You know there are going to be beasts — it’s right there in the title! But which beasts (or creatures, if we want to use the more polite term) should we expect in Fantastic Beasts and Where the Find Them?
As the movie is currently in production and not being released until November of next year, the creature list is still being finalized. But we’re hearing there are magical animals from the Harry Potter films, there are some never-before-seen creatures that were first described in J.K. Rowlings’ 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and there might even be a creature that even the most devoted Harry Potter fan has never heard of.
Below are seven that are likely to appear. Several were first spotted in the Potter movies and are making a return appearance, and others are having their big-screen debut. Each creature name is linked to its official Harry Potter wiki page for more detail.
Niffler: A treasure-hunting creature attracted to shiny things, like belt buckles and gold teeth, and a favorite of Fantastic Beasts star Eddie Redmayne. “They have this wonderful love-hate relationship,” Redmayne says of Newt and his Niffler. “He’s incredibly aggravating and wonderful at same time. He’s a complete nightmare, yet Newt gets off on his playfulness and single-mindedness.”
Ashwinder: A pale serpent created from the embers of a magical fire if allowed to burn unchecked. You really don’t want them to lay eggs.
Lethifold: Particularly deadly. Looks like a dark cloak that glides along the ground and then suffocates its victims in their sleep.
Augurey: You’ve seen a phoenix before. This is the green-black Irish version, and its mournful cry signals it’s about to rain … or foretells your death. One of those.
Bowtruckle: A hand-sized stick-like creature that’s difficult to spot and usually lives in trees (which it will violently defend). This particular one lives in Newt’s pocket. (First seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix).
Crup: A wizard-bred dog with a forked tail that resembles a Jack Russell Terrier. Very loyal and will eat just about anything (so a bit like a dog then).
Merpeople: Rowling previously put a ferocious spin on the classic underwater-dwelling humanoid sea creatures. (First spotted in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
Want more Beasts? Fantastic Beasts is EW’s cover story this week, where we’re offering a behind-the-scenes look at the film and interviews with producers and cast. Check out the cover here, get your copy here, find out the American word for “Muggle” and see our cast photo gallery. For ongoing Fantastic Beasts scoop, follow @jameshibberd.