screen. The February issue of Empire boasts a new look at its hero, Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander, in his new home of ‘20s New York. Here it is, below.

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts pic

“Newt is a magizoologist who’s just completed a global journey to find and document magical creatures for a book he plans on writing,” Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts producer David Heyman tells Empire. “His case is important because it contains some of the creatures he’s been researching. It may be small, but there’s a whole world within.”

A bottomless case filled with magical beasties, then? Might there be a dragon or two? Heyman isn’t saying but he did give an insight into the scale of the production, currently filming at Potter HQ, Watford's Leavesden Studios. “On some days we’ve had several hundred extras, all done up in 1920s costumes. We are going into the magical world, but we’re bringing the magical characters into the Muggle, or ‘Nomaj’, world.”

The Harry Potter films were, of course, crafted like period pieces themselves, albeit within a modern-day setting, but it’s intriguing to think how this well-oiled Warner Bros. machine might reimagine the era of the Jazz Age and the Wall Street Crash, only with mythical creatures and magical mammals. For more clues, check out the movie's first teaser below.

Redmayne, meanwhile, is joined in the eclectic cast by Colin Farrell, Ron Perlman, Jon Voight, Katherine Waterston, Samantha Morton, Gemma Chan, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Carmen Ejogo and Alison Sudol.

We’ll be able to join Newt on his adventures on November 18 next year. Pick up the new issue of Empire on December 31 for more from Heyman, as well as plenty more on all 2016’s treats and trickery.