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".

  • rate this

    Comment number 210.

    Set in New York..... i hope this doesn't mean it gets Americanised too much, just look at Dr.Who and Torchwood as two recently Americanised shows that went downhill because of that.
    Don't get me wrong, it is great that its new content being created but interference often ruins things despite good intentions.

  • rate this

    Comment number 209.

    I'm not sure how talented and creative has anything to do with greed. What does it matter how much somebody earns, if the audience enjoys it? If I had even half as much talent and imagination as J.K.Rowling I would certainly want to share it with the world. Who better to scriptwrite the film than the author? My son and I are certainly looking forward to watching the new film.

  • rate this

    Comment number 208.

    @204 "It might be set 70 years earlier...but I'd lay good money on the name Dumbledore being dropped into the script at some point."

    As Dumbledore and Grindelwald were probably the two "best" wizards in the world at the time I would guess they will both be mentioned.

    @207 Comparing her to Dan Brown and E L James is a pretty low blow.

  • rate this

    Comment number 207.

    I wish her (even more) success.

    I've nothing whatsoever against populist literature, I just wish that the book-buying public bought more novels that combined great storytelling with great writing.

    The likes of Dan Brown, E L James & Rowling may write enjoyable entertainment, but surely even their most ardent fans have to admit that they can't write for toffee?

  • rate this

    Comment number 206.

    Sorry.. the foreword was for the special edition one

  • rate this

    Comment number 205.

    MR MARMITE.. of course it will.. Newt Scamander asked Dumbledore to write the foreword for him in the book!! dont forget their fictional wizards that can live to the ripe old age of 600 onwards...

  • rate this

    Comment number 204.

    It might be set 70 years earlier...but I'd lay good money on the name Dumbledore being dropped into the script at some point.

  • rate this

    Comment number 203.

    @Weird Alex, i can understand some negativity,but saying her sucess was built on Marketing is not true..
    As for putting JK on a pedestal, yes i do because i Thank her for giving me something enjoyable and i honestly enjoy her books over and over and always will, as for JK's new novels, no i have not read them because as ive said its only HP that interests me

  • rate this

    Comment number 202.


    Sorry ceza I am right, and I promise you this, time and opnion will prove me right. I'm not criticising people for enjoying the HP book, I've already mentioned that I enjoyed them myself. What I am criticising is people who have put her on a pedestal. Her sucess was built more on marketing than it was talent and that marketing has drowned out truly talented writers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 201.

    I'm happy it's not "what happened after they left school" or a re-writing of the HP series from the perspective of some other character, or a series following the trio's kids. That would have been milking it, definitely.

    Anything that's made to expand the Magic World and tell us more about it, on the other hand - YES PLEASE!!!!!!! :D

  • rate this

    Comment number 200.

    "Like it, watch it. Don't like it, don't watch it"

    And for those who don't like it but cannot resist having their dig, words from Shakespeare:

    "Beware of jealousy, my lord! It’s a green-eyed monster that makes fun of the victims it devours."

  • rate this

    Comment number 199.

    I'm bewildered by all of the comments accusing JK of being greedy. She dropped off the Forbe's "rich list" because she refuses to dodge taxes and gives so much of her wealth away to charity and good causes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 198.

    @WEIRD ALEX..... I have commented and said my peace same as you have, so if i see negativity then i will vote down as you say..
    As far as beloved, she deserves it and im sure thousands would agree..
    And NO you are not right, you're probably just a keyboard bored person who has nothing better to do than criticise others for enjoying something!

  • rate this

    Comment number 197.


    They diod get darker, just not sure I would describe them as "very dark", compared to the the early books yes. But in it's in the same way as early disney films got dark, while compared to the saccarine loaded latter films they were darker, but by no means were they very dark. The Northern Lights Trilogy, with children having their minds and imaginations destroyed, that was dark.

  • rate this

    Comment number 196.

    @195.WeirdAlex, I have held back from reading the books, but many people I've spoken to who have read them said they got darker as did the films, I have them on my list.

    I suspect that there is a deeper subtext to the books than the films, it will be interesting to see if they stand the test of time, like Tolkien, Pratchett, Lewis Carol, CS Lewis and JM Barrie.


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