This past weekend, we saw the release of the anticipated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This was the first film set in author J.K. Rowling’s beloved Wizarding World that was not based on any real source material. Sure, we can point to that half-assed textbook that was released several years back as source material, but come on. That wasn’t really source material as much as it was an inspiration and a springboard.
Overall, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which was directed by longtime Harry Potter helmer David Yates with a script from Rowling herself, was well received by critics and fans alike. Sure, there were some inherent flaws in the film as a whole — there are never perfect movies — but when the movie had finished, this was a world that most were excited to revisit in two years. As amazing of a job the filmmakers did to ensure the movie would stand on its own, they also did double-duty, working to set the base for a franchise to come.
We’ve known for a while that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them would the first film in a planned franchise, but for nearly two years we believed it to be a trilogy. Not too long ago, it was revealed that the movie would be the first of five films. In the process of writing this first film, Rowling likely saw the scope of the overall story increase steadily, and as such, the groundwork laid in this first film was all the more intriguing. With this larger tale in mind, what does this mean for the next movie in the Fantastic Beasts franchise?
“We’re in preproduction. We start shooting in July. That’s going to take me a couple of years – we’ll be back here in two years’ time presenting it. I’m excited about the next one. It’s very different to the first one. The next one is like a dream. It’s quite dark and interesting and lyrical, and very different to the first one. It’s a testament to Jo as a writer that she’s not repeating herself. She’s stretching for something that feels much more unusual, actually. So for me, as a filmmaker, that’s exciting.”
When last we heard from Rowling, she had finished a second draft, and will likely go through a couple more polishes when all said and done, but this early insight into the script is a welcome one. It’s always great to hear when an artist is not interested in repeating their success. This will help to keep them from gettin complacent and merely phoning it in, though I do wonder how dark they plan on making the film.
At the beginning of Fantastic Beasts, when we saw the familiar WB logo, I did wonder if — like with Harry Potter — the logo for the last Fantastic Beasts film will have it pretty much be falling apart. Will these films continue to get progressively darker, or will it not continue the same trend set by the first time?
Regardless, it’s great to see that both Yates and Rowling plan to return for the remaining four flicks, though it’s careful to note that while they plan on returning, they aren’t yet officially signed on.
“I think I may. I don’t know yet. There such big endeavors, one can only look at one at a time, really. That’s what you have to do. I want to carry on working on them in some shape or form because I love the people I’m working with. It’s inspiring and exciting to be working with these people.”
Fingers crossed that Yates stays on board. As much as I loved the Harry Potter films, there was a cohesion that was missing from the franchise as a whole. I’d like to see the tone and style on these movies stay as consistent as possible.
What do you think of Yates’ comments? Are you anxious to see where the story goes? Let us know your thoughts down below!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is in theaters now!