J.K. Rowling and one of her many magical creatures (Getty Images/Everett)
Witches and wizards the world over will be raising their butterbeers to toast this news! J.K. Rowling has inked a deal with Warner Bros. Entertainment to pen the screenplay for "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them," a new film based on the famed Hogwarts textbook and its fictitious author, Newt Scamander.
Though the story is not a sequel or prequel to the "Harry Potter" series, it promises to be peppered with "creatures and characters" which will be familiar to devoted franchise fans as it follows Scamander in his adventures. What's more, this will only be the first movie in a new series.
And since the film is based on a textbook, Potter fans who have read "Fantastic Beasts" are sure to be surprised by the film's narrative stories —ones that are expected to go beyond what appears in the book.
"It all started when Warner Bros. came to me with the suggestion of turning 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' into a film," Rowling explained. "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." (We knew that. Just saying.)
"As I considered Warners' proposal, an idea took shape that I couldn't dislodge," the iconic author revealed. "That is how I ended up pitching my own idea for a film to Warner Bros."
But this isn't just a repackaging of the same Potter story.
"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."
In other words, she's mixing the magic of Potter with the city of New York, which just might be the most perfect potion ever created.
"I always said that I would only revisit the wizarding world if I had an idea that I was really excited about," Rowling quipped. "And this is it."
We couldn't agree more.
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