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"It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" 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 hard-core 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. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. 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."
— J. K. Rowling[src]

Fantastic Beasts is a series of films inspired by the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

It was originally believed that there would only be three films in the series. On 14 October 2016, J. K. Rowling announced that she intended there to be five films in the series.[6][7][8] However, following the poor box office performance of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (the third film) in 2022, David Yates confirmed that Warner Bros. had "shelved" the series on 11 September 2023.[9][10][11][12]

Titles[]

It is unlikely that a Fantastic Beasts 4 and Fantastic Beasts 5 film[7][8] are still going ahead so their potential titles are unknown.[13] According to Eddie Redmayne, who said this information came from director David Yates and producer David Heyman, the titles of each film in the series would begin with "Fantastic Beasts and …".[14] This seems to no longer be the case beginning with the second film and third film, which both uses a colon instead.

Synopsis[]

The plot of the first film revolves around Newton Scamander, or commonly known as Newt, a Magizoologist who arrives in New York in December of 1926, to stay for a brief time following a journey around the world to research creatures for his book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Newt owns a magically-expanded suitcase containing many creatures which No-Maj Jacob Kowalski inadvertently opens. When some of the creatures escape, the situation threatens the secrecy of the Wizarding world and the relationship between the magical and non magical societies in America, which is already in danger due to the New Salem Philanthropic Society. Newt battles to find the creatures with the help of Jacob, Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein, and Queenie Goldstein before it's too late, with Percival Graves on his tail. The film take place over the course of two days.[15]

The second film is set in Paris in the summer of 1927.[16] It begins to centre around Gellert Grindelwald, who made a brief appearance in the first film and was considered the darkest Wizard of his time. It also features the return of Albus Dumbledore.[7] Leta Lestrange who is described as complicated, damaged and confused is also featured. The film ends with a major victory for Grindelwald.[17]

The third film is set in Great Britain, United States of America, China, Bhutan and Germany.[18][19]

The story of the films was scheduled to span 19 years,[20] setting the ending on 1945.[21] This placed the series within the timeframe of the global wizarding war.

Production[]

On 12 September 2013, Warner Bros announced that they would be creating a film based upon the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They also stated that J. K. Rowling would be making her screenwriting debut.[22] Rowling was approached by Warner Bros with the idea to be the screenwriter and she later stated that she could not give up the idea and allow another writer to "realise Newt Scamander".

On 18 October 2013, David Heyman confirmed that he would be returning as a producer, stating that it was "incredibly exciting".[23] On 24 March 2014, The New York Times reported the adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would be a trilogy.[24]

On 13 May 2014, it was announced the first film would be released on 18 November 2016.[25] On 6 October 2014, J. K. Rowling posted on Twitter the cryptic message "Cry, foe! Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won't tolerate this nonsense."[26] She confirmed the following day that this message was a riddle, and the solution, while not part of the script, was the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt Scamander's story.[27] The anagram was solved later that day, with Rowling confirming the solution of "Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours."[28]

On 15 October 2014, it was announced by Warner Bros that David Yates would be directing the films and that Steve Kloves would also be producing them. Yates later confirmed that Rowling had also written the screenplay for the second film and had gotten ideas for the third. Heyman went on to confirm that Yates and Kloves had both worked with Rowling on the screenplay.[29]

On 4 June 2015, Warner Bros confirmed that Eddie Redmayne would be portraying Newt Scamander in the series.[30] The rest of the cast were announced over the next few months, including Katherine Waterston as Porpentina "Tina" Goldstein[31] and Alison Sudol as Queenie Goldstein.[32] Dan Fogler was announced to portray Jacob Kowalski,[33] Ezra Miller as Credence Barebone and Colin Farrell as Percival Graves. On 17 August 2015, principal photography began at Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden.[34] On 4 November 2015, Entertainment Weekly released the first official publicity shots of the film. They included pictures of the production and filming at several sets with characters Newt, Tina, and Queenie.[35]

