Because seven books and eight films were not enough to satiate the minds of millions of ungrateful little muggles around the world, JK Rowling has been put to work writing not one, but three spinoffs to the Harry Potter series. The already published Harry Potter extension/textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will now be a trilogy and therefore three movies, according to the author who probably needs a break to luxuriate in her money pond.
These aren’t just going to be any films, though; they’re going to be “megamovies,” if you’d care to listen to Warner Bros. Given the prolific stature of the Harry Potter franchise, the studio is probably right on the money with that designation. Do you hear the teens lining up to buy their tshirts at Hot Topic right now?
Back in September when the Fantastic Beasts project was freshly announced, Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara was secretive about the nature of Rowling’s new baby, only revealing that his studio was hoping to build a film franchise out of the book. With three on the way, it’s time for Potter 2.0.
The executive was actually the person to persuade Rowling to adapt her book for the big screen, probably speaking for the hordes of Potter fans everywhere by telling her that people weren’t exactly ready to let go of the magical wizarding world. Fantastic Beasts was written between the fourth and fifth Harry Potter books as a supplement to the series (a textbook of sorts that Hogwarts students read), but the next two have yet to be appear.
While the books aren’t connected to Harry Potter and his crew in a direct sense, they exist in the same universe. Fantastic Beasts follows magizoologist Newt Scamander, a collector and surveyor of fantastic and magical creatures. Set about 80 years prior to the events of Harry Potter, Scamander’s tale initially begins in New York City and expands to England. This means we’ll finally get a dose of what American wizards are like (Say “wingardium leviosa” with me in the thickest Bronx accent you can muster) for the first time.
There’s also the potential for a cameo from a young Dumbledore (Youngbledore?), who was Scamander’s friend and colleague. Just in case you didn’t realize, Dumbledore was old. The casting possibilities and choices for this role will be open to many a young English man and the competition will be undoubtedly brutal. But think about it: Benedict Cumberbatch.
Though the new trilogy takes place so many decades before the original stories, Rowling is quick to note that they’re not a prequel series — it’s an “extension of the wizarding world.” Translation: Please don’t ask her again if she’s going to write any more Harry Potter books. That train to Hogwarts has already left the station.