Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling to Expand Harry Potter-verse
Posted September 12, 2013 01:52 PM by Webmaster
Earlier today, Warner Bros. announced a new partnership with "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling involving "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," Rowling's 2001 Harry Potter companion book and in-universe Hogwarts textbook. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series, with a screenplay written by Rowling herself. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters (including fictional author Newt Scamander), some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
The complete press release reads as follows:
"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.
"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."
"We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses," said Tsujihara. "She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us."
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.
The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling's literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.' chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.
"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.
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.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it."
I wish I was a big Harry Potter fan so I could be excited about this. Sure this may just be more of the same and just a reason to make more money, but this maybe even better than Harry Potter. I am hoping it is more adult in nature and less watching a couple of kids grow up. I know a lot of Harry Potter fans that will be very excited for this, wish I was one of those people, but I don't really care all that much. Maybe they'll cast ben Affleck.
Nah Graham, Ben isn't British, and Ms. Rowling only wants British actors in Potter films. Xeno...cough cough...
I finally watched the series on Blu ray, after failing to get through any of them on TV, and also failing to know what the hell was going on in them. But they are actually quite good once you do understand what's happening. Not sure I could get into any little fluffy animal spin-offs or anything like that though.
Hopefully "Fantastic Beasts" means large scale creatures and not some puny Hello Kitty crap. I would guess that most Harry Potter fans that started watching the films from the start are now into early adulthood, so I am also hoping for a non-child/teenage themed movie series that's completely "original".
I think these movies could as well be directed at a new generation rather than those who grew up with HP. Each generation should have something enchanting and cool to watch! This is most definitely not about "milking the cow". Tragic, if you see things like that. Why are you at all watching movies and supporting Hollywood then?
Surely I'm not happy with how Warner treated the releasing of the HP movies on BD, but that's is still another story and I hope they one day will make amends about that. Regardless, I choose to not seeing this as milking the audience for even more cash, as it was Rowling's own idea and it's her work, not Warner's. So it just seems unfair to attack her and this project.