NEWS

J.K. Rowling To Pen Harry Potter Spinoff Film Series

09/12/2013 11:59 EDT | Updated 11/12/2013 05:12 EST
AP
British author JK Rowling, second left, joins actors, left to right, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint in Trafalgar Square, central London, for the World Premiere of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" the last film in the series, Thursday, July 7, 2011. Harry Potter's saga is ending, but his magic spell remains. Thousands of fans from around the world massed in London Thursday for the premiere of the final film in the magical adventure series. (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
J.K. Rowling's world of wizardry is coming back to the big screen – but without Harry Potter.

Studio Warner Bros. announced Thursday that Rowling will write the screenplay for a movie based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, her textbook about the magical universe she created in the Potter stories. This is her first time writing a screenplay, despite being heavily involved in the production of the Potter films.

The story will focus on the book's fictitious author, Newt Scamander, and is anticipated to be the first in a series.

Rowling said in a statement the movie "is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world." She said the story would begin in New York 70 years before the start of Harry Potter's tale, and fans can expect some characters and creatures familiar to them to appear.

Warner Bros. was behind eight Harry Potter movies released between 2001 and 2011.

Casual Vacancy TV show also announced

Cross-promotional video games and consumer products, as well as new material for Rowlings’ online Harry Potter repository Pottermore, are planned alongside the films.

Warner Bros. also announced that they are partnering with Rowling for a television adaptation of her novel The Casual Vacancy. Production for the drama, which will air on BBC One, is slated to start in 2014.

Rowling wrote a "real" version of Fantastic Beasts, complete with the Scamander pseudonym, for the Comic Relief fund in the U.K. in 2001, alongside Quidditch Through The Ages, a book about the popular sport in the Harry Potter universe. Profits from the sales of both books go to the relief fund, and the two books have raised more than £18 million.

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