[WATCH] ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’: J.K. Rowling announces five ‘Fantastic’ films

The “Harry Potter” franchise spanned eight films between 2001 and 2011, but the makers of its spin-off “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” have decided to be a little more conservative: author and screenwriter J.K. Rowling announced at a fan event on October 13 (watch it above) that they’re planning five films for this franchise — oh is that all?

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Said Rowling, “We were doing some script sessions the other day, and I can tell you that we always knew it was going to be more than one movie; we knew that from the start. We said a trilogy as a kind of placeholder … I’ve now done the plotting properly, so we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies — which they didn’t know.” Rowling was referring to the cast of the film, who seemed to be taken by surprise as much as the audience was.

The eight “Potter” films were based on seven novels written by Rowling. “Fantastic Beasts,” meanwhile, is inspired by just one book (unless Rowling has plans for more of those too). The tome was written by Rowling as a fictional textbook studied by Potter and his fellow students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Where the story goes in its four subsequent films remains to be seen, but the first installment follows the textbook’s author, Newt Scamander (Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne), who finds himself battling magical threats in 1926 New York City.

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In addition to Redmayne, the cast features actors from both sides of the Atlantic, including Colin Farrell, Ezra Miller, Katherine Waterston, Samantha Morton and Carmen Ejogo. It’s directed by David Yates, who helmed the last four “Harry Potter” films. And the screenplay is by Rowling herself.

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