In 2011, with the release of the eighth and final “Harry Potter” movie, fans reluctantly accepted that they might never again return to the magical world of Harry, Hermione, and Ron. But this morning, J.K. Rowling announced that she’ll be penning a “Harry Potter” spinoff film with Warner Bros, and the “Harry Potter” magic will return once more.
The script, Rowling’s screenwriting debut, is inspired by the Hogwarts textbook “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” Rowling elaborates in a post on Facebook:
“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.
The movie will be set in “the worldwide community of witches and wizards” but is “neither a prequel nor a sequel” to her original series, Rowling explains:
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.
Rowling sold the film rights for the first four “Harry Potter” movies to Warner Bros. in 1999. Eventually expanding the franchise to eight, the series became the studio’s highest grossing film franchise of all time.