So, you can imagine my excitement when J.K. Rowling announced she would be returning to the world of Harry Potter. No, it isn't a prequel or a sequel. It's better. Harry Potter is the perfect, self-contained story about a boy who comes of age. There isn't anything left to tell in Harry's story. But the wizarding world universe is fertile grounds for other stories. And that is where this new story finds us.
J.K. Rowling will write the screenplay for a new movie that revolves around Newton "Newt" Artemis Fido Scamander. Casual Harry Potter fans probably don't recognize the name, but the more hard-core among us know that he is the author of one of Harry's textbooks, Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them.
J.K. Rowling published Fantastic Beasts, along with Quidditch Through the Ages, in 2001 to raise money for Comic Relief, a charity based in the UK. Both books are meant to belong to Harry and contain little scribbles in the margins from the Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
It is hard to guess how the movie will unfold based on the textbook style of the book. Most of the book is descriptions of different magical animals, their Ministry of Magic Classification, and inside jokes to fans. Helpfully, though, the book does contain an "About the Author" section, which is a little more enlightening.
His work in the Beast Division "led to many research trips abroad, during which he collected information" for Fantastic Beasts. It appears that this movie will be based on one of those research trips, as it starts out in New York seventy years before Harry's story takes place, and a couple of years before the first edition of Fantastic Beasts was published.
As the main character is older, it is safe to assume that the movie will probably be geared toward a slightly older audience than the first couple of Harry Potter movies. However, I think its also safe to assume it won't be rated R. Let's not forget why WB wants to make this movie - it wants Potter fans back in movie seats.
It is no secret that Hollywood has been trying, and spectacularly failing, to recapture some of the magic associated with Potter and Twilight. Since the success of those two, Hollywood executives have made several young adult novels into film franchises. Most of them have been unsuccessful, if not disastrous, with the notable exception of The Hunger Games. The most recent example of a failed young adult novel series is The Mortal Instruments, which didn't even open at number one (or two, for that matter). But there are other examples: Percy Jackson (one of my favorite book series that just can't seem to translate into film); Beautiful Creatures; and The Host.
So, if new books aren't getting people in the seats, it's time to bring back the old classics. And nothing is more classic than Harry Potter. It remains unknown whether Harry Potter fans will come out for the release of this movie, but I suspect that they will. I know I will see it opening weekend. I may even see it twice.