If you're a fan of the Harry Potter franchise, chances are strong that you've already heard the news: J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,' a film taking place in the Harry Potter universe but having nothing to do with the Boy Who Lived himself. This is terrific news. While we don't necessarily need more Harry Potter stories, we could definitely do with more stories taking place in Rowling's complex, clever and carefully constructed magical playground.
Since the concept of Harry Potter's world living on in additional films is no longer fantasy, let's take a moment to let our fanboy flags fly think about all of the stories we'd like to see. Harry's tale is done, but like Middle Earth before it, Rowling's wizarding world feels big enough to sustain countless stories from countless time periods from countless viewpoints. Here are the additional stories we'd like to see make it to the screen one day.
The First War Against Voldemort
The Harry Potter series kicks off eleven years after the defeat of the evil dark wizard Voldemort and takes place in a world that is still struggling to rebuilt and heal itself. Although we only glimpse the time before Harry's birth in occasional flashbacks and a few first-hand accounts, what we do see is some of the darkest and most fascinating stuff in the entire story. The first clash with Voldemort was a lengthy battle of espionage, with Death Eaters infiltrating the highest ranks of wizarding society and secretive resistance groups popping all over England to combat the threat to their way of lives. It all sounds very much like an epic spy novel or a story torn from the French Resistance during World War II. Just with, you know, magic. Although we already know the outcome, this is one slice of J.K. Rowling's world that we'd love to see in more detail.
One of the great delights of Harry Potter's world has been to see magical people co-exist with normal people (Muggles) in a modern world, but we can't help but wonder what the wizarding world of old looked like. What better way to see the past of this universe than the story of the founding of the Hogwarts School For Witchcraft and Wizardry? As we know from the books and films, Hogwarts was founded by Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin during the 10th century. Considered the most powerful witches and wizards of their age, the four of them supposedly had their fair share of clashes, with Slytherin eventually leaving the school when the others wouldn't bow to his demands to only admit pure-blooded students. For fans, this would be a great opportunity to see the roots of the world seen in the books and films. For everyone else, it would be an epic tale of magic and mystery set in Medieval England. It sounds compelling from either viewpoint.
The Further Adventures of the Weasley Clan
Look, we couldn't care less about what happens to Harry Potter after the events of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.' While we like the guy, he has the Buffy Summers problem -- he's always the least interesting guy in the series that bears his name. If the Harry Potter franchise ever told stories that take place after the events of the seventh book/eighth film, we'd be far more interested in what happened to the massive Weasley clan. Consisting of Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Percy, George (R.I.P., Fred), Ron and Ginny, the Weasley family were always Harry's staunchest allies and the reader's gateway into the wizarding world. Full of all the life and personality lacking in Harry, they're the real heart and soul of the series, making us wish the books and movies would follow them on their daily lives instead of following Harry on his adventures.
The Many Adventures of Dumbledore
When we meet Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, he's already a wizened old man and a bit of a weirdo, the kind of eccentric old man that every person deserves to know and learn from at some point in their life. As the series progresses, we learn more about the man and it soon becomes clear that there are countless crazy stories lurking underneath those wrinkles and that epic beard. Born into a fractured family, the young Dumbledore set out on a series of insane adventures that would ultimately see him battle the dark wizard and former ally Gellert Grindelwald in an epic duel to the death. The real kicker? Dumbledore, revealed to be gay by J.K. Rowling herself, was in love with Grindelwald. It may all take place in the margins of books, but Dumbledore's life is just as exciting as that of Harry Potter.
Here's the elevator pitch: what if you took 'The West Wing' and set it in the world of Harry Potter, following the magical government as it attempts to rebuild following the events of the final book and film? Our glimpses at the extremely complicated and frequently corrupt Ministry of Magic have been major highlights of the Harry Potter series and it's easy to imagine a gripping TV series taking place there. If the governing of a realistic world can make for compelling watching, just imagine the possibilities with a series about the politics of a fantasy world. It would probably be the closest we'd ever get to getting some 'Game of Thrones' in our Harry Potter and that's perfectly fine with us.