J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros. have announced that she will adapt her Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, into an cinematic adventure about that book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander. Rowling’s first-ever screenplay is expected to be the first of a series of new films about the wizarding world that fans know well from the Potter books and movies.
“Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for 17 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,” said Rowling, in a statement. “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.”
Scamander has long been part of the Potter universe, ever since he got a brief mention in the first book, Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. One of Hogwarts’ esteemed former headmasters, his image occasionally popped up in the wizarding school’s living portraits. Scamander had been an expert Magizoologist — a student of magical creatures — ever since a childhood fascination with hippogriffs and he went on to work for the Ministry of Magic. Beginning in 1918, he spent nearly a decade researching and writing Fantastic Beasts, traveling to every corner of the globe in his spare time to research the wizarding world’s most fascination creatures.
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Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.
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