Last September, both Warner Bros. and J. K. Rowling confirmed the development of a new film that is a spinoff of her wildly successful Harry Potter Series. Rowling is still working on the screenplay, which is apparently based on her 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which catalogues many of the unique, magical animals of the Harry Potter universe. The film, now called simply Fantastic Beasts by the press, will allegedly follow the protagonist of the Rowling book, Newt Scamander.
As Rowling has explained, the new film is neither a sequel nor a prequel of the Harry Potter story. Instead, she views the new story as an extension of the wizarding world. While some overlap will undoubtedly exist, the Newt Scamander story begins 70 years before the Harry Potter saga and takes place in a different country. Personally, I am excited to the wizarding world extend to the United States, and I look forward to seeing how they recreate 1920s New York, where the story begins.
Several new details about the film have recently surfaced. First, David Heyman, who produced all eight Harry Potter movies, will return for Fantastic Beasts, which means that the film will likely have a style and tone consistent with the other Rowling-inspired films. David Yates, who directed the last four films, has also signed on to the project.
One of the most exciting details to emerge about the film is that it will exist as part of a trilogy. Therefore, we can expect at least two additional movies that explore the vast wizarding world. The hardest part for me will be waiting to see all three. Fantastic Beasts will not be released until November 2016, with the other two films likely following in 2018 and 2020. Rumors have also surfaced about a possible theme park associated with the trilogy!