Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara has revealed that the project ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ by J.K. Rowling that takes place within the wizarding world of Harry Potter, will be adapted into a new trilogy of tent pole movies. This should relieve a lot of people for a lot of different reasons.
For one thing, it gives Potter fans something new to look forward to after the original series’ climax. In addition, the folks over at Warner Brothers can breath a sigh of relief, since the big company took a financial hit when Potter wrapped up and they weren’t able to slap the character’s likeness on more merchandise.
The decision to break the project up into a trilogy also comes as no surprise as studios have been doing that for a while now (see ‘The Hobbit’). The more movies, the more money they make not just from ticket and home video sales, but subsequent merchandising.
‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them’ is a text book used in the teachings at Hogwarts. Rowling actually wrote out the 54-page tome in between writing the third and fourth Potter books, but had no plans to ever release it or do anything with it, honestly.
But Tsujihara’s enthusiasm for the project convinced Rowling to dust it off and rework it into the new film project. “When I say [Tsujihara] made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Rowling enthused, “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”
The movies will follow the adventures of Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist.” The descriptions released so far make it sound as if all the involved parties are seeking to make this more of a straightforward, sweeping adventure story versus the complex mythology of ‘Harry Potter’. And while the new movies will be set in the same universe as ‘Potter’, they will take place 70 years earlier and will at least start off based in New York. Rowling made it clear that these would not serve as prequels to ‘Potter’ but rather an “extension of the wizarding world.” Even so, I can’t imagine that there will be no cameos or connections made to Hogwarts and that world.
Because of Rowling’s involvement, it should be fairly easy to get these movies made and in front of the public’s 3D glasses-wearing faces. (Because of course it will be filmed in 3D!) Once again Warner Brothers wins. Their other big properties, such as Looney Tunes and DC Comics have struggled to make it to theaters and when they have, many times they have failed to connect. Even the highly anticipated ‘Man of Steel’ sequel was forced to be pushed back a year for additional development.
Are you excited to revisit Rowling’s world? What connections would you like to see to Harry Potter’s continuity? Or do you think this somehow ruins the Potter legacy? Comment below!