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Thursday, September 12, 2013

J.K. Rowling Is Writing the Screenplay for a Harry Potter Prequel Film Series

Posted by on Thu, Sep 12, 2013 at 11:39 AM

From the press release:

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.

I love how prolific J.K. Rowling has been, post-Potter. A lot of authors would just sit on their fat stacks of cash and spend too much time deciding on what their next step should be. But I'm not sure if Rowling being the guiding force behind a film-only prequel to the Harry Potter series is a good idea; I think it gives the films an authorial legitimacy that they wouldn't otherwise have. This is an interesting choice from Rowling, and it's undoubtedly good for her brand, but I'm not sure that it's a great thing for the books.

(Via Book Riot.)


Comments (18) RSS

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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 1

Douche-speak for "I judge media on a scale of obscure-and-therefore-cool to popular-and-therefore-lame."
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on September 12, 2013 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Kinison 2
Hope its not like SW:EP1.

"Finished the first draft", George Lucas
"Its awesome Mr Lucas!! dont change anything", Fan/LucasArts Employee
Posted by Kinison on September 12, 2013 at 12:22 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 3
I for one look forward to Severus Snape's School Days
Posted by Will in Seattle on September 12, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Joe Szilagyi 4
It's not a prequel, it's just set IN the Potter universe. It's supposed to be about an Indiana Jones-era Wizard off doing Indiana Jones type things, except instead of an archeologist, he's a zoologist and an anthropologist. Although I'm sure there will cameo surprises, like a young Dumbledore, Grindewald, or similar characters. The new films are supposed to be set around 1920. Rowling said Dumbledore was born in 1881, so yeah, I'm sure a young Albus will pop up. Voldemort was born around 1926, but Dumbledore didn't find him until around 1938, so we probably won't see "Tom", but it could be fun to see the whole Riddle story.

I can't guess how they possibly fit the Potter family into this, unless someone knows James Potter's family (Harry's mother was born to muggles).

I can't believe I still remember all this...
Posted by Joe Szilagyi on September 12, 2013 at 12:50 PM · Report this
Fenrox 5
I love comics and I both love and hate that when a writer is done, another writer can pick the story up and have fun. Harry Potter's universe is so wonderfully simple and open that I really REALLY want some more stories from it. Lets just do a future hop and go to Harry's great granddaughter.
Posted by Fenrox on September 12, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
What *would* give the films authorial legitimacy in your eyes? That criticism makes zero sense. She was also the "guiding force" behind the first set of films.
Posted by EJM11 on September 12, 2013 at 1:21 PM · Report this
What you MEAN to say, Paul, is that the Harry Potter books suck, and that she can't let them go, and the idea that she let anybody edit her or do anything without her is anathema to her.

They were bad because nobody dared edit her, and they got all bloated and messy.

There's no way in hell anyone re-reads them. You force your way through them once, curse yourself and move on.

But you said it in a really stupid way.

@2's Lucas comparison is dead on.
Posted by Sevenwithoneblow on September 12, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Big Matt G 8
@7) I've had all of the available Harry Potter books re-read to me by Jim Dale on a yearly basis since 2002. I guess it's fair to say that the books are not for you.

As for further Rowling projects in the Potterverse, I was hoping for a retelling of the HP books from Snape's POV or of her finally writing out Hogwarts, A History. However the Newt Scamander Chronicles idea shows some promise.
Posted by Big Matt G on September 12, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
@7 Lighten up muggle! Maybe you just need a nice glass of butterbeer...
Posted by passionfruiter on September 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
delirian 10
@4: Oh, that is very smart. When a story is told, it has been told. But the universe created with a story can still be used for other stories. The Star Wars prequels murdered the saga because they stupidly wanted to continue a story that was told. But the Knights of the Old Republic game, which used the universe but didn't connect to the story, was absolutely brilliant and felt more Star Wars than the original Star Wars.
Posted by delirian on September 12, 2013 at 5:48 PM · Report this
@8 - listing to an audio book while you heat up your microwave dinner doesn't count as re-reading. I guess it's fair to say that reading is not for you.

Neither does having the movie on in the background while you cut paper dolls out of fashion magazines.

The writing and plotting in those books suck. They are bad. The word choices and sentence structure stinks. These are bad books that children like(d) because they were told too and adults liked because they were sad about 9/11 and needed to escape into fantasy.

It's a generic story badly told. Don't like it.
Posted by Sevenwithoneblow on September 12, 2013 at 5:59 PM · Report this
raku 12
It's very disappointing that she's introducing another male protagonist. She mentioned that she chose a male protagonist for Harry Potter because girls buy books with boy leads but boy don't buy books with girl leads, which is generally true, but she's beyond that point now. It's going from go-along-with-patriarchy pragmatism to now just self-hating misogyny. Unfortunate. Obviously young adult books and movies can still be wildly successful (see: Hunger Games).
Posted by raku on September 12, 2013 at 10:18 PM · Report this
@12 maybe she'll make him openly gay.
Posted by Machiavelli was framed on September 12, 2013 at 10:22 PM · Report this
Merlin D. Bear 14
@11 I think you're forgetting one major point. The Potter Universe/stories/marketing behemoth came about because she wanted to tell her kids bedtime stories.
She didn't set out to create "Art".
The books are pure unadulterated nonsense. But they're entertainingly addictive unadulterated nonsense that proudly occupy space in libraries everywhere.
I for one look forward to turning my grandkids on to them when they start reading.
But that's just me.
Posted by Merlin D. Bear on September 12, 2013 at 10:53 PM · Report this
@14 - It's a shame the poison of one generation must be injected into the veins of the next. You would think you would have love in your heart for your children's children.

Love your main point, though, which is: "Yup, they suck. That's the whole point. You're missing the point, @11. They're terrible, but they're SUPPOSED to be, because she wasn't trying. Hope this clears things up."
Posted by Sevenwithoneblow on September 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Big Matt G 16
@15) Trolls gonna troll.
Posted by Big Matt G on September 13, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
@16 -- Troll? Is that a creature from the books? She has the most wonderful imagination. She invented so many creative monsters. A half horse/half man? A dragon?

She's amazing. So fertile.
Posted by Sevenwithoneblow on September 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Big Matt G 18
@16) It took a while, but you've finally convinced me. I've wasted all that time over the past 11 years when I thought I was enjoying myself thoroughly being ignorantly immersed in the Harry Potter "novels"! I curse my fate that your cutting wit and clever observations were only brought to to my attention now. I only hope that my modeling my every action after your shining example for the rest of my life can be enough for me to atone for all of that time I was thoughtlessly sitting quietly and hurting nobody. Thank God! Thank God for you, Sevenwithoneblow!
Posted by Big Matt G on September 13, 2013 at 10:39 PM · Report this

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