J.K. Rowling is writing a ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off movie called ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ - based on a minor character in her stories about the teenage wizard.
The film is the first in a planned series inspired by the textbook of the same name given to pupils at Hogwarts school, and will feature its fictitious author, Newt Scamander.
Many of the characters will be familiar to devoted 'Harry Potter' fans, but it won't feature Harry, Ron or Hermione.
It will be the author’s screenwriting debut, and is the first phase of an “expanded creative partnership” between Rowling and the Warner Bros. studio.
Rowling said in a press release: “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, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.
“It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ into a film," she added.
"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."
The first eight 'Harry Potter' movies made more than £4.7 billion at the box office alone, making it the most profitable film franchise in history. The last instalment, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2', was released in 2011, and Warner Bros. will have been plotting a fresh movie series based on Rowling's universe ever since.
Expect casting speculation to also begin over who will play hero Newt Scamander.
‘Fantastic Beasts’ will also become a video game series and be integrated into Pottermore.com, Rowling’s digital online experience built around the 'Harry Potter' world.
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