In what has to be some of the most exciting news since learning about Batman and Superman teaming up for the Man of Steel sequel, JK Rowling has announced that a film series based on her short novel ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is currently in the works courtesy of a new and expanded partnership with Warner Brothers Studios.
For those who do not know, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is a prescribed textbook for Hogwarts students that focuses on the adventures of Newt Scamander and the crazy creatures that he finds and, subsequently, documents. Rowling actually wrote and published a short version of the book in 2001 with all sales proceeds going to Comic Relief.
In even better news, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story, set 70 years before the Harry Potter storyline and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. The movie will also be the first in a new series of films and will feature magical creatures and characters from Rowling’s wizarding world, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
The expanded partnership of Rowling’s wizarding world with Warner Brothers Entertainment means that the “Fantastic Beasts” film series will, naturally, be developed into video games and other commercial and digital merchandise. It also means that Warner Brothers can use the new content to further enhance places like The Wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando (coming soon to Hollywood and Osaka, Japan).
The news of a new movie from JK Rowling that is set in the same wizarding universe as Harry Potter is wonderful. As a big fan of the Harry Potter universe, I am incredibly excited and looking forward to this movie. Rowling’s full press release is available below.
JK Rowling Press Release
“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.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
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.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”