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Author J.K. Rowling will team with Warner Bros. for new Harry-Potter inspired film series

Sep. 12, 2013by:

Accio, money!

Just when you thought the days of Hogwarts, butterbeer, dementors, and Emma Watson getting hotter with every movie were over, Warner Bros. has pulled author J.K. Rowling back into the franchise business. According to the press release, Rowling will kick off her screenwriting debut for "a new film series from Rowlings world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potters Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the adventures of the books fictitious author, Newt Scamander."

So, for those that feared (or hoped) to see the further adventures of Harry Potter it appears you'll have to settle in for a new set of characters. As a fan of the HARRY POTTER books and films, I'm game for this. Rowling is a very imaginitive author and I have no doubt that this series will continue to mine from that. Some folks have an aversion to the material, for whatever reason, but for me, HARRY POTTER was always the "top tier" of the children/young adult adaptations and it sounds like Warner Bros. is going to pony up some big bucks to see this come to fruition. After a $2.3 billion take for the franchise, wouldn't you?

More from the press release below:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be an original story and will mark Rowlings 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," said Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

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, said Rowling. 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 Newts story will start in New York, seventy years before Harrys gets underway.

In addition to the film series, Fantastic Beasts will also be developed across the Studios video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowlings digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.

The Studios expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.

In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowlings upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of The Casual Vacancy, her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014.

Rowlings expanded quote regarding Fantastic Beasts is below:

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 couldnt dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.

What do you think? Cash grab or Smart venture? Maybe both?

Extra Tidbit: If you've never seen the Harry Potter films, I give them my recommendation. They get significantly better and darker from start to finish and make for a hell of a series for the genre.
Source: Warner Bros.

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7:08AM on 09/13/2013

Not your typical cash grab...

Usually that's reserved for artists who didn't make enough early in their careers and didn't know how to financially manage what they had.

No, in this case, she's still too rich to be described that way. I'd say this is Warner Brothers wanting to keep going back to the well, realizing that if they don't that Potter *will* get stale, and things like the theme parks, etc will start to lose their own draw.

Thus I categorize this as WB saying "let's keep it fresh" and Rowling's LAWYER
Usually that's reserved for artists who didn't make enough early in their careers and didn't know how to financially manage what they had.

No, in this case, she's still too rich to be described that way. I'd say this is Warner Brothers wanting to keep going back to the well, realizing that if they don't that Potter *will* get stale, and things like the theme parks, etc will start to lose their own draw.

Thus I categorize this as WB saying "let's keep it fresh" and Rowling's LAWYER reminder her never, ever, ever to relinquish creative control of any of her works if she wants to remain rich for life.

And for the record, I'm in the group of folks who read every book (twice) , saw every film, and will openly acknowledge that Rowling has TWO factors that contribute to how I feel about the books:
1) Imagination
2) Below average storytelling
These two unfortunately class too often for me to put her in "top tier" of YA fiction.
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4:21AM on 09/13/2013
"Newts story will start in New York, seventy years before Harrys gets underway"

Harry Potter: The Previous Generation.

Seriously, it sounds like Harry Potter meets Jack Ryan. You have an adult protagonist who writes textbooks for Hogwarts. It's an interesting premise. Of course, if it is 70 years before Harry Potter started then that's about 80 or 90 years ago, right? I mean the series has gone twelve years already with Sorceror's Stone having come out in 2001.
"Newts story will start in New York, seventy years before Harrys gets underway"

Harry Potter: The Previous Generation.

