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Old 09-12-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
Hypo
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Harry Potter Spin-Off Movie Coming, JK Rowling Writing Screenplay
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Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.

“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,” said Rowling. “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.”

“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”

In addition to the film series, “Fantastic Beasts” will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.

The Studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.

In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowling’s upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of “The Casual Vacancy,” her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014.

The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling’s literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.’ chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.

Rowling’s expanded quote regarding “Fantastic Beasts” is below:

“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.”
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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Not sure what to think about this. Somehow I'd be happier about it if she had decided to write a series of books about the character that had then been optioned for a screenplay. I'm not thrilled about the studio's desire for more movies being the driving force behind this expansion of the Potter mythos.

At the very least, I hope (if there is such a thing) that she writes the novelization of the movie.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #3
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who didn't see that coming, they tried to make other cash-cows like Potter but none of them seemed worked so now they've gone back to the cow that always delivers
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:20 PM   #4
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It'll be interesting to see - I wonder how they're going to drive the mythos forward? Are you going to follow Charlie Weasley on one of his safaris for the Ministry of Magical Creatures?

Frankly I'd rather see it as a TV series loosely based on Steve Irwin with Charlie and Hagrid getting their arses handed to them by that week's feature creature
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:20 PM   #5
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Is J.K. Rowling selling out?
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:29 PM   #6
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Kind of sounds like it. I don't consider writing more stuff set in that world to be "selling out", but when it seems clear that the impetus for doing so is that WB came to her wanting more material for additional movies, well... yeah, writing more of this stuff for THAT reason sounds suspiciously like selling out to me.

Of course, I doubt I'll care if it ends up being good. Selling out is only really annoying (at least to me) when it produces inferior product just to grab some cash. If you produce quality product just to grab some cash, why should I care?
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:47 AM   #7
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Kind of sounds like it. I don't consider writing more stuff set in that world to be "selling out", but when it seems clear that the impetus for doing so is that WB came to her wanting more material for additional movies, well... yeah, writing more of this stuff for THAT reason sounds suspiciously like selling out to me.

Of course, I doubt I'll care if it ends up being good. Selling out is only really annoying (at least to me) when it produces inferior product just to grab some cash. If you produce quality product just to grab some cash, why should I care?
I hope the film's are good too.

I have my doubts though.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:12 PM   #8
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Is it April 1st already?!
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:17 PM   #9
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Pretty sure this one isn't a joke.
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Old 09-13-2013, 05:53 AM   #10
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She pitched it to them.


Has anyone the book? I haven't and I guess until I do, I feel pretty uncomfortable with her as a screenwriter. Its a completely different process than writing a novel. And even writing great novels isn't a sure thing, even for her.

Still, a New York set 20yr old wizard by JK Rowling...exciting.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:20 PM   #11
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She pitched it to them.


Has anyone the book? I haven't and I guess until I do, I feel pretty uncomfortable with her as a screenwriter. Its a completely different process than writing a novel. And even writing great novels isn't a sure thing, even for her.

Still, a New York set 20yr old wizard by JK Rowling...exciting.
I've read the book. It isn't really the sort of thing you base a movie on unless you are desperate for material. It isn't going to be a true adaptation, let's put it that way. The book is what it sounds like, a reference work about various magical beasts. There's no story there.

And according to the article she did NOT pitch it to them.

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It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film.
It was the other way around, which is a big part of why I'm wary.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:45 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by W.West View Post
She pitched it to them.


Has anyone the book? I haven't and I guess until I do, I feel pretty uncomfortable with her as a screenwriter. Its a completely different process than writing a novel. And even writing great novels isn't a sure thing, even for her.

Still, a New York set 20yr old wizard by JK Rowling...exciting.
Couldn't disagree more. Having a strong narrative, sense of empathy, and confidence in your writing is what matters. Structure can be learned and you can always have someone edit a script and tell someone something might not work for film.

Interesting that this is the route they're going, I kind of get the sense that this is WB's way of saying "We promise this isn't a sequel and we're not selling out, so please don't hate us for it but we'd still like to milk you for millions more dollars." Having J.K actually write it is definitely a strong first step, and I'd be wary about saying she's sold out because of this. In terms of making money, she sold out YEARS ago. If she wanted to she could live on her Harry Potter private island and sip away on mai tais for the rest of her life.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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Having J.K actually write it is definitely a strong first step, and I'd be wary about saying she's sold out because of this. In terms of making money, she sold out YEARS ago. If she wanted to she could live on her Harry Potter private island and sip away on mai tais for the rest of her life.
True, but to me the more worrying form of "selling out" isn't licensing other products based on your work. It is when you start adding to your body of work itself solely because somebody threw money at you to do so. Prior to this, I don't feel like she has ever written more Harry Potter material expressly because somebody else wanted more to make money off of.

I could be wrong, though. I don't know the actual genesis behind "The Tales of Beedle the Bard", whether that volume was her idea, or pitched to her by others wanting something more to sell. EDIT: I'm still not sure whose idea it was to make this volume, but it, too, was a charity effort.

