Warner Brothers has found a way to return to their magical golden goose.
J.K. Rowling and Warner Brothers are teaming for a new chapter sent in the world of Harry Potter, but it won't be in print, and it won't feature the boy wizard. Instead, the author will pen her first screenplay, based on the fictional textbook found in the halls of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The film (and possibly films, as Warners hopes the spin-off will be a franchise) will feature fictional author Newt Scamander as the star, as he journeys the world uncovering magical creatures (and having a few adventures along the way).
"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,” said Rowling in the announcement. “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.”
Warners plans to build the franchise outward from film into video games and other licensed products, and finally officially announced the expansion of Wizarding World of Harry Potter, their theme park venture with Universal Studios. The partnership with Rowling also includes worldwide distribution of her new TV series, The Casual Vacancy, based upon her novel of the same name.