Potterheads watch out! J.K. Rowling's new smash Fantastic Beasts is coming to a cinema near you in 2016!
Who could forget last century’s British invasion? No, I’m not talking about The Beatles. The group that I’m speaking of are called Potterheads. Who are these followers of Pottermania you ask? They are the fandom that’s all about anything and everything Harry Potter, and they’re making a major comeback with the anticipation of J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts cinematic debut next year.
Rowling, stoked the fires this past June when she confirmed that a US based Wizarding school, similar to Hogwarts, will play a role in the upcoming film. It will have a connection to Native Americans, and those educated at the school will be meeting with the character Newt Scamander, played by English actor Eddie Redmayne.
The Harry Potter spinoff will have even more American ties with four actors from the US already slated to play roles in the anticipated film including Ezra Miller, Ron Perlman, and Jon Voight. While the book has sold a scant amount of copies compared to the original Harry Potter series, Forbes Magazine and others are estimating that the worldwide box office take could approach a cool $1 billion.
Fantastic Beasts is not the only Harry Potter spinoff either. There is Quidditch Through the Ages, which could make another film debut and possibly double the box office haul.
There is another reason to love the upcoming movie(s). Rowling has donated proceeds from her royalties on the two books to the charity Comic Relief, which has done work in the UK and worldwide to help reduce new cases of Malaria, HIV, and poverty. Both books combined have already raised roughly $30 million or £17 million, and those numbers will no doubt climb much higher as book sales are likely to increase on the heels of the theatrical release.
Potterhead fandom is not limited to the upcoming film release either. Pottermore, a Harry Potter fan site and more originally launched in 2011, has received a major reboot with an impressive Alexa ranking, with more changes expected soon.
Rowling transformed reading for much of the world with over 450 million copies of books in the Harry Potter series sold, with last book in the series being the fastest selling print run of any book in history, selling out in under 24 hours.
While the final count from the film remains to be seen, Rowling, now one of the richest women in the UK, looks to set off another round Harry Potter mania in the US, UK, and beyond. The real question, though, is what’s next?