J.K. Rowling to bring 'magizoologist' Newt Scamander to a theater near you
Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling will make her screenwriting debut by adapting her book "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" for the big screen, Warner Brothers announced Thursday.
"Fantastic Beasts," the 2001 book by Rowling that purports to be a Hogwart's textbook about "magizoology," is to be the first in a series of films that Rowling will do for Warner Bros. in a partnership that will also include video games, consumer products, digital initiatives and expansion of the "Wizarding World of Harry Potter" theme parks.
The marriage marks a likely coup for Kevin Tsujihara, the new CEO of Warner Bros., as the Potter movies have been enormously lucrative, grossing a total of more than $7.5 billion, according to the-numbers.com. The new movie, however, will feature a new protagonist, the textbook's fictitious author and "magizoologist" Newt Scamander.
"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 underway," Rowling said in a statement.
Fans greeted the news on Rowling's Facebook page with more than 44,000 likes by mid-day Thursday and expressions of glee in almost as many languages.
Warner Bros. will also serve as world distributor for Rowling's upcoming BBC miniseries, "The Casual Vacancy," based on her first adult novel.