• Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Source: Entertainment Weekly (SBS Movies)Source: SBS Movies
The ever-expanding Harry Potter universe just got bigger.
By
reuters.com

Source:
Reuters
14 Oct 2016 - 9:30 AM  UPDATED 14 Oct 2016 - 9:30 AM

The ever-expanding "Harry Potter" franchise just got larger.

The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spinoff will be a five-film franchise, J.K. Rowling confirmed at a Warner Bros. fan event in London on Thursday.

"I'm pretty sure that there are going to be five movies, now that I've been able to properly plot them out," Rowling said at the fan event from the Empire Theatre in London.

"We always knew that there would be more than one," she said. Three "Fantastic Beasts" films were initially anticipated, with the last in the trilogy expected to come out in November 2020.

Rowling wrote the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts, marking her first script.

"So I learned how to write a screenplay while writing a screenplay." she added. I wouldn't recommend it."

The London event also drew stars Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, and Dan Fogler, director David Yates, and producer David Heyman. Colin Farrell and Jon Voight, meanwhile, attended the fan event in L.A. The global event was streamed via satellite to gatherings in New York, London, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, and Rome.

Oscar winner Redmayne stars as Newt Scamander in the films.

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Warner Bros. Pictures had announced in August that a second movie in the Fantastic Beasts series was already in the works. Yates is also directing the sequel from a script by Rowling. Yates teased on Thursday that the second movie will be set in another global capital city -- not the upcoming film's New York City setting. "It will be very different," Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter films, added.

The second film will be produced by Rowling, Heyman, Steve Kloves, and Lionel Wigram. Rowling's agent, Neil Blair, Rick Senat, and Danny Cohen will serve as executive producers.

Following Rowling's revelation about the five films, attendees at the fan event were shown footage from the first 10 minutes of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which opens with investigators tracking the unseen beasts in the countryside followed by a variety of headlines from 1926 papers including "Is Anyone Safe?" and references to the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald.

The first sequence shows Redmayne telling the creatures in his briefcase to "settle down" as he's about to go through U.S. customs successfully. That's followed by a scene where a wordless Farrell surveys an area that's been devastated by the beasts and Redmayne encounters anti-beast forces holding a rally while one of the beasts escapes from the briefcase. Fogler, who appears to provide the comic relief, is seen trying to stuff himself into the briefcase in the next scene.

Redmayne said that his character Newt Scamander is "incredible passionate" in answer to a fan question. He also acknowledged that the success of the Harry Potter franchise has created high expectations.

"I feel an incredible amount of pressure," he added

Yates also said the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits Australian cinemas on Nov. 17, will feature a cameo by a young Albus Dumbledore and Gellert Grendelwald -- characters from the original "Harry Potter" movies.

The second instalment is slated for worldwide release on Nov. 15, 2018.

Watch a stream of the event below.

 

By Maane Khatchatourian, Dave McNary for Variety