Earlier this year, JK Rowling and Warner Bros. surprised fans when they announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was being turned into five films rather than three. The reveal made fans wonder just why the pair decided to expand the franchise, but they need to guess no more. Rowling just answered the burning question at the Fantastic Beasts premiere in New York.
While walking the red carpet, Rowling spoke with Variety and revealed why she felt Fantastic Beasts needed five movies instead of three.
“Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be more than one movie, but we were feeling our way,” Rowling said. “Then, there came a point in the drafting of our story where I said to [Director David Yates], ‘You know, this feels like five movies, and I think I’m pretty certain about that.’”
Then, Rowling went on to drop a bombshell about the franchise’s timeline. “It’s pretty ambitious to tell it [the story] in five to be honest because we’re spanning 19 years,” she said, “but I can see an arc to five – so that’s how it happened.”
If you are not familiar with your Harry Potter lore or timing, then here’s a breakdown of what the expansive timeline will cover. The first Fantastic Beasts film is set in 1926 when 29-year-old Newt Scamander accidentally unleashes a slew of dangerous magical creatures in the U.S. The film will also allude to two characters of increasing importance: Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald. The two famous wizards are in their 40s at this time, and the latter is on his way to becoming the darkest wizard of all-time.
Since the series is spanning 19 years, Fantastic Beasts will end around 1945. This year is one of particular note for Harry Potter fans. According to lore, Dumbledore and Grindelwald have their famous duel in 1945 where the former finally defeats the other and receives the powerful Elder Wand. We already know that the two wizards will play a major role in the franchise, so it is safe to assume that moviegoers will see Dumbledore v. Grindelwald by the franchise’s end.
And, what’s more, we could also learn more about Tom Riddle (or, rather, Voldemort) in the films. The famous villain was born in December 1926 and finished his education at Hogwarts in 1945. By that point in time, he already was on his dark crusade, so fans might learn more about He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in the new films.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) stars in the central role of wizarding world magizoologist Newt Scamander, under the direction of David Yates, who helmed the last four Harry Potter blockbusters. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
Warner Bros. Pictures has slated Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them for worldwide release in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX on November 18, 2016.