Late last year, Harry Potter fans were pleased to learn that we’d be returning to the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. The author announced that a brand new movie based on her beloved book series would be coming our way in the near future. Good ol’ J.K. would pen the script herself and adapt one of her Hogwarts textbooks to be the basis of the story. And with that, ‘Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them’ was born.
Following the adventures of writer Newt Scamander, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ would expand the Potterverse by exploring a part of that world previously unseen: magic in America nearly 70 years before the Boy Who Lived faced off against He Who Must Not Be Named. The premise was enough to get all four Hogwarts Houses excited, but Rowling herself was stoked as well. In a recent interview with Wonderand Magazine conducted by Hermione Granger herself, Emma Watson, the author revealed that she wrote the first draft of her first screenplay in just twelve days. While she had previously conceived a backstory for Scamander, she just had to fill in the blanks to complete the story:
“When Warner Brothers came to me and said they wanted to make a film out of the book, I had this simultaneous feeling of ‘it has a lot of potential’, and another feeling of slight panic that ‘I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!’ because I knew who he was. I went away and sort of dwelt on what I knew about Newt, not intending to write a script but just trying to collect my thoughts.
Then I really did have one of those moments that always make you phenomenally excited as a writer, but also that you know is going to end up being a ton of work. I thought, ‘Oh my God, a whole plot’s just descended on me!’ But I wanted to do it as I was really excited about it… I thought I’ll give them this plot and then – fatally – I sat down and thought, ‘I just wonder what it would look like…’ and wrote a rough draft in 12 days!”
There are probably a few more drafts to get through before the film starts shooting, so hopefully Rowling keeps up this level of enthusiasm. That way, maybe us muggles will get to see witches and wizards on the silver screen by 2016-2017.
Are you excited to see ‘Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them’? How do you think J.K. Rowling will do in her first outing as a screenwriter? Share your thoughts in the comments below.