Recently, a rumor recirculated about J.K. Rowling writing an 8th book in her Harry Potter series. That was clearly an April Fool’s joke, but somehow didn’t become big until late August. But today’s news is no April Fool’s joke. Rowling is writing a new film titled Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, which will serve as the franchises’ first spin-off.
Seriously, this isn’t a joke. There’s an official press release from Warner Bros. and a Facebook post from Rowling to serve as proof. Well, I guess they could be in on the prank, but that’d be quite elaborate, so let’s assume this is real.
It makes sense that Warner would want to come back to the franchise, as it’s one of the most lucrative ones in the studio’s history. It doesn’t matter what the story is either, hordes of fans are going to flock to the theater to see more Potter.
The new film isn’t a prequel or a sequel to the 8 films we’ve already seen, rather, it’s just another film set in the same world. Fans of the novels will remember that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was a textbook Harry used and was written by Newt Scamander. This new film will follow Newt in New York, 70 years before Harry’s adventure begins.
I, like many fans of the novels, was fairly disappointed by the film entries from the 5th on. They fell far short of the standards the novels set, and made changes for the sake of change, not for the sake of improvement. By the time the 8th film rolled around, I was ready to forever disappear back into my novels and forget the films ever occurred. That being said, since this film isn’t based on the 7-book series, hopefully it’ll be fresher and not bogged down by the restrictions and complaints that are natural with any adaptation.
What do you think of Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? Are you interested in this film or have you had enough of the Potter world? Check out the full press release below and then head on down to the comments section to share your thoughts.
Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
“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,” said Rowling. “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.”
“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”
In addition to the film series, “Fantastic Beasts” will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.
The Studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.
In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of “The Casual Vacancy,” her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014.
The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.’ chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.
Rowling’s expanded quote regarding “Fantastic Beasts” is below:
“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.”