Fear not, "Potter" heads: There will be new additions to the cinematic wizarding world, sooner than you can say "accio spinoff."
Well, perhaps not quite that soon. But there are indeed "Harry Potter" spinoff films in the works, thanks to J.K. Rowling's announced "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." That's right: films, plural. What was once previously believed to be a one-off project has now been identified as a series of "three megamovies," as revealed in a New York Times profile on new Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara.
"When I say he made 'Fantastic Beasts' happen, it isn't P.R.-speak but the literal truth," says Rowling. "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!"
Based on the charity novel of the same name Rowling wrote many years ago, "Fantastic Beasts" chronicles the adventures of Newt Scamander, a magizoologist who studied the wizarding world's fantastic flora and fauna nearly a century before the days of Harry, Hermione and Ron. Rowling herself penned the screenplay, with no directors, actors or even a release date announced at this time.
"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the 'Harry Potter' series, but an extension of the wizarding world," Rowling revealed months ago, when news of "Fantastic Beasts" first broke. "The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the 'Harry Potter' books or seen the films, but Newt's story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry's gets underway."
While Rowling insists that "Fantastic Beasts" will focus on new corners of the wizarding world, plenty of the old "Harry Potter" guard have expressed interest in reprising their roles, including Hermione Granger actress Emma Watson.
Are you looking forward to the "Harry Potter" spinoffs?