Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling has assumed complete creative control of the script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The Hollywood Reporter reports that J.K. Rowling’s new film deal with Warner Bros. prohibits any changes being made to her script without approval. Her previous deal for the Harry Potter film franchise ensured Warner Bros. did not own the rights to the characters, meaning they could not make any non-author-written sequels.
This is another win for authors. The more power authors like Rowling exercise over film studios, the better. We’ve seen Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin and Dome author Steven King heavily involved in the television adaptations of their novels, Martin has written several episodes of Game of Thrones and King will be writing the first episode of Dome season two next year. Philippa Gregory, author of The Other Boleyn Girl, watched her book being butchered for American cinema, and was completely ignored when protesting the unnecessary addition of a rape scene. This year she was involved in both writing and producing the adaptation of her Cousins War books for BBC’s The White Queen. Let’s hope that these bestselling authors continue to pave the way for other authors and put the film studios back in their place.
In other Warner Bros. news, the studio has been busy taking out Harry Potter-related trademarks, Tales of Beedle the Bard and Quidditch Through the Ages. Quidditch ‘author’ Kennilworthy Whisp, has also been trademarked, along with Quidditch teams Wimbourne Wasps, Chudley Cannons, Kenmare Kestrels. Don’t get your dress robes in a tangle, however, they may have been purchased for later projects, but it is quite likely they are just protecting the trademarks at the moment. I don’t see a film based on Quidditch Through the Ages being considered but there is every possibility a video game could be in the works. You can see the full list of trademarks at Bleeding Cool.