Among other major expansions.
Bob and Harvey Weinstein announced today that Emma Watson (HARRY POTTER franchise, THE BLING RING, THIS IS THE END, NOAH) will star in the upcoming thriller REGRESSION. The film, based on Alejandro Amenábar’s original screenplay, will be directed by Amenabar and produced by his longtime partner Fernando Bovaira for his company MOD Entertainment together with Canadian producer Christina Piovesan. REGRESSION will also star Academy Award® nominee Ethan Hawke (THE PURGE, BEFORE MIDNIGHT) and be released by TWC-Dimension in 2015. FilmNation Entertainment is handling international sales.
The storyline is currently being kept under wraps.
REGRESSION sees the return of Amenábar to the thriller genre, where he and Dimension previously had great success with THE OTHERS, which grossed over $200 million worldwide and starred Nicole Kidman.
On Thursday, Universal Orlando unveiled digital renderings of their planned expansion for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter — and it looks very magical indeed. Knight Bus. Diagon Alley. Escape From Gringotts. Hogsmeade.
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The play will be about the boy wizard’s younger years pre-Hogwarts and will be co-produced by JK Rowling, Sonia Friedman and Colin Callender with Warner Bros.’ involvement. The show will be written by a playwright collaborating with the author. It is said to be opening on the West End within two years.
I am loving the unconventional approach Rowling is taking in expanding the Potter universe. More franchises should be broadening their horizons like this.
The whole kit and kaboodle on Blu-ray for $47.99, 52% off the $100 list price, or DVD for $32.99, 58% off the $78.92 list price. The set includes all eight films and is available at this price all this week.
Keep it … always.
An 11-year-old actor dressed as Harry Potter goes into New York’s Pennsylvania Station to search for Platform 9 3/4.
First Look: A few of the new Harry Potter stamps | /Film
For Rowling, the most important issue was creative control‚ not an easy ask for a first-time screenwriter. Sources say Warners cannot hire someone else to rewrite her script without her approval — a gamble for the studio and a departure from the Potter films, which were written by such seasoned scribes as Steve Kloves and Michael Goldenberg. Rowling also has script approval on subsequent Fantastic Beasts films.
Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros. Entertainment.
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
And Rowling’s extended quote on the new movie, which will be set globally, starting in New York …
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts,’ realized by another writer was difficult. Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.
As I considered Warners’ proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn’t dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros.
Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”
American wizards, eh?