'Harry Potter' Movie Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts' Gets a Release Date

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them gets a release date

Right now, it's the Age of the Franchise in Hollywood - and in order to keep up with the competition (which is putting together shared movie universes of its own), you have to be willing to branch out, experiment, and explore new regions of the figurative sandbox that you've already built. Hence, Sony is making a Sinister Six spinoff of the Amazing Spider-Man movies; likewise, Lucasfilm will be releasing Star Wars character solo adventures alongside the upcoming main saga installments, while Paramount intends to usher in a new era of Terminator entertainment on both the big screen and small screen, beginning with a movie reboot in 2015.

Warner Bros., in the meantime, has Zack Snyder overseeing development on not just one, but two DC superhero crossover films - Batman vs. Superman and Justice League - which shall not only conclude the Superman movie trilogy that Snyder began with Man of Steel, but could also potentially give rise to spinoff vehicles for such Justice League members as Wonder Woman. That's not the only world under construction at Warners right now; the studio is revisiting the world of Harry Potter on the big screen with a spinoff movie titled Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them - written by HP creator J.K. Rowling and planned as the beginning chapter in a new film trilogy.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them book cover

Fantastic Beasts has yet to officially get either a director or cast, though Warner Bros. has gone ahead and given it a November 18th, 2016 release date for its debut in U.S. theaters. Rowling previously turned the fictional Fantastic Beasts textbook - referenced in the Harry Potter series - into a real-life short children's novel for charity. Since that book doesn't have an actual plot, though, Rowling's script will invent a narrative from scratch - with the only confirmed details so far being that the protagonist is Newt Scamander and his story (as the author put it) "will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway."

The month of November has long served the Harry Potter franchise well, with four of the previous eight installments having released that month to large opening weekends (starting with the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, back in 2001). Fellow best-selling young adult book series-turned blockbuster franchises Twilight and The Hunger Games have also done great business at the box office during that month, for various reasons (the Thanksgiving holiday boost, their broad appeal, etc.). Clearly, WB is hoping to follow suit with Fantastic Beasts, which also looks to cast a wide net, demographic-wise.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in U.S. theaters on November 18th, 2016.

Source: Warner Bros.

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