Few have been able to accomplish what the Harry Potter franchise has done. While Twilight and The Hunger Games have found the same success as Harry Potter has, films like The Mortal Instruments, Percy Jackson, I Am Number Four,, and a handful others couldn’t even come close. So instead of trying to find the next potentially big YA adaptation, WB has sealed a deal with Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling for a new series of films set in the Harry Potter universe.
According to Deadline, Rowling will make her screenwriting debut with Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, which will be the start of a new film series. The film will be an original story based on the Hogwarts textbook that appears on a required reading list for new students in the first Potter novel, Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (known in the U.S. as The Sorcerer’s Stone), as well as the adventures of the fictitious author of the textbook, Newt Scamander.
Set in New York 70 years before the events of the first Harry Potter tale, the film will feature magical creatures and new characters that are tied into the mythology. However, Rowling says that the film will not be a prequel.
Rowling, on how she was was approached:
“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.”
Rowling, on how Fantastic Beasts is tied to the Harry Potter world despite being an original story:
“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.”
Fantastic Beasts will also expand off-screen as Warner Bros. also announced that it would be producing the 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.