The Harry Potter movies have altogether grossed over $7.7 billion at the box office alone, so it was always hard to imagine that Warner Bros. would keep such a lucrative franchise on the shelf for long. Sure enough, it only took two years from the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 for the studio to announce that J.K. Rowling is writing a spin-off movie based on the series’ spin-off book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and its author Newt Scamander.
“Fantastic Beasts” is mentioned in the main novels as one of the textbooks that Harry and his friends study at Hogwarts, but in 2001, Rowling published a 42-page version of it in aid of the charity Comic Relief. The movie will feature Newt as the protagonist and will presumably be all about his adventures in the field of magizoology.
Newt Scamander is more than just the next big hero of the onscreen wizarding world, however; he’s also a registered trademark. Bleeding Cool reports that Warner Bros. has been covering a number of trademark bases, not only for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them but also for other spin-off books within the Harry Potter franchise. Newt Scamander himself and the book’s title are naturally on the list of freshly registered trademarks, but they’re not alone.
“The Tales of Beedle the Bard,” which was also written and published as a spin-off book by Rowling, is another name that has been trademarked. One of the stories from the book, “The Tale of the Three Brothers,” appeared in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, and the animation for it was highly praised by many critics. Perhaps Warner Bros. might commission further animations of the other tales, either for independent release or inclusion in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Or how about a sports movie based around the noble pastime of Quidditch? The final names to become registered trademarks are all related to another Rowling spin-off book: “Quidditch Through the Ages,” by Kennilworthy Whisp. Whisp himself is now a trademark, along with the book’s title and Quidditch team names Wimbourne Wasps, Chudley Cannons and Kenmare Kestrels.
It’s important to note that Warner Bros.’ registration of these trademarks is by no means a guarantee that they will end up becoming full moves like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The trademark covers everything from movies to TV series to video games and comic books, but there’s no telling if or when Warner Bros. will decide to adapt these specific spin-off titles. It’s likely that nothing major will be greenlit until Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has been released to test the waters of spin-off popularity.
Based on what we know so far, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them could end up being the Hobbit of the Harry Potter franchise: a story in the same universe without the fate of the entire free world having to rest upon the shoulders of the protagonist, so that there can be a greater focus on simple adventure. According to the books, Newt is only 21 when he publishes his famous book, meaning that the film would most likely follow the character in the very early stages of his career. It was apparently around this time that he managed to beat a magical creature away with a kettle, which would probably make for quite an interesting climax to his movie.
We’ll keep you updated on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as this story develops.
Source: Bleeding Cool
H. Shaw-Williams blogs at Screen Rant