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'Harry Potter' Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' Is J.K. Rowling's Screenwriting Debut

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"Harry Potter" readers have longed for a continuation of J.K. Rowling's boy-wizard series, namely in the form of an eighth book. That pipe dream isn't happening yet, but Rowling does have one more spell to cast: Warner Bros., the studio behind the eight "Harry Potter" movies, and Rowling announced on Thursday that the acclaimed author will write her first movie series, which will be based on the Hogwarts textbook "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them."

"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," Rowling said in a release posted to her Facebook page.

"Fantastic Beasts," then, will focus on Newt Scamander, author of the fictional tome that was frequently mentioned in Rowling's original "Harry Potter" series. (It was released in book form for Muggles in 2001.)

“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,” Rowling wrote. (As such, Harry Potter won't appear, though Warner Bros. noted that some of the film's characters may be "familiar to devoted Harry Potter fans.")

Warner Bros. approached Rowling about the series, and the author says the project evolved from there. There's no indication how many entries the series will contain or when the first movie will be released. (The studio will also turn "Fantastic Beasts" into a video game.)

For all the "Harry Potter" nerds out there, a brush-up on our future lead character: Newt's grandson, Rolf Scamander, went on to marry Luna Lovegood and have two children with her, a plot turn that leaves open the possibility of some further "Potter" connections down the line.

Read Rowling's full statement on the "Fantastic Beasts" here.

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