Thursday brought some big news for Harry Potter fans, namely that a five new movies are on the way. During a Global Fan Event for ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,’ J.K. Rowling announced that the Harry Potter prequel spinoff will be followed by four sequels, and that she’s already completed the script for the second film. The event featured a live-streamed panel with the movie’s cast, then afterwards showed the audience an exclusive sneak peek of the new movie.
Warner Bros. is seriously banking on a resurgence of Harry Potter fever. At a fan event in London on Thursday, J.K. Rowling herself confirmed that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hasn’t even come out in theaters yet, will be a five-film franchise.
The very first Harry Potter movie opened 15 years ago next month. Fifteen years. A lot has changed in blockbuster movies over the past decade and a half – superheroes are now front and center, CG has advanced to remarkable degrees, and remakes, prequels and spin-offs are filling the movie theaters. But J.K. Rowling’s magical world was one of the most original series of its time. Before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened on November 18, 2001, the only major movies for kids born in the ‘80s and ‘90s were animated films from Disney and Dreamworks. The 21st Century also brought with it the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings series, but Harry Potter introduced a whole new era of fantasy blockbusters for kids (Chronicles of Narnia, The Golden Compass, Twilight, etc.). It gave millennials the first major family franchise of their generation.
Much of the appeal of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter website Pottermore lies in the extra bits the site dishes out from time to time, often from Rowling herself, as she expands on the Wizarding World’s universe. To prepare us all for the imminent Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she’s published a few short histories of magic in America, where the film takes place. Today, she came out with another about the formation of MACUSA, the governing body of magic in the U.S., and how it fits in with American history as we know it.
This year we got a new ‘Harry Potter’ book and play, a new ‘Harry Potter’ spinoff, and now we’re getting a spinoff sequel. It’s a very good time to be a ‘Harry Potter’ fan.
A few weeks ago, Daniel Radcliffe gave a very diplomatic answer when asked if he would ever consider a return to the Harry Potter franchise. And while the actor admitted that he would never close the door to the possibility — for the right script and with the right people involved — it turns out he may not have a franchise to return to. As reported by io9, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling told reporters at the premiere of London stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that her beloved character was done after the events of the play.
One of the major truths of the entertainment industry is that there will never be a more interesting movie than the one you haven’t yet made. This weekend, while The Legend of Tarzan director David Yates was gently trying to nudge conversations towards his film currently in theaters, people were understandably curious about his upcoming return to Hogwarts, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. And Yates let a particularly interesting piece of information drop.
When J.K. Rowling first revealed there was an American version of Howgarts, Harry Potter fans west of the Atlantic Ocean collectively freaked out. We too get our own school of witchcraft and wizardry?! Yep, and now we know a ton of new details about the school’s history, houses, and founder.
Not to point fingers, but with president Barack Obama’s number of days left in office gradually ticking down, it’s starting to look like he may just be using the powers of the position to meet all the cool famous people he can before his time’s up. Think about it: under the guise of a roundtable on urban opportunity and racial injustice, Obama summoned a star-studded lineup of hip-hop’s finest to the White House including Chance the Rapper, Pusha T, Rick Ross, Janelle Monáe, Nicki Minaj, Common, and Ludacris, among others just a couple weeks ago. I can speak only for myself, but if I was elected President, that’s the first thing I would do.
J.K. Rowling may be done with the Harry Potter book series, but that hasn’t kept the author from indulging in and expanding its magical universe. Between the upcoming play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, there’s no shortage of new Potter-verse materials arriving this year — but Rowling has another surprise for fans, as the author is releasing FOUR new supplementary stories to help prepare you for Fantastic Beasts.