Warner Bros. Adapting ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them’ as Movie Trilogy

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 30th, 2014 at 3:04 am,

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book cover Warner Bros. Adapting Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them as Movie Trilogy
In the realm of profitable mainstream cinema, the blockbuster franchise currently reigns supreme. Franchises can take many forms, but when the source material ends, as Warner Bros.’ wildly lucrative film series based on author J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books did with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, it can leave a noticeable vacuum.

Warners still has its DC Comics properties going for it, not to mention Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings prequel trilogy, which will conclude with The Hobbit: There and Back Again, and WB’s attempt to revive the granddaddy of giant death lizard movies with Godzilla.

Still, with the Man of Steel sequel Batman vs. Superman delayed until 2016, The Hobbit ending this year and the other big franchises really just getting off the ground, who can blame the studio for wanting to revisit the universe of Harry Potter, a franchise that has grossed over $8 billion?

We’ve known for some time about Warner Bros.’ plan to adapt J.K. Rowling’s 2001 book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but now WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara confirmed in a profile by The New York Times (via Variety) that Fantastic Beasts will become “three megamovies.” 

As for the overall story:

The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 Poster Warner Bros. Adapting Harry Potter Spinoff Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them as Movie Trilogy
Diehard Potter fans will know that Fantastic Beasts is a 54-page reproduction of a fictional Magizoology textbook from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry written by Newton Artemis Fido “Newt” Scamander. The book is required reading for first-year students, despite the fact that Care of Magical Creatures is not taught until their third year. The textbook is apparently a useful encyclopedia for the Dark creatures studied in the Defence Against the Dark Arts courses.

According to Rowling, Fantastic Beasts would not exist without Tsujihara’s influence. The author stated:

“When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-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!”

Rowling’s Harry Potter universe quickly became a cultural phenomenon, with the books and movies spawning their own sub-genre of would-be big-screen franchise imitators (the Percy Jackson series, EragonThe Golden Compass, etc.), with The Hunger Games as the current king (queen?) of YA-based franchises.

Of course, there was never really any doubt that we would return to the world of Harry Potter on the big screen at some point. The real question is just how much Potter-universe back-story Tsujihara, Rowling and company will bring to the table – could we expect the Fantastic Beast trilogy to serve as a proper prequel to the Harry Potter films, rather than just a story set in the same world? We can imagine more than a few fans turning out for something like that. Stay tuned for details on this new trilogy as details emerge.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in development at Warner Bros.

Source: NY Times

Follow Anthony Vieira on Twitter @malaclyptic
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  1. Sorry if I strayed out of topic a bit, but this is why Warner Brothers doesn’t need to rush (or as I’ve sensed, care too much) about the DC Universe movies. They have many other franchises that could bank them a great deal of money, without the risk of divisive reception. So until DC gets bold enough to finance their own movies (like Marvel Studios), honestly, don’t expect too much too soon too big of the DCCU.

    As for this new Fantastic Beast trilogy, with the current advancement of CG, it’s a given that it will be visually stunning. I like the idea, cause one thing that stood out the most with the Harry Potter series, were its magical creatures. However, does it truly need a ‘trilogy’? Does the source material available to accomplish such target? Oh well, I’d probably watch it anyway…

    • Speak the truth, my brotha! Haha but in all seriousness, this makes complete sense.

    • Don’t forget that they have a lot of big stand alone films. tom cruise sci fi films (Oblivion, edge of tomorrow) Christopher Nolan films (this year Interstellar and i also consider Transcendence) and The Wachowskis films (cloud Atlas, Jupiter ascending)
      when I think about it you can consider all of them as some sort of franchises but that not the point. They are totally fine without DC and it’s time they let them go.

      • oblivion is universals not wb

    • Everything needs to be a trilogy these days. Three movies and then a reboot for the next three. That’s the formula. Did they make just one Hobbit movie? Absolutely no. Should they have? Well, yeah, probably. I dunno who’s in charge, but it generally seems looked down on to have a movie that doesn’t have a slew of sequels, no matter how good, in multiples of 3.

  2. Should be easier to adapt than the Potter movies since it’s not based on any book…

  3. Aren’t the Planet of the Apes films under Fox, not Warner Bros?

    • Most definitely. Planet of the Apes has always been a Fox franchise.

      As for “Fantastic Beasts”…it could be great and I definitely welcome any sort of revival for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but honestly, there are far better ideas out there how this could be achieved. The thing Harry Potter franchise might do at some point is actually growing up!

      Going back to the Medieval founding days of Hogwarts, probably involving witch hunts, the Plague, Arthurian mythology etc. could have been a better way to tell a darker, more adult version of tales within the Potterverse. Game of Thrones meets Hogwarts, that sort of stuff…

      • I’ve always thought a more “open world” adult set-up would be cool; maybe even an organization of magic-users who track down rogue mages who flaunt their powers carelessly worldwide. If they include time travel, we could have a Days of Hogwart’s Past film! (don’t mind me, it’s late at work and I am juiced on coffee!)

  4. So from 1 book, WB is planning to make a trilogy outta it ?
    It’s the Hobbit all over again.

    How do you spell Cashcow ?

