Pottermore teases phase 2 of the site: New design, logo, and more content

Pottermore will relaunch in the coming weeks with this new logo, written by J.K. Rowling, at large.

Pottermore will relaunch in the coming weeks with this new logo, written by J.K. Rowling, at large.

Following a previous message issued to the Pottermore community, on Friday the site formally announced plans to relaunch pottermore.com, along with a new design, logo, target audience and more content.

According to their press release, Pottermore will revamp the site in the coming weeks, commencing the second phase of J.K. Rowling’s project. The new Pottermore will house more original content from the Harry Potter author than ever before, indexed and searchable for the first time on browsers. The new design enables author J.K. Rowling to more easily contribute to the site, adding broad-ranging new content that focuses on all aspects of the Wizarding World.

From Susan L. Jurevics, Chief Executive Officer of Pottermore:

J.K. Rowling is continuing to expand her magical universe beyond the Harry Potter stories, and as the Wizarding World expands, so do we. We are excited to provide a new digital destination with an authentic voice, which will delight everyone interested in exploring this world. The new enhanced Pottermore is continually evolving, and is tailored to unlock and stimulate the imagination of our audience like never before.

Searchable content gave way to the elimination of mandatory site registration, so the site will be accessible to all visitors. In further terms of accessibility, the site fits mobile-devices first, so you can carry Harry’s world in your pocket. Though the site is made for smartphones and tablets, an online version will continue to exist.

The Pottermore Correspondent, a professional journalist hired by Pottermore, will replace the Pottermore Insider blog, which closed last spring. The Correspondent will write timely news articles and commentary on the happenings in Potterworld, including updates on the upcoming Warner Bros. film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and the stage production Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, both premiering in 2016.

Click for high-res

Pottermore has been redesigned to complement the mobile focused world. Here is Pottermore on an iPhone.

All of these changes are part of an effort to move beyond Hogwarts, and address the evolving Harry Potter brand. First launched in 2012, Pottermore began as a virtual Hogwarts experience focused on Harry’s story — with House Cups, dueling, potion brewing, etc. This era is over now to make room for a site to satisfy fans of all types — from fair-weather to hardcore, young and old.

However, by the look of new stills released by Pottermore and the Bookseller, it appears that the new, sleeker design appeals to older fans — specifically those that grew up with Harry, and now want more Potter at their fingertips. Pottermore: Part 2 is all about aesthetic, and comes with a new logo from the hand of J.K. Rowling. The site blends the old with the new, combing 15 years worth of Harry Potter history.

The new site will incorporate all developments of Harry Potter since its first publication, including the films, as shown above.

The new site will incorporate all developments of Harry Potter since its first publication, including the films, as shown above.

We are skeptical of the extent to which this new site will be successful in the long term, but one thing is for certain… Pottermore might be stepping away from its original concept, but nevertheless, it stays true to its name with the promise of more Potter.

What do you think of Pottermore’s plans? Are you excited? Tell us in the comments below.

Read more in-depth from the Bookseller magazine: Pottermore readies radical relaunch

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Fantastic Beasts begins filming, casting news announced

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has begun principal production at Leavesden Studios, Warner Bros. announced today.

Though the film starts out in New York City, production kicked off in England at the same studio where the Harry Potter series was made. The movie brings together the same key people who worked on Potter, with David Yates directing and David Heyman producing. Author J.K. Rowling, who also helmed the screenplay, is overseeing production with some creative control.

Though not too much is known about the plot, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will follow magizoologist Newt Scamander as he ventures throughout the wizarding world encountering various magical creatures, the experience on which he will base his book, Fantastic Beasts. The movie will serve as a prequel of the Harry Potter story, starting out 70 years earlier than Harry, in the 1920s.

Warner Bros. also confirmed the actors who have been cast in the production. In addition to Eddie Redmayne as the lead Newt Scamander, Katherine Watson will star as Tina Goldstein, Newt’s wife; Alison Sudol as Tina’s sister, Queenie; Dan Folger as Jacob; Ezra Miller as Credence; Samantha Morton as Mary Lou; Jenn Murray as Chasity; Colin Farrell as Graves; and newcomer Faith Wood-Blagrove as Modesty.

Fantastic Beasts will be the first in a trilogy, hitting theaters November 18, 2016.

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David Heyman talks Fantastic Beasts: Filming to start this summer

While on the publicity tour for his newly released movie, Paddington, Harry Potter film producer David Heyman talked about the upcoming Fantastic Beasts project.

