J.K. Rowling revelations on the return of Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
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- Published on Monday, 04 July 2016 13:55
- Last Updated on 04 July 2016
- Monica Costa
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2016 won’t just be remembered for Brexit but also for the return of one of the biggest characters in the world of literature history, Harry Potter. I am particularly excited about the spin off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Pottermore has just unveiled new writing by J.K. Rowling about Ilvermorny, the North American School of Magic, in the second instalment of Magic in North America, setting the stage for the upcoming Warner Bros. Pictures film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. I have just read this book and found it very encyclopedic as it is a detailed description of all beasts mentioned across all Harry Potter books. While reading it, I admired J.K. Rowling’s endless imagination although I would describe this book more as a compendium to be read alongside the novels than a standalone manual.
New writing from J.K. Rowling
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the second installment in a collection of new original writing by J.K. Rowling entitled Magic in North America, was recently published exclusively on pottermore.com. ‘Ilvermorny’ (Ill-ver-morn-ee’) provides a vivid and captivating backstory of the great North American school of magic, founded in the 17th century.
The new writing, and the short video that accompanies it, provide a rich background for the upcoming Warner Bros. feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be released this year on 18 November (distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures). The film, which marks J.K. Rowling’s screenwriting debut, is an all-new adventure starring Eddie Redmayne as magizoologist Newt Scamander who arrives in New York in 1926.
The work of fiction begins in Ireland where an orphaned young girl who is a descendant of Hogwarts co-founder Salazar Slytherin, escapes her evil aunt and sets sail on the Mayflower. Landing in Massachusetts with little more than the clothes on her back and a stolen wand, she ventures out on her own, wandering in the wilderness until she encounters several mysterious creatures and discovers she is not the only magical person in the New World. But she will also have to overcome great challenges and face new dangers on her way to establishing what will become the Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the peak of Mount Greylock in Massachusetts.
In addition to publishing the second instalment of Magic in North America today, Pottermore announced that, for the first time ever, users of the website will be able to be sorted into one of the four houses of Ilvermorny. The Ilvermorny Sorting Ceremony consists of questions and answers written by J.K. Rowling. The answers to the questions determine into which Ilvermorny house users will be sorted. The houses are named after the following creatures, which have been described as follows in the writing:
Horned Serpent; a ‘great horned river serpent with a jewel set into its forehead’
Pukwudgie; ‘a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature’
Thunderbird; a creature that ‘can create storms as it flies’
Wampus; ‘a magical, panther-like creature that is fast, strong and almost impossible to kill’
In March, Pottermore published ‘History of Magic in North America,’ the first instalment of Magic in North America. The writing, which was posted over four consecutive days, took readers into the history of North American witches and wizards.
The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them story
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an all-new adventure returning us to the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling. It opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
The film marks the screenwriting debut of J.K. Rowling, whose script was inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, written by her character Newt Scamander.
The film reunites a number of people from the Harry Potter features, including producers David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them also stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, Carmen Ejogo, Jenn Murray, Faith Wood-Blagrove, and Colin Farrell under the direction of David Yates (the last four Harry Potter features).
Looking back at J.K. Rowling’s achievements so far
J.K. Rowling is the author of the bestselling Harry Potter series of seven books, published between 1997 and 2007, which have sold over 450 million copies worldwide, are distributed in more than 200 territories and translated into 79 languages, and have been turned into eight blockbuster films.
She has written three companion volumes in aid of charity: Quidditch Through the Ages and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in aid of Comic Relief; and The Tales of Beedle the Bard in aid of her children’s charity, Lumos.
In 2012, J.K. Rowling’s digital entertainment and e-commerce company Pottermore was launched, where fans can enjoy her new writing and immerse themselves deeper in the wizarding world.
Her first novel for adult readers, The Casual Vacancy, was published in September 2012 and adapted for TV by the BBC in 2015. Her crime novels, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, were published in 2013 (The Cuckoo’s Calling), 2014 (The Silkworm) and 2015 (Career of Evil), and are to be adapted for a major new television series for BBC One, produced by Brontë Film and Television.
J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech was published in 2015 as an illustrated book, Very Good Lives: The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination, and sold in aid of her charity Lumos and university–wide financial aid at Harvard.
In addition to making her screenwriting debut with the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling is currently collaborating on a stage play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two, which will open in London’s West End in the summer of 2016. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany.
J.K. Rowling has set up Pottermore, the global digital publisher of Harry Potter and Wizarding World. As the digital heart of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, pottermore.com is dedicated to unlocking the power of imagination. It offers news, features, and articles as well as new and previously unreleased writing by J.K. Rowling.
Monica Costa founded London Mums in September 2006 after her son Diego’s birth together with a group of mothers who felt the need of meeting up regularly to share the challenges and joys of motherhood in metropolitan and multicultural London. London Mums is the FREE and independent peer support group for mums and mumpreneurs based in London https://londonmumsmagazine.com and you can connect on Twitter @londonmums