If the Harry Potter series lay dormant ever since the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 lit up the silver screen five years ago, then 2016 is the year when J.K. Rowling’s mystical juggernaut stages a comeback.
It’s an encore that began through the author’s own two-part West End stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but when it comes to film, all eyes will soon turn to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Yes, David Yates’ fantastical offshoot is booked in for theatrical release in November, when Warner Bros. will be hoping to fan the flames of franchise potential. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts novel may only span a relatively tight 128 pages – evoking memories of Warner’s treatment of the Hobbit movies – but the fact that the author has already put pen to paper on a sequel leads us to believe that, barring a box office calamity, Warner will push on with Fantastic Beasts 2 in time for 2018.
That’s something that Yates echoes in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, revealing that Rowling’s pitch takes the story “in a whole new direction.”
“We’ve seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction – as you should, you don’t want to repeat yourself. The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It’s a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her.”
Leading the charge as wizarding pioneer Newt Scamander is Eddie Redmayne, while Warner Bros. has also filled out roles for Gemma Chan, Carmen Ejogo, Jon Voight, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Colin Farrell and Ron Perlman.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them roars to life on November 18.