With all of the Harry Potter movies firmly in the can, one can imagine Warner Brothers was happy to get author J.K. Rowling to sign on to adapt her Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them for the big screen. From Deadline:
Rowling says it’s not a sequel or a prequel to the Potter adventures, but will kick off in New York, 70 years before Harry’s story starts. No timeline or director has been identified yet. If the films follow the Harry Potter process, they’ll make use of Warner Bros’ Leavesden studios outside London which Warner acquired and revamped after the last Potter film was shot. Warner Bros noted today that the relationship between Rowling and the studio will be managed in London by Neil Blair of Rowling’s literary agency The Blair Partnership, and by Warner UK, Ireland and Spain chief Josh Berger.
The book was published in 2001 along with another, Quidditch Through the Ages, both intended to look and read like Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbooks.
The books were both charming, if slight, their chief redeeming quality being that Rowling had created the brace of books as an aid to fundraising for Comic Relief, a hugely successful UK organization whose chief goal is to “create a just world free from poverty.” To that end, the web site currently says that Comic Relief has raised more than 900 million pounds that has helped thousands of individuals in 70 countries. One can imagine that a successful move to the screen for Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them will stimulate book sales once again and raise still more money for Comic Relief, which can’t be bad. Back in the real world, though, it seems likely Rowling will have another hit on her hands. And then, the following year, another still:
Fantastic Beasts will also be developed across Warner Bros’ video game, consumer products and digital initiatives businesses. As part of the newly extended relationship, Warner Bros has also boarded the BBC adaptation of Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy which goes into production next year.