JK Rowling / Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The last volume of the Harry Potter series was published in 2007, but author J.K. Rowling has returned to the wizarding world several times since. Most recently, she completed the script for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, as confirmed by producer David Heyman.

David Yates is set to direct the Harry Potter spinoff, which is inspired by a made-up Hogwarts textbook that became a real Harry Potter companion volume in 2012. Hit the jump for the latest update on the JK Rowling Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them script.

The status update on Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them came during Heyman’s chat with The Telegraph. “Jo [Rowling] has written a wonderful script,” he said. “It’s early stages. David Yates is directing and we start filming next year. I’m just really excited about it.”

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was first announced last fall, with Rowling confirmed to write. She tweeted last month that she was still “tweaking” the screenplay, so the completion of the script is a recent development.

Heyman produced all eight Harry Potter features and is set to produce all of the Fantastic Beasts series, which will consist of “at least” three movies. His non-Potter credits include I Am Legend, Gravity, and the upcoming Paddington.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will be set in New York City circa 1920, about seventy years before the start of the Harry Potter series. The first film will follow the adventures of Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist” whose writings on magical creatures would go on to become required reading for Hogwarts students.

Few other details have been given about the story, although Rowling offered fans a hint last month in the form of a cryptic tweet. Unscrambled, the strange message spelled out: “Newt Scamander only meant to stay in New York for a few hours.”

Although Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set in the same universe as the Harry Potter series, Rowling has said the new film will be “neither a sequel nor a prequel” — so direct ties to the Harry Potter plotline are unlikely.

The project reunites much of the old Harry Potter team. Director Yates directed the last four installments of the original Harry Potter film series. Also returning are executive producer Lionel Wigram, who served as executive producer on the last four films, and Steve Kloves, who scripted seven out of the eight movies.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them opens November 18, 2016. The next two installments are dated for 2018 and 2019.

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