After eight films, which have grossed a combined $7.7 billion worldwide, Warner Bros. isn’t ready to say goodbye to the world of Harry Potter just yet.
The studio announced this morning that it has expanded its agreement with J.K. Rowling to produce movies based on her work, beginning with a feature inspired by the Hogwarts textbook Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and the adventures of its fictitious author Newt Scamander. The first in a planned franchise, the film will mark Rowling’s screenwriting debut.
“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,” Rowling said in a statement. “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.”
The agreement also includes development of Fantastic Beasts for video games, consumer products and digital initiatives.