David Heyman: JK Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts Script Is ‘Very Special’

Tom Butler
Senior UK Writer

David Heyman, the British film producer responsible for ‘Gravity’, ‘Paddington’, ‘I Am Legend’, and of course all 8 ‘Harry Potter’ films, says JK Rowling has completed the script for ‘Fantastic Beasts’ describing the screenplay for the ‘Potter’ spin-off as “very special”.

Yahoo Movies spoke to Heyman while promoting the DVD & Blu-ray release of ‘Paddington’, and we couldn’t resist asking for an update on his hugely anticipated return to the Potter world of wizardry and magic. 

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“We’re at early stages [with ‘Fantastic Beasts’ pre-production], but we’re beginning the process,” Heyman explained.

“I don’t really want to talk about it right now to be honest with you, but it’s very exciting. Jo [Rowling] has written something very special.”

Above: Heyman and JK Rowling

‘Fantastic Beasts’ is scheduled for release in November 2016 and will shoot at Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio, presumably later this year, so we’re expecting casting announcements in the coming months. 

Heyman was reticent to share whether they’d be holding open auditions for the lead roles like they did for ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, saying it was “too early to say” how the casting process would work.

The 2016 film is the first part of a new trilogy set in the world of ‘Harry Potter’, with two more instalments coming 2018 and 2020. The films will be loosely inspired by ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, a Hogwarts textbook which Rowling later published in 2001 for Comic Relief.

None of the original Potter cast are likely to return as the film’s will be set many years before the events of the original films in 1920s New York.

‘Paddington’ is available of Blu-ray, DVD and digital download now.

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Image credits: Warner Bros./Press Association