Harry Potter's time at Hogwarts may have ended four years ago, but the magical, enthralling, and record-breaking world J.K. Rolling managed to create over the course of seven books still lives on - and still remains in high demand. Beyond Pottermore, the official Harry Potter book site, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park, two new projects will soon return
fans Muggles to the familiar land of dragons, house elves, and powerful wizards.
While the spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (adapted from the book of the same name) will hit the big screen late next year, Rowling recently announced she is in the process of developing a stage play titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Rowling has been adamant, however, that the play will not serve as a prequel. Coupled with the fact that Fantastic Beasts takes place 70 years before the original books' continuity, fans should not expect the much awaited return of Harry, Ron, and Hermione - at least, not in the aforementioned projects.
But there is hope yet. Chris Columbus, the director of the first two Harry Potter films, recently sat down with EW radio and discussed his own desire to helm a ninth installment, focusing on the years following the Battle of Hogwarts (and before that 19-years-later epilogue).
I would love to go back and do another one. Not 'Fantastic Beasts' as much, which I think is going to be amazing, but I would love to do another movie with those three characters — Harry, Hermione, and Ron. I’m just fascinated about what happened to them after the end of the last movie, because then they cut to 18 years ahead. There’s 18 years there of great 'Harry Potter' stories.
With fans chomping at the bit for another Harry Potter book - or any new story material, in general - Columbus is certainly not alone in wanting to know what happened to the characters after Voldemort's defeat. While Rowling filled in some of the gaps with several short stories released last year - the first of which caught up with a 34-year-old Harry and his friends at the Quidditch World Cup Final - she has merely whet the appetite for a more extensive exploration of Harry and Co.'s post-Hogwarts lives.
That said, Columbus made it pretty clear he has not approached Rowling just yet regarding a potential continuation, most likely due to his high level of respect for the author as well as her insistence that Harry's story has been told in full. Indeed, despite the voracious demand for another sequel, most - if not all - fans would agree that Rowling should be the one to write it (particularly in book-form first so that it becomes canon). It was her sole creative genius, after all, that spawned the entire magical empire, and it should be that same genius that decides to build upon it. As Columbus said, "She should do what she wants to do, but I really would love to know what’s in her head about those missing years."
You and every other Muggle still waiting for that Hogwarts acceptance letter. Until that letter arrives, though, fans can look forward to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as well as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child; better book those tickets to London now.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will begin its West End theatrical run in Summer 2016, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will arrive in theaters shortly after on November 18th, 2016.