By Gina McIntyre
and Noelene Clark
Los Angeles Times via McClatchy-Tribune
LOS ANGELES — When J.K. Rowling revealed plans for a “Harry Potter” spinoff film adapted from her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” fans rejoiced at the idea of returning to the wizarding world the author rendered in such detail in her worldwide bestsellers about the Boy Who Lived.
Turns out, there will be more than just one movie. Warner Bros. has announced its intention to release a planned trilogy of films based on “Fantastic Beasts,” with all three screenplays written by Rowling herself.
Originally published in 2001, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” arrived as a 42-page textbook of sorts, chronicling the adventures of its fictional author and Hufflepuff hero Newt Scamander — Newt is a magizoologist (one who studies magical creatures, of course).
In a release issued last year when the first film project was originally announced, Rowling specified that the new movies are neither prequels nor sequels to the “Harry Potter” series, but rather “an extension of the wizarding world.”
Newt’s adventures, she said, begin in New York 70 years prior to the events in the first “Harry Potter” novel.
Of her decision to script the film herself, she said in the statement, “The idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hardcore Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favorite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.”
No casting has been announced for the film series, nor has a start date for the first production been revealed.