May 13, 2014


Though development continues quietly on the Harry Potter spinoff film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, it appears that the project is far enough along to stake out a release date.  Warner Bros. has announced that Fantastic Beasts will open in theaters on November 18, 2016, five days before an untitled Disney Animation film and a couple of weeks after Fox’s Trolls.  The film is based on the J.K. Rowling book of the same name, which takes place within the Harry Potter universe but doesn’t involve any of the main characters from the insanely popular book series.  Rowling herself is penning the screenplay for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, but a director has yet to be attached.

Hit the jump for more on the project, including how closely it will be tied to Harry Potter.

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-harry-potterRowling’s book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a “textbook” in the Harry Potter universe that was penned by the mysterious Newt Scamander.  The film will be an original story that focuses on Scamander, and when the project was first announced, Warner Bros. made it clear that they intend for Fantastic Beasts to be the first in a series of films.

Rowling previously specified the film’s connection to Harry Potter thusly:

“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. 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, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.”

Warner Bros. has been trying in vain to find “the next Harry Potter” ever since the film series came to a close with Deathly Hallows in 2011, and no doubt Fantastic Beasts will sufficiently fill that gap.  I’m encouraged by the fact that Rowling is penning the screenplay, and now that a release date is set, I’m very interested to see what kind of director signs on to bring the project to fruition.

Who do you think should direct Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them?  Sound off in the comments below.

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