Here’s some Fantastic (Beasts) news: BBC, Warner Bros., and London’s Natural History Museum have partnered to announce a one-off hour-long documentary special called Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History — it’s a working title — that will “explore the origins and stories of mythical creatures and the fantastical beasts from J.K. Rowling’s stories, and their history and connections with animals roaming the planet today.” Stephen Fry will present and narrate the special. Additionally, the Natural History Museum will present an exhibition called Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature in London in spring 2020.
“I could not be more delighted to be a part of this magnificent opportunity for us Muggles to show the Wizarding World that the Fantastic Beasts in our world are more than a match for theirs,” Fry said in a prepared statement. “Joining forces with the combined powers of the fabulous BBC, its legendary Natural History Unit, and the magical Natural History Museum, we hope to be able to bring you closer than you’ve ever been to some of the most spectacular and extraordinary creatures ever seen.”
In its announcement, the BBC claims Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History will go from “the frozen steppes of Siberia and secret caves of Madagascar” to behind the scenes at both the Natural History Museum and Warner Bros. Studios. And if you can’t travel to London to catch Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature, fret not. The documentary will also feature the Natural History Museum’s exhibition.
As for creatures, it will involve both mythical and real ones, “from centaurs to Nifflers, birds of paradise to the Phoenix, 11,000-year-old woolly rhinos to the Erumpent, and giant squid to the Zouwu.” The docu-special will draw parallels between the two, showcasing how the real world and Fantastic Beasts universe are linked.
The hour-long docu-special is being made by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and Warner Bros. Entertainment UK Limited, with Natural History Unit creative director Mike Gunton as the executive producer. Gunton said: “This incredible partnership between three of the UK’s leading institutions will bring an astonishing array of creatures to our screens. We are thrilled to be working with these talented partners to bring natural history content to a wider young audience.”
Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History will release on BBC One in the UK. International distributors have not been announced.