Warner Brothers and J.K. Rowling have announced a series of spin-off feature films based on Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Are you excited about it? I am very overwhelmed by it, both because I have no grasp on the Harry Potter series and don’t know how to talk about it, and because it now feels like these films could go on for infinity and it is hard to wrap my mind around the idea of infinity/the idea that there will be no end to films that take place within the Harry Potter universe. Is anyone else short of breath? Like your chest is caving in, kind of? Are we falling, or is the whole world falling? Why is it getting so dark?! From the press release:

Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.

J.K. Rowling explained her position a bit further, as well, and if I weren’t deep within the Earth without the ability to move my arms or use my eyes I’d be able to read it, but oh well! You can read it yourself, unless you’re down here with me:

“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.”

Jesus Christ, is there no end to the knowledge one could have about Harry Potter?! “As fans of the series will know, in the prequel to Rolf’s universe the Slither Toads refused to share magic with anyone but the Wombzers, but Mr. Tidde put a stop to that in the Brave War of Beasts, though he was once a Slither Toad himself, and was banished to the Cave of Time, where the Timey Crawl Universe is found — and there, of course, is where one of my favorite characters, Ms. Penelope Punch was born, and in her early life–” etc. TOO MUCH, I CANNOT BREATHE WITH ALL OF IT. But what about you? Are you psyched? Still have your full range of motion/field of vision? (You can read the full press release here.)

Comments (62)
  1. As long as it doesn’t end with a flash forward, whatever.

  2. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them sounds like a knock-off Where the Wild Things Are.

  3. Hot Neville: Botany Professor was where I placed my Galleons, but whatever Hollywood.

  4. “Is that a wand in your pocket or are you excited about the new not-Harry Potter movie??”

  5. “It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of MONEY”

    • You’re right, of course, but did you know that JK has given so many gazillions of dollars to charity that she bumped herself off the UK’s Richest McRicherson’s list? That’s pretty cool.

      • I did know that. Being British ‘n all. If I’m honest, I don’t have a problem AT ALL with JK Rowling, she strikes me as a lovely woman and I sat but a few metres away from her at Wimbledon this year and she seemed really nice and normal.

        What I don’t like is Harry sodding Potter. Because I’m a grump.

        • Sorry, I didn’t know you were British.

        • One of my best friends also hates Harry Potter, and she used to say it was because she didn’t like adults reading children’s books. But then she started reading Hunger Games. So I just don’t know what her problem is. Evidently HP isn’t dystopian enough for her.

          • I’ve heard the “adults shouldn’t read children’s books” argument before, and I don’t get it. Yes, a lot of young adult stuff is crap. So is a lot of adult stuff. If a book is interesting and fun to read, I really don’t care how old the protagonist is.

          • I liked Noughts & Crosses, that’s technically a kids’ book, and I liked (DON’T JUDGE ME) Twilight as a novel. Maybe it’s cos I had to translate most of the 1st HP book into German for my finals…

            But I also can’t knock anything that gets kids reading, so I’m just all over torn and I wish I had never started this.

          • Nah, I like HP but I also have a lot of issues with it. I can totally understand why it’s not for everyone–it’s just the weird attitude towards YA lit I encounter sometimes that seems, well, weird. (Like, presumably those people read when they were kids, and liked the stuff they read…? So, why assume it’s all bad now?)

          • That argument also* didn’t make sense to me as someone who started reading Harry Potter when it was age appropriate (I was 12 when I was given books 1 and 2! 13 when the third was first published). Don’t tell me you just stop loving things that were huge to you as a kid just because you’re an adult now, so it’s all taxes and Breaking Bad.

            *Besides just, read whatever you want, life’s too short to care what other people think about your books.

          • Exactly! And maybe it’s because I read a lot of fantasy, but there’s not all that much difference between the (good) YA and the adult stuff, other than the characters being younger.

          • I was thinking about this, and I actually really dislike age-categorizing literature. Let’s just categorize them around meaningful descriptors. YA is really “unashamed to use readable language, sensible enough spend less than a full-ass page on a description of a vase, and not trying to hard to be Infinite Jest, all while having the goal of having the reader unconflictedly enjoy the story and characters…” although YA does have a certain snappiness to it…

        • Ooooh, do you have details on Pippa? She’s my FAVORITE.

          • Pips? Oh I love Pips too. I have sadly never had the pleasure, but I feel like it’s just a matter of time till our paths cross.

