10/15/2014 01:54 pm ET

Harry Potter Spinoff 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' Will Be Released As A Trilogy


Warner Bros. made a huge -- but not so surprising -- announcement on Wednesday, revealing that the Harry Potter spinoff series, "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," will be released as a trilogy and not a stand-alone film.

The first "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them" movie was scheduled for a Nov. 8, 2016 release, and now Warner Bros. has set the next two films' release dates in, respectively, 2018 and 2020. David Yates will direct the first movie.

The series is a return to J.K. Rowling's wizarding world and follows Newt Scamander, a magical animal specialist who wrote a textbook that Harry Potter refers to throughout his time at Hogwarts (though "Fantastic Beasts" is set 70 years before he goes to school). Rowling wrote the book in 2001 and will serve as a screenwriter.

The announcement was made at today's Time Warner investor event, where other huge TV and film news broke: Netflix will stream "Friends" starting on Jan. 1, 2015, HBO Go will be available to purchase without cable and Warner Bros. already has three more Lego-branded movies lined up for the next four years. Plenty of superhero movies, too.



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