More Harry Potter-ish films on the way from J.K. Rowling and WB

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201309121038 More Harry Potter ish films on the way from J.K. Rowling and WB
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.

Comments

  1. Jack Furby says:

    Is this WB admitting that they are not as confident in the DC superhero brand as they once were? Is their their “Plan B” for a blockbuster franchise?

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    Not a “Plan B”… just returning to the money well.

    Since it’s 70 years in the past, an all-new cast can be found. Most likely meaning back-end deals, via a share of the profits.

  3. This is Warner Brothers admitting that they’d rather not launch new franchises, but squeeze all they can out of the old (successful) ones. It’s 100% in line with the current climate at DC.

  4. Chris Hero says:

    Good for JK Rowling, but geez, Warners could not be more creatively bankrupt. At least the creator is getting paid, though.

  5. Snikt Snakt says:

    “This is Warner Brothers admitting that they’d rather not launch new franchises, but squeeze all they can out of the old (successful) ones. It’s 100% in line with the current climate at DC.”

    DIng Ding, couldn’t agree more…

  6. The reaction of folks here makes it sound like it’s good to be in the franchise business, but it’s sign of weakness to make more films in a franchise rather than launching new ones.

    If you don’t want to make more films, you’re not in the franchise business. And if you’re in the franchise business and wouldn’t like to make more movies in a franchise where the eighth and most recent grossed over $1.3 billion, then you don’t understand the franchise business.

    That doesn’t prevent them from doing other movies. In fact, having profitable movies makes it more possible to make other movies. And three films is hardly an addition to their slate that will squeeze out that much else.

  7. (And a more-relevant PS: YAY! More Rowling work in the Potter universe. That’s a good thing. If these do well, though, I’m not sure I’ll look as forward to the History Of Quidditch film…)

  8. Caged Wisdom says:

    They can call the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” if they want, but all you’ll hear at the box office window is “two fer the Harry Potter.”

  9. Nat, as a consumer I just feel that going to the well over and over again is a prime example of the law of diminishing returns. I LOVED the Potter books, but ran out of patience for the films after four and five, which I found extremely disappointing. As a Rowling fan I’d MUCH rather see her work on a new fantasy or sci-fi or even mystery or horror film than HP again. I love franchises — but I love them as storytelling vehicles, not as quarterly earnings boosters. And I’m done with the Potter universe as a vehicle, at least for now.

    I felt the same exact way about Before Watchmen. Darwyn Cooke? Amanda Conner? Love their work. But I’d much rather see them create new worlds through Vertigo or Image or Dark House than mine an old Moore/Gibbons concept.

    And don’t even get me started on stretching out The Hobbit into a trilogy. Oy vey. :)

  10. Rowling has continued to produce new material of other sorts. And if what Rowling wants to do is more stories in the Potterverse, it seems silly to think that she should not. Darwyn Cooke and Amanda Conner doing Watchmenstuff is very different than Rowling doing more of the thing that she created and represents the bulk of her work.

  11. “This is Warner Brothers admitting that they’d rather not launch new franchises, but squeeze all they can out of the old (successful) ones. It’s 100% in line with the current climate at DC.”

    Pretty much. This dubious ‘news’ also accompanied the new WB CEO putting a fresh coat of spin on the ‘Ben Affleck is Batman’ casting.

  12. Martin says:

    I just hope David Yates and Steve Kloves return to sharpen up Rowling’s storytelling like they did with the Harry Potter books/films.

    Yes, hate me.

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