Warner Bros. Goes All-In On Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

It’s well publicized that, author, J.K. Rowling‘s life was transformed forever when she published the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s (Sorceror’s) Stone.  It became an instant hit that translated into 7 books, 8 movies, spin-off books, and even a critically-acclaimed play.  For Warner Bros., it was their cash cow, for quite sometime.  

However, when the series ended they decided it was time to reach back into the well and create an original story out of a book that didn’t have much source material, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  That dream of another cash cow is now coming to fruition as J.K. Rowling has confirmed that WB has greenlit an astounding FIVE FBWFT movies, including the one coming out next month.  

It’s a ballsy move by WB as the market for these movies is relatively unknown.  They’re likely assuming that they believe they can capture that same magic as the Harry Potter movies.  Which is smart for the first film, since every Harry Potter fan is intrigued by where this movie will go.  How will that work long term, though.  They must be impressed by early screenings of the film to put this kind of backing behind an entirely original series.

Even James Cameron‘s Avatar, who is also greenlit for five movies, had one box-office breaking movie that proved it could be a long-term series.  Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them doesn’t so the pressure is on to make it worthy of following Newt Scalamader for five films.

At least J.K. Rowling is at the helm, writing these screenplays.  That surely helps its chances.

Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four HARRY POTTER blockbusters. The film also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo and Colin Farrell. The film was produced by David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose beloved HARRY POTTER books were adapted into the top-grossing film franchise of all time. Her script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM, written by her character Newt Scamander.

The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will debut November 18, 2016.

The second movie is said to be November 2018, with the rest likely following every two years.

What do you think of FIVE movies?