The news broke that J.K. Rowling pitched, and Warner Bros. accepted, a spin-off feature length film set in the Harry Potter Universe. This film will be based off the author of the school textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Newt Scamandar.
From J.K. Rowling:
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 17 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, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.
Now we know Harry Potter is set in the 1990’s, so this would mean Newt’s story will take place in one of the most vibrant and exciting era’s of American history, the roaring 20’s! Everyone here knows my love for worldbuilding. The authors, and stories, I find most impressive are those that don’t have a fancy painted piece of cardboard to the left of the story but rather a fully fleshed and detailed world. Harry Potter was one of those series that always seemed to have so much history and culture that could never be fully explored while we were tethered to Potter’s adventures.
Yet here we have a chance to see the wizarding world from an entirely new perspective, and what’s more one set in the United States, in New York, during one my personal favorite time periods as well. The potential here is astounding and hopefully Rowling won’t disappoint as she writes this screenplay. There’s always the risk of this turning into a simple cash-grab and the movie falling to pieces. But the possibilities…
To quote Django Unchained,
“You had my curiosity, but now you have my attention.”