Harry Potter may have hung up his horcruxes with Deathly Hallows, but Hollywood isn’t done with the wizarding world. Monday marked the start of filming on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a prequel written by Potter creator J.K. Rowling herself.

We’ve known the film was coming for a while, but there’s just something special when those cameras start rolling. It means this movie is actually happening, and it should be a good one.

Besides being the screenwriting debut of Rowling, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be directed by David Yates, who helmed that last four Harry Potter movies. Harry is nowhere to be found in this film though, as it takes places several decades before he was born. It’s just set in the same world where muggles and wizards live together.

Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne plays the lead character, Newt Scamander. He’s “the wizarding world’s preeminent magizoologist, who stops in New York following his travels to find and document magical creatures,” according to the press release.

There he’ll interact with a star-studded cast of characters, including some new additions. There’s Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice) as Tina; Alison Sudol (Dig, Transparent) as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Tony Award winner Dan Fogler (Fanboys) as Jacob; Ezra Miller (Trainwreck) as Credence; two-time Oscar nominee Samantha Morton (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. Who any of those people are, we really don’t know.

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And if that title, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” sounds familiar, it should. It’s the name of a textbook Harry, Ron and Hermione used in their years at Hogwarts. That book’s author? Newt Scamander.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, now filming at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden, is scheduled to open in 3D and IMAX on November 18, 2016. It’s likely to be followed by two sequels.

Photo: Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images


Contact the author at germain@io9.com.

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