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While fans of the Harry Potter movies have to be excited about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it struck many of us as an odd choice for a movie when we first learned about it. The original book is essentially a school textbook, not a novel, which makes it a strange piece of source material. Now, the film’s producer has spoken out about how the plan came about.
It’s no surprise that the people behind the original series of films would be looking for a way to return to that world. The original series of films were incredibly successful so from a business standpoint, of course you want to keep that going. David Heyman and Lionel Wigram were two of the original producers behind the film franchise and one day the two were simply batting about ideas. Heyman tells The Hollywood Reporter that Wigram had an interesting idea for a take on Fantastic Beasts:
We were sitting around wondering what else we could do in this world, and [producer] Lionel Wigram, who is the person I first brought the first [Potter] book to, thought about maybe doing a documentary about Newt. That idea was floated to Jo, and she responded to doing a film about [that character].
Referenced in the original book series, Newt Scamander is the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, a reference book used by students at Hogwarts school. As an author of a best-selling book, Scamander is a perfectly reasonable person that a film crew would want to produce a documentary about. It would certainly make for an interesting change of pace from the Harry Potter movies. The mockumentary was not to be, however, as apparently J.K. Rowling decided that a more traditional film was the way to go with this character.
David Heyman believes that the history of the life of Newt Scamander is probably something that Rowling has had a complete understanding of since she created the character. He references an oft repeated story about J.K. Rowling’s ability to produce the entire Sirius Black family tree in 30 minutes so that it could be put on the wall in one of the films. Although, to be fair, how much information she provided seems to only be increasing as he tells the story.
While a great deal about the Fantastic Beasts film will be very different from its predecessor, like the location and time frame at the very least, we expect it will still feel very much like a Harry Potter movie. We still would love to see a Wizarding World documentary about Newt Scamander. How about you?