Did someone just hit Warner Bros. with a Gemino Curse? The studio revealed this week that its return to the Harry Potter franchise wasn’t just going to include one movie but three, if not more. While rumours have been circulating like contraband copies of The Quibbler that a trilogy might be in the works, this is the first time the news has been confirmed.
It was quickly followed by another announcement saying David Yates, who directed the final four Harry Potter movies, had also been signed on to helm the first film. It’s expected to debut in 2016 with a new one every two years and feature one of Rowling’s favourite side characters, Newt Scamander.
If you’re still feeling Confounded about the guy who’s about to get a whole franchise to himself, you’re not alone. We figured it was time to re-enroll ourselves at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to find out who, exactly, this Scamander is, and what he has to do with Harry Potter.
Who is he?
You’ll have to go way back to the beginnings of the Harry Potter series to catch anything about our new magical friend, and even then you’d be excused for completely missing the reference. In both the first book and movie he’s oh-so-casually mentioned as the author of one of Harry’s textbooks. Unless you’re Hermione Granger, we bet that wasn’t obvious.
He does kind of sound familiar…
If you have heard of him, it might be because you happened to pick up your very own copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Rowling went ahead and wrote a real version of the fictional textbook in 2001 to raise money for Comic Relief, giving us the lowdown on some of the creatures Harry would, thanks to Hagrid, have the unfortunate experience of meeting. It also had the added advantage of not being the Monster Book Of Monsters.
So what did he do?
After graduating from Hogwarts as a Hufflepuff, Scamander did what most young wizards his age do and joined the Ministry of Magic. Apparently he too suffered from a deep love of Hippogriffs and spent the next few years traveling five continents to find creatures even crazier than that, which is what this latest series of movies should be all about.
We’re guessing since Rowling’s already written his book she’s probably already put some thought into his backstory as a traveling magical creature researcher, which is sure to help with her first screenplay. Either way, he’s hands down better than the last roving writer she thought up.
What does this have to do with Harry?
Unless Harry and Hermione decide to make like The Prisoner of Azkaban again and steal a Time Turner, not all that much. Scamander’s adventures happened a good 70 years before He Who Must Not Be Named paid the Potters a visit. Rowling has also already ruled out writing a direct prequel or sequel for Harry Potter so cashing in on the monsters is all that’s left. On the bright side, Dumbledore was totally alive and happened to write the foreword for Scamander’s book. Fingers crossed.
If you pay close enough attention to the third movie, you can totally spot Scamander wandering the halls of Hogwarts. Some hope for Harry after all?