On 15 December 2015, the announcement trailer and teaser poster were revealed for the first film.[36][37] On 7 April 2016, it was officially announced that James Newton Howard had composed the score.[38] On 10 April 2016, a teaser trailer was released for the first film.[39]

On 19 April 2016, it was announced a batch of new characters had been created for the film. Rowling had also creatively given input on each character and creature.[40] On 26 April 2016, it was announced that the script of the first film would be released in book form on 19 November 2016, one day after the film is released.[3] On 26 April 2016, it was also announced on Pottermore that the screenplay of the first film would be published in book form.[41]

In preparation for the film series, Rowling began placing new original writings on Pottermore detailing the History of Magic in North America. Beginning in the 1600s with the Salem Witch Trials, she delved into the next few centuries ending in 1920s America which is when the films are set. She also later revealed the American Wizarding school, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry followed by a new Sorting quiz for the school.[42]

On 3 August 2016, it was announced that the second film would be released on 16 November 2018[4] followed by the third film on 20 November 2020.[43] On 28 September 2016, the final trailer for the first film was released.[44] On 7 October 2016, they also debuted the first track for the first film along with the titles of the rest of the soundtrack.[45]

On 13 October 2016, J. K. Rowling announced at a special fan screening of the first film in London that there would actually be five films in the series.[46][47] Rowling stated she always knew there was going to be more than one film and that they "said a trilogy as a kind of placeholder". However, when she plotted out the story she had created, she realised they would need five films to tell it in.[7] David Yates also stated that the second film would be very different from the first film.[7]

On 18 November 2016 the first film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them premiered. On 12 April 2017, it was announced that British actor Jude Law would play Young Albus Dumbledore in the second film, the young Hogwarts Transfiguration Professor who shares a complicated history with the series antagonist Gellert Grindelwald, played by Johnny Depp.[48]

On 28 May 2017, J. K. Rowling announced on Twitter that the second film's screenplay was finished.[49]

After release of the second film in 2018, J. K. Rowling announced in November that she finished the third films screenplay. Three months later, a rewrite of the script was in the works with Steve Kloves, known screenwriter for the Potter films and producer on the Beasts films was co-writing with Rowling. Controversy and rumours were spread due to poor reception of Rowling's ability to script write after Crimes of Grindelwald's errors, until November 2019, when the script was thought to be finalised and production continued.[50]

In 2020, production of the third film was halted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, giving Rowling and Kloves additional time to finish the script.[50] 11 days before the 26th May, shooting restrictions were limited, but Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore did not film. In September 2020, filming commenced. On 6 November 2020, Johnny Depp announced that he was asked by Warner Bros. to resign following a libel lawsuit. He decided to step down from the role of Gellert Grindelwald, and the studio will recast the role for the third film.[51] Filming commenced on 20 September 2020 and on 25 November 2020 it was announced that Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen would be playing as Gellert Grindelwald in the rest of the Fantastic Beasts franchise.

Composer James Newton Howard said in a interview with Deadline that Fantastic Beasts 3 has wrapped filming in February 2021 and he would be starting the scoring process. Newton said "that if he gets some movie soon, that will take me through a good part of the year".[52] Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was confirmed and set to be released on 15 April 2022. On 10 December 2021, the first teaser trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore released. Three days later, on 13 December, the full official trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore was released.

Director David Yates in an interview on 26 October 2023 mentioned that, Warner Bros. was unclear of J.K Rowling's intent of the series until a fan screening[46] of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on 13 October 2016 that J.K. Rowling had already plotted and written the story to be a five film series. Mentioning, "the idea that there were going to be five films was a surprise to most of us" and that the studio only commited to the first film and it likely being only a trilogy.

