J.K. Rowling, WB in Major Partnership Deal
Warner Bros. Entertainment announced an expanded creative partnership with author J.K. Rowling. The partnership centers around a new film series based on Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 years, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world,” said J.K. Rowling, in a statement. “The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”
In addition to the film series, Fantastic Beasts will also be developed across the studio’s video game, consumer products, and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.
The studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), video games, consumer products, and visitor attractions.
Jurassic World in Theaters in 2015
Universal Pictures announced yesterday that Jurassic World is scheduled for a 3-D theatrical release on Friday June 12, 2015. Previously known as Jurassic Park IV, Hasbro had already been named as master toy licensee for the film.
Walmart Announces Its Hot Toys List
The holiday season is now underway as Walmart is the first retailer to announce its holiday toy list. Walmart says it brought together 1,000 kids ages 18 months to 10 years old to test, play with, and help select what the retailer says will be the top toys for this holiday season. Here is Walmart’s list:
Ages 18 months to 2 years
Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset: Vtech
Baby Alive Real Surprises Doll: Hasbro
Laugh and Learn Crawl Around Car: Fisher-Price
Little People Fun Sounds Farm: Fisher-Price
Playskool Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo: Hasbro
Ages 3 to 5
Doc McStuffins Get Better Check Up Center: Just Play
Imaginext DC Super Friends Batcave: Fisher-Price
Sofia the First Talking Doll and Animal Friends: Mattel
FurReal Friends Cuddles My Giggly Monkey: Hasbro
Disney Planes Dusty Crophopper Wing Control R/C: Mattel
Ages 6 to 7
Hot Wheels Triple Track Twister: Mattel
Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow: Hasbro
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset: Playmates
Flutterbye Flying Fairy Doll: Spin Master
Barbie Dreamhouse: Mattel
Ages 8 to 10
Air Hogs Quad X4 Stunt R/C: Spin Master
Nerf N-Strike Elite Rapidstrike CS-18: Hasbro
Furby Boom!: Hasbro
Zoomer: Spin Master
Crayola Marker Maker: Crayola