Before there was Harry Potter, the wizard writer battled beasts



J.K. Rowling is writing a screenplay for Warner Brothers, and so the Harry Potter franchise shall live on.

So says a story on Screen Rant this week.

Except that, really, the movie titled “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is about the wizard who wrote the Hogwarts textbook that Harry and students studied.

No matter, apparently, because the story says this 2016 film, No. 9 from the mind of Rowling, will start a new trilogy.

If you’d like to read my weekly Film News blog on the wonderfully presented Syracuse New Times site, click the link below.

You’ll find there not only the link to the Screen Rant story I used to reference the above, but also to a piece from Cinema Blend that reports how Mark Wahlberg dropped 60 pounds to take on the lead role for the remake of “The Gambler,” which will be released on Dec. 19.

And I didn’t think he was THAT big in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” did you? Holy crap!

<Were you a Harry Potter fan, of the books or the movies, and if so, why? Do you think a prequel to the Hogwarts days will rekindle interest in Rowling's wizarding writing ways, and why or why not? Can you see it being safe for an actor whose weight probably started with a 2 drop 60 pounds to take on a role, and what do you think that says to the world at large?

30 thoughts on “Before there was Harry Potter, the wizard writer battled beasts

  1. As far as weight gain and loss, I feel that Robert deNiro did an excellent job of forming himself into his “Raging Bull” character. I agree, Tom Hanks, did a great job in “Philadelphia,” and I felt that Matthew McConahey did well, losing weight and looking realistic in, “Dallas Buyers Club.” I worry about actors’ health, but athletes go through a lot for their career, too!


    • Yes, all of those roles were right for the weight loss, and the actors did it right, Robin. Good call on them all, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Athletes do go through much, including too much weight gain for football linemen, in my opinion.


  2. I was a Harry Potter fan – both of the books and the movies. My Mom and Dad loved them and that’s how I got hooked. My youngest daughter, Jenn, also is a huge fan of HP. J. K. Rowling also has a hit with her detective series. Her only flop since HP was her book, “The Casual Vacancy,” which only goes to prove that even the big shots fall on their swords occasionally.

    About the weight loss for a role, I just saw a film clip of Tom Hanks in “Philadelphia.” The movie was about an AIDs patient suing the law firm he worked for in a discrimination law suit. I don’t support the huge gains and losses that actors/actresses go thru for a movie role. In that movie, though, the role was more convincing because of the AIDs virus that was ravaging his character’s body.


  3. I don’t want to say too much, since I am sure there are tons of Harry Potter fans. My brother and sister in law are both professors, they learned a long time ago that Rowlings studied in the U.S. and must have read a poor (New Englander) woman’s book one that had Muggles and other wizardry stuff. Rowlings may not have meant to, but she imitated and expanded from this woman’s writings. It is called, ‘plagiarism’ in some peoples eyes, but my goodness, she did write well! Anyway, I have not seen the movies except on t.v. and not read the books, since she did have to ‘settle’ this case out of court. I would not appreciate supporting her at the expense of the true creator of her works…. As a writer, I cannot condone this…Sorry, Mark!


  4. i saw the first one and enjoyed it, but never really made an effort to see any more of them. not too excited for this, though i think it will do well, there are a lot of jkr loyalists. as for the major weight gains and drops, it seems like those would really take a physical toll on a body and can’t be good in the long run –


  5. my oldest is all over HP right now and is sad she has only one more book to read. She’ll be thrilled to hear about the new trilogy. Thanks for keeping me on contemporary culture, Mark!


  6. I’ve read all the books but have only seen a few of the movies. The were all very well done. However. the book that Rowlings wrote after the series called “Casual Vacancy” was not my cup of tea. I forced my self to read the first chapter (after the first paragraph turned me off) and I disliked it. I would approach any of her future material with caution now – not investing any money in a book or movie until I was sure she had lost the “Casual Vacancy” quality.

    As far as an actor reducing weight for a role – I would expect that the actor would do his/her best to emulate the character they are playing. I don’t have an issue with that – however I do have an issue with models and actors who stay unhealthily skinny for purposes of looking “beautiful”. That bugs me. They are watched by so many young people who take away the lesson that if you aren’t skinny, you aren’t beautiful. There are some countries like France where the problem has gone to such extremes that I understand the government was forced to pass laws saying that a BMI below a certain level could not be used in public pictures.

    Interesting post Mark. Thank you.


    • I had an issue with the TV show “The Biggest Loser” last year because I thought the winning contestant got too thin, Paul.

      As for Rowlings, you can test this one out on cable, down the road, perhaps.


      • i would agree with you about reality shows Mark – I meant dramatic shows like Les Miserables, where the young actress lost enough weight that her ribs were showing because her character was starving .

        Yep, cable is good. ha!


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