Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Ron Seifried | On 14, May 2014
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That’s the name of J.K. Rowling’s return to her world of Hogwarts and the magical beings that inhabit it. Based on her 2001 book, the story is based on Harry Potter’s textbook of the same name that appeared in the first Potter novel. Rowling is writing the screenplay on the reference guide of the findings of magical beast expert Newt Scamander, the main character of this spinoff, which is not billed as a direct prequel but set in the same universe as the magical world of Hogwarts. David Heyman, who produced all of the Harry Potter films, will return to the series.
Set in New York seventy years before Harry Potter’s 11th birthday and his first year at Hogwarts, many of the creatures in the book have already appeared in the books and films, including dragons, centaurs, ghouls, gnomes and basilisks.
Warner Bros. has set a late November 2016 release date, putting it up against Fox’s troll origin story Trolls and an untitled Disney Animation film, making the Thanksgiving season crowded with family-friendly flicks. It has been confirmed that this will be the first of a trilogy of new films.
The first year “textbook” was written by magizoologist Scamander, a scholarly professional in the study of magical creatures. The first edition was commissioned in 1918 but not published until 1927, setting the first film in the swinging jazz years of the 1920’s. Headmaster Albus Dumbledore does supply the forward, but is has not been confirmed if the bearded Hogwarts head will make an appearance in the new films.
The book describes 75 magical species found around the world, so we can expect plenty of fantastical animated creations. One entry on the “Acrpmantula”, the enormous talking spider raised by Hagrid, confirmed that Hogwarts was located in Scotland.
Magizoologist Newton Artemis Fido “Newt” Scamander was born in 1897 and was encouraged by his mother, a Hippogriff winged horse breeder. For those keeping score, Scamander was sorted into the Hufflepuff house in Hogwarts, which was more sympathetic to the elements of the earth.
Scamander’s career included a stint in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in the Ministry of Magic, the Office of House-elf Relocation and the Beast Division. In 1947, he created the Werewolf Register and created the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding. He received the Order of Merlin, Second Class in 1979.
Although Scamander is alive during the events of Harry Potter’s years at Hogwarts, his only other appearance in the films is when his name popped up on the Marauder’s Map in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. He had a grandson named Rolf was married the blonde hair, socially inept Luna Lovegood after the events in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The original book was well received and these new films will add a new dimension to the Hogwarts back-story. There is an untold amount of stories that can be mined and created from J.K. Rowling’s world of magic. The success of these films could entice Rowling to go back to the unknown millennium when the four greatest witches and wizards, Godric Gryffindor, Salazar Slytherin, Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff founded Hogwarts or possible a Dumbledore origins film.
Harry Potter may have moved on, but the world of Witchcraft and Wizardry may be around for many years to come.