J.K. Rowling doesn’t need to write anymore, not since the first Harry Potter book let alone the seventh. It’s not even that she wants to keep writing — she simply has to.
“I feel strange if I don’t write,” she says at a rare press conference appearance for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” the new Potter prequel film (the first of five!) for which she wrote the screenplay. “I love it so much it would feel like almost some sort of self-amputation if I didn’t have the ability.”
Though she took only a supervisory role when it came to the script for the other Potter project, the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on the West End, “Fantastic Beasts” was different. “Ever since the end of Harry Potter, there was still a huge hole for more,” she confesses. “It would be easy to say, ‘I’ll just keep producing,’ but I never was that person. I planned seven books, I knew exactly what I wanted to write, and that story was finished. But I always had some ideas about Newt.”
That would be Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), the magizoologist “author” of Rowling’s “Fantastic Beasts” wizarding textbook adapted into the film, which comes out Nov. 18.
Though she “had some thoughts about what happened to Newt and who he was,” it wasn’t until Warner Bros. approached her about doing the movie that she thought, “‘Wait a minute, I better tell them what I’ve got because I wouldn’t want them to get anything wrong.’ And before I knew it, I’d actually written a screenplay.”