Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five 'Fantastic Beasts' Films, Says J.K. Rowling - Is There a Magic Number?

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Five 'Fantastic Beasts' Films, Says J.K. Rowling - Is There a Magic Number?

Article excerpt

Five is the new magic number, as author J.K. Rowling has announced that the plan is for the upcoming "Harry Potter" spin-off movie series "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" to consist of five films.

"We're pretty sure it's going to be five movies," Ms. Rowling said at a fan event in London, according to Reuters.

The first movie, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," will be released this November and stars Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scamander, an expert on magical creatures who travels to America. The story is based on the book of the same name, which was written by Rowling and styled as a textbook, written by Newt, for students at Hogwarts.

The film will co-star Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, and Colin Farrell, among others.

How many movies is best for a successful film series? Is more better, or do moviegoers get tired of the series if it goes on for too long?

Trilogies have long been a popular form of adaptation. Part of this may be that trilogies are popular in fantasy and science fiction, which recently have served as the basis for such successful film series as "The Lord of the Rings."

And it's caught on in film series that weren't based on a book. The "Star Wars" film series first presented itself in three parts and has mostly stuck to that structure, with Disney planning two more movies to follow the 2015 hit "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" (not counting spin-offs - more on the "cinematic universe" model later).

Recent successful film series like the "Dark Knight" movies also chose a three-part storytelling method.

This formula has been slightly tweaked in recent years with the "split the last book in half" method of adapting successful series for the screen, however. The "Potter" series split the final and seventh book in the series into two movies, and other recent literary adaptations followed suit, such as the "Hunger Games" movies.

And the currently popular notion of the cinematic universe has broken down the linear series idea somewhat as well. Are there trilogies in Marvel movies? Well, kind of - three "Iron Man" movies were released. But because Marvel films follow different characters, there are some movies that bring them all together, like 2012's "The Avengers," and others that center on one particular character, like the "Captain America" series, of which there were three. …

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