Muggles worldwide are celebrating a wish come true, following Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling’s announcement that she will be writing a new series of films that will revisit the famous boy wizard’s magical world.
Rowling has confirmed on September 12th that the first spin-off movie will be entitled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film will be based on the textbook of the same title used by Harry Potter himself and the rest of his classmates at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is reported that it will feature the fictitious book’s author Newt Scamander, who is also a “zoologist” in the magical world.
Unlike the Harry Potter series, however, the spin-offs will be written by Rowling directly for film production – marking her debut as a screenwriter. Rowling also clarified that the movie should not be viewed as a prequel or sequel to the phenomenal Harry Potter series, but more as the wizarding world’s “extension.” The movie will also be set far from Hogwarts – or more specifically in New York – and take place about 70 years before Harry Potter’s timeline.
J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. Reprise Billion-Dollar Partnership
The idea of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a full-fledged film came from movie studio Warner Bros., which also released all Harry Potter movies – each of which a worldwide box-office hit with total earnings reaching $7.7 billion.
Rowling pondered on the idea and thought it would be an interesting project, although she realized that developing another “author” Newt Scamander would be a great challenge. Rowling could not resist exploring the idea, however, and ended up pitching her own plot and ideas to the studio not long after.
Beyond the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and succeeding movies, the partnership between Rowling and Warner Bros. is also set to expand to other “creative” outlets. Anticipated projects include video games, tourist attractions set at the Universal Studios theme parks and other exciting collaborations.
For television, the studio will also be handling the worldwide distribution of a BBC mini series based on Rowling’s recent book “The Casual Vacancy”. Slated for production in 2014, the television series will be aimed at the book’s largely adult following.
Rowling: Writing Career Going Strong
Although she has devoted nearly two decades creating, developing and bringing to life the Harry Potter series, Rowling has also proven that her writing prowess goes beyond not only the fantasy world – but also the genre of children’s literature.
The Casual Vacancy first evidenced Rowling’s far-reaching writing talent when it was successfully published in 2007. Delving into mature themes such as drug abuse and domestic violence, the book is clearly a departure from the wholesome Harry Potter plot and characters.
This year, Rowling released a mystery novel, The Cuckoo’s Calling, featuring a private investigator hired to solve an ambiguous case involving the death of a model. More than the contents of the book, the news that Rowling is the author behind the pseudonym Robert Galbraith made The Cuckoo’s Calling one of the most talked about books in the summer.
Prior to the revelation that Rowling wrote the book, The Cuckoo’s Calling sold 1,500 copies in print and more than 7,000 in ebook, audio book and other versions. After the news broke out, the book quickly became the top bestseller on Amazon. Rowling has since confirmed that the book will be continued as a series, and that a sequel is already lined up for publication next year.