Here’s a good question to start: WHY?
For those of you who have read Harry Potter (is there a member of the millennial generation who hasn’t?), you’ll recognize Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a textbook that Harry and his classmates use throughout the series. It catalogues many of the magical creatures that they encounter throughout the series, and our dear friend J. K. Rowling actually wrote it as a companion to the HP books in the early 2000s. This is all well and good, and I’m sure that a lot of people enjoyed reading it and learning more about the creatures in the books. I haven’t personally read it myself, but I’ve heard good things.
I am baffled as to how they plan to turn a textbook into a movie. NO WAIT, THREE MOVIES. Remember when they made movies out of He’s Just Not That Into You and What to Expect When You’re Expecting? They received a whopping 40% and 22%, respectively, on Rotten Tomatoes. And those were actual books! Nonfiction, yes, so I’m sure that the titles were only used because they were familiar to their target audience (i.e. women in their 20s-40s) and the plots bear little resemblance to the books themselves, but still. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not only a textbook, it’s a fictional textbook. A fictional textbook with no plot whatsoever.
This Slate article claims that the movies will follow Newt Scamander, the (again, fictional) author of the textbook, as he…discovers where to find fantastic beasts, I guess. (???) Okay, show of hands: who cares one whit about Newt Scamander? Not me. Bully for you if you do, but Newt had no bearing on the plot of any of the Harry Potter books, so the relationship between this trilogy (oh God, it hurts to even type it) and the Harry Potter series is tenuous at best, and at worst nonexistent.
The one good thing, I hope, about this travesty (I’m sorry, I meant to type trilogy, oh well) is that J. K. Rowling apparently wrote the screenplay, so I guess that’s good. Then again, we could also have a situation on our hands like Stephen King’s Storm of the Century, which led me personally to believe he should stick to books and forget the whole screenplay thing. The first film of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them trilogy will also be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter films, but that gives me even less hope because I hated Order of the Phoenix (not as much as I hated Goblet of Fire, though) and I refused to see the sixth or either installment of the seventh, so I can’t really judge his directorial chops very well.
How do you feel about making Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a movie trilogy? Let us know in the comments.