J.K. Rowling returns to wizarding world with screenplay debut

J.K. Rowling returns to wizarding world with screenplay debut

J.K. Rowling will make her screenplay writing debut. Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri

LONDON (Reuters) – Best-selling “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling will return to the wizarding world for her screenplay debut with a film inspired by one of her fictional boy wizard’s textbooks.

Rowling has agreed to write the screenplay for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, a film from Warner Bros. based on the adventures of Newt Scamander – the fictional author of a Hogwarts textbook of the same name.

“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,” Rowling said on Thursday in an emailed statement from Warner Bros. Entertainment, a unit of Time Warner Inc.

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” will be the first in a series of films about the adventures of Scamander and will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, the 48-year-old Rowling said.

But the story will start in New York, 70 years before the Potter tale gets under way.

“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen 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,” she said.

Warner Bros. has distribution rights outside Britain of the BBC TV adaptation of Rowling’s first adult novel “The Casual Vacancy”, Harry Potter theme parks, websites, videogames and consumer products.

Rowling said that Warner Bros. approached her with the pitch for the film, but she could not stomach the idea of someone else writing one of her own characters.

“I thought it was a fun idea, but the idea of seeing Newt Scamander, the supposed author of ‘Fantastic Beasts’, realized by another writer was difficult,” she said.

“As hard-core Harry Potter fans will know, I liked him so much that I even married his grandson, Rolf, to one of my favorite characters from the Harry Potter series, Luna Lovegood.”

Since her seven Harry Potter novels became a global publishing phenomenon, selling an estimated 450 million copies, Rowling’s every move is followed closely by the industry.

The books, and a hugely successful movie franchise, helped turn her into the world’s first author billionaire.

However, Rowling has repeatedly said that she had no plans to write any more about the world of Harry Potter since her last book in the series “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” came out in 2007.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Rambo’ is coming to the small screen


"Rambo: New Blood" will be executive produced by the "Rocky" star, who will also appear in the series.

in Entertainment

George Lucas to new ‘Star Wars’ film: I’m your divorced father


"Star Wars" creator George Lucas, who was not involved in making the long-awaited new film, "The Force Awakens," said he is as ambivalent about seeing the movie as a divorced father would be about attending his child's wedding.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

Sleeping Santa makes Christmas pics a snap


Santa Claus won't be stopped by a sleeping baby boy. He'll improvise!

in Music

Paul McCartney explains his name


McCartney's given name is James Paul McCartney, and his father has the same name.

in Music

Elton John marks World AIDS Day with call to action


The "Rocket Man" star has spent years campaigning and raising money to fight HIV/AIDS with his Elton John AIDS Foundation, and he recently announced a special partnership with the U.S. government.