You thought it was over, Harry Potter fans. You thought you’d have nothing new to work with, just the same eight movies and seven books you’ve been gif-ing and writing meta for for years. But you were wrong. There are going to be more Harry Potter movies. Well. Harry Potter-ish.
Warner Bros. is teaming with J.K. Rowling for a new series based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a required Hogwarts textbook that Newt Scamander Rowling wrote back in 2001. Rowling herself will write the first movie, which will serve as her screenwriting debut. Says the author (bolded for emphasis):
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.“
In addition to the movies, however many there are, Fantastic Beasts will also spawn a “video game, consumer products and digital initiatives, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com,” reads Warner Bros.’ official press release.
I imagine their decision to make the series went something like this:
INT. WARNER BROS. HEADQUARTERS – DAY
An assortment of middle-aged, grey-haired studio executives sit around a table, twiddling their thumbs, occasionally sighing heavily.
Look, fellas, what we’re doing here, it just won’t work.
Aside from the Man of Steel sequel, DC movies aren’t really a high priority for us—
Obviously, who wants to see a Wonder Woman movie, amirite?
[pause for raucous laughter]
And anyway, it’s great that we’re distributing The Hobbit, but in less than a year and a half that’ll be over! What then? What do we have that’s absolutely guaranteed to make money?
[After a few awkward moments…]
Well, there’s… there’s Harry Potter.
But we adapted all seven books!
Waitaminute… didn’t J.K. Rowling write some fictional textbooks a few years back?
[Pause for that bombshell to make its way through the room. A single tear slides down EXECUTIVE ONE’s cheek]
I make light, but I really can’t complain. Because new Harry Potter-(inspired) movies!