The “Harry Potter” series didn’t end in 2011 with the release of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” after all. In addition to the continued expansions of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal theme parks around the world, Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling announced on Sept. 12 that a new movie set in the world of “Harry Potter” is in the works.
The film will be based on the “Potter” companion book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which was first released in 2001 during the three-year gap between the book releases of “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.” Much like it helped tide fans over during the agonizing wait to find out what would happen after Voldemort returned in the wizarding world back then, the “Fantastic Beasts” movie will help keep the magic of “Harry Potter” alive for a whole new generation.
Here are 10 things to know about the upcoming project.
1. “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be set in New York 70 years before the first “Harry Potter” book. That means it will be set somewhere around the year 1920.
2. This will be the first “Harry Potter” film set in the United States. The previous eight movies in the “Harry Potter” franchise all took place in the United Kingdom.
3. Main character Newt Scamander went to Hogwarts. But don’t think that means “Fantastic Beasts” will necessarily return to the wizarding school. Based out our best estimates, Newt graduated from Hogwarts in 1914, which means he’ll be in his mid-20s when the movie series begins.
4. “Fantastic Beasts” has a companion book. When Rowling put out “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” in 2001, she also released a second companion book with it. Titled “Quidditch Throughout the Ages,” it told the history of the game of Quidditch and was written under the pseudonym “Kennilworthy Whisp.”
5. The books benefit a good cause. Over 80 percent of the cover price for both “Fantastic Beasts” and “Quidditch Throughout the Ages” goes to the charity Comic Reflief, which benefits poor children around the world.
6. The published “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” book is actually more of an encyclopedia. As it’s based on the required Hogwarts text book of the same name, “Fantastic Beasts” doesn’t have a storyline, but rather is full of entries written by Newt about an array of magical creatures like centaurs, Hungarian Horntails and hippogriffs. It’s also is full of notes and doodles from Harry and Ron.
7. “Fantastic Beasts” is the start of a new “Harry Potter” film franchise. Rowling will assumedly be crafting a new story based on the adventures of Newt, and she calls this project the “first in a new film series.” Does that mean “Fantastic Beasts” will have sequels? Or that the other “Harry Potter” companion books will also get adapted into films? Really, what does it matter? New “Harry Potter” franchise alert!
8. J.K. Rowling is writing the film’s screenplay. The biggest stamp of approval on this new movie is the fact that it marks Rowling’s screenwriting debut. There’s only one person who fans would be okay with continuing on the “Harry Potter” franchise in any capacity, and it’s her.
9. Newt is grandfather-in-law to Luna Lovegood. As Rowling admits, she liked the character of Newt so much that she “even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.” Here’s hoping that means Evanna Lynch will pop up at least once in these movies.
10. Evanna Lynch is just as excited about new “Harry Potter” as everyone else. It seems like Lynch is on board with that dream of Luna returning in “Fantastic Beasts” as well. “Maybe “Fantastic Beasts” will turn into a long ting [sic] like HP did & I can play Luna as an old lady?” she tweets. “Even if I’m too old to play Luna, can I go through 10 hours prosthetics to play a crumple-horned-snorkack. Please??”
Are you looking forward to a return to the world of “Harry Potter”?