JK Rowling defends decision to adapt Fantastic Beasts novella into five movies

The Harry Potter spin-off series is set to become a major five-part film franchise

JK Rowling has defended the decision to adapt her Harry Potter spin-off book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as five movies.

Yesterday, the author announced that the 2001 novel, intended as a supplementary manual to accompany her Harry Potter franchise, will be turned into a five-part film series in a Facebook livestream.

“We were doing some script sessions the other day, and I can tell you that we always knew it was going to be more than one movie,” she said. “We said a trilogy as a kind of placeholder, but I’ve now done the plotting properly and we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies.”


Following the announcement, Rowling was questioned on Twitter about whether the 128 page book contains enough material to justified the extended screen time.

“Five movies? Don’t you think it’s too much? You have too much to say with only one book?” asked one user.

Rowling replied: “I think, when you realise what story we’re *really* telling, you’ll understand that it can’t possibly fit in one movie!”

Responding to another user questioning whether the franchise will stop with five, she wrote: “There’s a natural arc to five. You’ll see.”

Fantastic Beasts is set 70 years before the Harry Potter saga begins. It focuses on Newt Scamander, the author of one of Harry’s Hogwarts text books, and his adventures in New York City.


Rowling hinted that the films will include connections to the plot of her Harry Potter novels.

“This is new material. There are ways in which we connect to the Potter books that I think people will find surprising,” Rowling said.

“You’re learning a part of magical history that’s talked about in the Potter books that you never see. I’m getting a chance to tell that now.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hits cinemas worldwide on November 18.