J.K. Rowling-written and David Yates-directed Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has one factor going for it that Rowling’s other Harry Potter-related endeavors don’t: it’s not bound creatively to any other previous work. Rowling did write a companion book to her Potter stories titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, fictitiously penned by a Newt Scamander, but other than that the movie is completely original unto itself. Yates enthuses on how much easier this makes the editing process, knowing there won’t be hordes of angry fans upset that his vision didn’t meet theirs.While promoting The Legend of Tarzan, his latest movie, Yates told GSNews:
“No one quite has ownership of [the story] yet in terms of having a relationship with the material, other than the relationship they’ll have with the movie when it comes out. So, it’s sort of lovely in a way. When we adapted the [Harry Potter] books, you would have to leave things out that you hated leaving out because they didn’t quite work within the structure of the storytelling of the movie or the movie would just be far too long. With this, it’s just pure Jo from the first page to the last page.”’
He also shared that, concerning Rowling’s screenwriting, “She’s done the first one. She’s written the second one. She’s got ideas for the third one.” That’s pretty impressive for someone’s first time in the screenwriting seat! Fantastic Beasts is expected to expand into three installments, so that’s more than half of the franchise written.
Another thing that makes Fantastic Beasts different is the exploration of the American side of the wizarding world. Here, the term “muggle” (non-magic folk) is replaces with “no-maj”, and instead of Hogwarts, Ilvermorny is the wizarding school of choice. Rowling hasn’t said much about Hogwarts’ sister school, other than it was founded by an Isolt Sayre. Sayre fled to America straight from her oppressive aunt, who was somehow involved in Hogwarts’ Slytherin house. You can see where some of the same aspects of the Harry Potter series spill through, but it’s ultimately a completely unique tale.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to hit theaters in the U.S. November 18, 2016. Who knows where Rowling will take us from there!?