Next week, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them finally arrives in theaters. Assuming it does well (which it almost surely will), Warner Bros. has big plans for the Harry Potter spinoff franchise moving forward. J.K. Rowling, who created the Harry Potter universe and wrote the script for Fantastic Beasts, recently confirmed the timeline for the franchise and it was potentially very revealing.

Fair warning for anyone who may not have read the Harry Potter books and wants to go into these movies not knowing anything, this article may contain spoilers. Author J.K. Rowling recently spoke with Variety and decided to reveal that the five movies that are currently planned in the Fantastic Beasts franchise will span nearly two decades. Here is what she had to say.

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"Originally, to tell you the truth, we said a trilogy as a placeholder. We wanted to be honest with people that it was going to be one movie, but we were feeling our way. And then there came a point in the drafting of the story where I said to David, 'This feels like five movies.' And I'm feeling pretty certain about that. It's ambitious to tell it in five because we're spanning 19 years. But I can see an arc. So, that's how it happened, it came out of the material."

Okay, so we need to do some math here to explain why the Fantastic Beasts movies spanning 19 years is very significant. J.K. Rowling was very specific about that number. The first movie takes place in 1926. That means 19 years after that would take us to 1945. That is a tremendously significant year for Harry Potter lore. Here is why.

The great wizard Albus Dumbledore, who has already been confirmed to appear in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2, took down the dark wizard (who was also his former best friend and lover) known as Gellert Grindelwald in 1945. Not much else is known about the event, but we do know that it happened in that year. It also just so happens that Johnny Depp as been cast as Grindelwald for the sequel as well. So it now very much seems like this entire Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them saga will culminate with the famous duel between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. That is huge.

The first Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place in New York in 1926 and follows Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) as he tries to round up a bunch of magical creatures who manage to get loose in the city. So this first movie will probably be introducing us to the new characters and the new world this series will be taking place in, because it is very different from the Hogwarts setting of the original Harry Potter movies. But it is likely great news for fans that this major event in the history of the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling will likely be put to screen. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens in theaters on November 18 with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them 2 set for release on November 16, 2018. Both movies are being directed by David Yates.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott