Why Fantastic Beasts Is Getting 5 Movies

David Heyman shares some insight into why the story is getting that many films.


In October, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling announced that there will be at least five Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them films. Now, producer David Heyman has confirmed the idea to tell the story across five films came from Rowling herself and explained why it was necessary.

"She has such a great knowledge and a deep knowledge of this world," Heyman told IGN about the wider Harry Potter universe. "Nothing happens by chance, as it were. One of the reasons for the success of the [Harry Potter] books is it's such a richly conceived world. So she knew Newt's story many years ago when she wrote the textbook. So she knew his history; knew what his story was; knew where he'd come from; knew the adventures that he went on. So it was [J.K. Rowling] who made the decision [to make five movies] and she told us a couple of weeks ago."

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The first film, which stars Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander, opened in theaters last weekend and had a strong debut. The first sequel, due in 2018, will be set in Paris and feature Dumbledore and the evil wizard Grindelwald, who will be played by Johnny Depp.

Rowling herself revealed earlier this month to Variety (see the video below) that Fantastic Beasts was originally conceived as a trilogy. Though after fleshing out the script, she thought five movies might be better. Even five movies will apparently be a tight squeeze to tell the story she wants to.

"It's pretty ambitious to tell it in five to be honest because we're spanning 19 years, but I can see an arc to five--so that's how it happened."

The first Fantastic Beasts is set in 1926, which means the story will wrap up in 1945, at the end of World War II. Intriguingly, that's the year when Dumbledore and Grindelwald have their famous showdown (via Movie Pilot). This suggests that the fan-favorite character Dumbledore will have a major role to play in the sequels. Warner Bros. has not yet announced who will play the great wizard in the movies.

19 years may sound familiar to Harry Potter fans, as that's the same amount of time that existed between the end of the events of the Harry Potter series and the epilogue.

Harry Potter alum David Yates directed Fantastic Beasts. He is reportedly signed up to direct the sequel, though he may not make all five.

For more on Fantastic Beasts, check out GameSpot's review and what other critics are saying.

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