Screenwriter Steve Kloves will return to the Wizarding World — this time as J.K. Rowling’s co-writer. Kloves wrote seven of the eight Harry Potter films. Rowling was the sole writer for the first two Fantastic Beasts films.
That was just one of several revelations announced by WizardingWorld.com on Monday. In a blog post, the website also revealed that the third film in Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off franchise has been given the official go-ahead from Warner Bros. and will begin filming in spring 2020. Previous reports had indicated that would be the case — production was originally set to begin this year.
The blog post also revealed an expanded role for Jessica Williams’ character, Professor Eulalie “Lally” Hicks, a teacher at Ilvermorny. WizardingWorld.com also confirmed a long-time rumor that the third movie is set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first films featured New York City and Paris as their backdrops.
That said, a report from Variety suggests that Hogwarts will also play an expanded role in the third movie, as will Albus Dumbledore who was portrayed onscreen by Jude Law in the second Fantastic Beasts movie, ‘The Crimes of Grindelwald.’ That’s to be expected, given both Hogwarts’ and Dumbledore’s prominence in the second film. The Fantastic Beasts movies have pointed toward Dumbledore’s legendary duel against Gellert Grindewald since the first movie.
So what does it all mean?
The news of Kloves’ return to the Wizarding World coupled with the focus on Hogwarts and Dumbledore may signal a strategic move from Warner Bros. ‘Grindelwald’ was met with poor reviews from critics and mixed responses from fans. Commercially, the film was also a bit of a disappointment, raking in $650 million for the studio, according to Variety. That’s by no means a small amount, but it’s a steep drop from the $800 million the first Fantastic Beasts movie made at the box office.
Kloves’ involvement may have to do with quality-control more than anything.
“Sources say (Kloves’) inherent understanding of the world will help Rowling better service the fans for part three. Kloves and Rowling are said to get along well and have an established working relationship,” Variety said in their report. “Internally, executives are high on the script they’ve seen, believing it represents a big step forward in quality.”
Fans will have to wait another two years to see if the tweaks pay off. The third film is scheduled for release on November 12, 2021.