Heyman, who will produce Fantastic Beasts as well, talked with Collider about the film and its progress. In the video below, Heyman reveals that the project is still in the early stages, with casting just beginning, but that filming is set to start this summer.

The first film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series will hit theaters November 2016.

Click here for more news on Fantastic Beasts >>>

Fantastic Beasts to be directed by David Yates

fantasticbeastscoverDavid Yates, who previously directed the last four Harry Potter movies, is set to return to the world of Harry Potter to direct Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Yates’ involvement was previously rumored but it was confirmed today by Warner Bros. C.E.O. Kevin Tsujihara at an investment meeting. Yates will be working closely again with the whole Harry Potter filmmaking team, including producer David Heyman, Steve Kloves, and J.K. Rowling, who will be making her screenwriting debut with the film. As previously announced, the films will be a trilogy released in 2016, 2018, and 2020. The films’ storyline has been adapted from J.K. Rowling’s companion book to the Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

From the press release:

The Studio will release three pictures, in 2016, 2018 and 2020, based on best-selling author J.K. Rowling’s original story and screenwriting debut, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”   Set in an extension of her familiar wizarding world, featuring magical creatures and characters inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander, “Fantastic Beasts” will be directed by David Yates, who directed the last four Harry Potter movies, and reunite the filmmaking team of David Heyman, J.K. Rowling, Steve Kloves and Lionel Wigram.

In other news regarding Fantastic Beasts, last week J.K. Rowling teased her Twitter followers with an anagram that turned out to be the opening line of a synopsis for the first Fantastic Beasts film.

The tweets made garnered attention around the world and gave us our first clue into what will happen during the movie. Check out the author’s Twitter for the whole story.

Are you surprised David Yates is directing the films? Would you have preferred a new perspective to Harry’s world? Tell us in the comments below!

‘Fantastic Beasts’ series to film at Leavesden Studios

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Leavesden Studios, U.K.

Warner Bros. confirmed last week that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will film at Leavesden Studios, where the Harry Potter series was filmed.

Though the new films will begin in New York, the series will be shot at Leavesden near London, the same studio where the Harry Potter series was filmed for 10 years. After filming was completed for Harry Potter, Warner Bros. purchased the studios and opened the Harry Potter Studio Tour, featuring sets from the Potter movies.

Not much is known about the series besides that it will follow the story of Newt Scamander. First announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be penned by first-time screenwriter J.K. Rowling. In the wizarding world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a required Hogwarts textbook written by magizoologist Newt Scamander. J.K. Rowling published the real Fantastic Beasts book as a companion to the Harry Potter series for charity in 2001.

Related: J.K. Rowling to make screenwriting debut on ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ adaption

The announcement that Fantastic Beasts filming at Leavesden comes after Warner Bros. recent statement that it would expand the Leavesden complex. The Hollywood Reporter reports WB is planning three “new state-of-the-art stages” and the addition of a further 100,000 square feet of office space.

Fantastic Beasts will be produced by David Heyman, who also produced Harry Potter. The first film in an expected trilogy will be released on November 18, 2016. No director or cast has been named yet, but Pottermore News will keep you updated with the latest.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ series’ first film to be released November 18, 2016

Warner Bros. has set a release date of the first film in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them series: November 18, 2016.

The film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K. Rowling’s companion book to the Harry Potter series, was announced last September. The screenplay will be written by J.K. Rowling, and will take place 70 years prior to the Harry Potter books, in New York. The film series will follow the life of Newt Scamander, the renowned wizard who devoted his life to the study of magical creatures.

Warner Bros. has yet to announce a director or any casting details, but we’ll keep you informed with the latest over the coming weeks and months.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ film series planned to be a trilogy

In a new interview with the New York TimesWarner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed that three movies are planned for the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film series.

Announced last September, Fantastic Beasts will be scripted by the Harry Potter author herself, J.K. Rowling. The series will be based off of Rowling’s 2001 book of the same name, and will be set about seventy years before the Harry Potter books, in New York.

This week, we learned more about the film project from Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara’s interview with the New York Times, including that the series will be a trilogy.

From the article:

…His deft touch became clear to Hollywood’s creative community last September. That is when Warner announced that Ms. Rowling had agreed to adapt for the big screen her “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a 2001 book billed as one of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks. Three megamovies are planned. The main character will be a “magizoologist” named Newt Scamander. The stories, neither prequels or sequels, will start in New York about seven decades before the arrival of Mr. Potter and his pals.

