By Amber Lena
By now all the Potterheads out there have probably heard about the upcoming "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film announced Thursday and even confirmed by the Lady herself, J.K. Rowling. As expected, the Internet promptly imploded with most fans rejoicing over the fact that the "Harry Potter" franchise they have grown up with will be expanding.
For the millions of Potterheads out there, the news that there will be another film in the Harry Potter world answers a prayer that been rampant on social media for a couple of years now. People aren't ready to move on from the Potterverse; Harry Potter is a way of life.
Sure, there are some downsides to another Potterverse film: for one, there is the persistent fear that this is just a money-making ploy (it is) and it will in some way ruin the Harry Potter magic (it won't). It's obvious that Warner Brother's is looking to tap into the Potter cash cow once more, but with J.K. Rowling writing the screenplay, fans can rest assured that the films will remain true to the magical world we all know and love.
Rowling and Warner Brothers have made some very smart decisions about this film already. Focusing on a character like Newt erases much of the concern about peeved fans arming themselves with flaming pitchforks because, Lord forbid, the series creator does something of which they don't approve to a character whom they love. Any character directly involved with Harry's life (including the main characters in the proceeding and following generation) lessens the chance that self-righteous fans will sit there and nitpick every little detail.
Setting the film in New York is another excellent decision. Though Newt himself is a Hogwarts alumni, this allows Rowling to answer many of the burning questions fans have about the Wizarding world in other countries, specifically the good ol' USA. Will we finally get to learn the names of American wizarding schools? What about the American Ministry? And holy-wizarding-crap, just think of all the American actors who will finally get a chance to be part of the Potter series!
Not only is the film in New York, it's in 1920's New York. While The Great Gatsby film wasn't exactly the huge success some expected, the Roaring 20's are totally in right now. Will they still be in whenever Rowling finally completes the script? Eh, maybe. But choosing a time period that is popular right now is a great way to get even more people talking about the film long before it has even gone into production.
More importantly, the early 1920's setting gives us a Newt Scamander who is in his 20's. This is absolutely HUGE. A lot of Harry Potter fans talk about growing up with the series... because a rather huge chunk of Harry Potter fans are now grown up. Giving the spinoff series a protagonist who is somewhere between the age of 23 and 30 continues the pattern of Potterheads being able to grow up with the series. Good life choices, Jo.
The interesting thing about a potential series is the fact that, while the 1920's and Newt are both fairly far removed from Hogwarts as we know it, they aren't so far removed that any crossover is out of the question. Will we see Dumbledore and McGonagall chatting up Newt in New York? Not likely. Will the films run the course of Newt's life, including the marriage of his grandson, Rolf, to fan-favorite Luna Lovegood? Highly unlikely. However, if the film turns into a series as planned, there's no telling what will happen.
And just maybe...
.@wbpictures @jk_rowling even if I'm too old to play Luna, can I go through 10 hours prosthetics to play a crumple-horned-snorkack. Please??
— Evanna Lynch (@Evy_Lynch) September 12, 2013