Just over two years ago many Harry Potter fans were devastated when the film journey came to an end as the final film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, was released. For the fans who eat, sleep and breathe all things Potter, the only thing available to soften the blow was the launch of the Pottermore website as the author of the series, J.K. Rowling, hinted that she had no intention of writing any more Harry Potter sequels. However, Potter fans everywhere can fall off the edges of their seats, as another film set in this much-loved magical world has been announced.
On September 12th Rowling announced that she was turning her hand to screenwriting and bringing an adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them to the silver screen. Devoted fans will recognise this name, as it was a book written by a wizard named Newt Scamander that Harry, Ron and Hermione studied in the novels. Back in 2001, alongside Quidditch Through the Ages, Rowling wrote actual copies of these fictional books for Comic Relief. Considering that the eight Harry Potter films became the highest grossing film franchise of all time, taking in almost $8 billion worldwide, it’s no surprise that Warner Bros., the studio who helmed the series, approached Rowling about penning a new film. Speaking about her screenwriting venture, she stated:
“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.”
There may be a slight tinge of disappointment for die hard fans of the Hogwarts trio, as the new film will be set 70 years prior to the Harry Potter timeline and will document Scamander’s life, leaving no room for the younger, more established characters of the franchise to make cameos. Rowling wrote:
“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.”
This being said, there could still be room for familiar faces such as the charming headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon), or maybe even the creature-loving gamekeeper Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane).
It’s undoubtable that Fantastic Creatures and Where the Find Them will more than likely live up to the financial success of the previous films, and will hopefully be as successful in captivating its audience, too. The release of this new film will allow expansion at the Harry Potter theme park, which will soon have locations in Hollywood and Japan as well as Orlando, and possibly more books on Newt Scamander too. Will Newt become the new Harry? Only time will tell.