‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ to Be Five-Film Franchise

Maane Khatchatourian and Dave McNary
Variety

The ever-expanding “Harry Potter” universe just got larger.

The “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” spinoff will be a five-film franchise, J.K. Rowling said at a Warner Bros. fan event in London on Thursday.

“We always knew that it was going to be more than one movie — we knew that from the start — so we set a trilogy as a sort of placeholder, because we knew there would be more than one movie, “Rowling said at the Empire Theatre in London.” But I’ve now done the plotting properly, so we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies.”

Rowling wrote the screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts,”which marks her first script.

“So I learned how to write a screenplay while writing a screenplay.” she added. “I wouldn’t recommend it.”

The London event also drew stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Dan Fogler, director David Yates, and producer David Heyman. Colin Farrell and Jon Voight, meanwhile, attended the fan event in Los Angeles. The global event was streamed via satellite to gatherings in New York, London, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Rome.

Oscar winner Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander in the films.

Warner Bros. Pictures had announced in August that a second movie in the “Fantastic Beasts” series was already in the works. Yates is also directing the sequel from a script by Rowling. Yates teased on Thursday that the second film will take place in another global capital city — not the upcoming pic’s New York City setting. “It will be very different,” Yates, who directed the final four “Harry Potter” films, added.

The second movie will be produced by Rowling, Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram. Rowling’s agent, Neil Blair, Rick Senat, and Danny Cohen will serve as executive producers.

Following Rowling’s revelation about the five films, attendees at the fan event were shown footage from the first 10 minutes of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which opens with investigators tracking the unseen beasts in the countryside, followed by a variety of headlines from 1926 papers and references to the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

The first sequence shows Redmayne telling the creatures in his briefcase to “settle down” as he’s about to go through U.S. customs. That’s followed by  a scene where Farrell surveys an area that’s been devastated by the beasts. Redmayne then encounters anti-beast forces holding a rally while one of the animals escapes from the briefcase. Fogler, who appears to provide the comic relief, is later seen trying to stuff himself into the briefcase.

Redmayne said Scamander is “incredible passionate” in an answer to a fan question. He also acknowledged that the success of the “Harry Potter” franchise has created high expectations.

“The honest answer is that I feel enormous pressure,” he said. “We put quite high expectations on ourselves. We didn’t want to screw it up.”

Redmayne also praised the intricacies of production design included such items as mocked-up newspapers from 1926, adding, “The detail was intoxicating.”

Fogler revealed that his great great grandfather was also a baker — as is his character in “Fantastic Beasts.” That prompted Farrell to say, “My grandfather was a wizard.”

Yates also said the upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” which hits theater on Nov. 18, will feature a cameo by a young Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grendelwald — characters from the original “Harry Potter” movies.

“He is featured in a wonderful scene between Colin and Eddie,” said Yates.

The Los Angeles event was held at the TCL Chinese Theaetre with the courtyard transformed into a streetscene from 1926 New York City with a bakery, Italian grocery store and wanted posters for Newt Scamander.


The second installment is slated for worldwide release on Nov. 16, 2018.

Watch a stream of the event below.

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