J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. are teaming up again to bring us a new film from the world of Harry Potter. Rowling is writing the screenplay - her first! - for an original story based on the Hogwarts textbook for all first years, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. This will evidently be the first film in a series, all about the book's author and Chocolate Frog Trading Card star Newt Scamander.
The movie will take place seventy years before we meet Harry in the cupboard under the stairs, which means...Hot Young Dumbledore action?
Of course, it's easy to view this as a cynical cashgrab, but I love Rowling and she's shown a lot of integrity in the past when it comes to her creations. If she's doing this, I think it's because it's a project for which she has genuine enthusiasm, and I look forward to seeing her take on the screenwriting mantle for the first time.
And anyway, I've just missed this world. We talk a lot about world-building in fantasy and sci-fi films, and to my mind, there are few worlds as nuanced and tangible as that of Harry Potter's. Rowling is a genius at details, at colors and textures and names and quirks, and so even if Fantastic Beasts is necessarily missing some of the heart and magic of Harry Potter (of course it will be), I look forward to revisiting that universe.
But there are probably plenty of you that think this is disgraceful, so lay it on me downstairs.