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While Harry Potter and the Cursed Child continues the story of the eponymous protagonist and his family and friends on stage, Warner Bros is looking to the past to tell more tales about the Wizarding World. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is jumping back to the 1920s to follow new protagonist Newt Scamander, and in addition to the first movie later this year, two sequels have been scheduled for 2018 and 2020, respectively. We learned a few weeks ago that J.K. Rowling as already written the second movie, but now it's revealed that the follow up will feel quite different from what's coming in November.
Speaking with EW, director David Yates (who also helmed four of the Harry Potter movies) alluded to how Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 will take them on a new direction and bring aboard new players. He explained:
We've seen the script for Part 2, for the second movie, which takes the story in a whole new direction -- as you should, you don't want to repeat yourself. The second movie introduces new characters as she builds this part of the Harry Potter universe further. It's a very interesting development from where we start out. The work is pouring out of her.
That's certainly vague, but it's good to know that Rowling has taken steps to make sure the Fantastic Beasts sequel doesn't simply retread the same ground. Sequels don't always need to feel bigger than its predecessor or even "raise the stakes," but there definitely needs to be enough new material so that it gives moviegoers something different and unique to look forward to. Like Yates said, Fantastic Beasts is expanding the Harry Potter universe, both in a different time and place. The more directions she can take these characters (both established and new) and concepts, the better.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will follow Newt Scamander in 1926 when he comes to New York City to meet with an official at the Magical Congress of the United States of America. However, when the creatures in his magical briefcase are accidentally freed, he'll have to recapture them, all while avoiding the wizarding authorities and No-Majs (the American term for Muggles) who want to do magic users harm. It's seems likely that Eddie Redmayne will reprise Newt Scamander in the sequels, as he is the author of the textbook these movies are named after. As for his new friends (and maybe a few enemies), it's too soon to tell if they'll also return or if the supporting cast will be comprised of all new players. We don't even know if the next adventure will stay in the United States, return to the United Kingdom or visit another country. After all, magical shenanigans aren't limited by location.
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them adventures will begin when the first movie works its magic in theaters on November 18.