Warner Bros expanding Harry Potter world with Fantastic Beasts film scripted by J.K. Rowling

Warner Bros has announced that the wider world of Harry Potter will be expanded in a new project that’s neither prequel or sequel.

Instead, the film will take inspiration from author J.K. Rowling’s spin-off tome, Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them , a textbook detailing magical creatures.

That book’s fictional author, Newt Scamander, will be the principal character in the film, which will be written by Rowling herself, in her very first screenwriting gig.

Rowling said that after Warner Bros recommended turning the book into a film, “the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of Fantastic Beasts , realised by another writer was difficult… 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."

The mega-successful author was keen to point out that, “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.”

There’s currently no word on a release date, although this’ll no doubt be in the top spot of must-see movies for all Potter fans now. Let’s hope it doesn’t get pencilled in for a 2015 release though, as we’re not sure we could handle any more huge movies that year…

Matt Maytum
Editor, Total Film

I'm the Editor at Total Film magazine, overseeing the running of the mag, and generally obsessing over all things Nolan, Kubrick and Pixar. Over the past decade I've worked in various roles for TF online and in print, including at GamesRadar+, and you can often hear me nattering on the Inside Total Film podcast. Bucket-list-ticking career highlights have included reporting from the set of Tenet and Avengers: Infinity War, as well as covering Comic-Con, TIFF and the Sundance Film Festival.