OK, Harry Potter fans, prepare to go a little ka-ka…
The New York Times has released some interesting information about Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, saying that “Three megamovies are planned.” The information came in a Times profile of Warner Bros CEO Kevin Tsujihara, noting how one of his big successes in his short time in his position so far was convincing Rowling to expand the Potter universe into more films, something considered a very hard sell.
Rowling herself, speaking to The Timesm said: “When I say he made Fantastic Beasts happen, it isn’t PR speak but the literal truth. We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”
The book itself takes place 70 years before the Potter stories kick off and tells the tale of Newt Salamander who wrote the book (in the Potter-verse) on magical creatures. Interestingly, it was written for Comic Relief by Rowling to raise money for charity. Guess it paid off for her too, huh?
Speaking recently to Wonderland Magazine, Rowling – being interviewed by Hermione actress Emma Watson – said: “Warner Bros. came to me ages ago and said they wanted to do something with Fantastic Beasts. I could see the potential in it. I knew something about Newt having written a little something for Comic Relief. I had imagined a little bit of back story for him… So when Warner Bros. came to me and said they wanted to make a film out of the book I had this simultaneous feeling of ‘it has a lot of potential,’ and another feeling of slight panic that ‘I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!
“Then I really did have one of those moments that always make you phenomenally excited as a writer; but also that you know is going to end up being a ton of work. I thought, ‘Oh my God, a whole plot’s just descended on me!’ But I wanted to do it as I was really excited about it. I wasn’t really thinking about writing the script myself, I thought, you know, I’ll give them this plot and then – fatally – I sat down and thought ‘I just wonder what it would look like…’ and wrote a rough draft in twelve days!
“So that is how it all started… I think they were kind of stunned. I didn’t tell them I had written it in twelve days. I’ve never written a script. It truly wasn’t that I thought I’d be good at it, I just wanted to get the outline of the story down, and that’s obviously given me a lot to work with going forward.”
Apart from the events of the book, very little is known about the story at this stage, though apparently 1930s New York does feature heavily…