J.K. Rowling announced during a global fan event for Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them Thursday that the film, previously thought to be a trilogy, is the first in a five-film franchise. The first film is set for release in Australia on November 17th, with the final instalment planned for November 2020.
The fan event had fans and correspondents in several international cities, including London, Los Angeles, Rome and São Paulo, and streamed live via Facebook. Several members of the cast were interviewed in the various cities, including star Eddie Redmayne, Colin Farrell and Jon Voight.
Rowling — who initially wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them as a supplementary manual to accompany her Harry Potter franchise — was a surprise guest during the London event, stopping by in the final moments to make the announcement. The host of the London event asked Rowling what would come next for Redmayne's Newt Scamander, the Magizoologist at the centre of the story.
"We were doing some script sessions the other day, and I can tell you that we always knew it was going to be more than one movie," she teased. "We said a trilogy as a kind of placeholder, but I've now done the plotting properly and we're pretty sure it's going to be five movies."
Warner Brothers previously announced that the film's sequel was in the work back in August. David Yates has been tapped as the director once more with Rowling penning the script. The sequel will be released in Australia on November 15th, 2018.