When Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald hit theaters, it was a shock to the Potterverse. The series, which had initially been sold to fans as a small trilogy about a nice Hufflepuff and his magical creatures, had become a war epic centered around the Dumbledore family. The reactions were such that Warner Brothers delayed the next installment a year to 2021. But that doesn't mean the Wizarding World will be off viewers' radar in 2020, as the BBC has teamed up with Warner Brothers to make a nature documentary about J.K. Rowling's Fantastic Beasts.
The BBC is home to many things, not just the programs one finds on Masterpiece on PBS like Poldark or streaming on Netflix like Bodyguard. But the channel's most significant hit of the last two decades has inarguably been the Planet Earth series. Starting in 2006 with the original 11-episode exploration of our planet, this program, hosted by the famous Sir David Attenborough, spawned a variety of spinoffs, from Blue Planet to Frozen Planet to Planet Earth II.
In the spirit of these hit shows, Warner Bros. Pictures is teaming up with the BBC and the U.K.’s Natural History Museum to create a documentary on these fantasy creatures. It's not a mockumentary or Magical Planet Earth, but it is a chance for viewers to get to see what sort of programming might air on Wizarding World TV.
The program won't exclusively focus on Rowling's made-up creatures. Instead, the documentary, hosted by comedian Stephen Fry, will explore the real beasts of this planet, both current and extinct, that inspired them.
Narrated by Stephen Fry and made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit, Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History (working title) will take viewers into the Natural History Museum, drawing parallels between creatures like the extinct wooly rhino and the Erumpent, a magical beast from the world of Harry Potter. The documentary will also feature the Natural History Museum’s exhibition, titled Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder Of Nature, which opens in spring this year.
In a statement, Charlotte Moore, the BBC director of content, said she was excited for fans to see what they were cooking up.
The BBC is world-renowned for its amazing natural history programming, and it is a delight to bring the natural world and wizarding world together on BBC One.
There's no word at this time of when or how the program will come to America, but it's a good bet it will, either to air on BBC America along with the rest of the Planet Earth shows or to Netflix for streaming.
Fantastic Beasts 3, which will be set in Brazil, is currently slated to arrive in theaters on Nov. 12, 2021.