Fantastic Beasts book

The Harry Potter franchise lives again. Warner Bros. has announced the start of principal photography on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a spinoff film set 70 years before the start of Harry’s adventures.

And as cameras begin to roll, the David Yates-directed feature has made a couple of last-minute casting additions. Samantha Morton has joined Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell in the cast, along with Jenn Murray and Faith Wood-Blagrove.

Read the full Fantastic Beasts shooting announcement after the jump. 

Character details on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them are being kept under wraps — and since it’s based on a new script by J.K. Rowling, rather than a previously published novel, we can’t even turn to the source material for clues.

We do know Redmayne leads the cast as “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, who’s on a mission to find and document magical creatures. Waterston and Sudol play witch sisters who encounter Newt on their travels, Miller a wizard named Credence (called Kredan in earlier reports), and Fogler a Muggle who may turn out to be Newt’s rival. Farrell is Graves, another wizard.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens November 18, 2016. Here’s the full press release via Business Wire:

BURBANK, Calif.– Principal photography has begun on Warner Bros. Pictures’ highly anticipated feature “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” The all new adventure is set in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling in her best-selling Harry Potter books, which were adapted into the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.

Filming started today, August 17, at Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” feature films.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars as Newt Scamander, the wizarding world’s preeminent magizoologist, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” also stars Katherine Waterston (“Inherent Vice”) as Tina; Alison Sudol (“Dig,” “Transparent”) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”) as Jacob; Ezra Miller (“Trainwreck”) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (“In America,” “Sweet and Lowdown”) as Mary Lou; Jenn Murray (“Brooklyn”) as Chastity; young newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty; and Colin Farrell (“True Detective”) as Graves.

Marking the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, the script was inspired by her character Newt Scamander’s Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The film is being produced by David Heyman, producer of all eight of the blockbuster “Harry Potter” features; J.K. Rowling; Steve Kloves; and Lionel Wigram.

Collaborating with Yates behind the scenes are: Oscar-winning director of photography Philippe Rousselot (“A River Runs Through It,” the “Sherlock Holmes” movies), three-time Oscar-winning production designer Stuart Craig (“The English Patient,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Gandhi,” the “Harry Potter” films), three-time Oscar-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood (“Chicago,” “Memoirs of a Geisha,” “Alice in Wonderland”), Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Tim Burke (“Gladiator,” the “Harry Potter” films), Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Christian Manz (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1”), and Yates’ longtime editor Mark Day (the last four “Harry Potter” films).

Warner Bros. Pictures has slated “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for worldwide release in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016.

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