'Harry Potter' Spin-Off Planned for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them'

J.K. Rowling will write the screenplay for Warner Bros., inspired by one of Harry's Hogwarts textbooks.

J.K. Rowling to write the screenplay for the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
J.K. Rowling to write the screenplay for the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Warner Bros. Entertainment today announced an expanded creative partnership with world-renowned, best-selling author J.K. 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.

Here's what J.K. Rowling had to say about the project.

"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."

Kevin Tsujihara had this to say in his own statement.

"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. 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."

Fantastic Beasts will be a multi-media experience spanning games and consumer products
Fantastic Beasts will be a multi-media experience spanning games and consumer products
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), video games, consumer products and visitor attractions.

In addition, Warner Bros. will serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the U.K.) of J.K. Rowling's upcoming television adaptation for the BBC of The Casual Vacancy, her best-selling first novel aimed at adult audiences. This miniseries begins production in 2014.

The relationship will be managed in London by Neil Blair of The Blair Partnership, Rowling's literary agency, and Josh Berger, President & Managing Director, Warner Bros. UK, Ireland and Spain, who will serve as Warner Bros.' chief business contact for all J.K. Rowling initiatives going forward.

Rowling's expanded quote regarding Fantastic Beasts is below:

"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 favorite 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, seventy 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."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was released July 15th, 2011 and stars Ralph Fiennes, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Evanna Lynch, Domhnall Gleeson. The film is directed by David Yates.

Sources: Warner Bros.

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Comments (28)

  1. Castro Ginger

    I think this is such great news! I fell in Harry Potter kind of late since I thought it was childish before I ended up giving it a chance. I got into it when the movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix came out. I love the world J.K. Rowling came up with as much as I love J.R.R. Tolkienn's Middle Earth! With her writing the screenplay for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" I'm sure it will be a fantastic film! I hope they do the same with "Tales of Beedle the Bard" and come up with a film that goes into more detail of Hogwarts founding!

    1 year agoby @Castro-GingerFlag

  2. justatadmatt

    @undeadslayer4 it's not "next gen"...this takes place way before any of the characters from the original series were even in existence...

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  3. undeadslayer4

    @justatadmatt no i meant the comparisons of the next gen of both star wars and harry potter

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  4. LuxoIII

    @justatadmatt I'll drink to that!

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  5. justatadmatt

    @brady1138 i absolutely understand what you're saying. The characters are fantastic, but I believe that this allows for the ability to revisit the world without tampering with the characters we've known and loved...since it is something WB brought to JK, it's better that the characters we know are completely out of the story. Hopefully down the road, JK will come up with something on her own for our characters and we can enjoy it in the best way possible.

    @undeadslayer4 not even close, bro. No one incorporated in the Harry Potter story is in this feature. It's not the story of the main character's children or grandchildren or parents...it would be like making a movie about the creation of the "force" and how it came into existence.

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  6. undeadslayer4

    @justatadmatt so its like star wars 7

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  7. T. King (Red Camera Man)

    I hope this'll be worth it.

    1 year agoby @redcameramanFlag

  8. LuxoIII

    @justatadmatt Fair enough. It's just that Warner Bros. came to her first with the idea, instead of the other way around like last time. She was likely PROMPTED to come up with something by WB. That, and I never really liked the Harry Potter series for its world, it was always the story and characters that drew me in. I would rather see an expansion of the CHARACTERS that made this series great, rather that an expansion of what was really just the backdrop to a much deeper story.

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  9. justatadmatt

    @brady1138 while I understand the idea that WB is in this for the money, I honestly do not think JK Rowling would do this unless she was on board 100% with the whole idea. She is one of the wealthiest people in the world and does not need the money AT ALL. She has said countless times she would only revisit the wizarding world with the right story and something must have sparked her interest enough to get on board with this project. While I agree that a prequel to the founding of Hogwarts would be WAY more interesting, I honestly think there is something fun to be had here and if JK agrees and is a part of it, then sign me up.

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  10. justatadmatt

    @undeadslayer4 this film takes place in the 1920s, which is roughly 70 years before Harry's story and well before Voldemort's existence. It won't affect any of the pre-existing films at all.

    The Luna thing was explained by JK Rowling in an interview. She detailed what happens to all of the secondary characters in the "future".

