Warner Bros. has big plans for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and understandably so. As a spinoff of one of the biggest franchises of all-time, it’s no secret that the studio is hoping for another cash cow that can generate significant profits for them long into the future. And with five films already planned for the series, it’s safe to say that us Muggles are going to be bombarded with all things magic and wizardry for many years to come.
This past week at the red carpet premiere for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Variety caught up with author J.K. Rowling, who also penned the script for the spinoff. When asked about the plan to tell this story over five films, which certainly seems like a lot given that the novel it’s based on is only about 128 pages, Rowling said that she’s confident it’s the right move:
“Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be more than one movie, but we were feeling our way. Then, there came a point in the drafting of our story where I said to David [Yates], ‘You know, this feels like five movies, and I think I’m pretty certain about that.’ It’s ambitious to tell it in five to be honest because we’re spanning 19 years, but I can see an arc to five – so that’s how it happened. It came out of the material.”
While we’d like to believe her, we’re inclined to think that this is more another instance of Warner Bros. needlessly stretching out a franchise to make more money off of it, like they did with The Hobbit. From what we’re hearing so far, Fantastic Beasts is supposed to be a pretty great film and can easily spawn a trilogy, but does it really need five entries to tell its tale? That remains to be seen, but given that the story spans 19 years, perhaps it does warrant that many outings?
It’s also unclear how many of the core cast will remain on board throughout the franchise, given that some of these actors are starting to become pretty big stars and committing to a five film series is no easy task. Ezra Miller in particular may have trouble, due to his job over in the DC Cinematic Universe as The Flash.
Then again, having not seen Fantastic Beasts yet we’re not even sure if his character will be needed past the first entry. As of now, the only cast members confirmed for the sequel are Eddie Redmayne and Johnny Depp, who’s said to have a cameo in Fantastic Beasts before taking on a lead role in the second one. We also know that Dumbledore will appear in the franchise at some point, though he’s yet to be cast.
One last thing to note is that each film in the series already has a director attached: David Yates. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Yates revealed that he’ll be behind the camera for each and every entry, meaning that the series is certainly in good hands.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is only about a week away now, with the film arriving on November 18th. And with the first set of reviews coming in this Monday, it won’t be long now before we find out if we’re in for another box office behemoth like the Harry Potter franchise was.
Something tells us though that Warner Bros. has a hit on their hands. With theatres around the world being dominated by comic book movies and superhero films, we imagine that audiences will no doubt find it refreshing to have a new series to invest in that doesn’t involve costumed individuals running around trying to save the world.