          • Sorry, that sounds really sinister. I meant, cos we’re clearly both savvy fun-loving girls who hang out in very cool circles.

          • I love her columns. I used to hate read them and now I just love them. And her insane charity runs and skiing across various Alps for the kids or whatever. And her love of Pimm’s. And her life advice. So useful!!

            What I *really* love is how insane the comments get about the Middleton family — people have very VERY strong opinions on them and I find that really entertaining.

          • It’s so dumb. They’re people! Stop being mean! I also want all of all of their clothes, even Michael’s.

          • Remarkably, impressively mean.

          • it’s 50% pure jealousy, and 50% this weird thing we have where we don’t like people doing well and we have to knock them down. (so 100% jealousy, basically)

          • Oh we could use some tall Poppy syndrome or whatever it is called. Yes we could.

        • I hated Harry Potter when it started coming out when I was a 17-year-old snob who was too cool for my own good, but then when I was a 21-year-old snob who knew other snobs who were VERY into Harry Potter I started reading (and watching and loving) everything about it!

          I am also very very susceptible to huge cultural obsessions, though.

  6. I’m cautiously excited? The book was a fun little read, but it was basically an encyclopedia, so it’s hard to say what the film would be like just from that. It could be good though! Maybe! Anything is possible!

    • That’s what I was thinking! But after the success of What To Expect When You’re Expecting, I have nothing but confidence in films based off non-fiction. (Harry Potter’s non-fiction, right?)

  7. This is Spin-Off Week, I guess?

  8. I can say with some confidence that this will be stupid. I love Harry Potter but I have very little confidence in JK Rowling being a good screenwriter.

  9. I hope it stars Barry Potter, Harry’s heretofore unmentioned younger brother who has a knack for getting into trouble…with magic.

  10. I am excited about it, goshdarnit! And you grumpy Monsters aren’t going to take that away from me! *builds a barricade, waves a flag with like, the Hogwarts crest on it, from behind said barricade*

    • You’re just excited because that means a series of new rides at the Harry Potter theme park, which you totally go to every day.

    • On a serious note, JK Rowling may be a rubbish screenwriter, but I am a huge sucker for mythology and world building. I’ve read the entire Silmarillion and all of the LOTR appendices for goodness sake! So yeah, something that sets up the world of Harry Potter, I’m so down for. I was telling friends just a few weeks ago that if she wrote Hogwarts: A History I would read the pants off it.

      • Real question: is butterbeer good or gross? What wand did you get? How much is a ride and how much is it a theme mall with wizard/faux English crap attached on the side of walls (like how “Paris” is a theme in Las Vegas)?

        • It’s gross!

          • Aw, I like the butterbeer! I like the frozen butterbeer anyway. It’s basically, like, cream soda & butterscotch?

            And ALTHOUGH my wand totally “selected” me at Ollivander’s I so did not buy it because they’re like $40 and I am an adult and no.

            The Hogwarts ride is 1000% legit. And walking through the castle itself is hella cool. One of my cousins actually works for the company that helped develop the technology that created the moving portraits and they are just SOOO neat. They really do look like oil paintings moving around!

            The rest of it is pretty much just a very well executed theme mall, though. Very well done, with lots of input from the movie designers (from what I understand) but still, there are like 4 or 5 shops and 3 rides. Two of those rides were already there and just got re-jiggered to fit the Harry Potter theme.

          • I totally would’ve bought the wand in a haze of I’m-on-vacation giddiness and then got home and thought, “…Great. Now I have a $40 plastic stick.”

        • Agreed. Too sweet. Needs vodka.

        • I don’t know about the official Harry Potter World butterbeer, but the grownup butterbeer my sister made for my Harry Potter viewing party last fall had rum in it and was delicious.

    • You’re not alone. Please let me into the barricade so we can DISH.

    • I am so very excited!! I’m excited for it to be set 70 years before HP so it means even sillier wizarding clothing, I hope.

      I’m very jealous you were just at the Wizarding World. I love the Butterbeer! I may or may not, who can say, use my Butterbeer mug often for less exciting drinks.

  11. The thing I said about the Better Call Saul spinoff?

    Repeat that here please. x10

  12. Any other Jane’s Addiction fans start humming “cash in now honey, cash in now baby” (Mountain Song) when shit like this comes out?

  13. @ladyrainicorn really? that is truly excellent, what a wonderful woman!

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