JK Rowling to pen Harry Potter spin-off film

The first film of the series will be titled
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Warner Bros said the film series was part
of an "expanded creative partnership"
with the best-selling author.
The eight Harry Potter films are the
largest-grossing film franchise in history.
The new film will feature Newt
Scamander, the fictional author of the
textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to
Find Them, owned by Harry Potter at
Hogwarts school.
Warner Bros has given no indication as
to when the film could go into
production.
"It all started when Warner Bros came to
me with the suggestion of turning
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
into a film," said Rowling.
"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.
"Having lived for so long in my fictional
universe, I feel very protective of it and I
already knew a lot about Newt. As hard-
core 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.
She went on: "As I considered Warners'
proposal, an idea took shape that I
couldn't dislodge. That is how I ended up
pitching my own idea for a film to
Warner Bros.
"Although it will be set in the worldwide
community of witches and wizards where
I was so happy for 17 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, 70 years before Harry's
gets underway."
Rowling added: "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."
Blockbuster franchise
Warner Bros also announced that it
would serve as the worldwide TV
distributor (excluding the UK) for the
upcoming BBC TV adaptation of
Rowling's recent adult novel The Casual
Vacancy. It is expected to air in 2014.
The Harry Potter films made global stars of
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry), Emma Watson
(Hermione) and Rupert Grint (Ron)
More than 450 million copies of
Rowling's seven Potter books have been
sold worldwide.
She also wrote two small volumes,
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
and Quidditch Through the Ages - both
named after Harry's schoolbooks within
the novels. They were published in
March 2001 in aid of Comic Relief.
Another Potter spin-off book, The Tales
of Beedle the Bard, followed in
December 2008.
The Harry Potter novels, about a boy
wizard who survives the attack that kills
his parents, became a worldwide
phenomenon and were turned into eight
blockbuster Warner Bros films starring
Daniel Radcliffe.
The films have grossed more than
$7.7bn (£4.8bn) to date worldwide at
the box office, making Harry Potter the
largest-grossing film franchise in history.