When the Harry Potter series made its final bow in 2011, it was almost a bygone conclusion that Warner Bros. would pursue new stories to tell within J.K. Rowling’s rich universe of witchcraft and wizardry. After all, the story of the boy wizard matured into the most successful film franchise in all of cinema, so when news of a Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff arrived, not many people were too surprised.
And despite taking place in a different time period, the adjacent series has attracted a lot of Harry Potter alumni as it inches its way closer to release. With the likes of David Yates and producer David Heyman already onboard, fans can rest assured that the new-fangled franchise is in good hands. And today brings news of another of the Potter vanguard joining the ranks: production designer Stuart Craig.
In an interview with Collider, Heyman confirmed Craig’s place in the crew, all the while confirming that production is set to kick into gear later this year.
“The experience of conjuring up these worlds is such fun. So to do it with [Rowling] and with Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram is involved too, and with David Yates, and Stuart Craig will be designing it; it’s great. It’s exciting, and it’s a great world to return to. We will shoot later on this year. The plan is to shoot late summer.”
At this stage in development, Heyman is remaining coy about any potential casting, stating that the project is still in the very, very early stages. Still, given that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will take the Potter magic to New York, where the story will follow one Newt Scamander, we’re assuming that the production will boast a primarily American cast in lieu of the English-centric cast for the original franchise.
Warner Bros. is taking a leaf from Peter Jackson’s book and releasing Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a trilogy, with the studio releasing the first installment in 2016.