Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2

We’re still a little under five months away from seeing how the Harry Potter cinematic universe expands with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The spin-off takes place about 80 years before the events of the Harry Potter film franchise, but this time over in the wizarding world of the United States. From the beginning, the film was said to be the beginning of a hopeful trilogy, and now we have further confirmation that’s still the plan.

Director David Yates has been making the publicity rounds to promote The Legend of Tarzan, and in a quick red carpet interview with the filmmaker, he talked about why this movie will feel so much more different from the Harry Potter movies, especially for fans of the books that spawned the wizard universe. 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.

I could see that working both in favor of the movie and against it. There’s not quite as much excitement surrounding this as there might be for another Harry Potter movie because we don’t know what to expect from the story. But the lack of expectations could work in the story’s favor, especially since the screenplay comes straight from J.K. Rowling.

Speaking of which, it turns out J.K. Rowling is already ahead of the curve, because Yates revealed that she’s already done with the script for the sequel. The director said, “She’s done the first one. She’s written the second one. She’s got ideas for the third one.” I wonder just how much one leads into the other. Rowling did a good job of writing the Harry Potter books so that each of them had some finality in the end, even though we knew the story wouldn’t be done until the end of the seventh book. It’ll be interesting to see if she can do that with the Fantastic Beasts screenplays as well.

The question will be whether fans will get as invested in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as they did the core Harry Potter stories. This is new territory, so Warner Bros. is likely anxious to see how the spin-off performs before giving a greenlight to the sequel. But having Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 written already just makes putting it together that much easier if all goes according to plan.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them arrives on November 18.

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