‘Harry Potter’ Spin-off Series: What Will Make It So ‘Fantastic’

Magical creatures and the Big Apple should make 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' an exciting return to the wizarding world.

When Warner Bros. announced a new film series inspired by J.K. Rowling’s 2001 Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the author expressed her newfound eagerness to return to the “Harry Potter” universe. Rowling had said she would only revisit the wizarding world for an idea she’s “really excited about,” and in a statement this week, she said, “This is it.”

It’s safe to say that her fans are even more excited for it.

There’s much that we don’t yet know about the film series — which will be scripted by Rowling herself — but we do know that it will involve Newton (“Newt”) Artemis Fido Scamander, renowned expert on magical creatures and “author” of the 1927 guide “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Born in 1897, the Hogwarts graduate spent much of his life traveling the globe to study these creatures in their natural habitats. So anyone who’s keenly followed the adventures of Harry and company can look forward to seeing centaurs, trolls, merpeople, puffskeins, basilisks, and, of course, dragons.

We also know that, as Rowling noted, “Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.” After so many years of witnessing the wizards, witches and Muggles that live across the pond, the move to America is a refreshing change. And the streets of early twentieth-century Manhattan will be that much more interesting with magic added to the mix.

Rowling explained that “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series.” But the lack of a Harry, Hermione and Ron in this new series doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of other beloved characters. To see Hagrid, for instance, as a not-so-wee lad making friends with nifflers and knarls would warm the heart of any fan.

What do you want to see in “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”? Let us know in the comments section below!