‘Fantastic Beasts’ Franchise Will Span Five Films — and Will Feature Young Dumbledore and Grindelwald

Who knew that young Newt Scamander would lead such a full life? J.K. Rowling has just announced that, following Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them — which centers around the Eddie Redmayne-shaped magizoologist, and will be released November 18, 2016 — and following the previously announced sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (set for 2018), there will be a total of three other Fantastic Beasts, and presumably Where to Find Thems.

The news was first announced at a Q&A event with the cast, at which J.K. Rowling made an appearance. She said on Twitter, after Den of Geek had initially Tweeted that there’d be “at least five,” that will definitely be just five, and that “there’s a natural arc to 5.” Apparently, she’ll be writing all of them — as she has the first and second:

Warner Brothers had said in a statement, after the earlier announcement of the second film, that the next film would take place in “an increasingly dark time for the wizarding world, where Newt and our other heroes have to decide on their allegiances.” And J.K. Rowling has now cryptically confirmed, it seems, that there’s some relevance (seemingly political allegory) to these stories beyond funny creatures escaping from a magical suitcase:

Director David Yates also said, according to Deadline, that while the first movie takes place in New York, the second will be set in another major global hub. He also confirmed, at the event, that the first film will see cameos from a young Dumbledore and Grindelwald (who, you may recall, is the ultimately evil wizard around whom J.K. Rowling suggested a “Dumbledore-was-gay-all-along”-post-publication-romantic-subplot). Might these cameos from very important, powerful characters lead to the story they’re *really* telling? Might it be way too early and futile to speculate?

Here’s the stream of the event at which the announcement took place: