‘Fantastic Beasts’ universe expanded to five films

‘Fantastic Beasts’ universe expanded to five films

JK Rowling told fans gathered for a global promotional event that the highly anticipated “Harry Potter” spinoff “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will span five movies.

“This is new material. There are ways in which we connect to the Potter books that I think people will find surprising,” Rowling said in a sizzle reel.

“You’re learning a part of magical history that’s talked about in the Potter books that you never see. I’m getting a chance to tell that now.”

The breaking news came in the closing moments of the live-streamed panel in London where Rowling joined actors Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, director David Yates and producer David Heyman. Fans also flocked to theaters Hollywood, New York, London, Mexico City, Sao Paulo and Rome to which the event was linked. Actors Colin Farrell and Jon Voight joined the discussion in LA.

Yates said that while they didn’t have previous source material for the film, they had the person who created it all — Rowling. Rowling, wrote her first original screenplay for “Beasts,” said she always knew telling the story would take more than one film.

JK Rowling discusses "Fantastic Beasts" in sizzle reel released at global fan event.

JK Rowling discusses “Fantastic Beasts” in sizzle reel released at a global fan event.

“I learned how to write a script while writing a Hollywood movie. We always knew it was going to be more than one movie — a trilogy was just going to be a placeholder. I’ve now done the plotting properly, we’re pretty sure it’s going to be five movies,” she told the elated crowd in London.

Redmayne said whenever Rowling visited set he and his castmates turned into giddy 7-year-olds and it was always very difficult to stay on track. Rowling also admitted to sharing character details in future installments with the actors.

“They know quite a lot about the next movie,” she said, “I like to tell actors things.”

As revealed in the new featurette, “Beasts” will also include a few Easter eggs from the Potter universe. Yates said a young Albus Dumbledore makes an appearance with Redmayne and Farrell and Gellert Grindelwald is featured in the background. A symbol of the Deathly Hallows also flashed briefly in the footage.

Grindelwald — once a close friend of Dumbledore — who became one of the most powerful Dark Wizards ever plays an integral role in Potterverse. Rowling, who has already finished the script for the sequel, promises Grindelwald will be featured more prominently in subsequent films. Yates said Newt Scamander’s next adventures will take him to another large capital city, but they couldn’t divulge another further details.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens Nov. 18.