We got our first look at Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them just yesterday, offering a sneak peek at Eddie Redmayne’s magizoologist Newt Scamander, along with a few of his pals. While the Harry Potter spinoff is based on the fictional textbook featured in both the book and film series, very little has been said of the plot of Fantastic Beasts. Today brings some plot details as well as a full rundown of the new characters we’ll be meeting next fall.

As promised when they debuted the first images yesterday, EW has delivered plot and character details for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film centers on Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who arrives in New York in the 1920s, toting a rather peculiar bag:

Eccentric magizoologist Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne) comes to New York (for a reason we won’t disclose) 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.

That “No-Maj” thing is already proving quite divisive among Potter fans, and we’re curious to see how it sounds when casually used in dialogue in the film. As for the cast, here’s how EW breaks it down:

Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander: An eccentric globe-hopping English “magizoologist” wizard who’s far more comfortable around beasts and creatures than he is around other people. Comes to New York on a quest with his case full of magical habitats containing rare and endangered species.


Katherine Waterston as Porpetina “Tina” Goldstein: An ambitious worker at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (aka MACUSA, the U.S. version of the Ministry of Magic) who meets Newt. Tina is relegated to an office well below her abilities after she stood up for the wrong person. She longs to fight for what’s right.


Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein: Tina’s younger sister and roommate, a big-hearted free-spirit “legilimens” who can read minds.


Dan Fogler as Jacob Kowalski: An optimistic No-Maj (aka Muggle) factory worker/aspiring baker who gets introduced to the wizarding world when he meets Newt. Fun fact: He’s the Harry Potter franchise’s first Muggle main character.


Colin Farrell as Graves: A powerful auror and the right-hand man of the American wizarding world’s president.


Samantha Morton as Mary Lou: The narrow-minded leader of the fanatical Second Salemers, a group looking to expose and destroy wizards and witches.


Ezra Miller as Credence: Perhaps the cast’s most mysterious character. He’s Mary Lou’s troubled adopted son.

It’s safe to assume from those descriptions that while Morton poses a formidable threat to our protagonists, it’s her character’s son — played by Ezra Miller — that may be the real trouble.

Author J.K. Rowling is making her screenwriting debut on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, with Harry Potter franchise vet David Yates directing the first film in a planned trilogy. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits theaters on November 18, 2016.

More From ScreenCrush