Acclaimed Harry Potter author and mega-millionaire J.K. Rowling has announced she will be penning a series of spin-off films set in the magical world of the British boy wizard, two years after the release of the eighth and final instalment of one of the all-time biggest film franchises. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the name of one of Hogwarts’ textbooks which got its own IRL publication back in 2001, will be set in New York City 70 years prior to the start of Harry’s adventures, and follow the story of its fictitious author Newt Scamander.
Rowling is supposedly richer than the Queen, so has she really dried up all of her bank accounts in just these last 24 months? Buckingham Palace still seems to be up and running, so who knows what went wrong there. And a film based on a textbook? I don’t know about you, but VCE Accounting: The Movie does not sound appealing.
I’m only kidding. I love everything about Harry Potter, and have read the books and watched the movies countless upon countless times, as everyone should. So the inner child nerd in me got a little flustered, the secret wizard I’ve always believed to be started casting imaginary spells, and the actual me roared in unashamed delight.
But who cares? Harry Potter holds a special place in the hearts of almost everybody around my age. We grew up with that shit. At least Rowling herself is taking control of the script, and not some cashed-up Warner Bros executive. And it has no other purpose but to entertain us, so releasing another film is not some major crime to humanity. And surely it must be better than the slew of so-called blockbusters hitting screens at the moment – R.I.P.D.? A second Percy Jackson? A third Riddick? A 3D One Direction ovary explosion? Puh-lease.
Sure, this next film won’t be following Harry, Ron and Hermione, or even Hogwarts for that matter, but the magical world of wizards and witches Rowling has established is so extensive and so ripe for further storytelling, a spin-off series
was only a matter of time. The series of books introduced an entire generation of kids to the wonders of reading, and its influential characters, strong moral wisdom and entertainment value should be milked for all it’s worth. I mean, Lord of the Rings and Star Wars have/still are, so why the hell not? If the future of the franchise is half as inspiring and significant as the original, we’ll all still be in for a huge treat.