JK Rowling to pen Harry Potter spin-off film

JK Rowling JK Rowling says the film is not a prequel nor sequel to Harry Potter

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JK Rowling is to make her screenwriting debut in a new Harry Potter-themed film series, Warner Bros has announced.

The first film of the series will be titled Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Warner Bros said the film series was part of an "expanded creative partnership" with the best-selling author.

The eight Harry Potter films are the largest-grossing film franchise in history.

Start Quote

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.”

End Quote JK Rowling

The new film will feature Newt Scamander, the fictional author of the textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, owned by Harry Potter at Hogwarts school.

Warner Bros has given no indication as to when the film could go into production.

"It all started when Warner Bros came to me with the suggestion of turning Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them into a film," said Rowling.

"I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts, realised 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.

She went on: "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 17 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, 70 years before Harry's gets underway."

Rowling added: "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."

Blockbuster franchise

Warner Bros also announced that it would serve as the worldwide TV distributor (excluding the UK) for the upcoming BBC TV adaptation of Rowling's recent adult novel The Casual Vacancy. It is expected to air in 2014.

Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint as Harry, Hermione and Ron in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 The Harry Potter films made global stars of Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson (Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron)

More than 450 million copies of Rowling's seven Potter books have been sold worldwide.

She also wrote two small volumes, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and Quidditch Through the Ages - both named after Harry's schoolbooks within the novels. They were published in March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief.

Another Potter spin-off book, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, followed in December 2008.

The Harry Potter novels, about a boy wizard who survives the attack that kills his parents, became a worldwide phenomenon and were turned into eight blockbuster Warner Bros films starring Daniel Radcliffe.

The films have grossed more than $7.7bn (£4.8bn) to date worldwide at the box office, making Harry Potter the largest-grossing film franchise in history.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 215.

    New York City?

    The Americanisation, to appeal to the U.S.A. audience and to satisfy Warner Bros. has begun.

    Like Winnie the Pooh, Doctor Who and a few other UK icons.

    Next thing you know, there will be gun fights, car chases and all the other gratuitous violence so beloved by American movie makes and American audiences.

    But we shall see.

  • rate this

    Comment number 214.

    please let us all remember these brilliant stories were written as children's books, but for my way of thinking were the first novels in the phenomenon that is YoungAdultFiction.
    I can sum up my experience of this global literary treat when 7 yrs ago on holiday we met a delightful10 year old Austrian girl who was not sure whether to read the englishversion or wait for the German.. Clever girl x

  • rate this

    Comment number 213.

    I don't like the Harry Potter series, but the ragging on Rowling is beginning to get to me. She's got more money than she can ever spend--doesn't need a "day job," so why shouldn't she continue to create at leisure if that's what she finds fun, and why not in the creation she has the most affection for? If people don't enjoy it, then she won't get money for it. (Shame her pseudonym was outed.)

  • rate this

    Comment number 212.

    Would like to know how Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald when Grindelwald was in possesion of the Elder Wand - there must be a rich vein of "historical" wizarding material JK can mine :-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 211.

    Meh can't edit my last post...... i meant "Starts in New York".... not "Set in New York".


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