Hold onto your sorting hats:
Just this morning, Warner Bros. announced—via a statement that can be read in full on Deadline—that the studio has entered into a partnership with Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, and that the team will work on producing new movies from the ‘Potterverse’ canon. Almost exactly a year ago the author told the BBC that she would contemplate returning to her most famous creation for a “director’s cut” or to explore other aspects of that world. And the new project fits right in with that goal: the productions will rely on a Hogwarts classroom stalwart, mentioned throughout Rowling’s series, called Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The movies will focus on the book’s author, who will be found in New York a full 70 years before the Harry Potter story takes place.
In the statement, Rowling—who developed the plot and will write the screenplay—makes clear that the Fantastic Beast movies will not be sequels:
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…
Warner Bros. announced plans for a cross-platform tie-in, with a Fantastic Beasts video game and merch.
On the non-Potter front, the studio also said that it will distribute the BBC television adaptation of Rowling’s novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy, worldwide.