Future plans[]

David Yates was filming a small Sony Project, so there was to be a break in between the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore and a Fantastic Beasts 4.[53] In February 2022, David Heyman stated that work on a script for Fantastic Beasts 4 still hadn't started.[54] Several outlets reported that due to the poor reception of The Crimes of Grindelwald, Warner Bros. were unlikely to greenlight another two films if the reception of The Secrets of Dumbledore also had a poor box office result. They also gave several other contributing reasons including controversies behind-the-scenes, creative shortfalls and faltering box office returns.[13]

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore had a better critical reception. However, it set the record for the worst opening weekend of the Harry Potter franchise, with ticket performance dropping substantially during its second weekend in theatres.[55] In November 2022, it was reported that Warner Bros. had no Wizarding World films in active development and was not in "active discussions" with Rowling.[56] In January 2023, Eddie Redmayne stated he was not aware of any plans for a fourth film in the franchise.[57]

Fantastic Beasts 4 and Fantastic Beasts 5 would have followed the events of The Secrets of Dumbledore, however as of 13 July 2024, their creations are still not confirmed to have been moving forward. If the films were made, parts of them would have possibly been filmed in countries where Spanish or Portuguese, and Italian is the respective official language, as J. K. Rowling tweeted this on 13 October 2016: 5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque.[58] The fifth film would have at least partially taken place in 1945,[59] meaning it would have shown the end of the global wizarding war and featured the legendary duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.[60]

During the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival, David Yates briefly spoke about the future of the franchise being shelved for now, saying "Let's just park it and be done for a while. Never say never, I will say. But just for a while, I, just wanna, explore many other things."[9] With another media outlet, on 23 October David Yates spoke on his time spent in the Wizarding World mentioning that he, "spent a long time at that school, in those corridors and in those classrooms" and "to go back and do another year or two, for me, I feel I've left it."[61]

Despite these claims, three days later on 26 October Yates mentioned that he alongside J. K. Rowling, David Heyman and Warner Bros. have not spoken since the release of the third film. Though, he does speak of a possibility of Warner Bros. "eventually" getting around to finishing the series.[62]

Recurring cast[]

Behind the scenes[]

"5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque."
— J. K. Rowling on the five locations of each movie[src]

External links[]

Notes and references[]

