A franchise from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Well who saw this coming?
2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 brought to an end the most successful franchise in cinema history, with the eight film series grossing $.7.7bn worldwide. Although Harry Potter and his friends may have been glad to see the back of Voldemort, Warner Bros certainly were not. The loss of that scale of guaranteed income can really hurt a studio and the hunt for ‘the next Harry Potter’ has been going on ever since.
Someone at Warners has pulled off something of a coup though. They approached JK Rowling with a suggestion that they turn her 2001 charity book ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film series and she has accepted. Rowling will script the films herself, her first attempt at writing for the big screen.
The film will feature the adventures of the ‘Fantastic Beasts’ author, Newt Scamander and will feature elements and creatures familiar to all Harry Potter fans.
Via the Warner Bros press release, Rowling explained all:
“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,’ realised 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.”
Blockbuster film fans should rejoice. In a market dominated by remakes, reboots and superheroes, the idea of a franchise based on an original story written specifically for the screen is increasingly rare, and should be welcomed. Something magical this way comes.