Wait, the Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them films might be more than a trilogy? That's the buzz coming out of Time Warner's Investors Day, as Warner Bros chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara gave some updates on their future plans. That includes the hugely anticipated Harry Potter spinoff films, based on J.K. Rowling's previously published Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Here are the updates:
Deadline's update notes David Yates is on board to direct, and that the films are lined up for 2016, 2018 and 2020:
J.K. Rowling writing Fantastic Beasts screenplays for films in 2016, 2018, and 2020. Bringing back director David Yates (last 4 HP films) and others.
And Wall Street Journal's Ben Fritz says that it'll be "at least" three movies...
We already knew that the first of the the anticipated three Fantastic Beasts films was set to debut in November of 2016 and that David Yates was in talks to direct. We also know that J.K. Rowling is writing the screenplay, and as of the most recent update on that front, she's still "tweaking" it. The added information is that Fantastic Beasts 2 and Fantastic Beasts 3 will be released in 2018 and 2020 respectively, putting two years between each movie. And from what Fritz Tweeted, it sounds like WB isn't necessarily firm on the idea of it being a trilogy. "At least a trilogy" implies that there may be more films to follow.
More movies beyond the anticipated trilogy might be good news. I feel compelled to reserve full judgment on this news until we get more details, or at the very least, some kind of update from J.K. Rowling that she plans to be involved in the writing process for whatever comes next. The source material for these films is kind of a tricky situation. Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is a bonus book that was published for charity in 2001, when J.K. Rowling was still writing the original Harry Potter series. Penned by the fictional "Newt Scamander," Fantastic Beasts is a reference guide, cataloging various magical beasts in Harry Potter's reality, some of which were featured in the Harry Potter books and films.
Newt Scamander's story, which is the focus of the Fantastic Beasts films, is limited to a general introduction about the Fantastic Beasts author at the start of the book. So there is some source material available, but Rowling is fleshing out the story for the big screen. We know from previous reports that Fantastic Beasts will pick up in New York some 70 years before Harry went to Hogwarts. Beyond that -- and the fact that he apparently only intended to be in New York for a few hours -- little is known about the story or characters. But it's entirely possible that Rowling has big ideas for where Newt's adventures will take him, and that could extend beyond three movies.