  1. Hypable
  2. David Heyman confirms he will produce "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film - SnitchSeeker.com
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Pottermore - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay announcement
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Warner Bros. Details Strategic Content Plans at Time Warner Investor Conference - TimeWarner.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 X (formerly Twitter) logo Fantastic Beasts on X: "#FantasticBeasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in theatres April 15, 2022."
  6. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Five. Not seven. Not three. Five. (Got a feeling this is going to be the new 'not a prequel')"."
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Cosmopolitan - FIVE Fantastic Beasts movies are coming and we cannot breathe
  8. 8.0 8.1 X (formerly Twitter) logo Fantastic Beasts on X: "@jk_rowling has just confirmed the magic continues in a total of FIVE MOVIES! We can't wait! #FantasticBeasts""
  9. 9.0 9.1 X (formerly Twitter) logo Deadline Hollywood on X: "David Yates on if he could return to directing in the 'Harry Potter' Universe: "Never say never" #TIFF23"
  10. ‘Fantastic Beasts’: How Scandal and Controversy Have Derailed the Wizarding Franchise - Variety, 12 April 2022
  11. While Fantastic Beasts 4 Isn’t A Sure Thing, Warner Bros. Reportedly Still Looking To Move Forward With J.K. Rowling And Harry Potter's Wizarding World - Cinema Blend
  12. Fantastic Beasts 4 Is Even Less Likely To Happen Now - Screen Rant
  13. 13.0 13.1 ‘Fantastic Beasts’: How Scandal and Controversy Have Derailed the Wizarding Franchise
  14. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Cast Interview with Eddie Redmayne, Ezra Miller"
  15. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Synopsis at Warner Bros website
  16. SnitchSeeker - Video: 'Fantastic Beasts' sequel to take place in spring/summer 1928 Paris, says David Yates
  17. Bustle - "Who is Leta Lestrange? 'Fantastic Beasts' Is Only The Start For The New Character, Says Director David Yates" 18 November 2016
  18. Brazil 'Better Brace Itself' For Newt Scamander: J.K. Rowling Finishes 'Fantastic Beasts 3'!
  19. MOVIE 3 – WHAT WE KNOW
  20. X (formerly Twitter) logo Variety on X: "Harry Potter author @jk_rowling explains the decision to make 5 #FantasticBeasts movies"
  21. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Our story starts in 1926 and ends in 1945."
  22. Warner Bros, J.K. Rowling Team Up for New 'Harry Potter'-Inspired Film Series"
  23. David Heyman confirms he will produce "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" film - SnitchSeeker.com
  24. Harry Potter spin-off will be a film trilogy
  25. X (formerly Twitter) logo Exhibitor Relations Co. on X: "The world of Harry Potter returns to the big screen as WB's FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM drops Nov. 18, 2016"
  26. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Cry, Foe, Run amok! Fa awry! My wand won't tolerate this nonsense."
  27. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "#helpfulhint The solution is the first sentence of a synopsis of Newt's story. It isn't part of the script, but sets the scene"
  28. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "@EmyBemy2 YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! People, we have a winner!"
  29. Harry Potter producer: J.K.Rowling's Fantastic Beasts script is wonderful
  30. Eddie Redmayne to star in JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts
  31. Katherine Waterston cast as New York witch in JK Rowling's Fantastic Beasts
  32. Fantastic Beasts: Alison Sudol joins Eddie Redmayne in Harry Potter Spinoff (EXCLUSIVE)
  33. The Telegraph: Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler)
  34. FantasticBeastsMovies.com - Filming to Begin August 17th
  35. "This Week's Cover: Inside the magical world of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" at EW.com
  36. X (formerly Twitter) logo Fantastic Beasts on X: "The Annoucement Trailer for #FantasticBeasts is here."
  37. YouTube
  38. James Newton Howard to score Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  39. YouTube
  40. An Insider's Account of J.K.Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  41. J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay to be published
  42. Pottermore - History of Magic in North America
  43. Collider
  44. Watch the final Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trailer
  45. Exclusive: Pottermore debuts the main theme from the soundtrack for Fantastic Beasts
  46. 46.0 46.1 JK Rowling Announces 5 Fantastic Beasts Movies
  47. X (formerly Twitter) logo Fantastic Beasts on X: ".@jk_rowlinghas just confirmed the magic continues in a total of FIVE MOVIES! We can't wait! #FantasticBeasts"
  48. Jude Law cast as Albus Dumbledore in next Fantastic Beasts film at Pottermore
  49. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Yes, I have, but I CAN'T TELL YOU ANYTHING YET, WOMAN."
  50. 50.0 50.1 Fantastic Beasts 3 Officially Moving Forward, Filming Starts Spring 2020
  51. Johnny Depp Leaves Role Of Grindelwald For Fantastic Beasts 3
  52. Deadline Interview with James Newton Howard on Fantastic Beasts 3
  53. 'Harry Potter' And 'Fantastic Beasts' Director David Yates Sets New Film At Sony As Next Project
  54. Fantastic Beasts 4 Doesn't Have A Script Yet, Says Producer
  55. Fantastic Beasts 4 Is Even Less Likely To Happen Now
  56. Is J.K. Rowling’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise Dead at Warner Bros?
  57. Eddie Redmayne Provides Candid Response To Future Of The ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise
  58. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "5. Five. Cinq. Fünf. Cinco. Cinque."
  59. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Our story starts in 1926 and ends in 1945."
  60. Fantastic Beasts: JK Rowling hints Dumbledore and Grindelwald's famous duel will take place in fifth film
  61. Director David Yates Shuts Door on Harry Potter TV Series Return: "I Feel I've Left It" (Exclusive)
  62. Fantastic Beasts Franchise Is 'Parked' for the Moment, Reveals Director
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