September 12, 2013 was an exciting day for Harry Potter fans.
This was the day that Warner Bros. announced that they had entered into a partnership with JK Rowling for a new movie franchise set in the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The spinoff will be based on the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and follows its writer Newt Scamander 70 years before Harry Potter. Rowling has stated that the film is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter films; instead, it is an extension of the wizarding world, with its particular laws and customs of the hidden magical society.
The eight Harry Potter films grossed more than $7 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film franchise of all time, and helped Warner Bros maintain their spot as one of the highest grossing studios in the world this past decade. Clearly, Warner Bros. was not ready to give up on a good thing.
JK Rowling released a statement in which she personally thanked Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara for making this upcoming franchise possible:
It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood. As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros. …
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.
Kevin Tsujihara was promoted to chief executive of Warner Bros in January of this year and is the first person of Asian descent to run a major Hollywood studio.