Seriously, it sounds like Harry Potter meets Jack Ryan. You have an adult protagonist who writes textbooks for Hogwarts. It's an interesting premise. Of course, if it is 70 years before Harry Potter started then that's about 80 or 90 years ago, right? I mean the series has gone twelve years already with Sorceror's Stone having come out in 2001.
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12:48AM on 09/13/2013
I disagree with the notion that the HP films get better as they go along. Half-Blood Prince was by far the worst out of all of them. Deathly Hallows Part 1 wasn't much better. Just my opinion of course... :)
I disagree with the notion that the HP films get better as they go along. Half-Blood Prince was by far the worst out of all of them. Deathly Hallows Part 1 wasn't much better. Just my opinion of course... :)
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4:22AM on 09/13/2013
Half Blood Prince was boring but Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 were pretty good considering their total length.
Half Blood Prince was boring but Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2 were pretty good considering their total length.
9:17AM on 09/13/2013
DH Part 2 was fantastic. Part 1 was 85% unnecessary filler.
DH Part 2 was fantastic. Part 1 was 85% unnecessary filler.
12:19AM on 09/13/2013
The wizarding world she created is outstanding. It should be nice to see it branch out into other places, as this one begins in New York. I expect we'll see a young Dumbledore at some point, maybe McGonagall.
The wizarding world she created is outstanding. It should be nice to see it branch out into other places, as this one begins in New York. I expect we'll see a young Dumbledore at some point, maybe McGonagall.
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7:11AM on 09/13/2013
I would also like to see it expanded. I don't consider it outstanding though, as it has a number of nonsensical and self-conflicting issues. (Examples: Currency not in base 10 ; Changing how the "no underage magic" law is enforced as she went along)
I would also like to see it expanded. I don't consider it outstanding though, as it has a number of nonsensical and self-conflicting issues. (Examples: Currency not in base 10 ; Changing how the "no underage magic" law is enforced as she went along)
9:49PM on 09/12/2013
doesn't surprise me. The previous films made bank at the theaters. I've only ever seen the first though.
doesn't surprise me. The previous films made bank at the theaters. I've only ever seen the first though.
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6:37PM on 09/12/2013
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find them?
OMG, they're doing a live action Pokemon ripoff. :)
Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find them?
OMG, they're doing a live action Pokemon ripoff. :)
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-10
5:23PM on 09/12/2013
What else can you do with a dead horse other than beat it?
What else can you do with a dead horse other than beat it?
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4:47PM on 09/12/2013
A movie based on a textbook. What could possibly go wrong?
A movie based on a textbook. What could possibly go wrong?
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6:37PM on 09/12/2013
You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. In the Harry Potter world, textbooks are written in a whimsical manner by whimsical writers who gained knowledge in whimsical ways through whimsical adventures.
You clearly have no idea what you're talking about. In the Harry Potter world, textbooks are written in a whimsical manner by whimsical writers who gained knowledge in whimsical ways through whimsical adventures.
2:01PM on 09/12/2013

Makes sense

Like any other fantasy series, there's plenty of room to expand the universe so I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes--especially in relation to introducing Tom Riddle and possibly Dumbledore eventually.
Like any other fantasy series, there's plenty of room to expand the universe so I'm looking forward to seeing where this series goes--especially in relation to introducing Tom Riddle and possibly Dumbledore eventually.
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1:57PM on 09/12/2013
I was just thinking that most of us can agree this is probably a possible cash cow for WB. So, this could possibly allow WB to take more risk on DC properties.
I was just thinking that most of us can agree this is probably a possible cash cow for WB. So, this could possibly allow WB to take more risk on DC properties.
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1:35PM on 09/12/2013
Well I guess when you fail as a serious writer as she just did with her "Secret Book" sales only took off after people knew who she was. You have to go back to the well and pump it until its dry.
Well I guess when you fail as a serious writer as she just did with her "Secret Book" sales only took off after people knew who she was. You have to go back to the well and pump it until its dry.
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3:04PM on 09/12/2013
That's not Rowling's nature at all. She has always wanted to do more with the HP universe, such as when she wrote Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was a text book Hermione carried, but Rowling went ahead and made it into something her fans can own. There are a shitload of interesting characters in the HP, each with their own long histories that are not thoroughly explored in the core 7 novels. She could write several novels about Hagrid's upbringing, or the founding of Hogwarts, or she could flesh
That's not Rowling's nature at all. She has always wanted to do more with the HP universe, such as when she wrote Tales of Beedle the Bard. It was a text book Hermione carried, but Rowling went ahead and made it into something her fans can own. There are a shitload of interesting characters in the HP, each with their own long histories that are not thoroughly explored in the core 7 novels. She could write several novels about Hagrid's upbringing, or the founding of Hogwarts, or she could flesh out the story of the 3 brothers who were given the Deathly Hallows. She could write a novel about how Ollivander became a wand maker. There are tons and tons of very interesting characters whose placements and actions in the 7 novels are undoubtedly dictated by interesting histories.
5:53PM on 09/12/2013
Double fail. THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was not only picked up by a publisher who had no clue it was Rowling, but sold respectably for a debut novel by an unknown writer. The reviews (also by people who had no idea who the author was) were also uniformly positive.

