Did you hear that? It's the sound of Harry Potter fans the world over squeeing in anticipation. In easily the biggest news story of the week thus far, J.K. Rowling has announced that she will be partnering with Warner Bros. to bring a new film series set in the Potterverse to movie theaters. The new franchise will be based on Rowling's 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. From The Independent:
"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," said Rowling.
"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."
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander The news of Rowling's "creative partnership" with Warner Bros. Entertainment was announced by the studio's chief executive officer Kevin Tsujihara today. He described the project as an "exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry."
Warner, which made the eight Harry Potter films which remains the highest-grossing film series of all time, approached Rowling with the idea of expanding Fantastic Beasts.
"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," Rowling said.
There's no timeline yet as to when you can see the first Fantastic Beasts film, but obviously we will have plenty more news on this in the days and months ahead. Returning to the Potterverse is obviously a very savvy move financially. But could Warners and Rowling be tickling a sleeping dragon by returning to the same universe without the characters that millions have already embraced? I want to hear what you guys think. Does this news excite you? Or are you still holding out for adult Harry Potter stories?