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J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beast’s Franchise Sees New Co-Writer

It’s been a rocky couple of years for J.K. Rowling’s divisive Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise. The series, which first garnered criticism over its leading actor Johnny Depp‘s controversial personal life, has been far less successful than its predecessor, the Harry Potter franchise. Still, Rowling and Warner Brothers hope to complete the project as it enters production of its third installment in 2020. This time, though, the film will be getting a new writer, Steve Kloves.

It’s not uncommon for writing credits to shift throughout the course of film franchises. Steve Kloves, who wrote the screenplay for all but the fifth Harry Potter film, will likely help bring the franchise to life even further. Deadline has also reported that the franchise will be expanding upon the story of Jude Law’s Albus Dumbledore, suggesting that the series will serve as more of a prequel to Harry Potter than it will a standalone series. Already, the Fantastic Beasts franchise has provided context into Professor Dumbledore’s mysterious past.

Rowling may have dreamt up the universe and written the lore of the magical world, but the less than stellar reviews and return on the latest Fantastic Beasts film, The Crimes of Grindelwald, suggests that Rowling may not be suited for the world of screenwriting. Kloves, who wrote the scripts for the film series that has been touted as one of the most successful book-to-movie transitions of all time, will likely breathe new life into the dwindling Fantastic Beasts story.

The Franchise

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in the 1920’s tells the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a wizard that studies magical creatures. Throughout the film franchise, Mr. Scamander is met with dark forces as Grindelwald (Depp), an evil wizard is on his rise to power. The latter films focus more on Grindelwald’s arc, as it provides a lot of context into the world that Harry Potter takes place in, far before the happenings of that film/book series. The Fantastic Beasts series is based on one of Harry’s schoolbooks, as the fictional Newt Scamander wrote the textbook that shares a name with the series.

The series has received mixed reviews since first premiering back in 2016. Fans of the Harry Potter series like that the film expands on the magical universe. But many have expressed that they wish the films shared visual similarities with the Harry Potter series, as well as providing more context into the history of the Harry Potter universe in general. The latest installment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise may deliver just that, but it will take new screenwriters and a new team to be able to get it there.

The new film is set to begin production in early 2020 and will take place in Brazil. Cast members from the earlier films are set to reprise their roles, with David Yates directing the film. This will represent the third out of a planned five films in the series.