The ‘Harry Potter’ author will pen a series of new movies set in Harry’s universe, beginning with ‘Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.’
Harry Potter lives on! (Sort of.) Warner Bros. Pictures announced Sept. 12 that it will be teaming up with author J.K. Rowling for a series of Harry Potter-inspired movies, based on a textbook referenced in the first Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The first installment, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, won’t star Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) — but it will feature at least one character familiar to loyal readers of J.K.’s original novels.
Newt Scamander, the author of Fantastic Beasts, has plans to appear in the film, which J.K. says will take place 70 years before the events of Sorcerer’s Stone. That being the case, J.K. insists that the Fantastic Beasts series is not technically a prequel to the Harry Potter movies, but rather a separate collection of movies that happen to exist within the same universe.
‘Fantastic Beasts’: J.K. Rowling’s Official Statement
The author herself released an additional statement, explaining more about what we can expect from Fantastic Beasts. Here’s the whole shebang:
It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.
But wait, there’s more! In addition to the new movie series, Warner Bros. Pictures’ new partnership with J.K. will also lead to the expansion of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Parks and Resorts, as well as a new series of video games across all major platforms.
HollywoodLifers, how excited are you to see Harry’s legacy live on through these new movies, games and theme-park additions? Drop a comment below with your thoughts on Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them!
— Andy Swift