When Warner Brothers announced last September that JK Rowling would write the script for a new movie set in the Harry Potter universe, few details were known other than that the movie would be based on the 42 page magical zoology book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Thanks to a new article in the NY Times, we now know that there will be not one but 3 movies. Details are still thin but we do know that the author is enthusiastic:
The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.
Convincing the famously independent Ms. Rowling to dive back into film was a coup. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Ms. Rowling said in response to emailed questions. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”
The character of Newt Scamander was mentioned in the first Harry Potter novel as the author of Fantastic Beasts. That book generated such interest that it was later published in 2001 as a faux zoology book.
There are still no firm details on production or when the movies will debut, but Rowling has said elsewhere that she wrote the initial script in 12 days. She had always had a back story in mind for the character:
Warner Bros. came to me ages ago and said they wanted to do something with Fantastic Beasts. I could see the potential in it. I knew something about Newt [Scamander, the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts] having written a little something for Comic Relief. I had imagined a little bit of back story for him...