Earlier this week, one of my son’s friends from school charged onto the playground with a broken paintbrush in hand and wearing glasses crafted completely out of black construction paper. He ran up to my son and boomed: “Wizard school time! Find your wand!” My son looked at him with complete amazement before dashing off to find a suitable twig. Before long, a girl from their class joined them on the playground, and she was immediately told to “Find your wand!” The mom of the original playground wizard explained to the huddle of parents, “So my husband showed him Harry Potter this weekend.”
J.K. Rowling is a name on the spine of many books in our home. Obviously they’re all Potter books and well-read and enjoyed by me, as is apparent by the way the books simply sigh open when a page is turned. I have been waiting to introduce the books and the character of Harry Potter to my son for another year, but hearing that a boy in his class was able to enjoy it this early has given me hope.
In addition to the flutter of excitement over possibly being able to share Hogwarts with my son sooner rather than later, there is the breaking news from Warner Brothers today that has all Potter fans thrilled. J.K. Rowling will be writing what is, essentially, a prequel to the Harry Potter stories. The film will be about Newt Scamander, the author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. That book was one of the textbooks Harry and his friends used while at Hogwarts.
The CEO of Warner Brothers, Kevin Tsujihara, spoke at a press conference today about the partnership with J.K. Rowling. He also broke the news about the already planned films. “The hope is that we’re going to build a film franchise that will impact a lot of the studio’s businesses.”
The Hollywood Reporter adds, “Tsujihara said Fantastic Beasts won’t only be a film series, but also a video game and an attraction within the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at theme parks run by Universal Parks and Resorts.”
J.K. Rowling spoke at the press conference and shared, “Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”
The LA Times has expertly compiled all of the information we know so far about Newt Scamander:
• He was born in 1897, sorted into the Hufflepuff house at Hogwarts. He became a magizoologist at the encouragement of his mother, who was a breeder of the hippogriff, a magical creature that is half eagle, half horse.
• After graduating from Hogwarts, Scamander joined the wizard government, called the Ministry of Magic, where he worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. His career included the creation of the Werewolf Register of 1947, the 1965 passage of the Ban on Experimental Breeding, and many research trips for the Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau.
• He is said to have written Fantastic Beasts in 1918. At some point in his life, he was made the headmaster of Hogwarts.
How old were your kids when you introduced them to Harry Potter?
Image Credit: Harry Potter Wiki
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