Last year, Warner Brothers announced their intention to make a Harry Potter spin-off film based on a text book mentioned in the series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander. Now, Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara tells the New York Times that the Fantastic Beasts spin-off will in fact be three “megamovies” and are described as being neither prequels nor any linear relation to Harry’s story. Instead, Newt Scamander’s tale will be a wholly independent storyline that happens to exist in the same universe.
There’s a part of me that likes this decision because it’s a fresher take on the franchise film—everyone wants an Avengers-style multiverse but this is one of the few properties to go lateral, to introduce serialized stories a la Indiana Jones. JK Rowling, who is involved in the new film’s development, created such a rich and lavish world that there are endless nooks and crannies to explore that have no direct bearing on Harry’s narrative. Maybe one day we’ll see movies about James and Lily Potter, and Sirius and Remus and Snape in their school days, but I’d just as soon see what happened to Florean Fortescue when he disappeared, or a movie about a young Ollivander learning to make wands, or Bill Weasley breaking curses.
But, you know me, right? I’m sure you know that even as I was thinking about what, exactly, “megamovie” means (I’m guessing it’s an idiom for “big-budget tent pole”) my brain skipped straight to DRAGONS. If we’re getting a trilogy about a “magizoologist” in Harry Potter’s world that means there have to be dragons. Hippogriffs, thestrals and unicorns are cool and everything, but everything is better with dragons. And since Newt’s story will be set seventy years before Harry’s, that puts it in the 1920s, right? 1930s at the latest. Old timey dragons! SIGN ME UP.