For many Harry Potter fans, it is indeed a time for rejoicing. It’s been all quiet on the wizarding front for many years as J.K. Rowling established herself outside the Potterverse (to varying degrees of success), but now it appears the Boy Wizard’s creator is getting back on the Hogwarts Express. For those who don’t know, it was announced last week that she was to pen the screenplay for a Potter spin-off based off the book Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them, focusing upon author Newt Scamander’s attempt to catalogue the vast collection of creatures which made up his masterwork.
For the vast majority, this is good news – it’s a chance to add to the franchise outside of theme parks and merchandising, and because Newt’s travails took place way before a certain boy wizard was born, Rowling isn’t as beholden to the original canon as she would’ve been if she’d have set the entire enterprise slightly later. Sure, we might get nods to Grindlewald and Dumbledore, but Voldemort wasn’t even a glint in his (hypnotised) father’s eye when work began on the book (1918), so potentially, we’ve got a whole new jumping-off point. Also, the book already exists as a project for Comic Relief, meaning Rowling has some source material to base itself off.
Yet still, I’ve come here to offer a thought experiment, and that experiment goes thus – if you had the choice of all the in-universe Harry Potter literature, would you have chosen Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them? Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really cool choice and I can’t wait to see what Rowling does with it, but if I was given free rein to decide which of the Potter tomes to adapt next, I could think of plenty of other awesome candidates. Again, that’s not to say Fantastic Beasts is a bad choice – to my mind, it’s a very good one. But again, this is a thought experiment, so lets get our hypothetical hats on. Besides, just because they weren’t adapted first, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t be adapted later.
Well, that’s the intro out of the way. Let’s get down to it, shall we?
This article was first posted on September 16, 2013