Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling embark on new film series
Harry Potter creator J.K.Rowling is to join forces with Warner Bros. Entertainment in her first foray into screenwriting.
The expanded creative partnership will see Rowling write the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, inspired by the textbook used by Harry Potter and his chums at Hogwarts. The film will be the first in a series based on the book and the adventures of its fictional creator Newt Scamander.
The announcement was made by Kevin Tsujihara, CEO of Warner Bros. Entertainment. He said: “We are incredibly honored that Jo has chosen to partner with Warner Bros. on this exciting new exploration of the world of wizardry which has been tremendously successful across all of our businesses.”
Rowling remarked: “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.”
The film series is just the tip of the iceberg for the new partnership: the Fantastic Beasts concept will be developed and rolled out throughout Warner’s add-on businesses, in the form of video games, consumer products and digital initiatives. In addition to this, Warner Bros. will hold worldwide distribution rights (bar the UK) for the forthcoming BBC television adaptation of Rowling’s best-selling adult novel The Casual Vacancy, which starts shooting in the UK early next year.