Rowling adapting ‘Harry Potter’ spin-off for movie trilogy

Author J.K. Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book "The Casual Vacancy" at Lincoln Center in New York October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT PROFILE SOCIETY MEDIA PORTRAIT) - RTR398GH
Author J.K. Rowling poses for a portrait while publicizing her adult fiction book “The Casual Vacancy” at Lincoln Center in New York October 16, 2012. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

“Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling is going to adapt “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” for Warner Bros. as a trilogy.

Potter fans, rejoice: finally, something to watch, that’s not a re-run on ABC Family.

While this news will surely cause whoops of delight from the dedicated Potterati, it’s worth noting that the original cast is not expected to make an appearance in any of the films. It’s set in New York,  70 years before Potter starts his wizarding education at Hogwarts. “Fantastic Beasts” was a short book Rowling published between the fourth and fifth “Harry Potter” books, with all the proceeds from its sale going to the charity Comic Relief. It tells the story of Newt Scamander, a “magizoologist.” The studio has yet to name a director, much less a cast, but that hardly matters. The “Harry Potter” movie series was the highest-grossing of all time, bringing in $7.7 billion. That makes Rowling about the closest living approximation of King Midas on Earth.

The New York Times revealed the three-picture deal in a profile of Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara:

Convincing the famously independent Ms. Rowling to dive back into film was a coup. “When I say he made ‘Fantastic Beasts’ happen, it isn’t P.R.-speak but the literal truth,” Ms. Rowling said in response to emailed questions. “We had one dinner, a follow-up telephone call, and then I got out the rough draft that I’d thought was going to be an interesting bit of memorabilia for my kids and started rewriting!”

Rowling has written other spinoffs from the series: “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” and “Quidditch Through the Ages.”

H/t Hello Giggles

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.
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