J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World continues onscreen in 2016


Briana Birks

Written by Briana Birks, Contributor

After the release of J.K Rowling’s last book in the Harry Potter series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” fans have been left anticipating the release of the film, “ Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them,” which will hit theaters on Nov. 18, 2016. The film will be part of a trilogy based on one of Harry Potter’s schoolbooks at Hogwarts. Fans can experience a new form of work by Rowling, as this is her first time writing a screenplay.

In order to keep the excitement from burning out, Rowling dropped several hints and clues in the development of this film. She unveiled that the setting takes place in 1920s New York, with places like the Magical Congress of the United States of America, which is located inside the Woolworth Building. The main character of the film is Newt Scamander, a Magizoologist­—one who studies magical animals­—born in 1897, who spent many years as a Hufflepuff at Hogwarts.

The film will focus on Scamander’s journey into life in New York City. It is the place where the wizards are left as outcasts, shunned upon by the “Second Salemers,” a group that is zealous in the elimination of the wizardry community. Scamander will work together with Tina, a member from the U.S Ministry of Magic; a mind-reader, Queenie; and a factory worker, Jacob.

Characters like Scamander are little known to Harry Potter fans. Luckily we can find these little bits of information in the “About the Author” section of “Fantastic Beasts.” Scamander’s mother opened the doors into his exploration of the wizarding world, who described her son as “an enthusiastic breeder of fancy Hippogriffs.” Scamanders work experiences range from the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures to the Office for House-Elf Relocation and Beast Division. Most importantly, he is the author of a guide to magical creatures.

Rowling has stated, “The book is neither a sequel nor a prequel, but an ‘extension’ of Harry Potter’s ‘wizarding world.’” Amazingly, it took Rowling only 12 days to write it, which she told Potter actress, Emma Watson. Rowling also mentioned, “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.” Harry Potter fans can be assured that Rowling will always have a surprise in store for them.

Former Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe feels it would be weird to see another actor playing an older version of his character, but he’s just as excited as the fans for its release. “I can barely keep myself in this chair,” Radcliffe said. He has also been the target for countless questions regarding the film, to which he has replied, “Yes, I am very excited but I’ve also been asked about it a lot, and I don’t have any information to give, unfortunately.”

The film will star Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, which Rowling is thrilled for. It will also include notable actors Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller and Samantha Morton.It is currently being shot in England at Leavesden Studios, the same location where the previous Potter films were made. This will be the first Potter movie released since “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” five years ago. Warner Brothers promises that if all goes well, there will be continued releases of the series and, most importantly, there will be an expansion of the Harry Potter universe.

Some critics feel that Harry Potter should be respected and left as is without an extension into uncharted territory. Many believe this to be a franchise-based idea, given the financial success from the original Potter series and films. Others feel that Rowling should not drop too many hints into future works of hers so that readers can enjoy the unexpected twists and turns while reading her books. After all, Rowling is making headlines with everything she releases and has managed to capture the interest of millions of Potter fans who have hope in her first screenplay.