Don’t call it a prequel. WB and J.K. Rowling have agreed to make more films set in the Harry Potter universe. The first film will be written by Rowling herself and based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a slim volume of lore taken from the Potterverse (invented word). The film will star Newt Scamander, a cryptozoology-obsessed wizard who eventually became headmaster of Hogwarts.
The films will be set 70 years before the start of the Potter books, and the movie opens in New York, according to Rowling. “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.”
Rowling’s notes on the science, magic and backstory of her invented world are voluminous, so these movies can go on forever, much to WB’s relief. Who needs superheroes when you’ve got the Potterverse?
The new tale will be spun out into a video game, consumer products, and digital initiatives. No comic books, though—to be fair, Rowling does not allow any ‘extended universe’ type stuff for her world. She writes it all.
These new movies sounds fine to me. More cute beasts, adorably named foodstuffs, and cranky old wizards. In other words, instead of letting Peter Jackson do the fanfic prequel extension, Rowling is doing it herself. We’ve already bought a ticket.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.