Has there been a giant, gaping hole in your life since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 came out two years ago? Well, now is the time to rejoice, Potterheads: Another Harry Potter movie is on the way!
Fair warning, though: Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his pals probably won’t appear in it. According to Deadline, the movie will be “inspired by” Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the mini version of Harry’s Hogwarts textbook J.K. Rowling released in 2001.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and its companion book, Quidditch Through the Ages, benefit the charity Comic Relief, with over 80 percent of the cover price of each book sold going directly to aid poor children around the globe. In the eleven(!) years it’s been in print, it’s raised over £17 million. Neither tome has Jo’s name on the cover; in keeping with the spirit of the wizarding world, Quidditch Through the Ages bears the name Kennilworthy Whisp, while Fantastic Beasts is attributed to Newt Scamander.
As such, the new movie will feature Newt as its protagonist. Said Jo about it:
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen 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. 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, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”
A few of the covers ‘Fantastic Beasts’ has had over the years.
Whether this means that it will take place 70 years before Harry was born (1980, for the curious) or 70 years before the events of Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s/Philosopher’s Stone remains to be seen; depending on which way you do the math, it places Fantastic Beasts in 1910 or 1921. There are arguments for both years—according to the book itself, the first edition of Fantastic Beasts was commissioned in 1918 (although it wasn’t published until 1927). If we’re talking 1910, then we might be looking at the events of young Newt’s life leading up to the commission; if we’re talking 1921, then we’ll probably get something based around Newt’s adventures researching and writing the book.
Jo will be writing the screenplay—as she put it, “Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt…. 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.”—although we don’t yet know who will be directing it, let alone starring in it. Exciting news, though, isn’t it?
Happy Friday, Bettys!
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s senior editor.