image by FairyWish23 on Deviantart
Feel free to panic everyone, regardless of whether you've got your towels - today a new movie set in the Harry Potter universe was announced. And this time, it's for real. Oh dear. The internet is in an uproar and abounds with all-caps speculation, but here is what we do know so far about the prequel...
1. The movie is about Newt Scamander, the great-grandfather of Luna Lovegood's husband, and it centers around his adventures. His name might be familiar to those who possess a copy of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" as this is the book he is most famous for writing in the Harry Potter world.
2. It will begin in New York City, approximately 70 years before the main tale of one orphan named Harry Potter begins. So, yes, period movie. In the 1920s. Can you say flapper witches? I need this in my life. Art deco wizardry.
3. It's written by JK Rowling, who felt that the only one adequately equipped for writing a movie about Newt Scamander is herself, and rightly so.
4. There will be a tie-in game, merchandise and new content exclusive to Pottermore.
Okay, I'm just going to leave you guys with the official statement from the Queen Herself, because I have a lot of screaming to do about my feelings, and I need to do it on my Harry Potter fanpage.
“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.
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.”
While some have called for a Marauders-era movie, or for a Founders-era movie, JK Rowling and Warner Brothers have chosen a very unexpected and unique angle that has not yet been beaten to death in fanfiction like the other two eras. Currently we do not know who will be cast as leads in this movie, nor whether it will actually be filmed in New York (although, as a New Yorker, I sincerely hope so). It will be extremely interesting to see this develop.