Not long ago an April Fool’s spoof from 2012, in which Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling said she was writing two new Potter books, strangely made the internet rounds all over again.
This isn’t that. But now that does seem prescient.
New Potterverse films really are coming from Warner Brothers, producers of the Harry Potter film series.
No, this is not an April Fool’s, not a drill, and not a Quibbler article. Instead it’s being reported everywhere — such as at the Financial Post — along with a Warner Brothers press release.
- Not a sequel to the Harry Potter series, or prequels, Rowling has said.
- Based on Fantastic Beasts And Where to Find Them, a textbook series in the Potterverse.
- Main character: textbook author Newt Scamander.
- Will start in New York City, 70 years before Harry’s era. American wizards at last?
- You “this is turning into franchise fatigue; only books with words make for better higher transcendent culture!” critics can start moaning now: we’ll also have video games, theme park expansions, internet links, etc.
- Film release timing uncertain.
- Screenwriter? This may be the most significant news. From the press release comes this quote from J.K. Rowling herself:
“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.
“As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.”