The Harry Potter films will live again. Warner Bros, the studio behind the Potter films, has announced it is working on a new feature series in conjunction with author JK Rowling, based on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the first-year textbook that Potter uses at Hogwarts school in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
In 2001 Rowling published Fantastic Beasts as a separate book in aid of the Comic Relief charity, with the book purporting to be Potter’s actual copy of the textbook, complete with his and his friends’ doodles and scribblings. It is a guide to “magizoology”, or the study of magical creatures, and was supposedly published in 1918, written by Newt Scamander, who will become the central character of the new film.
Rowling will work on the screenplay of the new film – her first – and the hope is that it will expand into a franchise along the same lines as Potter. The author said in a statement: “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 … Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”