Big News for Potter Fans
Rowling signs screen-writing deal with Warner Bros.
Published: Monday, September 30, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 30, 2013 13:09
Fans of J. K. Rowling’s massively popular “Harry Potter” series may be ecstatic to know that Warner Bros. recently announced she will be screenwriting a new series of films set in her wizarding world. Yes, a series. But they may also be disappointed to know that Harry himself (or, rather, Daniel Radcliffe) will not be featured in these movies. Indeed, most of the characters from that series will not, setting the stage for an entirely new cast of characters.
Although she described them as “neither a prequel nor a sequel” to her Harry Potter series, they are set in the trademark magical world 70 years prior to Harry’s story and across the pond in New York. The first will surround her fictional textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which is mentioned in the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It will star the character Newt Scamander, the author, whose grandson marries Luna Lovegood at the end of the Potter series.
Originally the idea for a movie came from Warner Bros., but Rowling said she is very protective of her creation and that she pitched the idea to them that she would write the screenplay. “I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it,” she said in a Facebook post.
Included in the deal are the distribution rights to a new BBC television mini-series based on “The Casual Vacancy” and new rides in the already established Universal Studios Harry Potter theme park.
Since finishing her seven-book hit series in 2007, Rowling has been very busy, indeed. Breaking into the adult novel genre, she wrote the book “The Casual Vacancy,” and secretly penned the detective thriller “The Cuckoo’s Calling” under the name Robert Galbraith. The latter endeavor was supposed to be kept secret, but a member of the law firm Russells let slip information to a family friend who revealed the news in a tweet to a columnist at the Sunday Times, leaving Rowling quite frustrated.
Being the author of such a hugely famous series has made Rowling a major name in the literary and pop culture worlds alike. Though this will be her first venture into screenwriting, this new franchise will no doubt make a huge profit for both her and the film studio, whether or not the films are a hit. Clearly Rowling cares more about the quality than the money—why else would she choose an anonymous pseudonym for one of her books? Based upon this assumption and her previous works, it is likely that these new movies will be box office smashers.
But for now, fans will just have to sit tight and wait—a release date has not yet been mentioned, and it will probably be some time before casting decisions are made.