"What makes Albus Dumbledore so fond of you, Mr. Scamander?"

That's the question posed by Colin Farrell's Percival Graves in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer and we're sure to get an answer when the film finally hits cinemas on November 18th. 

Set in a pre-Harry Potter magical world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sees Newt Scamander travel to New York with a magical briefcase filled with all sorts of fantastic beasts. However Newt's encounter with a No-Maj (muggle) named Jacob and the misplacing of his briefcase leads to some of the beasts escaping, causing havoc for both the magical and No-Maj communities in New York. 

Here's some tidbits about the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them story that you may have missed out on. 


1. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first published in 2001

Although it began life as a fictional text book for Hogwarts students in the Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling published Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages for Comic Relief in 2001. 80% of the cover price for each book went to help children in need across the globe.  


2. This is the first time J. K. Rowling has written a screenplay

She's one of the best selling authors of all time thanks to the Harry Potter series but Rowling has released plenty of other literary works under her own name and under the pen name, Robert Galbraith, since she finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

However Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks her first foray into screenwriting. All eight of the Harry Potter movies were written by Steve Kloves. Considering Rowling has already begun work on the script for the Fantastic Beasts sequel, it's fair to assume Warner Bros. are pretty happy with her handle on the craft.


3. This is the first of five Fantastic Beasts films to be released in the coming years

A sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was always on the cards and a trilogy was to be expected but J. K.  Rowling shocked fans when she announced that the story would span five films. 

"We set a trilogy as a placeholder because we knew there would be more than one movie, but ... we're pretty sure it's going to be five movies," she told participants at a recent global fan event.

Where the story will go from here is unclear for now but Dumbledore's rivalry with the dark wizard Grindelwald is likely to feature heavily. 


4. Johnny Depp will be playing the darkest wizard in the pre-Voldemort Harry Potter world

We recently learned that Johnny Depp had joined the cast of the Fantastic Beasts sequel and now it's been officially confirmed that he will be playing Gellert Grindelwald. For those a little hazy on their Harry Potter canon, Grindelwald was a close friend (and possibly more) of Albus Dumbledore, before turning to the dark arts. The two faced off in an epic duel in 1945, which Dumbledore won and left Gindelwald to see out his days in Azkaban. He was played by Jamie Campbell Bower in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Depp's Grindelwald is expected to feature heavily in the sequel and will appear in a cameo in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. 


5. Eddie Redmayne almost had a role in a Harry Potter movie

He may be the star of a Harry Potter spin off franchise, but he could so easily have ended up just being a footnote in the original series. When he was in University, Redmayne auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. However it seems his audition was a bit of a flop.

"I properly failed and didn't get a callback." Redmayne said about the experience.

We think things worked out for the best for him though.


6. The wizards and witches in North America have a different currency to the one used in the UK

Galleons and Sickles will be of no use to Newt Scamander in New York as they deal only in Dragots. Or at least they did in 1920s New York anyways. 

There doesn't seem to be any official exchange rate between Galleons and Dragots but some fan sites seem to think that 1,000 Galleons is roughly equal to 3,500 Dragots.

1 Galleon is €5.90 in case you were wondering. 



The Ministry of Magic might govern the magical folk over in the UK but in North America it's the Magical Congress of the United States of America that's in control. MACUSA was founded after the Salem Witch Trials and aimed to rid the country of Scourers (wizards who killed other wizards for their own gain). 

MACUSA is currently led by President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo) while Colin Farrell's Percival Graves is the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.


8. Newt Scamander was a Hufflepuff

Considering our three heroes in the original series were all from Gryffindor, it's easy to forget that there were other fine houses in Hogwarts. None more proud than Hufflepuff. Scamander would go on to be one of their most famous sons, though at the time the first movie is set, he'd yet to make his name.


9. Luna Lovegood married the grandson of Newt Scamander


Fans who'd been shipping a Luna Lovegood/Nevill Longbottom romance were devastated to learn that Luna ended up with someone else - Rolf Scamander. Which makes plenty of sense when you think about it considering Luna was always fond of magical creatures and Rolf is the grandson of the most famous magizoologist of all time. 


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in Irish cinemas November 18th.