J.K. Rowling Confirmed The Timeline Of Fantastic Beasts, And This Could Be Huge

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With Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them set to arrive in theaters in a week, more information about the budding franchise continues to emerge. Among the more exciting news comes confirmation from Harry Potter author and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J.K. Rowling that the timeline for this story is rather long. That proves particularly relevant, as it adds weight to a certain theory Harry Potter fans have been brewing...

According to what J.K. Rowling told Variety, the films will span nearly two decades...

Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be one movie, but we were feeling our way. And then there came a point in the drafting of the story where I said to David, 'This feels like five movies.' And I'm feeling pretty certain about that. It's ambitious to tell it in five because we're spanning 19 years. But I can see an arc. So, that's how it happened, it came out of the material.

But she doesn't say 'two decades.' Rowling states that the five movies will span nineteen years. That's an extremely specific number.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them takes place in 1926.

Nineteen years would bring the story to 1945.

What happens in 1945?

Well, if you're trying not to be spoiled on the book facts us Harry Potter fans happily geek out over, read no further. Seriously, that's the only spoiler warning you're going to get here.

Albus Dumbledore is known for a great many things, among which is his success in taking down dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, his former best friend turned rival. Though we don't have many specifics on the events leading up to it, the epic throw down is known to have taken place in 1945.

Now, there has been no actual confirmation to our knowledge that Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is planning to build toward Dumbledore and Grindelwald's mega-duel, but there have been hints of the relevance of Grindelwald's rise to power, and Dumbledore's eventual involvement in the story. The actual story will center on Magizoologist Newt Scamander, but Grindelwald and Dumbledore have been referenced in the trailers, and are expected to appear in the next movie, with Johnny Depp reportedly playing Grindelwald, and Albus Dumbledore yet to be cast. J.K. Rowling has also hinted that there's a bigger story set to play out in these movies, which has led fans to speculate that Grindelwald's rise and eventual fall could be the story's bigger arc.

J.K. Rowling's timeline reference still doesn't actually confirm that the duel is going to happen, but it's impossible to do the math, and not draw that hopeful conclusion. At the very least, what may seem like a small reference in J.K. Rowling's recent comment does offer us even more hope that we're going to see the battle that made magical history, earned Dumbledore the Elder Wand, and helped solidify his rightful place on a Chocolate Frog card.

In related news, J.K. Rowling does have someone in mind to play the role of Dumbledore, but it sounds like she's wisely keeping her mouth shut about that until the casting is done (and assuming her choice actually happens, obviously.) We have some ideas about who could play him. Get that list here.

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them arrives in theaters November 18.

Kelly West
Assistant Managing Editor

Kelly joined CinemaBlend as a freelance TV news writer in 2006 and went on to serve as the site’s TV Editor before moving over to other roles on the site. At present, she’s an Assistant Managing Editor who spends much of her time brainstorming and editing feature content on the site.