By Ed Sum
According to theWrap this morning, the world of Harry Potter will return to cinema in the form of all new stories. They write:
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Harry Potter is the highest grossing film series of all time having earned more than $7.7 billion worldwide, so the appeal of returning to the scene of the spell is obvious.
In place of a certain bespectacled boy wizard, the series will center on the textbook’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The film is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world, said Rowling. In place of Hogwarts, there will also be noticeable differences in geography.
“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,” Rowling said in a statement.
As for what that means for this new series of movies, it can move in any possible direction. For Rowling, she’s also very protective of her property, and her ideas. The thought of someone else adapting her work was questionable. She said to theWrap, “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.”
In the book, 75 magical species were observed, and data about them were recorded by Scamander as he travelled continents to gather information about them. This journal became a requirement for all first year Hogwart’s students to study from.
Some fans may wonder if the films may follow a similar structure as with Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy because of how Rowling’s work in this book is filled with a similar wit. Or it will be something along the lines of crafting style similar to one of David Attenborough’s many natural history documentaries?
Only time will tell as more details of this adaption gets released.
At least fans will be comfortable in knowing this new film series will keep the fascination with the Potter-verse alive and well into this new decade.