In fact, the truth came out when a reviewer for The Sunday Times commented on how strong the writing was for a debut novel, and wondered if "Robert Galbraith" was a pseudonym for an established writer.

Some common sense advice:
Double fail. THE CUCKOO'S CALLING was not only picked up by a publisher who had no clue it was Rowling, but sold respectably for a debut novel by an unknown writer. The reviews (also by people who had no idea who the author was) were also uniformly positive.

In fact, the truth came out when a reviewer for The Sunday Times commented on how strong the writing was for a debut novel, and wondered if "Robert Galbraith" was a pseudonym for an established writer.

Some common sense advice: check your facts before spouting off.
1:08PM on 09/12/2013

No Shovelface

Possible cameos of some characters should lock in the appeal for this. Let's see where this goes.
Possible cameos of some characters should lock in the appeal for this. Let's see where this goes.
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12:58PM on 09/12/2013
This could be really cool. One area they could tie this franchise into the Harry Potter franchise is to include Ron Weasley's oldest brother in the cast. In the books he's a character who works with dragons, [link] them, etc. His character was never fully realized in the movies (as compared to the books), but he was a really cool character to have in the background. It would be great if she used this as an opportunity to flesh him out more as a character. Also, Luna Lovegood got married?
This could be really cool. One area they could tie this franchise into the Harry Potter franchise is to include Ron Weasley's oldest brother in the cast. In the books he's a character who works with dragons, [link] them, etc. His character was never fully realized in the movies (as compared to the books), but he was a really cool character to have in the background. It would be great if she used this as an opportunity to flesh him out more as a character. Also, Luna Lovegood got married? Does that mean they could potentially have her in the new movies as well? Just sounds like a great concept.
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1:15PM on 09/12/2013
70 years before Harry Potter.
Luna and Ron's brother are far too young to have been alive 70 years prior to the events of Harry Potter.
70 years before Harry Potter.
Luna and Ron's brother are far too young to have been alive 70 years prior to the events of Harry Potter.
12:51PM on 09/12/2013
Rowling is an excellent story writer.really look forward to these films.hope they somehow get Daniel radcliffe into this.can't imagine that world without him
Rowling is an excellent story writer.really look forward to these films.hope they somehow get Daniel radcliffe into this.can't imagine that world without him
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1:16PM on 09/12/2013
That's not a good mindset. Harry Potter sets the core of the franchise, but it doesn't mean every single story revolves around him. Let the franchise expand.
That's not a good mindset. Harry Potter sets the core of the franchise, but it doesn't mean every single story revolves around him. Let the franchise expand.
11:56AM on 09/12/2013
It appears that Warner Bros. has finally found it's next money tree. I loved the intro to the article: "Accio money." It made me belt out a good laugh. Aside from that, I'm excited to see more of this as it develops. Yes. I'm a 33 year old guy that has read the entire book series in the past couple of years & just finished his latest Potter movie marathon last week. I enjoy the characters & the story. It's 1 of the book & film treasures that I can't wait to introduce my children to when they're
It appears that Warner Bros. has finally found it's next money tree. I loved the intro to the article: "Accio money." It made me belt out a good laugh. Aside from that, I'm excited to see more of this as it develops. Yes. I'm a 33 year old guy that has read the entire book series in the past couple of years & just finished his latest Potter movie marathon last week. I enjoy the characters & the story. It's 1 of the book & film treasures that I can't wait to introduce my children to when they're old enough.
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11:53AM on 09/12/2013
If she's writing, then I'm all for it.
If she's writing, then I'm all for it.
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+17
11:45AM on 09/12/2013
Fuck yes. Just because it takes place 70 years before the main series, doesn't mean a lot of characters can't return. After all, Dumbledore was something like 125 years old when he died.
Fuck yes. Just because it takes place 70 years before the main series, doesn't mean a lot of characters can't return. After all, Dumbledore was something like 125 years old when he died.
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11:33AM on 09/12/2013
I'm not going to lie, I am unashamedly excited for this.
I'm not going to lie, I am unashamedly excited for this.
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