We may still be four months away from the release of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, the sequel to J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but that’s not stopping the busy wizard behind the Harry Potter universe’s magic curtain from rolling up her sleeves to begin work on the third installment.
Rowling updated fans on her official blog with news that she’s already looking ahead to the still-unnamed third movie in the Fantastic Beasts spinoff franchise, having begun work on the screenplay — all while dropping a mysterious tease that she’s preparing to write “another book for children,” albeit one not set in the Harry Potter universe.
“I’ve just finished the fourth Galbraith novel, Lethal White, and I’m now writing the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts 3,” Rowling wrote. “After that I’ll be writing another book for children. I’ve been playing with the (non-Harry Potter/wizarding world) story for about six years, so it’s about time I get it down on paper.”
Set in the time before the events of the Harry Potter films, The Crimes of Grindelwald will follow dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp) through his rise to prominence in post-World War II Europe. It’s a setting that offers up the chance to glimpse a much younger Albus Dumbledore (played by Jude Law), whose childhood friendship with Grindelwald is shattered by Grindelwald’s nefarious ambition.
Aiding Dumbledore is his intrepid former student, Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), back from the first installment to team up against a now-escaped Grindelwald as the dark wizard mobilizes unwitting supporters in his quest to subjugate the rest of humanity under a new regime of pure-blooded wizards.
Rowling shared that the filmmaking process comes with plenty of frustrations, but that the allure of bringing her fictional world to life on the screen always beckons her back for more.
“The thing with movies is, however frustrated you get with the screenwriting process... you go down to the film set and join in with one big glorious game of pretend,” she explained, “with the world’s best pretenders saying your words, and dressing out of the most fabulous dressing-up box, and what with the lights and the smoke and the music you’re suddenly in love with the process all over again.”
That’s music to the ears of expectant Harry Potter fans, since it sounds as if Rowling isn’t anywhere near ready to step away from the world she’s still creating. While Rowling’s toiling away on the script for Fantastic Beasts 3, we’ll bide our time until Nov. 16, when Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald starts casting its spell on theaters everywhere.