J.K. Rowling  returns to the wizarding world since finishing the Harry Potter series

By Melanie Terez, ‘14

The consequences of our actions are always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult business indeed,” fictional Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry headmaster Albus Dumbledore said in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. But for Rowling’s next adventure, fans need not predict any longer. It’s official: the Harry Potter author is re-entering the wizarding world.

On Sep. 12, Rowling announced the beginning of her next project: a movie titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, supposedly written by fictional character Newton Scamander. Rather than a prequel or a sequel to the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an extension of the wizarding world that Rowling left untouched since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published in 2007.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is Rowling’s first screenplay, and the first movie of a new Warner Bros. series to begin in 2014.

“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film…” Rowling said in a press release published on jkrowling.com. “As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.”

The series will be based on a book version of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them which Rowling published in 2001. The movie series will focus on Newton Scamander, who explores the wizarding world in New York City about 70 years before Harry Potter’s birth.

Despite its setting before Harry Potter’s time, Rowling notes that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not a prequel; the movie will focus on the adventures of Newt Scamander, rather than on the adventures of Harry Potter. Newt works in the field of “magizoology,” the study of magical creatures. The film will center on Newt’s adventures collecting information about these magical creatures for the Hogwarts textbook he writes: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Senior and long-time Harry Potter fan Nicole Fracasso is anticipating Rowling’s new movie series, but does not think it will replace the story of Harry Potter.

“I know that everything J.K. Rowling creates is… going to be magical,” Fracasso said. “I don’t think it’s going to be as amazing as [the] Harry Potter [series] was, but I definitely think it’ll be good to watch. It won’t [replace] Harry Potter because Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is… a book Harry had to read for [a] class. So it’s basically… a story within a story.”

While Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a return to the same wizarding world Harry Potter explored, Rowling’s movie is taking a different approach. Fracasso said that she is primarily looking forward to seeing where Rowling takes the series.

“I think what I’m mostly looking forward to is… seeing how the storyline develops,” Fracasso said. “It will be kind of cool [because] it will show Newt Scamander’s personality, and how he came to write this book. I guess you [will] see his adventures.”