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

09.12.2013

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 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."

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 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," 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 Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

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

The Studio’s 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. Rowling’s 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.

Rowling’s 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 couldn’t 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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