Anyone still upset that Peter Jackson turned The Hobbit into a trilogy of movies better turn back now, because Warner Bros. is doing the same thing to their upcoming Harry Potter spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. We heard back in September that WB was looking at adapting JK Rowling’s 54-page reproduction of a fictional textbook, but we now know that they’re stretching the story into three “megamovies.”
Fantastic Beasts, in the Harry Potter universe, was one of the textbooks that Hogwarts students were required to read in their first year at the Wizarding school. The films will follow the story of the textbook’s author, “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, seventy years before the events of Harry’s own adventures.
The series won’t be a sequel or prequel to the original films, and will instead be a spinoff set within the Potter universe, with a script written by Rowling herself. As a huge fan of both the books and the movies, I’m excited to see what the author has in store for us with this series. I’m glad that it will stand on its own two feet, since prequels hardly ever work, and since her original books are so complete and satisfying as they are, I would rather they be left alone.
That said, Rowling has done an incredible job in creating the Potterverse, and there are undeniably endless possibilities for other stories. With the Fantastic Beasts textbook being a useful encyclopedia for the dark creatures that witches and wizards came in contact with throughout the original series, basing a franchise around the book’s author presents some fun and imaginative storytelling opportunities.
It’s not wildly surprising that Warner Bros. is revisiting the Potter universe. We all knew they would eventually, considering the eight films grossed over $8 billion worldwide. With the aforementioned Hobbit trilogy coming to an end this year and their DC properties still in development, WB could use another mega-franchise. And considering Potter fans are a ravenous bunch, you can bet that they’re already pouring over the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them textbook to make a list of all of the possible cameos and tie-ins that the new trilogy can have to link it to what currently stands as the highest-grossing film franchise of all time.