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Hold On To Your Mandrakes, JK Rowling Working On A 'Harry Potter' Spin-Off Movie

By Joanna Robinson | Trade News | September 12, 2013 | Comments ()


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No, dammit, it’s not The Continuing Adventures of Neville Longbottom: The Handsomest Wizard To Ever Waggle A Wand. Would that it were.
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Good ol’ Jo Rowling (who wrote not one, but two best-selling books in as many years), is working on a script based on “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” a Harry Potter companion book from 2001. Allegedly, the new film will not only expand upon the existing world of Hogwarts, but also include some familiar characters. But don’t call it a prequel, Rowling is keeping her promise that she’s done with Harry’s story. She says it’s “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

The plot is said to take place 70 years before the Sorting Hat put Harry into Gryffindor meaning WE ARE GETTING FLAPPER WIZARDS. Rowling explains how the project came about:

It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realised by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hardcore Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.

As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years. … The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.

Is that a 12-inch Yew and unicorn hair wand in your pocket, or are you just as excited as I am?


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Sigh

    If JK is selling out now, perhaps she can throw a nude Emma Watson in there for good measure.

  • Sigh

    Money: the root of all evil. Screw you WB.

  • SorayaS

    Ahhhhh how long does it take to make a movie? Jaysus I thought the wait for GoT and Mad Men was bad!!

  • Wigamer

    Neville was the chosen one. That is all.

  • That sounds fun as HELL. She created one hell of a universe, it'll be amazing to go into it without Harry and his 99 problems (but a Witch Ain't One) tagging along.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    I see no particular reason this couldn't be about Neville setting out to put together a new edition of the book, instead. Neville Longbottom needs to become the Potterverse's Indiana Jones, like, yesterday.

  • PDamian

    NNNNnnnnnghshuhuhgggggg ... Oh, my dear Lord, I think I just nerd-gasmed. And at work, no less. Thank you, Rowling!

  • Ruthie O

    Magic! Hats! Wands! Wizards! Spells! Butter beer! I'm going to apparate so hard to this.

  • Tinkerville

    I've read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them multiple times and I had a mild (read: severe) stroke when I read this news. Fuck yes and can't wait. The possibilities for including other wizarding authors and wizards that are just mentioned in passing in the series are endless-- we can actually meet Cornelius Agrippa, Nicholas Flamel, Bathilda Bagshot..

    I'm way too familiar with this universe and I sometimes wonder what important and practical information has made way for all of it. And then I'm okay with it because HP's the categorical best.

  • Leelee

    Bless you for putting up that picture of hot!Neville. Or as I like to think of him: Clive Owens Part II.

  • apsutter

    So. Freaking. Hot!

  • Pants-are-a-must

    And the fight over who gets to play Newt in a movie starts.....NOW.

    (list of famous male British actors who weren't in the Harry Potters, for reference: Idris "la la la I can't hear you he will be Bond one day" Elba, Tom "my ovaries are yours" Hardy, Matt Smith, monsieur Hiddleston, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Ben Whishaw, Colin Firth, Colin Morgan, that Cumberbatch, Jamie Bell, Hugh Dancy, Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Dominic West, Jared Harris, Rowan Atkinson, and mothefucking Michael Sheen)

    (oh, and Jude Law, but whatever)

  • Abby

    and Anthony Head.

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I don't know how old Newt Scamander's going to be, but I would like to see Michael Caine in this movie in one way or another.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    I wonder if she would want an American actor since this would be New York? (your list is excellent. I am just speculating on a hypothesis).

  • Pants-are-a-must

    That would definitely open a whole other world of possibilities.

    You know, on second thought, it could be also an Irish actor playing the son of immigrants in New York, which CILLIAN MURPHY OH YES.

  • BWeaves

    After having seen Rowan Atkinson as "the Doctor," I think he would make a perfect Newt.

  • OMG I didn't even think about Matt Smith!

  • Guest

    Wh-wh-wh-whishhhhhhhhhhhhhawwwwwwwwwww.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    He would've been my choice too. I'm actually surprised he wasn't in the Potter movies.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Young Dumbledore?

  • Joe Grunenwald

    I still like Cumberbatch for young Dumbledore.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Wasn't young Dumbledore a ginger? Lovely Mr. Whishaw has the most glorious brunet creature living on his head, which he calls his hair.

  • JJ

    Don't call it a prequel. She'll be milking the franchise for years.

  • apsutter

    I don't think anyone has any kind of problem with that

  • JJ

    I don't either. It's an LL Cool J reference. Too obscure, I guess.

  • Carey Adams

    Awe. Some.

    Just to add... The Cuckoo's Calling is really good. If you haven't read it yet and like old fashioned crime books I highly suggest it.

  • John W

    If they're going to do a prequel do the story that ends with Voldemort seemingly dying and the beginning of the story of the Boy who lived.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Of course! It worked so well for Star Wars.

  • John W

    Star Wars had George Lucas who was more worried about toy lines than story lines.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Are we talking about some kind of Voldemort origin or a movie about the first Order of the Phoenix? The former would simply be no good, given he was evil from 11 onward, and the latter, while potentially really interesting, would also be really hard to do well. Plus it has a depressing ending where Harry's parents die, Sirius goes to jail and Dumbledore knowingly delivers Harry into an abusive home for a full decade.

    It's really best not to dwell on most of that.

  • Hollyg

    If I ever actually watch a scene of Sirius arriving at the Potter's house to find James's and Lily's bodies and Harry crying on a corner I will never, EVER recover.

  • 'She says it’s “neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world.”

    The plot is said to take place 70 years before the Sorting Hat put Harry into Gryffindor'

    So it's a prequel

  • No more than a story about Martin Luther is a prequel to a story about the French Revolution. If the characters and plots aren't directly connected, it isn't a prequel. It just takes place in the same universe.

  • An apt analogy. I withdraw my rather hasty, grumpy-cos-it's-almost-Friday-but-not-quite outburst.

  • Too late. You've still got detention with Snape Friday at 6. ;-)

  • Then I regret nothing

  • Screw a Loki movie, I want Hiddleston to star in THIS. It could basically be Fitzgerald finding monsters.

  • Tinkerville

    Oh my word, Hiddleston as Scamander would be brilliant.

  • If he did find an actual monster, what would he do? Charm it to death with smart, literate conversation probably.
    So, yes, I'd watch this in a second.

  • Guest

    He already found one. Poor Zelda - we love you but you are terrifying.

  • JoannaRobinson

    He MUST bring Hemingway. And Dali.

  • Pants-are-a-must

    Dali did see a rhinoceros.

  • YES!

  • Berry

    The widdle Potter kids are so precious, I can't even deal.

  • John G.

    you're killing me with that header GIF. so cute.

  • TheOriginalMRod

    SQUEEEE!!!!

  • Modernlove

    First I get a breakfast cupcake and now this?! Today, I'm not sure you can get any better.

  • emmalita

    Are breakfast cupcakes different from regular cupcakes? Or a cupcake for breakfast?

  • Modernlove

    The cupcake place near my job is doing a breakfast cupcake series. Opening at 8am, free coffee. Flavors like blueberry pancake, jelly doughnut and (the one I got), pecan roll. The cake was more muffin-y than usual, perhaps.

  • emmalita

    Yum! I feel like you should try them all and report back. Do it for us. Do it for science.

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