Director: David Yates
Stars: Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol
Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York's secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.
A scene was filmed with a shirtless Newt Scamander, which showed off all the scars he had collected on his body during his work with dangerous animals. Eddie Redmayne had worked out considerably before filming, just for that one scene. However, unfortunately for him, the scene was deleted from the final print.
Eddie Redmayne auditioned for the role of Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) but was turned down
Wand-school was obligatory for several of the cast-members. The actors would attend a boot-camp in order to be instructed how to move and use a wand properly.
Newt's gray and yellow scarf that he wears in the film's last scene, as well as in promotional materials, is an allusion to the fact that he was in Hufflepuff while attending Hogwarts (a fact that J.K. Rowling has confirmed in supplemental materials).
Eddie Redmayne was the first and only choice for the lead role according to J.K. Rowling. Redmayne didn't have to audition, and he took part in the other casting decisions.
If you look closely in the scene where Newt is showing Jacob all the fantastic beasts he's collected for the first time, you will see a Grindylow in a bubble of water. These creatures are featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet Of Fire in the underwater task of the Triwizard Tournament.
When Mary Lou asks Newt "are you a seeker," he answers by saying "more of a chaser." This is a hint that he possibly played as a chaser in Quidditch while attending Hogwarts.
Leta Lestrange, love interest of Newt Scamander, is most likely related to Rodolphus Lestrange and, by extension, Bellatrix.
The film takes place in early December 1926, which is only a couple of weeks before Voldemort, the main antagonist of the Harry Potter films, was born in the books (December 31st, 1926). Whether this is also his date of birth in the movies is unclear, since the timeline of the movies has been altered somewhat compared to the books.
The giant poster on the stage in Senator Shaw's campaign speech scene is very similar to the giant poster in the campaign speech scene in Citizen Kane (1941).
The pendant that Graves gives to Credence is The Mark of the Deathly Hallows, the same pendant worn by Xenophilius Lovegood in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010). It foreshadows the reveal that Graves is actually Grindelwald in disguise, as in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Grindelwald and Dumbledore are described as obsessed with the Deathly Hallows. In the book, it is specifically identified as Grindelwald's mark during his reign of terror.
During the "interrogation" scene, you can see the Deathly Hallows pendant in Graves' jacket pocket. This is a small clue to his allegiance and true identity.
J.K. Rowling confirmed on her Twitter account on June 4, 2015 that Tina is short for Porpentina. In Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, in the "About the Author", Newt Scamander is noted as "now living in Dorset with his wife Porpentina and their pet Kneazles: Hoppy, Milly, and Mauler."
The form of execution that Tina was about to experience, being seated on a chair and submerged into a pool of water, is based on an execution/punishment/trial method used during the Salem Witch Trials. A person accused of being a witch would be strapped to "the dunking chair" and submerged under water. If the person sank, they were pronounced innocent; if the person floated, they were pronounced a "witch".
Frank, the giant hawk-like bird Newt shows to Jacob while touring around his menagerie of fantastic beasts, is a Thunderbird. Thunderbirds are mythical birds that create and are summoned by lightning in Native American folklore, hence how Frank is summoned in his first appearance in the movie, and flies into the storm cloud during the climax.
Credence (Ezra Miller) presumably died when his Obscurus form was destroyed by the Aurors at the end of the movie. However, according to David Yates, a scene showing Credence still alive in the aftermath was shot, but was deleted because the filmmakers have yet to decide on the direction of character in the subsequent sequels.