Warner Bros. Pictures is moving full steam ahead on their new Harry Potter spin-off, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and it seems as though they may have found their director. Alfonso Cuaron, coming off his Best Director win for Gravity at the Academy Awards, is apparently deep in talks with Warner Bros. to helm the first movie in the new spin-off series. Niki Finke, of former Deadline fame, broke the scope:
I hear Alfonso Cuaron ('Gravity', 'HP/Azkaban') deep in talks to direct JK Rowling's Harry Potter spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts'. Perfect pick.
— Nikki Finke (@NikkiFinke) May 19, 2014
Most Harry Potter fans will already recognize the director’s name, not for his work on films like Gravity and Children of Men, but for his first foray in the Harry Potter series, where he directed the critically lauded film, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. That film would prove to be the one that set the series on a path for maturity and growth, while also becoming a bigger commercial and critical success.
While we wait for confirmation on Cuaron taking the director’s chair, we do know the film is written by Harry Potter series creator, J.K. Rowling, who has said this about the new trilogy, and it’s place in the Harry Potter series:
It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.
The idea of a period piece, set before the events of The Sorcerer’s Stone has me very intrigued, and now even more so with Cuaron circling back into the series. His darker take on the series was a breath of fresh air, while keeping the magical and whimsical nature of what J.K. Rowling created firmly in tact. That points us in a general direction of where this new trilogy is headed, and I can’t contain my excitement for it enough.
‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is currently set for release on November 18, 2016.
Are you excited to return to the J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, and are you excited to see Cuaron returning to the franchise? Let me know in the comments below!