I guess technically "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" and "Quidditch Through the Ages" (will that be the next film series once this new one is done? ) might have been written at the request of others, but they were for charity.
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #14
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Well, you have to think of this from her perspective. She's created this world that millions upon millions of people around the world enjoy. All of these great things - movies, video games, an entire section of a theme park is dedicated to her work. Why wouldn't you want those good times to continue?

Now, I can't speak for her personally, however, I'd be extremely leery to immediately call her a sellout. If she was a sellout, she'd have given up on this series years ago. "Selling out" means you're no longer doing it for the right reasons, which I think will be pretty immediate by the quality of the work. Calling it that at this juncture is extremely premature.
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:51 PM   #15
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"Selling out" means you're no longer doing it for the right reasons, which I think will be pretty immediate by the quality of the work. Calling it that at this juncture is extremely premature.
I dunno. I think you are right about what "selling out" means, but I don't think that necessarily means the work will be poor. You CAN do something well, but for the wrong reasons, I think. "Selling out" is not equivalent to "phoning it in", even though the two so often are congruent.

All I'm saying is that this looks like she's adding to the Potter world only because WB wants some more hit movies and asked her about making more. If that's really the reason she's doing it, I'd say that's "selling out" even if the work is high quality. But like I said, as long as the work is good, I'm not really going to be critical of the decision. At the very least, she seems to have insisted that SHE be the one to expand the Potter-verse through these films. If she'd just given somebody else permission to write new stories in that world, just so they could make more money, THAT would be more troubling, IMHO.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:36 PM   #16
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So it's D&D Monster Manual: The Movie.

Great.
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Old 09-13-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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They came to her asking for continuation, and she chose THIS is what I'm saying. Its not like they said "Here's what we're looking to do, what do you say?" I think it was more like "Hey, we really think the magical world can be expanded. Is there anything you've already written that you think YOU would like to see as a film series?"
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:56 PM   #18
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They came to her asking for continuation, and she chose THIS is what I'm saying. Its not like they said "Here's what we're looking to do, what do you say?" I think it was more like "Hey, we really think the magical world can be expanded. Is there anything you've already written that you think YOU would like to see as a film series?"
No, they came to her specifically to ask about making a movie from that book. Or so the article says.

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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 don't see how you can get anything from that quote except that WB had the idea of making a film based on that book. So in effect, it IS exactly like they said, "Here's what we're looking to do, what do you say?". At that point they weren't even asking her to write it. That was her idea because she was uncomfortable with somebody else telling the story THEY had decided to film.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:53 PM   #19
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No, they came to her specifically to ask about making a movie from that book. Or so the article says.



I don't see how you can get anything from that quote except that WB had the idea of making a film based on that book. So in effect, it IS exactly like they said, "Here's what we're looking to do, what do you say?". At that point they weren't even asking her to write it. That was her idea because she was uncomfortable with somebody else telling the story THEY had decided to film.
Yup!
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Old 09-14-2013, 03:20 AM   #20
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The world of witches and wizards, set back in the 1950s or therabouts, fantastic beasts, history, and a rated-PG video game to match. What's not to like. Look for it in 3-D at a theatre near you. Fun for the summer of 2015. Whee!
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:43 PM   #21
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WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara

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I think one at a time, the whole bid is that we are going the film franchise and build off of kind of the success. We announced today that we are going that J is writing a screenplay for the first time based on fantastic piece and where to find them, it was – it’s a book that was written about a character in the world who was commander and professor at Hogwarts and history. She is taking that and expanding upon that to create a screenplay which we hope is going to extend both the franchise, a couple of new franchise quite frankly. And so the impact is not only on our theatrical side but all kind of parts of our business.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:31 PM   #22
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What the heck. It was not a book that was written about a character. I wonder if he's actually read it.
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Old 09-17-2013, 01:14 AM   #23
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lol He's the CEO. Fuck no he hasn't read it. Would you? You think he's read all the LOTR books too?
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Old 09-17-2013, 05:15 AM   #24
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lol He's the CEO. Fuck no he hasn't read it. Would you? You think he's read all the LOTR books too?
I did read it. I'd like to think that even if I was a CEO, I'd still read stuff. Or at the very least have somebody who had read the stuff I was talking about review my statements about it.

And if he hasn't read LotR, he should.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:57 PM   #25
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JK Rowling Has Script Approval for "Fantastic Beasts" and its Sequels

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For Rowling, the most important issue was creative control‚ not an easy ask for a first-time screenwriter. Sources say Warners cannot hire someone else to rewrite her script without her approval -- a gamble for the studio and a departure from the Potter films, which were written by such seasoned scribes as Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg. Rowling also has script approval on subsequent Fantastic Beasts films.

Complicating matters for Tsujihara: The studio passed on Rowling's first non-Potter novel, The Casual Vacancy, which went to BBC-TV as a series (though Warners will distribute it outside the U.K.). He also had to establish a fresh rapport because her main studio contact had been Alan Horn, who left in 2011. Tsujihara enlisted a consigliere in DC Entertainment president Diane Nelson, who once oversaw the Potter brand. Also lending a hand were Warners' U.K. president Josh Berger and business-affairs head Steve Spira, and legal execs John Rogovin and Jeremy Williams.

With the Rowling deal in place, Warners is seeking a producer. Sources say talks are ongoing with David Heyman, who produced the eight Potter films as well as the studio's upcoming Gravity.
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