J.K. Rowling to Write First Harry Potter Spin-Off Movie 'Fantastic Beasts'

J.K. Rowling

'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', a first film in the new franchise, will be based on the Hogwarts schoolbook of the same name and feature Newt Scamander.
A new movie series inspired by Harry Potter is in the works at Warner Bros., the same studio who enjoyed huge success for the recently-wrapped wizard film franchise. The author of the popular book series, J.K. Rowling, is confirmed to write the script for the project.

It will mark Rowling's screenwriting debut. The film will be inspired by Harry Potter's Hogwarts textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them". It will also feature Newt Scamander, the schoolbook's fictitious author in the Potterverse.

"It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' into a film. I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of 'Fantastic Beasts', realized by another writer was difficult," she says.

"Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favourite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood."

"As I considered Warners' proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn't dislodge. That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros," so she explains.

"Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen 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," she adds.

"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, seventy years before Harry's gets underway," the writer continues.

"We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us," said Warner Bros. Chief Executive Kevin Tsujihara of "their expanded creative partnership" with Rowling.

As part of the agreement, Warner Bros will also serve as the worldwide TV distributor for the upcoming BBC TV adaptation of her recent adult novel "The Casual Vacancy" which is expected to air in 2014.

"Harry Potter" series has spawned seven books and becomes one of the best sellers in history. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is one of the two small volumes Rowling wrote based on the Potter saga. The other one is "Quidditch Through the Ages" also named after Harry's schoolbook within the main novels. Both were published in March 2001. Another spin-off book is "The Tales of Beedle the Bard" released in December 2008.

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