    • If I read correctly the book acted like a text book or something like that. So you can basically do anything as long as it fits into the lore of the world of harry potter.

  5. Before the HP franchise was over they said they would focus on their DCU, upon completion on HP. I’m still waiting for both to come to fruition.

  6. What about those other potential Potterverse films? I believe there was one about Quiddich (sp?), and I can’t remember the others. Weren’t they buying up domain names for a few new flicks?

  7. I’m quite skeptical of any “film franchise” taking a leaf out of The Hobbit’s film philosophy.

    I’ve written about The Hobbit extensively, all I can say is that it exemplifies everything that’s wrong with modern blockbuster movies.

    I love the world of Harry Potter, but you can’t go back home, not even with an in-world history saga.

    I wish J.K. Rowling had followed through with her Potter encyclopedia, THAT would have been a tasteful supplementary tie-in to the established world.

    I’m not completely putting these movies up to the cutting block just yet, but I’m pretty sure they’ve found another successful past franchise they can milk to the bone.

    Does anyone else think it’s kind of sad how this decade is rolling out with “sort-of” continuations of successful 2000′s movies? LOTR, Harry Potter, Star Wars…

    • I agree that The Hobbit films represent a lot of what’s wrong with franchise filmmaking, but not simply because it exists, in my opinion. The execution is what I see as problematic. A straight adaption of The Hobbit would have made perfect sense to me, as the source material predates LOTR.

      And I’m not sad at all about Star Wars. It was modeled on adventure serials from the beginning, and the prospect of new films (which hopefully will redeem the saga by getting back to the style of the original trilogy) makes me very happy.

    • “Does anyone else think it’s kind of sad how this decade is rolling out with “sort-of” continuations of successful 2000′s movies? LOTR, Harry Potter, Star Wars…”

      NOPE. These three franchises (+ Star Trek) are actually the primary reason I still get up every day :-)

      Sad is the insane amount of comic book properties wasted in one giant outburst of grandeur… without creating any sort of coherent universe… DC refusing to create one universe for both movies and TV shows, Marvel still being unable to create one universe do to rights being split, with Sony ruining Spider-Man and Fox ruining F4…

      Now THAT amount of 100+ comic book movies and 10+ TV shows, THAT is a huge cash grab and endeavour that will sadly fail in the end…

      As for new Star Wars, those Potter spin-offs written by JKR and the Hobbit trilogy, I’m perfectly fine and VERY enthusiastic…

  8. Warner Brothers has huge plans. The DCU and now Harry Potter is getting more treatment. They can use Potter to go up against Star Wars and pit Marvel and DC. People need to realize that Potter’s fanbase is very youthful and not as in touch with Star Wars. Which is a shame but I don’t blame them. I love HP too. I’m 18. But just saying , I can definitely see HP as good competition to Star Wars.

  9. So this is basically Harry potter’s prometheus. Same universe. Its own dang thing. Let just hope they understand what they want to do huh?

  10. This is nothing like the Hobbit films. The book that these films are being based on has no plot like a normal book. Its a text book, its literally just facts about Harry Potter creatures. Thats why I am very excited for these new films, its going to be all new content. The films are about the life of Newt Scamander and his adventures, which are not described in the book but are hinted at.

  11. So basically the Spiderwick Chronicles.

  12. I agree that a traditional retelling of The Hobbit would have been excellent, especially if the Peter Jackson of 10 years ago was directing it.

    Potterfan, I like the idea of Potter field guide of creatures, people, and obscure events, but I have no doubt they will incorporate some kind of hearkening to the Marvolo family. Perhaps, in his later years, Newt will even cross paths with Tom Riddle himself.

    It’s a very modern thing: prequel stories of epic works that artificially connect to the larger story.

  13. Right you guys are!

    It’s only going to be a good movie if Warner Brothers doesn’t rush it like they did Batman. They have to get the feel of the actual book right, which as far as I’ve seen is the war between the Muggles and all the Witches of Waverly or whatever it’s called.

    They have to get all the animals right from the book, otherwise it just won’t be an enjoyable movie. For sure in my opinion. Like they spent extra time just throwing in the Similarilian stories into the Hobbit, they need to do the same with Fantastic Beasts or it might not be a good story. Audiences want to see how all the Muggles and death warlocks and so on came to be, and how they started fighting a war.

  14. I really want Benedict Cumberbatch to star in this.

  15. Initially read that as “Fantastic Breasts and where to find them”…I was into that article like a shot!!!

  16. I really wanna see this film, and if Dumbledore is to ever appear as an old man by the end of the trilogy, he should be played by Ian McKellen coz i simply love his Gandalf(who i think is the inspiration for Dumbledore). I hated Michael Gambon’s prtrayal, esp in Order of the Phoenix, Richard Harris was nice though. And a young Dumbledore must be in the movies, there are many awesome actors who can portray him, and throw in Bathilda Bagshot cameo too. Maybe Grindelwald too.

  17. If a book of potterverse should be made into film, it is “The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore”. Story of young Dumbledore & Grindelwald and their final fight would make excellent source material for a screen adaption.

  18. I was hoping for an origin story about the founders of Hogwarts: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Slytherin.