JK Rowling writing Harry Potter film spin-offs

Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter: The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling is writing a series of spin-off films set in the magical world of the British boy wizard.

The first film will be called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and will be based on a textbook of the same name used by Harry and his classmates at their school Hogwarts, Rowling said on her Facebook page.

Set in New York and featuring magical zoologist Newt Scamander - the author of Harry's textbook - the Warner Bros film marks Rowling's screenwriting debut, two years after the final movie in the eight-part series spawned by her phenomenally successful novels.

"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,'' the 48-year-old said.

She pitched the idea herself after the US studio approached her about making Fantastic Beasts into a film.

"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," she wrote.

"Having lived for so long in my fictional universe, I feel very protective of it and I already knew a lot about Newt.

"As hardcore 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."

Rowling said the story was 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 under way."

- AFP

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