Friday Favorite: Favorite News

Today’s Friday Favorite is a bit different. I wasn’t going to do one at all, because I’m still on vacation and have trouble getting the formatting correct on my phone, but I thought I’d make an attempt. Instead of picking a favorite scene or moment or character or something else from a movie an TV show, I’m instead going to offer a few thoughts about this week’s big news about J.K. Rowling.
It was announced today (at least I think it was today, but I lose track of time when I’m on vacation) that Rowling has reached a new deal with Warner Bros., the studio behind the wildly successful adaptations of her Harry Potter books.
The biggest news of the new deal is another film set within the Harry Potter universe, based on Rowling’s book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Fantastic Beasts is an in-universe text book belonging to Harry Potter and filled with his notes, which was mentioned during the series. The book, “written by” Newt Scamander, covers a variety of magical creatures who appear throughout the Harry Potter saga, and was written to benefit Comic Relief, with most of the proceeds going to charity (along with its companion Quidditch Through the Ages). It’s a cute book (and a must-own for every Harry Potter fan), but it’s not a story in and of itself.
The film adaptation will reportedly be about Newt Scamander, and will begin in New York approximately 70 years before the events of the Harry Potter saga. This is a smart move, as it allows the movie to share the universe without feeling the need to link in with the story we already know, which feels 100% complete on its own. But the best news is that Rowling will be writing the screenplay. She has never written a screenplay before, but that’s not really a concern to me. It’s important that she keeps her hand in the Harry Potter universe, and when it was announced years ago that Warner Bros. also had the film rights to Fantastic Beasts and Quidditch Through the Ages I was very concerned about the possible ways they might exploit those pieces of the Harry Potter puzzle. I imagined a variety of increasingly divergent films that lost sight of what made Harry Potter so special, but Rowling’s involvement has completely erased my fears.
Also included in the news was an announcement of new theme park attractions, as well as the previously announced mini-series adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, which I’m looking forward to hearing more about (look for my upcoming review of the book, posting next week, and a review of The Cuckoo’s Calling soon after that). But as of right now, we know there’s more in store for the Harry Potter universe, straight from the source. And what could be better than that?
What do you think? Are you excited about the prospect of a film version of Fantastic Beasts written by Rowling? Who would you like to see involved in a Casual Vacancy mini-series? Let me know in the comments! (Normal Friday Favorites return next week.)

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