The Harry Potter books may have infinite horcruxes, as it seems to be the franchise that never dies.
Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling sent fans into a frenzy Thursday with the announcement that Rowling’s wizarding textbook, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” will be turned into a movie with the book’s fictitious author, 21-year-old Newt Scamander, as the focus.
However, Rowling made it clear that the book and the upcoming movie is neither a sequel nor a prequel to the seven-book megahit and the eight-movie run that raked in $7 billion over a decade. Does that mean that Harry, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley will be absent from the upcoming movie?
“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.
But Rowling later stated that it was Warner Bros. who first approached her with the idea of a “Fantastic Beasts” movie.
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“Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt,” she said of her decision agreeing to write the screenplay.
With Harry Potter being such a massive success for Warner Bros., it makes sense for the new movie to orbit around the Potter world, as “The Hobbit” did with “Lord of the Rings” characters who, despite not appearing in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Hobbit” book were added into the feature film to lure fans of the LOTR franchise. Plus, the famous Hogwarts trio actually play a small role in the book.
“Fantastic Beasts” is a textbook of Potter and Weasley’s, and the two appear to have written notes all throughout the text, hinting to happenings in the Potter books and movies.
Seeing how “Fantastic Beasts” will take place in New York in 1918 and the Harry Potter series occurred in England in the ’90s, flash-forwards could be a way to integrate the Hogwarts gang. Time travel is possible in the wizarding world as well. In “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,” Granger used a time turner jump from time to time.
During the entry for the Basilisk, when the author says that there have been no sightings of the beast for four hundred years, one of the characters playfully wrote “that’s what you think,” alluding to the Basilisk Potter faced off against in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” It’s one of many nods to the original series.
Scamander isn’t completely removed from the gang, either. He did graduate from Hogwarts, Potter’s alma mater, and the book includes a foreword written by Albus Dumbledore, the school’s headmaster and prominent figure in Potter’s life. Also, Scamander’s grandson married Luna Lovegood, one of Potter’s classmates.
There’s also a question about how the new film will look. With 75 beasts in the textbook, many of which were featured in the original books and movies, it’s possible that the new movie could be even more CGI-heavy than the Harry Potter films.
The movies became increasingly CGI-centric, with dramatic effects in the final battle at Hogwarts and the Potter-Voldemort last stand. There are also several beasts in the textbook that didn’t have their chance to be introduced in the Potter series, so it’s unclear which magical species will be introduced for the first time in “Fantastic Beasts” and which will return.
But one of the most crucial issues of all is casting: Who will be up to playing the 21-year-old bookish Scamander? With Rowling so protective of the character, it’s likely that she will have a large say in the decision.
“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,” she stated.
Until then, Potterheads will have plenty of time to speculate, as no release date has been announced yet.