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  11. undeadslayer4

    @justatadmatt wait a minute how did u know this is there more after deadly hollows

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  12. LuxoIII

    Here's why I'm extremely worried about this: it has nothing to do with artistic interests like the Harry Potter books/movies were. Sure, JKR is writing, but it was Warner Bros. who came to her with the idea in the first place. Why did they have that idea? Let's just say they're feeling a little heat from the House of Mouse acquiring a certain Galaxy Far, Far Away... Star Wars is the most profitable film franchise of all time and Disney just decided to bring it back with a vengeance. Add to that Marvel and Pixar, and Disney becomes an unstoppable powerhouse in Hollywood. What's the second-highest-grossing franchise of all time? Harry Potter, the one film series that could draw the current (or slightly previous) generation's eyes away from all the superheroes, pirates, and talking animals. Basically, studios will be forced to take extremely drastic money-turning measures to even compete, because in the Hollywood war, Disney has all but won. They're bringing back the second most profitable franchise for one reason: to be more profitable. That's just saddening.

    Plus, why Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Did anyone ask for a movie of this? Was anyone clamoring for more character development of the man who wrote a book that was mentioned twice in the entire series? Besides all of that, it's set 70 years BEFORE the first Potter story...so no familiar characters or locations that we all fell in love with...except maybe Hogwarts (and you KNOW we're going there). But why couldn't we get a movie about how the school was founded? I know that's even further back than 70 years, but that story would actually set up themes and settings from the previous movies. What about a Tom Riddle (young Voldemort) movie, in the vein of a Shakespearean tragedy? Or Harry's kids? Or Harry grown up? NONE of these have more story potential than some guy looking for monsters?! And that's been done too: it's called "Pokemon."

    1 year agoby @brady1138Flag

  13. justatadmatt

    @gandoff yes! i am very excited as well. if you have the opportunity, definitely read the rest of the books. if you loved the movies, there are enough extra details and story arcs to keep your interest. Book Three and Six are personal favorites.

    @undeadslayer4 personally, i don't see the comparison. it takes place in the same universe with completely different characters. the most exciting aspect is that we have the opportunity to revisit the wizarding world with JK's voice and not have to worry about it tarnishing any of the characters or stories from the previous films. the only connection is **SPOILER ALERT that 80-90 years after this planned film/story takes place, the main character's grandson marries Luna Lovegood.**** Not much of a link.

    well, that's my two cents.

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  14. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @skywise Expansions are better than prequels.

    1 year agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  15. CelluloidDreams

    Go where the money is!

    1 year agoby @2movieguysFlag

  16. Gandoff

    @justatadmatt I miss read it. I do not know how I did, but for some reason I thought it said 7, not 70... But that will work. I am not much on Harry Potter lore beyond the movies which I loved. I read only the first book, which was about the time the 4th movie was made. But I love the idea of someone in the wizard and witch world of HP looking for and doc*menting these kind of animals. Wonder what kind of characters from the books who may be older we could see. A young Dumbledore maybe? :D

    1 year agoby @gandoffFlag

  17. Josh

    New York wizards in the 20s? Sh*t yeah.

    1 year agoby @shuabertFlag

  18. skywise

    It was only a matter of time. I thought a few more years might have passed before they did something like this.

    1 year agoby @skywiseFlag

  19. Brizzy

    f*ck yeah!

    1 year agoby @BrizzyFlag

  20. justatadmatt

    @gandoff it's taking place in the 1920s, roughly 70 years before potter. This puts it way ahead of Voldemort's existence...

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  21. AgentBlue

    Hmm interesting.

    1 year agoby @agentblueFlag

  22. undeadslayer4

    wow its the hobbit star wars 7 all over again

    1 year agoby @undeadslayer4Flag

  23. Metalsfury

    WHERE TO FIND MORE WIZARD and they did! But in all honesty, not personally a fan of the Potter series, but for those who are, you should not be surprise of this spin-off. The series got a lot of bank eh Rowling?! The title reminds me of something Rick Steve's would say, lol, that guy is weird though

    1 year agoby @metalheadfuryFlag

  24. Gandoff

    This would have either been a better idea if it was a good while before Voldemort, or some time after they rebuild after Harry beats him. It would give either a sense of the world without a fear of "He who shall not be named", and a better connection to the story of these "fantastic beasts".

    1 year agoby @gandoffFlag

  25. justatadmatt

    This is incredible news. I would love for her to delve into the history of Hogwarts with the creation of the four houses, but I am stoked for this.

    1 year agoby @justatadmattFlag

  26. Writer220

    Well I can say it won't be for a while.

    1 year agoby @writer220Flag

  27. Vamp

    So excited, I may have peed a little.

    1 year agoby @vampire2000Flag