Thursday, April 28, 2016

Thoughts on J.K. Rowling's new Harry Potter "books"

Back in February the world lost its mind when J.K. Rowling announced that she would be releasing The Cursed Child (the new Harry Potter sequel being released as a play in two parts later this year in London) as a book.

Shortly after the original announcement, Rowling clarified that this was not a separate book, but was actually the screenplay itself being published.

Like the rest of the Harry Potter fandom, I was ecstatic over this news! The world has been asking for a new Harry Potter book for YEARS and it seemed that Rowling was (kind of) finally delivering!

When I realized that J.K. Rowling had not actually written the screenplay, but had only collaborated with the writers, I was a little disappointed, but still preordered a copy. After all, I'm not going to be making any trips to London in the near future and I haven't heard any word of The Cursed Child being released on Blu Ray, so my only option is to read it!

The world has also been pretty excited about the upcoming release of the new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which will be a separate story, but still based within the universe of Harry Potter. Unlike the play, the movie is actually being written by Rowling herself! Of course I can't wait to see it!

On Tuesday we received another piece of information about the expanding Harry Potter universe - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is being released as a book! You may ask, "Isn't it already a book though?" Yes, yes it is.

The Fantastic Beasts film was actually based on a very short book by the same name, which was released in 2001 as a companion to the Harry Potter novels.

"So then what is the new book?" you may wonder. The new Fantastic Beasts book is none other than... the screenplay of the movie. It seems a bit odd for the screenplay of the movie to be released, in my opinion, especially when it's very common for the novelization of a film to be released. But, honestly, who is going to complain about another Harry Potter book, even if it's just a screenplay of a movie we can all see in theaters later this year?

I've seen a mixed reception of this news - some think it's amazing fan service, some think it's a needless cash grab, and some don't care one way or another.

My biggest concern is that the original Fantastic Beasts book may become more and more difficult to find in the wild. Already The Hogwarts Library (a three pack with Fantastic Beasts included) has been removed from Target's website, although it was an easy find as recently as a couple weeks ago. I've heard from others that the original book may be removed from store shelves altogether to make room for the new screenplay and I would find that to be very upsetting. No matter what happens, I'll have my set, which I ordered today just in case!

I'm curious to see what your thoughts are about these new developments in the Harry Potter world! Will you preorder both these books and read them immediately? Do you feel that releasing The Cursed Child script and Fantastic Beasts screenplay was a good move or a bad one?

Let me know in the comments!