It was announced, somewhat surprisingly, last September that J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be turned into a film. Now, according to a profile of Warner Bros.’s new CEO in the Times, the 42-page paperback is getting turned into three movies. That’s like… carry the one, divide by five… 14 pages of inspiration for each movie! (This is not actually how book-to-film adaptations work.)
Aside from the new fact that fans are getting three whole movies filled new Harry Potter extended canon, there’s not a whole lot new here:
Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.
That’s about as much information as we were privy to before. Rowling credits Kevin Tsujihara, Warner’s CEO, as the main force in motivating her to write the movie. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,“ she said. ”We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”
Maybe this new trilogy will be good. Rowling is certainly an imaginative storyteller, but trilogy prequels are a tough nut to crack. Let’s just hope she doesn’t introduce her own version of Jar Jar Binks.
Warner’s plan for the new movies include tons of other revenue streams: video games, tie-ins with the series’s online community, Pottermore, consumer products (a.k.a. toys). There will probably be some sort of hashtag too, because it is 2014, and that’s just how it is now.