Yesterday, following the release of the J.K. Rowling/Jack Thorne/John Tiffany collaboration script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Rowling was quoted by Reuters saying, “This is the next generation, you know. So, I’m thrilled to see it realized so beautifully but, no, Harry is done now.” Of course, in an entertainment world where the potential for innumerable sequels seems to apply to everything, conclusive statements are hardly meaningful. While some may have feared her statement to mean that following this release and the upcoming premiere of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, she’d be done with the whole Harry Potter/wizarding world, it’s now quite clear that she was speaking specifically to Harry Potter the character, and perhaps his era of that world. Deadline announced today that Fantastic Beasts, which opens this November 18, is now officially getting a sequel, to be released November 16, 2018. While Harry Potter may be “done,” Eddie Redmayne’s Newt Scamander is just beginning his journey through a franchise,whose title — and basis off Rowling’s glossary-ish book of magical creatures — makes it sound quite a bit like another quest to capture and confine magical creatures that’s overtaken the zeitgeist.
But though what was known of Beasts’ initial premise — a wizard toting a briefcase filled with magical creatures that then get unleashed on an unsuspecting, muggle (or “No-Maj) populated 1926 New York — may have sounded thin, the two first trailers actually made it look quite compelling, and far more complex than the title or the film’s origins (as a sort of novelty supplement book written for charity) would make it seem.
It’s clearly interlaced with political allegory (it’s crucial to keep magical activities covered up because wizards in America are hunted by the New Salem Philanthropic Society), and director David Yates told Entertainment Weekly that it’s “a wee bit more grown-up” than the rest of the films. And per Deadline, “the second movie will move deeper into an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and other heroes have to decide on their allegiances.”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them marks Rowling’s screenwriting debut, and the second film will likewise be penned by Rowling and directed by Yates, who also did the last four Harry Potter films.
In case you can’t wait for November, Flavorwire happens to have “pulled a Newt,” as they say, and found some fantastic beasts itself a while back.
Watch the newest trailer for the first film: