Newt Scamander in Fantastic Beasts
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Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Why we’re getting 5 Fantastic Beasts movies, says producer

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Dec 2, 2018, 10:29 AM EST

What spell do you use to turn a cryptozoology textbook into five movies? In this case the magic comes from J.K. Rowling’s imagination.

When Rowling published the fictional guide to cryptids as real-life Hogwarts required reading to accompany the Harry Potter series back in 2001, no one had any idea what a beast the book would would turn into. Producer David Heyman recently let Collider in on the sorcery that is now turning what was originally supposed to be a film trilogy into five installments of Newt, Nifflers, and that magical suitcase.

Fantastic Beasts just grew too many heads to stay caged within three movies, Heyman learned.

“While it may look like it to some people, there is nothing cynical about this,” he said. “This is all from [Rowling’s] head. So she begins with three films, because she thinks that’s the story she wants to tell, and then as she digs deeper… and she hadn’t written anything when she said three. Then she wrote the first, and as she was writing the second, actually just before then, but as she says we working on the first, she began to realize there was a whole lot more, and she was trying to figure out, ‘How the hell am I going to squeeze this into three?’”

She has a point. Grindelwald’s twisted dream of having pureblood wizards rule the world is much more complicated than just waving around some blue fire, and thwarting him—if that happens—will prove complicated. Voldemort hasn’t even been born yet, but what will eventually be his mission in life and undeath is already emerging from the dark recesses of questionable wizardry. Potterheads know exactly what that ectoplasmic green flash behind the door in the beginning of The Crimes of Grindelwald is. Not to mention what Nagini will become.

That took two movies to reveal and isn’t even close to giving away what kind of nefarious plans Grindelwald could be thinking of, and how many hours of runtime it would take to fight him and his posse of dark wizards and witches. For those who were rolling their eyes at how The Hobbit could be stretched into three films, this is far from a cash grab. Heyman is aware that Rowling just needs adequate space to tell the story in its entirety.

“I think she knew some of the tentpole, not film tentpole, but some of the structures, the big moments that she was trying to hit,” he explained. “She knows where it ends. She knows where it begins, and she had a lot of the building blocks in her head. But as she was filling out, she realized there was a lot more there than she thought.”

If there is going to be an all-out battle with wands not unlike the showdown at the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, please say Newt will charge in riding the Kelpie.

(via Flickering Myth)