Fifteen years is a long time for a J.K. Rowling book to become a movie. But Newt Scamander is no J.K. Rowling — oh, wait, yes he is. Scamander is the pen name Rowling used to write Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which Rowling created (in a super meta move) as the textbook her great invention Harry Potter was studying in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the original Harry Potter book.
Newt Scamander’s book — his only one, unlike the prolific Rowling — is being turned into a film due out in 2016. That’s fifteen years after its original publication in 2001. Scamander is a “magizoologist” — what better occupation for hunting up Fantastic Beasts? Albus Dumbledore, Hogwarts headmaster, writes the Foreword to the tome — which may translate wonderfully as a voice over in the movie. Especially for its Latin Hogwarts motto,”Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus” or “never tickle a sleeping dragon.” That won’t be all the imaginative filmmakers will need to add. Scamander’s book is a text book, after all, an encyclopedia of 85 creatures. The narrative remains as big a mystery as the fantastic creatures themselves.