Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a 2016 fantasy film directed by David Yates. A joint British and American production, it is a spin-off of and prequel to the Harry Potter film series. It was produced and written by J. K. Rowling in her screenwriting debut, inspired by her 2001 “guide book” of the same name. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Carmen Ejogo, and Colin Farrell. It is the first installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and ninth overall in the Wizarding World franchise that began with the Harry Potter films.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered in New York City on 10 November 2016 and opened in theaters worldwide on 18 November 2016 in 3D, IMAX 3D 4K Laser, 4DX, and other large-format theaters. It received generally positive reviews from critics and emerged a commercial success after grossing $814 million worldwide, making it the eighth highest-grossing film of 2016.
The film was nominated for five BAFTAs, including Best British Film, and won for Best Production Design. It was nominated for two Academy Awards and won for Best Costume Design, becoming the first Wizarding World film to win an Academy Award. The first sequel, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, was released on 16 November 2018. Filming for a second sequel, as yet unnamed, was set to begin in spring 2020, with a projected release date in November 2021. On 16 March 2020, the same day shooting was to have begun, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted Warner Bros. to postpone the production.