J.K. Rowling was also quoted in the article about Tsujihara’s convincing to get her to sign on to the films.

Convincing the famously independent Ms. Rowling to dive back into film was a coup. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Ms. Rowling said in response to emailed questions. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”

She added, “When Kevin got the top job, he brought a new energy, which rubbed off. He’s a very engaging person, thoughtful and funny.”

No news on casting or a release date have been announced yet for the project, but we’ll keep you up with the latest.

J.K. Rowling talks with Emma Watson about Harry Potter pairings, Fantastic Beasts, and Harry Potter play

Selfies of J.K. (published in Wonderland, via JKRowling.com)

Selfies, J.K. style. (published in Wonderland, via JKRowling.com)

The full conversation between J.K. Rowling and Emma Watson has been published in Wonderland Magazine.

This month’s issue of the magazine was edited by Hermione Granger actress Emma Watson, for which she conducted an interview with Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. In their conversation, they discussed the film adaptation of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the newly announced Harry Potter play, and, of course, the pairing of Ron and Hermione. Comments made by Rowling during this part of the interview caused an uproar throughout the fandom, but for the first time we can decipher her statements in their entirety (it was originally excerpted by the Sunday Times).

The Hermione topic was brought on by Emma, who asked Jo if she had a new perspective on Hermione, post-writing. It was then that Jo made the “infamous” comments that sparked outrage, and new shipping wars:

Watson: I thought we should discuss Hermione… I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times but now that you have written the books, do you have a new perspective on how you relate to Hermione and the relationship you have with her or had with her?

Rowling: I know that Hermione is incredibly recognisable to a lot of readers and yet you don’t see a lot of Hermiones in film or on TV except to be laughed at. I mean that the intense, clever, in some ways not terribly self-aware, girl is rarely the heroine and I really wanted her to be the heroine. She is part of me, although she is not wholly me. I think that is how I might have appeared to people when I was younger, but that is not really how I was inside.

What I will say is that I wrote the Hermione/Ron relationship as a form of wish fulfillment. That’s how it was conceived, really. For reasons that have very little to do with literature and far more to do with me clinging to the plot as I first imagined it, Hermione with Ron.

Ah.

I know, I’m sorry, I can hear the rage and fury it might cause some fans, but if I’m absolutely honest, distance has given me perspective on that. It was a choice I made for very personal reasons, not for reasons of credibility. Am I breaking people’s hearts by saying this? I hope not.

I don’t know. I think there are fans out there who know that too and who wonder whether Ron would have really been able to make her happy.

Yes exactly.

And vice versa.

It was a young relationship. I think the attraction itself is plausible but the combative side of it… I’m not sure you could have got over that in an adult relationship, there was too much fundamental incompatibility. I can’t believe we are saying all of this – this is Potter heresy!

Later on in the interview, Rowling admitted that Ron and Hermione would have needed marriage counseling. She also delves into the dynamics of Hermione and Harry’s relationship, specifically in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Jo and Emma also discussed the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film, and Jo revealed she wrote the first draft of the film in an astonishing twelve days.

Rowling: Warner Bros. came to me ages ago and said they wanted to do something with Fantastic Beasts. I could see the potential in it. I knew something about Newt [Scamander, the fictional author of Fantastic Beasts] having written a little something for Comic Relief. I had imagined a little bit of back story for him…

So when Warner Bros. came to me and said they wanted to make a film out of the book I had this simultaneous feeling of “it has a lot of potential,” and another feeling of slight panic that “I know some things about Newt and I don’t want you to ruin that for me!” because I knew who he was. So then I went away and sort of dwelt on what I knew about Newt, not intending to write a script but just trying to collect my thoughts so that I could at least give them the backstory I’d imagined, so that their vision was true to what I knew.

Then I really did have one of those moments that always make you phenomenally excited as a writer; but also that you know is going to end up being a ton of work. I thought, “Oh my God, a whole plot’s just descended on me!” But I wanted to do it as I was really excited about it. I wasn’t really thinking about writing the script myself, I thought, you know, I’ll give them this plot and then – fatally – I sat down and thought “I just wonder what it would look like…” and wrote a rough draft in twelve days!

Along with this, the two talked about the upcoming Harry Potter stage play, and her peculiar wishes for Fantastic Beasts.

You also announced that you’re going to collaborate on a theatre production.

Yes that was a really interesting idea that Sonia Friedman came up with. I’ve been so resistant for a long time about theatre productions. Quite a few people wanted to do a Harry Potter musical. I didn’t really see Harry as a musical so we said no to all of that, but Sonia came along with a very thoughtful, very interesting idea. I’m quite excited about that.

