There are going to be Harry Potter spin-off films?!

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So I woke up yesterday morning, completely oblivious to the fact that while I had been sleeping it had been announced that J.K. Rowling would be penning a new series of films, set in the Wizarding World, based off the school text book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. I walked into school at 8am, and had someone immediately tell me the news. Of course, I laughed, and replied, “It’s probably just a stupid rumour” to have my friend retort, “No, it’s real, I swear.” I rolled my eyes, and eventually went to class. Of course, I procrastinated in my first period, and checked out the recent fandom news as I tend to do. (Instead of reading the actual news, I just read news about fictional characters and things, preferring to be uninformed about the matters of real life, as always). So I immediately came across hundreds of articles stating that it was true. I freaked out, and, being the completely obsessed lunatic that I am, began to cry. I also was finding it really hard to breathe. My hands were shaking. Lets just say, I was a little bit excited.

So what is this new spin-off going to be about? You may ask. J.K. Rowling is penning the screenplay for a new set of films based on the life of Newt Scamander, the author of Fantastic Beasts, who will presumably travel the world, seeking out the new, the bizarre and the deadliest magical creatures. Newt is a respected Magizooligist, and received an Order of Merlin, Second Class for his efforts. He is probably fairly quirky and generally awesome, considering his grandson married Luna Lovegood. And he has a pretty sweet name, too.

This promises cameos from some of the old characters. The films are going to be set 70 years prior to Harry’s existence, so it isn’t really a prequel, more an expansion of Rowling’s world. Dumbledore would have been around, and was good friends with Newt, even writing the foreword in Fantastic Beasts. I have this awesome idea in my head in which Newt discovers a Phoenix (Fawkes!), and gives it to his friend Albus as a gift. Also, there is a possibility for other characters, such as Nicolas Flamel, to appear. Luna Lovegood could also appear, if the film starts off in the present time, with an old Luna and her husband Rolf telling their kids Lorcan and Lysander stories – narrating Newt’s journey throughout.

This new series is going to be good. There is literally no doubt. The screenplay will be written entirely by Rowling herself, so it will be her vision completely. Unlike the Harry Potter films that didn’t completely follow the story (although are still mostly perfect, and the best book to movie adaptation since Lord of the Rings), Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them will be 100% true to Rowling’s story.

I’ve been thinking about this pretty much all day, and so have had the chance to think through a few actors to play the adult Newt (around 25-35 years old).

1. Hugh Dancy

The adorable Hannibal star is a brilliant actor, and I can just imagine him playing a quirky (and yet ridiculously handsome) protagonist.

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2. Richard Madden

Game of Thrones star Richard Madden could play a red-haired, tougher version of Newt. His face hasn’t been seen around much, as he is a relatively new star, and this could prove to be and advantage. Names such as Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hiddleston have been thrown around for the role of Newt, and I love both of them to death but I would much rather see an actor who isn’t as famous and over-hyped.

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3. Kit Harington

Another Game of Thrones star, Harington also has the potential. Although tied up with his role as Jon Snow, he could potentially take on the role of Newt as well. The dark curly hair does it for me. Glasses would be an added bonus too. (We should probably keep the round glasses thing going, just for laughs. If Harry had them, maybe Newt should too).

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4. Matt Smith

Okay, don’t get me wrong, I know he is extremely famous and another over-hyped actor, but I can kind of imagine Matt as Newt. Now that he’s done with Doctor Who, maybe its time for him to enter into another famous franchise?

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5. Arthur Darvill

Another ‘old’ Doctor Who star, Darvill could have the potential to play a really strange, nerdy and quirky Newt, similar to the likes of Luna Lovegood herself.

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6. Aidan Turner

Similar to Harington, its the dark curls that do it for me. I can see Aidan playing Newt, especially as he hasn’t had many starring roles, his most prominent being Kili in The Hobbit.

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7. Ben Whisaw

Finally, the Skyfall actor, similar to Arthur Darvill, could also play a quirky Newt.

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If you don’t have a copy of Fantastic Beasts and Where to find them, I recommend getting one, if only to check out a whole heap of the cool creatures that will probably be featured in Newt’s adventures. Acromantulas, a Basilisk or two, and Dragons? These films can’t be anything but awesome. I know this blog is called Lauren criticizes things, but I could never criticize J.K. Rowling. I have complete faith that she will produce another Wizarding World marvel, and you should too. Also, if you’re still living in the stone age and haven’t read or seen Harry Potter, then you really need to go right now, and pick up the first book. GO. NOW. PLEASE. You won’t regret it.

Happy procrastinating,

Lauren 🙂

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