Fantastic Beasts Producer Explains How It Became A Five Movie Franchise

Tina and Newt in Crimes of Grindelwald

The Wizarding World is already a massive place, but it continues to grow thanks to the various works of author J.K. Rowling. Things got a bit more complicated with Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, which is the second in a five film franchise.

Potterheads were excited and baffled when Fantastic Beasts first arrived, along with the announcement for four more movies. And now producer David Heyman has explained how it all came about. It was apparently due to necessity with the story crafted by J.K. Rowling. As he tells it,

But it didn't go from anybody speaking to Jo and saying, 'You know what? Let's milk this.' Both in fairness to the studio, but also to Jo. While it may look like it to some people, there is nothing cynical about this. This is all from her head. So she begins with three films, because she thinks that's the story she wants to tell, and then as she digs deeper...and she hadn't written anything when she said three. Then she wrote the first, and as she was writing the second, actually just before then, but as she says we working on the first, she began to realize there was a whole lot more, and she was trying to figure out, 'How the hell am I going to squeeze this into three?'

It looks like the Fantastic Beasts franchise was originally meant to be trilogy. But after going through the various story beats and their connection the Harry Potter movies proper, J.K Rowling needed two more releases to fully cover the time period leading up to the First Wizarding War.

J.K. Rowling's decision to extend the story makes a great deal of sense, especially given how dense Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald was. In addition to following the new set of heroes and introducing Johnny Depp's villainous Grindelwald, the story also contained plenty of connections to the greater Harry Potter franchise, including some of Hogwart's best. Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Nagini were all included, and the final twist included a massive change to the canon.

In David Heyman's same conversation with Collider, he explained how methodically J.K. Rowling approached the Fantastic Beasts franchise, and the various plot twists that are still to come in the next three movies. He said,

I think she knew some of the tent pole, not film tent pole, but some the the structures, the big moments that she was trying to hit. She knows where it ends. She knows where it begins, and she had a lot of the building blocks in her head. But as she was filling out, she realized there was a lot more there than she thought.

This is sure to excite Harry Potter fans, who can't get enough of J.K. Rowling's magical universe. A lot changed throughout the course of The Crimes of Grindelwald, so one thing is clear: we ain't seen nothing yet.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is in theaters now. Be sure to check out our 2019 release list to plan your trip to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.