Warner Bros has announced that a Harry Potter spin-off film is being written by JK Rowling, based on the wizarding textbook Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and its fictional author Newt Scamander.
Rowling states in a press release (via The Filmstage) that the new film is neither a sequel nor a prequel to the Harry Potter movies, but an extension of the world of the books and films.
“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, realised 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 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. 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.”
The official press release from Warner Bros follows:
“Warner Bros Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author JK Rowling. At the center of the partnership is a new film series from Rowling’s world of witches and wizards, inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them and the adventures of the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, Chief Executive Officer, Warner Bros Entertainment.
Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will be an original story and will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut. It is planned as the first picture in a new film series. Set in the wizarding world, the story will feature magical creatures and characters, some of which will be familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.
“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. “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.”
“We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses,” said Tsujihara. “She is an extraordinary writer, who ignited a reading revolution around the world, which then became an unprecedented film phenomenon. We know that audiences will be as excited as we are to see what her brilliant and boundless imagination conjures up for us.”
In addition to the film series, Fantastic Beasts will also be developed across the Studio’s video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses, including enhanced links with Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the Harry Potter stories.
The Studio’s expanded partnership with Rowling also covers the continued expansion of its Harry Potter activities, including the wonderful Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in conjunction with partner Universal Parks and Resorts (currently in Orlando, FL; opening in Hollywood, CA and Osaka, Japan), digital initiatives (including Pottermore), videogames, consumer products and visitor attractions.