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An early idea for the ‘Harry Potter’ prequel movie sounded terrible


Eddie Redmayne

Next November, we'll be getting our first "Harry Potter" movie in over five years — except it won't star Harry or any of his friends.

Prequel film "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," based off of one of Harry Potter's schoolbooks of the same name, will star an entirely new cast led by Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne. However, it's an odd choice for a movie adaptation.

How exactly do you adapt a short 42-page encyclopedia on a list of magical creatures?

Apparently, that was a difficult question to answer. According to a new feature on the film in Entertainment Weekly, the early ideas for the film weren't so great either.

An original plan was to make a fake documentary. As EW explains, "think Animal Planet with hippogriffs instead of hippos." 

That sounds like something more worthy of a TV special than a big-budget feature film.

Others must have thought so, too, because soon after author J.K. Rowling came in and wrote an entire original screenplay for the upcoming movie.

Now, the movie will revolve around the author of "Fantastic Beasts," Newt Scamander (Redmayne) as he heads to New York City in the 1920s. This is a place where wizards aren't really welcome. Remember the Salem witch trials? Well there's an entire group called the "Second Salemers" full of humans who are dedicated to outing wizards.

Scamander has a briefcase filled with a bunch of these "fantastic" creatures from the mini-encyclopedia. (It's probably not long until they make some accidental escape).

He'll team up with a group of newcomers including U.S. Ministry of Magic worker Tina (Katherine Waterston), mind-reader Queenie (Alison Sudol), and factory worker Jacob (Dan Fogler). 

Colin Farrell will also star as an auror along with Samantha Morton ("John Carter") and Ezra Miller ("The Perks of Being a Wallflower").

If all goes well, we'll be seeing a lot more of Redmayne in the "Potter" universe. Warner Bros. hopes to make "Fantastic Beasts" into a new franchise.

"Fantastic Beasts" will be in theaters November 18, 2016.

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