J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World shall continue expanding upon the release of two projects in 2016. The first is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a stage play that serves as a sequel (of sorts) to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows; the other is Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, a film about the adventures of Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne), the wizard responsible for writing the eponymous Hogwarts school textbook.
Rowling herself penned the Fantastic Beasts movie script – having previously written a version of said textbook for charity purposes in 2001 – and the project is being directed by David Yates, who served as the helmsman on the last fourth Harry Potter film adaptations (including Deathly Hallows – Part 1 & 2). There’s still over a year to go until Rowling’s Wizarding World returns to the big screen (at the time of writing this) – but in the meantime, Warner Bros. Pictures has gone ahead and unveiled an official logo for the movie.
Fantastic Beasts picks up in 1920s New York, though Rowling has already made it clear that the film is designed to be “an extension of the wizarding world,” rather than a prequel that sets up for the saga of The Boy Who Lived. Nonetheless, there should be distinct visual similarities between the previous Harry Potter movies and Fantastic Beasts, since Yates is back calling the shots; and, of course, because the film’s aesthetic will be informed by Rowling’s imagination to no small degree (especially now that she is writing the spinoff’s screenplay herself).
Likewise, the official Fantastic Beasts movie logo (see below) certainly brings the titles and logos for its predecessors to mind, in terms of its font style and layout. See, for example, the prominent placement of “Fantastic Beasts” in the same manner that past film logos featured “Harry Potter”, in addition to the metallic texture and shininess of the lettering.
The Fantastic Beasts film logo was clearly designed to help further brand the Wizarding World/Harry Potter franchise, bringing to mind how logos and promotional art for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy were modeled after those for his Lord of the Rings films. However, Fantastic Beasts has the advantage of being less strictly tied to its predecessors than The Hobbit movies were; combined with the fact that Scamander’s tale will unfold during a very different time period than Harry’s, and there’s fair reason to think that Fantastic Beasts could prove to be a successful “extension” of the Wizarding World on the big screen.
At the same time, though, Fantastic Beasts has the disadvantage of not being based on previously-published material – and as was explained in our “Is There a Formula for Box Office Success?” feature, this in turn makes the Harry Potter spinoff less of a surefire bet to become a commercial success than something like The Hobbit. WB is hoping Fantastic Beasts does well enough financially to justify giving Scamander his own movie trilogy, but ultimately the general film-going public will have the final say on that matter…
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016. Release dates for the potential sequels have already been claimed on November 16th, 2018 and November 20th, 2020.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures