J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. announce new movie franchise set in wizarding world

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All ended well for Harry Potter in J.K. Rowling’s books, but it turns out the author isn’t finished with her magical world. Rowling and Warner Bros. have announced that she will adapt her Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, into an cinematic adventure about that book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. Rowling’s first-ever screenplay is expected to be the first of a series of new films about the wizarding world that fans know well from the Potter books and movies.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 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,” said Rowling, in a statement.  “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, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Scamander has long been part of the Potter universe, ever since he got a brief mention in the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. One of Hogwarts’ esteemed former headmasters, his image occasionally popped up in the wizarding school’s living portraits. Scamander had been an expert Magizoologist — a student of magical creatures — ever since a childhood fascination with hippogriffs and he went on to work for the Ministry of Magic. Beginning in 1918, he spent nearly a decade researching and writing Fantastic Beasts, traveling to every corner of the globe in his spare time to research the wizarding world’s most fascination creatures.

Click below for Rowling’s entire statement:

“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. 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. Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 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. 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, 70 years before Harry’s gets underway. I particularly want to thank Kevin Tsujihara of Warner Bros. for his support in this project, which would not have happened without him. I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about and this is it.”

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