New J.K. Rowling Wizarding Stories Coming to a Theater Near You!September 12, 2013
J.K. Rowling plans to bring us new stories from Harry Potter’s Wizarding World by turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a series of films. Although the Harry Potter books are closest to our hearts, we’ve also enjoyed Rowling’s other fiction — check out our reviews of Cuckoo’s Calling (published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith) and Casual Vacancy. Still, we can’t pretend we’re not excited that she’ll be revisiting the wizarding world.
The stories will be released as films screenwritten by Rowling, not as books. And, although they’ll be set in the world of magic, they take place seventy years before we find Harry at Hogwarts, so they won’t feature him or his friends. Instead, they’re based on the adventures of Newt Scamander, author of the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
We can’t say it better than Jo herself, so here’s her explanation of the project:
“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.”