Fantastic Franchises, and How To Exploit Them: We’re Getting FIVE ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Movies Now


I hope you like the sound of a quintilogy…pentilogy? “Five part series,” okay?


We’re getting a new Harry Potter movie in a month’s time, which I guess is kind of crazy. So far at least we haven’t really seen that much hubbub for the prequel/spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, although Warner seems to be kicking that into gear as we speak. Tomorrow begins the release of all seven previous films into IMAX, alongside the release of an “exclusive” sneak peek of the new film. But today at least, WB seems to be applying a different tactic to get people excited, straight from the realm of TV: promising more, so you can get invested now.

It’s a pretty smart strategy (especially when it comes to the cancellation-prone TV), as it makes people feel like they HAVE to get excited and involved in the first installment, as they will be getting more of it for the next decade or so of their lives. And when it comes to the new series of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them films, that seems to be more literal than anything, as we might be getting upwards of FIVE installments in this new set of movies.

That’s straight from the mouth of the franchise herself, J.K. Rowling, who revealed the expansion of the series from its planned three entries during a fan event in London. Said Rowling (via Variety):

“We always knew that it was going to be more than one movie — we knew that from the start — so we set a trilogy as a sort of placeholder, because we knew there would be more than one movie. But I’ve now done the plotting properly, so we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies.”

To be fair, this shouldn’t be a surprise coming from Rowling — she’s a pretty imaginative author (to understate things), and managed to turn the Harry Potter series into SEVEN books of a combined 4,224 pages. If Rowling says there’s five movies worth of material here, I’m going to believe her. And the fact that she seems to be writing all of them continues to be the main reason I’m really looking forward to Fantastic Beasts, warts and all.

That said, this is going to be a pretty interesting challenge. Most film series don’t really go on for five films (well, at least not until recently), and the ones that did became pretty tired and uninspired. The reason Harry Potter worked with its large installment count was biggest it had the “coming-of-age” story as a through-line. Fantastic Beasts likely won’t have that, so this five series commitment could end up getting pretty exhaustive. My best guess of what they could do to keep the series “fresh” would be taking the X-Men route, and having each film take place in a different decade (Fantastic Beasts 2 in the 30’s, Fantastic Beasts 3 in the 40’s, etc.) They can also get away with this pretty easily, as wizards age slower than us filthy muggles — you can probably have Redmayne’s Newt Scamander looking relatively the same throughout the 20th Century. But none of that is confirmed — just a guess on my part.

What IS confirmed is that a different location will take precedent in the planned second film, moving away from the 1920’s New York that will be the core of the first film. That was confirmed by David Yates, who directs the first film and will be directing the second. And considering his attachment to the series, I wouldn’t be surprised if he directs all five of them. Or maybe seven of them. After all, they’ll never stop the Harry Potter movies. Have no fear; they have stories for years!

Has Hagrid ever owned a cell phone?

-Matthew