Rowling to conjure five 'Fantastic Beasts' films for Potter fans

Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:34pm EDT
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By Piya Sinha-Roy

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "Harry Potter" fans got fantastic news on Thursday.

Author J.K. Rowling said that the Potter spinoff movie franchise "Fantastic Beasts" will consist of five films, up from the previously announced three.

"We set a trilogy as a placeholder because we knew there would be more than one movie, but ... we're pretty sure it's going to be five movies," Rowling told participants in London gathered at a fan event.

The British author of the best-selling "Harry Potter" books was a surprise addition at a question-and-answer event with the "Fantastic Beasts" cast in London and Los Angeles that was broadcast across the world.

The news was welcomed by excited screams from the audience, while the cast, including Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne, looked surprised as they heard it for the first time. The films will be released by Warner Bros, a unit of Time Warner Inc.

A 4-minute "Fantastic Beasts" featurette shown at Thursday's event finally hinted at the wider plot of the film that has so far been under wraps.

The planned movies, designed as prequels to the Potter stories, will trace the rise of a powerful wizard named Gellert Grindelwald and his eventual 1945 duel with Albus Dumbledore, the popular wizard headmaster from the Potter stories.

"We're talking about the first time a wizard rose and threatened the world order. This was always where I was interested in going. This is what I wanted to do," Rowling said in the featurette.   Continued...

Author J.K. Rowling poses for photographers at a gala performance of the play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child parts One and Two, in London, Britain July 30, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo