J.K. Rowling Introduces Fantastic Beasts Hero Newt Scamander

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them isn't due in theaters until November, but J.K. Rowling just released a video explainer of her newest protagonist Newt Scamander. Eddie Redmayne, who plays the wand-yielding hero of the film, joins in to talk about his character's love for magic animals.

Scamander has no direct connection to the familiar Hogwarts crew of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but he was a former Hufflepuff. Instead, Scamander's story is set in 1920s New York, when his suitcase full of magical creatures has a stunning effect on the wizarding world of the day.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a textbook that Harry Potter used at school," Rowling says in the teaser. "While I was writing Potter, I became quite interested in Newt Scamander. I knew quite a lot about Newt. He's been traveling the world studying magical creatures. He calls himself a magizoologist."

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Fantastic Beasts marks Rowling's screenwriting debut, and the video teaser offers further glimpses at the movie than initial trailers.

"My heroes are always people who feel themselves to be set apart, stigmatized, or othered," Rowling says. "That's at the heart of most of what I write, and it's certainly at the heart of this movie."
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