Fantastic Beasts sees American wizarding community fearfully hiding from Muggles

Earlier this week the Harry Potter spin-off film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them unveiled its first official photos, which gave fans a sneak peek at Eddie Redmayne's Newt Scamander, as well as glimpses of the supporting cast.

With the movie still over a year away from release, specific story details are understandably scarce, and this is one of the rare occasions that J.K. Rowling's book of the same name won't be much help as it reads as more of an encyclopedia than a novel. Thankfully, Entertainment Weekly have posted some spoiler-free information that reveals what's in store for the Harry Potter prequel, and it seems the States isn't entirely safe for witches and wizards.

The Oscar-winning Redmayne plays Newt Scamander, an eccentric magizoologist who comes to New York with his trusty weathered case. "This case is one of those way-way-way-bigger-on-the-inside magical devices, and within are expansive habitats for a collection of rare and endangered magical creatures from Newt’s travels around globe."

"He discovers the American wizarding community is fearfully hiding from Muggles (who are called “No-Maj” in the States) and the threat of public exposure is an even graver concern than in the UK (remember the Salem witch trials?). Fantastic Beasts is the story of what happens when this uniquely skilled English wizard travels to wiz-phobic America and a variety of his creatures, some quite dangerous … get out of their case."

With Rowling penning the screenplay, anticipation is already mounting for the next excursion into the Harry Potter world, even if it does take place years before the events of that memorable saga. With the production now in full swing, more details will doubtless make its way to the web soon enough, but for now, we'll just have to imagine where the story will lead.

Directed by David Yates and starring Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Gemma Chan, Ron Perlman and Ezra Miller, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is scheduled to arrive in UK and US cinemas on November 18 2016.