Will Hermione be in it?!

Well Emma if you are offering to play Hermione… [both laugh] I tell you what I really want. I want you and Dan and Rupert in really heavy make-up in the background of a scene in Fantastic Beasts, and I’ll join you and we’ll sit in a bar room having a laugh for an afternoon. Do you not think that would be fantastic?

That sounds like the most fun I can imagine having!

And we can mess around as extras in the background.

And then we can see if anyone can spot us. I personally would like to be in drag, just to make sure no one can spot me at all.

GENIUS!

As well as this, Rowling talks about her greatest achievements and getting ideas in the interview. You can read the full interview here on the author’s website.

What do you think about Jo’s comments having heard the full story? Would you like to see her in Fantastic Beasts? Tell us in the comments below!

‘Harry Potter’ producer David Heyman talks ‘Fantastic Beasts’

David Heyman

David Heyman

Three weeks ago we shared with you that Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling would be penning the screenplay of a film based on her Harry Potter-tie-in book, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. In the initial announcement we learned that the film would be set around the character of Newt Scamander, author of Fantastic Beasts” and set 70 years prior to the Harry Potter series, in New York.

Over the past few weeks, the Internet has been a frenzy with news and rumors surrounding the upcoming film, and while on the media circuit for his new film GravityHarry Potter producer David Heyman has shared some interesting information about Fantastic Beasts.

Yesterday: David Heyman to produce ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptation

While speaking to EW this week, David Heyman said that although Rowling has not turned in a finished script just yet, she is “‘at work'” with the project, and is “tremendously” excited about it.

According to EW, the producer said, “She’s not doing it for any other reason other than she loves the world and she had a story that she wanted to tell…” He reminded us, however, that this is not Harry Potter, meaning it does not follow Harry, Ron, and Hermione, but that it is a separate story in the same universe. When asked specifically about which creatures we might see in the film, Heyman said, “We follow Newt on his adventures.”

At the end, Heyman also commented on the amount of backstory that Jo has for her characters, saying that “…Jo’s knowledge of [the Harry Potter world] is infinite.” This is proven on Pottermore, in her exclusive content entries, and we’re sure that even the Pottermore content isn’t all.

David Heyman also spoke to Vulture about possible actors to play Newt in Fantastic Beasts. Here’s the list of names Vulture suggested to Heyman, and his comments, direct from the article:

  • Dev Patel (“He’s a really good actor,” Heyman agreed.)

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster, despite the fact that he’s playing another character named Newt in The Maze Runner (“I know him, he’s excellent.”)

  • Jack Gleeson, who’s said he wants to go into academia after his reign as King Joffrey on Game of Thrones ends, but perhaps could be convinced to play an academic instead (“How old is he?” Heyman asked. “Newt is a tiny bit older.”)

  • Bret McKenzie, who is much older, but can play younger (“He’s really good.”)

  • And if they wanted to promote from within, Harry Melling, who originally played Dudley Dursley but has thinned out considerably as he’s grown up, which is why he was wearing a fat suit in Deathly Hallows (“He’s a really good actor, and I love his work, but that’s a little more difficult because he’s been Dudley.”)

This is clearly not the end of Fantastic Beasts speculation and news, and we’ll be keeping you updated on the film over the coming months (and years!).

Confirmed: ‘Potter’ producer David Heyman to produce ‘Fantastic Beasts’ film

David Heyman

David Heyman

It has been speculated over the past few weeks, and he has even hinted it himself, but it has now been confirmed: Harry Potter producer David Heyman will produce Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Related: New ‘Fantastic Beasts’ adaptation announced

Heyman confirmed the news to MTV last night, while on a press tour for his upcoming film Gravity. The news isn’t really a surprise, as Heyman produced all eight Harry Potter films, meaning he would be well-associated with the Warner Bros. company and J.K. Rowling. We expect a formal announcement in the coming weeks.

With Heyman as producer and Rowling as screenwriter, Potter fans should feel very confident that this will be the best possible portrayal of the story and the Wizarding World. Heyman, a notable Potter fan, delivered the films greatly, and is responsible for discovering the first book for film. We learned Rowling would be writing the screenplay for the film in the initial announcement, and so we can be confident that nothing will be left out.

There is no release date on the project just yet, but we’ll keep you updated on the latest news in the coming weeks and months.

Tell us below: What do you think about Heyman producing? Do you think it will be a good fit?